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inkslinger 11-23-2012 12:49 PM

Well Water
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We will moving into our new house in Dec. and already in the water filtering stage . I've order x2 20" Big Blue Whole House Filters with 1 - 5 micron and 1 - Carbon Block and talking to someone for a High Efficiency Water Softener .
Should I do a by-pass before the filters for aquarium tanks and use a holding tank and age the water? The water is very Hard and the Sodium and Chloride is high also, How can I fix this and make it useable for aquarium use?

jmowbray 11-23-2012 02:19 PM

It depends on the fish you want to keep. Those types of filters aren't going to remove much of the mineral content from the water. They are made to catch larger particles that are suspended in water. If your looking at lowering you TDS even further you will need a RO membrane. I would get a TDS meter off of ebay and check the water before the filters and after the filters. I used water that has passed through almost the exact same membranes you have for my shrimp tank. The planted tank get RO water and the reef tank gets RO/DI water.

Do you plan on having a water softener for the house?

inkslinger 11-23-2012 04:15 PM

Yes I've talk to a couple of people about High Efficiency Water Softener for the hole house getting prices . I'm also adding a RO for under the sink and fridge .
A by-pass before my system to be use for my fish tank {may-be RO} and fill a water Storage Tank. I like to keep my planted tank an congo tetra fish and Red Line Sharks ect.

dmagerl 11-23-2012 05:25 PM

I fill my tank with softened well water. The softener totally removes GH, i.e. GH=0, but it leaves KH alone. My tap/tank KH measures 20dkh, I think thats worse than yours. I remineralize the GH to around 5 dgh using GH booster.

I've never had any problems.

inkslinger 11-23-2012 07:14 PM

So I should run a RO System after water softener for aquarium use?
I got concern about the high Sodium for planted tank and fish

Diana 11-23-2012 08:15 PM

Check the RO unit you want. It is my understanding that the RO membranes wear out faster if they are processing water that is high in calcium, so installing the RO after a sodium exchange water softener is a good idea.

jmowbray 11-23-2012 10:23 PM

I have my unit before the softener and have never had a problem yet. I put my unit after the first sediment filter that the whole house uses. However, I'm moving and I'm trying to get hooked up after the softener but space isn't allowing for that. :(

inkslinger 11-24-2012 04:41 AM

I thought of adding a by-pass after my pre filters witch are 2 - 20" Big Blue filters
1. Sediment
2. Carbon Block
both are 5 microns
My drinking RO system has a 3.0 g holding tank and will be after my water softener and will be hook up to the frig and sink.

wkndracer 11-24-2012 12:10 PM


Originally Posted by inkslinger (Post 2087329)
So I should run a RO System after water softener for aquarium use?
I got concern about the high Sodium for planted tank and fish

The membrane blocks the sodium same as it does the calcium, the difference is the occurrence of scaling that blocks (plugs up) the membrane. Having a membrane flush bypass and installing after the whole house softener the membrane will last much longer because salt ions are much easier to flush off the membrane than the calcium is. Based on conductivity tests and a sample tested at a water lab I know the sodium is blocked by the RO membrane. Anything else in the way of debate regarding sodium ions in a freshwater system I'll leave to others.

Originally Posted by Diana (Post 2087360)
Check the RO unit you want. It is my understanding that the RO membranes wear out faster if they are processing water that is high in calcium, so installing the RO after a sodium exchange water softener is a good idea.

Exactly what I did and why with no regrets.

With multiple tanks scattered throughout my home a central system hard piped wasn't for me. Wife didn't want it in the mud room either.

Mine was a well water quality issue and I gained a tremendous amount of my information on eBay trying to decide what I wanted in a system. The vendors are indeed a great source of info trying to sell products. Ask questions and the answers fly to your inbox.

My needs (I felt) included a 100g reserve in storage. I installed the system in the detached garage (keeps my wife happy as its not in the laundry room).
Set it up down stream of the whole house Kinetco system (salt regen) water softener. Insulated the tank with black rubber leaving a 2 1/2" gauging gap marked at 5gal. intervals. Through a bulk head fitting on top is installed a 400 watt heater for Florida's short winter and an air pump. A float switch in the storage tank and pressure switch in the supply line shuts off the supply booster pump and supply water. The product water discharge pump is a Surflo Demand Pump - 115v with 1/2 inch male threads, 45 p.s.i. and 3.3 gallons per minute rated discharge anchored to the floor under the laundry sink.

The RO is a 6 stage. Wall mounted above the laundry sink with the waste water fed to a flower bed outside the shop wall rather than the sink drain.
With the booster pump on the supply side I get almost a 1:1 ratio taking the 191 (or more) TDS input to 1 or 2ppm TDS discharge. The booster pump gets credit for the increased ratio pushing 80-85 psi system pressure (needle bounces). The gauge is between the last filter can and the membrane housing, right in front of the pump.

The final stage UV sterilizer gives me peace of mind on my storage water after reading concerns about bacteria content in well supplied systems and also possible bacteria build up in the filters themselves.

The water storage tank (105g) is from a local commercial supply and was just over $150.00. Food grade with a vented and threaded lid along with the lower bulkhead that's connected to the discharge pump.
Drinking water safe hose and a valved nozzle are used to transport water to the tanks. (yes I drag a hose)

I really like the Surflo demand pump with the pressure switch built in for filling my tanks simply for the fact it shuts off rather than running dead headed is why I bought it. I'll drain and clean a tank then move to the next one without a trip out to shut off the supply pump.

Another thought in the design of the system was rather than allowing it to continuously refill the reservoir I prefer to shut the water supply off once it's filled and turn off the power supply switch. This bottles up my RO filter wet between uses and removes power from all devices. Also it forces me walk out and manually restart the reservoir fill. Flushing the membrane surface after every 100 gallons of produced product water by using a bypass flush before the reservoir is refilled. It makes me do my maintenance cycle on the membrane doing it this way LOL. I have only replaced one membrane in three years of use.
Currently maintaining >840g in total aquarium volume in house.

More cost on some of the components used but felt that was warranted.
The membrane and housing are SpectraPure brand.

inkslinger 11-24-2012 09:05 PM

Nice setup wkndracer That's basically how I want to setup with a water storage tank of 100g or more . I have the whole basement to set-up {Man Cave} I'm having a utility room where everything is being put in and my aquarium tanks will be setup around . I got 28'x54' to work with but it's not heated this year. One question thou is concrete floor do I lay a sub floor first before setting up the fish tanks will it handle the weight? I thought of doing a 2"x4" or 2"x6" pressure treated base for my tank stands to keep them off the concrete floor.

Diana 11-25-2012 05:31 PM

If you set up a sub floor consider running heating through it. Heated pipes all over the place in the sub floor could really help!
My fish room is more of a greenhouse style, and I am having heating issues. I sure wish I had the money to elevate the floor and plumb it for heat!

I several stands in there:
Factory built cabinet style stands
DIY wood stands
Concrete block stands.
Steel shelving with plywood shelves (came with particle board which did not last at all)

The floor gets wet, but does not stay wet. Still, the factory cabinet stands are showing a bit of damage from the dampness. My home made wood stands are holding up just fine. Different sort of wood. Of course the concrete block stands have no problem when the floor is damp. The steel stands are OK, they are actually up on concrete blocks. There is a hint of rust here and there, but so little that it is not a problem at this point. If I take down any of these they can be sanded and re-painted.

Make sure you get 'ground contact' pressure treated wood. There are different grades sold in different areas. Talk to a proper lumber expert about what is the best for your area. In our area we use ACQ .40 for most ground contact, but ACQ .60 is available, if it is specified by an engineer. I do landscape design that involves quite a bit of construction, including retaining walls and other things that are in contact with the soil.

inkslinger 11-28-2012 11:25 AM

Will my basement should not get damp , I've got a brand new heating system that has a build in dehumidifier. I like the idea of keeping my wood stands off the concrete with pressure treated wood. I just got my 2 big blue 20" pre filters
"monster looks" my water heater get's installed today and still waiting on the softener. I hope it's enough to get my hardness and other readings down in my water .

Diana 11-28-2012 07:54 PM

I elevated the 'garage shelving' system so the tanks on the bottom shelf would siphon by gravity, but having the steel off the floor is still a good idea.

I wish I had elevated some of the cabinetry stands, too. I suppose I still could, one at a time...

inkslinger 11-29-2012 02:21 AM

My plumber thinks I should wait until the well pump has been turn on and the water run for a while to do another water test to make sure I need a good water softener with back
flush system

inkslinger 01-10-2013 06:43 PM

Will I moved into our New House just before Christmas , I notice the toilets had a red color film and it went away after a couple of weeks later . I'm planning on getting another water test done but for now I think I will clean my tank out real good and replant .

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