if i use RO water do i need GH booster? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-08-2011, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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if i use RO water do i need GH booster?

i have an RO unit filling a reservoir that i then use to do my WCs. i don't use DI only the a chlorine filter and two carbon filters and RO membrane. i haven't had any issues that i see with the water. do i need to or should i add GH booster?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-08-2011, 02:48 PM
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If your filter is working correctly and your not mixing with tap water I would say your going to need it. The RO membrane is stripping all the trace elements plants need.

I use pure RO/DI water for my WC's and add 1 1/2 tsp (GH booster) per 5 gallons to get my GH back up to 4-5dh. I also add 1/2tsp of baking soda to get my KH around 2-3dh.


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-08-2011, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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When i first bought the RO unit i opted to not get the DI with it because i guess i assumed the DI resin was the agent that took out the hardness. i'm currently dosing Florin-K FlorinMulti and Florin-Fe. since i'm using these premixed ferts do you think i should still use GH booster? Once i run through these ferts i'm going to switch to the EI method and i'll use the GH booster for that. i'm just wondering if i need to pick it up now
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-09-2011, 03:55 AM
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I'm relatively new to this so take my statements with a grain of salt and perhaps a more experienced member here can confirm or deny what I've learned and experienced.

RO water should read with a TDS of 10ppm or less. At this level you will not provide the proper the trace elements. RO membranes will remove Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Iron, Manganese, Bicarbonate, Chloride, Sulfate, Nitrate and Carbonate. You can see many of these are needed by plants, not providing enough could cause you issues.

RO/DI water will should have a TDS of 0ppm. Your working with pure water that can be very unstable. No trace elements, no bicarbonate to offer any buffering against a PH crash.

Have you tested your water after your RO unit for TDS, GH, KH? If you have a super low TDS the PH, GH/KH test kits will not be accurate. But a low TDS may also indicate you need to reconstitute your water. I'm not sure at what PPM the API test kits can detect. I believe there is a chart that transfers DH to PPM somewhere on the API test kits but I never bothered to look.

After I reconstitute my water with GH booster and baking soda my TDS is around 160. I still continue to dose NPK and CSM+B (EI dosing). Im not familiar with the ferts you have chosen so I'm not sure what you are/aren't providing.

Water top offs for evaporation you want to use pure RO or DI water to prevent a buildup of TDS.

Then again if your plants are growing... don't fix it if it ain't broke!


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-09-2011, 04:47 AM
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I use 100% RO/DI I just add the booster every time I fertilize. KH is stable at ~6-8 and GH of 6.
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