new RO unit and KH - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-01-2005, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
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new RO unit and KH

Hi all
i have just got a RO unit and i now have my first batch of water .anyway i did some test on the water and i found that my KH is 0 . so what im asking is this . is it ok to use the water with a 0 KH or do i need to lift the KH before i put it in my tank .if i do need to lift it what should i be looking to raise it to and what should i use to raise it

Thanks for any help i may get
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-01-2005, 02:47 AM
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I believe if you do a 50% w/c then you will essentially lower your KH in half.
I add tap water to get to the desired parameter matching that of the tank. There are products to rebuild RO water I just cant think of any off the top of my head and tap water seems to be fine for myself.

ernest

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-01-2005, 07:35 AM
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Ernest pretty much summed it up....
RO Water is very pure H20, with almost nothing in it.

You will have problems running a tank with 100% RO water for this reason.... you should always cut it with tap water of some kind. The ratio of RO:Tap is entirely based on what you want your end figuresd to be.


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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-01-2005, 11:28 AM
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New RO unit...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu
Ernest pretty much summed it up....
RO Water is very pure H20, with almost nothing in it.

You will have problems running a tank with 100% RO water for this reason.... you should always cut it with tap water of some kind. The ratio of RO:Tap is entirely based on what you want your end figuresd to be.

What's the KH on your tap water? They're right - you may be able to achieve a good balance with a mix of RO and tap.

Kathy
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-01-2005, 01:01 PM
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RO water contains no KH or GH. You need to add products back to your RO water to raise KH, GH, and preferably trace elements.

Many people use baking soda to raise KH. I like to use Seachem Alkaline Buffer, which is essentially baking soda, but it's crystalized so it doesn't cloud water, and it's a bit more refined than food-grade baking soda. People often flame me for using it, but I like it and it's my preference.

For GH, there are products you can use like Seachem Equilibrium and Kent RO Right. These contain large amounts of potassium, which is fine for some people. I like to dose potassium seperately, so I use Kent Botanica GH+, which contains only calcium and magnesium (the main salts that show up on GH tests).

For trace elements, I use Seachem Fresh Trace.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-01-2005, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTApuffgal
What's the KH on your tap water? They're right - you may be able to achieve a good balance with a mix of RO and tap.

Kathy
To me, this defeats the purpose of using RO water for purity and filtration... most RO units remove phosphates, silicates, nitrates, and other impurities from tap water.

I would say it's fine if the only reason you are using RO is to lower the GH of your tap water.

If you are using it for filtration and purity however, then I would say it's better to use aquarium-grade products for RO reconstitution.

Just my humble opinion!
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-01-2005, 01:27 PM
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New RO unit...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypancistrus
To me, this defeats the purpose of using RO water for purity and filtration... most RO units remove phosphates, silicates, nitrates, and other impurities from tap water.

I would say it's fine if the only reason you are using RO is to lower the GH of your tap water.

If you are using it for filtration and purity however, then I would say it's better to use aquarium-grade products for RO reconstitution.

Just my humble opinion!
In the context of purity and filtration, Hypancistrus - absolutely! If the concern is simply hardness RO is good for "cutting" it. I use RO simply because we have a water softener and whole house carbon. We get treated lake water which is just about right in the hardness area (for CO2 injection), but my only access to it is the outside tap. Not an option in the winter in Canada! Hubby promised to replumb the sink in the basement so it isn't softened. Once that is done, I'll just use tap water. When I had plastic (back in the day...) I just used RO and the fish were fine. Now that the tank is planted and I'm using CO2 I'm simply adding baking soda and epsom salts and so far it seems to be working well for me. This topic interests me because frankly I'd rather use RO. I realize our water is safe in theory, but... don't get me going on municipal water treatment...

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-01-2005, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypancistrus
To me, this defeats the purpose of using RO water for purity and filtration... most RO units remove phosphates, silicates, nitrates, and other impurities from tap water.
The only reason to avoid tap water is if it contains something that is drastically high, but still within "normal" human toxicology standards.
The only one I can think of is nitrates which are set at 50ppm for max safe human levels. You'd be far better off buying a denitrification unit IMO, than adding numerous additives to try and bring pure RO water back to the required nutrient contents of tap water.

I'm not saying outright you shouldn't go with the additives method, I'm just suggesting that there are easier, more cost-effective solutions.

Some people want to try and reduce the escalating costs of running aquariums nowadays.

Oh, Hypancistrus..... make sure you check your RO water regularly to make sure the filters are efficient enough to make that water pure.


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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-01-2005, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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Hi thanks for the help so far . i have put some ELECTRO RIGHT in to the RO water put the KH is still 0 . i think at this rate i would need to add the whole bottle to get the KH up and at 10 a shoot its not cheap
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-01-2005, 06:05 PM
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I'm not familiar with Electro Right, but I would dose a known volume of product into a known volume of RO water, as per instructions on the bottle and test. If you still get 0, then start to question your test kit.

As I said, I do not know of electro right so I don't know how much you'd have to use!


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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-01-2005, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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The KH from my tap water is 3 i have been told its ok to put some bi carb in the RO water it lift the KH
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-01-2005, 10:37 PM
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I use tap water to bring back some hardness to the ro water as long as the tap is some what balanced. Why pay money when you can just add some tap, plus then your using a little less ro water which means your wasteing less water as you use less RO.

150 g heavy planted
Discus, cardinals, bristle nose, cherrys amano's
6.6 ph with ph controller and glass diffuser.
.5ppm p, 2t k added along with 80ml csm(weak solution) per week
300 watts cf
3.5-4 kh
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-01-2005, 11:29 PM
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I've bred Discus at a KH of 5.5 and a Gh of 9.
I see no reason other than taste for drinking water to use RO.

You don't not need it ever for plants, fish may want less.
Even at 50ppm of NO3, plants do a good job at removal.

A 50% 2 week water change would add only 25 ppm over two week's time.

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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-02-2005, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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i use a RO because of very high phosphates
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-02-2005, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain
I've bred Discus at a KH of 5.5 and a Gh of 9.
Even at 50ppm of NO3, plants do a good job at removal.

A 50% 2 week water change would add only 25 ppm over two week's time.
Yeah, 50ppm NO3 is no problem for plants if you have a healthy planted tank with other nutrients balanced. Infact, unless you use something like well water that has no regulations to control levels of any nutrient, I don't see a problem using tap water really.
Even high phosphates..... Tom has shown that phosphate does not cause algae alone.
What level do you get from the tap out of curiosity, donkey? I thought the max level you'd likely get is around 2-3ppm, which IMO is no problem at all.


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