Should I use RO water? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Should I use RO water?

I use RO for my saltwater tank, and I was wondering if my planted tank would benefit from this?
I have no idea what my water is through the tap.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 04:02 PM
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Its my understanding is that all need is a good high quality low flow
carbon filter for fresh water tanks.

Most fish will adjust to whatever PH and gh/kh you have.

Stability and consistency are the key.
No PH crashes, no fluctuations with water changes.

PH controller with Co2 injection on both tank and "aging tank"
are best solutions.

Just work with whatever your KH is and set PH monitor/controller to
maintain about 20ppm Co2 level and you're done.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbarn View Post
Its my understanding is that all need is a good high quality low flow
carbon filter for fresh water tanks.
Maybe, Central supplied city or well water? That's based on your tap water condition. Pull a sample let it stand in an open jar 24hrs. and test it GH, KH, Phosphate

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbarn View Post
Most fish will adjust to whatever PH and gh/kh you have.

BULLCRAP!


Quote:
Originally Posted by rbarn View Post
Stability and consistency are the key.
No PH crashes, no fluctuations with water changes.
True to a degree. But water changes all the time. Growing plants change the water chemistry, dosing frets. change the water chemistry. We reset water content with every weekly water change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbarn View Post
PH controller with Co2 injection on both tank and "aging tank"
are best solutions.
CO2 based pH changes do absolutely NOTHING to your fish in the tank and what do you expect it to do in your aging tank? Run air in your storage tank, maybe a heater to minimize temperature swings in the tank during large water changes and that's only needed for 24hrs. prior to use. But CO2 in the storage tank is a complete waste of time and gas!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbarn View Post
Just work with whatever your KH is and set PH monitor/controller to
maintain about 20ppm Co2 level and you're done.
Just following this advise your not needing R O at all. Again that will be based on what comes out of the tap.
In the display tank you want as close to 30ppm as you can get not 20ppm.
KH is easily raised with baking soda. GH can be set using mineral booster at weekly water changes. I set the KH in my storage tank and adjust GH after filling and testing the tank.

Best to all,


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbarn View Post
Its my understanding is that all need is a good high quality low flow carbon filter for fresh water tanks.
Low flow carbon filter? Where did you read/see this? I use no carbon (really never have), and have cranking flow.


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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmccreedy View Post
Low flow carbon filter? Where did you read/see this? I use no carbon (really never have), and have cranking flow.
http://www.thefilterguys.biz/chloramine_filters.htm
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkndracer View Post

BULLCRAP!

Used to think the same till proven otherwise.
Seen Discus thrive in 10KH and 7+ph

Notice I did say, most, not " all "


Not going to get into a Co2/Ph/Kh debate ..........
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 06:18 PM
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LMAO. i totally misread this whole thread. i thought you were talking about canister filter filtration.

You are correct sir and I will sit in the corner and wear the dunce cap for not reading the entire thread before replying.


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-21-2009, 02:43 AM
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I use RO almost exclusively in all my fw tanks. You should be using DI water for your sw tank. My experience with talking to hobbyists in the state of Oregon, they had very low initial TDS{very clean water to begin with}
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-21-2009, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbarn View Post
Used to think the same till proven otherwise.
Seen Discus thrive in 10KH and 7+ph

Notice I did say, most, not " all "


Not going to get into a Co2/Ph/Kh debate ..........
Notice I will say, most, not " all " can't do what was done with those Discus so as a rule I personally wouldn't recommend it.

CO2/pH/KH debate would be with most everybody here and I was recently educated on that very issue by another member. (glad I listened/read and learned) three weeks into the changes and seeing differences.


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-21-2009, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lil.guppy View Post
I use RO for my saltwater tank, and I was wondering if my planted tank would benefit from this?
I have no idea what my water is through the tap.
Not necessarily, but it ultimately depends on what your goals
are and where you current water parameters reside.

Craig

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-22-2009, 12:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkndracer View Post
Notice I will say, most, not " all " can't do what was done with those Discus so as a rule I personally wouldn't recommend it.
I will impart what I learned from Dan at Gulf Coast Aquarium about R/O ,,,,,,
http://www.houstonaquariumwarehouse.com/


I want a Discus tank done "right" and have spent hours researching web
and local fish shop gurus, was all set to get an elaborate R/O system
all set-up, then I went in and talked to Dan.

Houston water is about 10kh and 7+ph out of the tap .... "no way this will work for Discus" i think to myself
Go in and Dan has all his fish thriving in it.

Problem he described in using R/O to try and get a set hardness is that you
are always chasing the hardness up and down cause you're trying to
"manipulate" the water.

If you just take what you get and leave it alone you can stabilize PH with
controlled Co2 injection and the fish adjust to the KH and PH level where
ever they are at for your set Co2 ppm.

It made perfect sense.

I think I lot of people with "hard" water are having huge PH swings from
Co2 levels going up and down this is what kills fish.

Ph/Co2 controller I think is a must for a planted tank.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-22-2009, 01:09 AM
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This is a long post. Sorry to all.

Im presently using R O water. Maintaining 3dKH, 4-5dGH my controllers are set maintaining the pH to 6.26 6.4, 6.14 6.5 respectively on my two injected tanks. The low tech tank GH is the same and 2dKH is self sable at 6.8 7.0 pH without CO2. I am experiencing near continuous breeding in all the tanks containing adult fish. I NEVER had any breeding in 10 years living at this house and had repeated fish kills and plant problems. Angels are not as water quality sensitive as Discus and my well water killed them on a rotating basis.
Currently my results are regardless of husbandry practices without softer water fish died. With it my tanks remain overfilled for over a year and getting even better.

Using R/O only when you have the 'water from hell'

by wkndracer on Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:44 pm
Chosen to play mad chemist
Hello and as with most HELP/advise/comment if you care too,
Situation as follows; I live in west central Florida with tannic lakes and wetlands all around my property. A Kinetico water system is installed to make my well water usable in the home. Pressure varies 40 to 65 psi off the well. I set up an RO unit to use for my four aquariums.
All are freshwater planted tanks, two are CO2 injected. Keeping angels as the primary species.
Well water leaves iron colored stains on everything, the magnetic sprinkler valves stick and head nozzles plug once a year at a minimum. The water spots heavy deposits as it dries. Basically water from hell. Well water drawn into an open bucket with a sponge filter/aerator running for 2hrs. reads as follows;
Ph 7.2
kh 196.9 ppm
gh 179 ppm
phosphate 1.0
iron (off the scale) Hagen Nurtafin test kit.
Nitrate, Nitrite, Ammonia 0.0
While the numbers dont look completely wacked the sponge is packed with orange dust when squeezed. Fish had a Russian Roulette chance when purchased prior to last year. Plants just shrank and withered out even the ones from the local swamp. Currently (started last year) using distilled water 100%. RO Right and Seachem products to remix. Fish losses are way down, almost nonexistent but water changes are a transportation pain and getting ever more costly with distilled now .94 per gallon. Maintaining ferts and doing weekly 50% water changes mandated a change.
Water treated through my Kinetico RO system (uses salt for regen)
Ph 7.0
kh 196.9
gh 35.8 (I believe this is a false reading not seeing the sodium)
phosphate .75
Nitrate, Nitrite, Ammonia 0.0
The following were tested at my work location water lab.
Temperature 25c
pH 7.56
hardness 10 ppm
iron 0 < .1 ppm
Maximum Turbidity 1.0 NTU
Maximum Chlorine .02 not visible
Ive already purchased; 105 gal storage tank, float switch, ASO, check valve, tubing, swaglok valves, connectors, a couple of pressure gauges for inlet and outlet pre-filter monitoring, TDS dual monitor. A booster pump for maintained pressure. From the Barr report and other sites DI is not needed. I internet researched for about 3 months off and on to try and self educate.
System installed and flushed TDS inlet to the RO varies 176 196 (monitored over two weeks) and outlet TDS 1 so clean water is here.
Now to adding the dirt back.
KH I have covered with baking soda, but GH is the concern going forward. Kent freshwater R/O right does both GH & KH but I'm not sure the content address's plant mineral needs at all. Seachem Equilibrium (been using it) is GH adjusting only as I believe is Grumpys GH Booster.The forums and websites have little information other than similar in makeup. Seachem based on mixing to 3dGH and 90 gallons needed weekly a 600 gram container will last no more than two months. Does Grumpys add enough elements or do I need to supplement for the basics of GH starting with water of a zero content?
Seachems Guaranteed Analysis
Soluble Potassium (K20)23.0%
Calcium (Ca) 8.06%
Magnesium (Mg) 2.41%
Soluble Iron (Fe) 0.11%
Soluble Manganese (Mn) 0.06%
Using Grumpy's at a cost of $7.00 for 2 lbs. like everything else is WAY under Saechem. I haven't received my first fert order yet which will include the GH booster I'm just wondering long term if it contains the 'total' mineral balance needed by my water weeds or if something will yet end up missing?

Links to follow up threads here fine tuning the chemistry.

First post deals with plant growth rebounding.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/wa...gh-plants.html


The second had to do with false pH readings based on CO2 injection and fish not reacting to it..


https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/wa...h-hazards.html


What the future holds for my tanks time will tell. Plants are growing better than ever before. Fish are spawning like rabbits. Algae is less. Next to no mineral deposits on my glass tank covers week to week.


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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-22-2009, 02:13 AM
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This thread is kind of exciting for some reason
I agree and disagree with a few comments. Fish can adapt> agree, using RO depends on your current hardness params > agree, RO involves chasing hardness > disagree.

The first two involve special cases and personal preference, so I'll leave them alone. As far as RO and it's hardness, if you add a set spoonful of bicarb and GH booster per gallon of RO weekly (with weekly changes), your hardness params should remain constant. This has been my experience for 4 years of steadily reconstituted RO usage.

That said, I use RO because my tap has high levels of nitrite and nitrate, if I use that on any tank that does not have massive nutrient uptake from a heavy plant load and CO2, it results in a massive nitrate buildup and has even caused me a nasty minicycle and fish deaths. Otherwise, my tap's KH and GH are good at about 3 and 7. You have to decide whether to keep your Discus an unorthodox way or the suggested way, FYI, now there are plenty of folks debunking the biweekly+ water change suggestion for Discus as well. I'd risk saying just go with what you have now, but we don't even know your parameters.


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