Fresh Water RO ? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-08-2018, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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Question Fresh Water RO ?

I have a 90G Planted tank w/ a 20G sump filter, C02 & 10G ATO, automatically dosed with GLA PPS-Pro fertilizers (Plantex CSM + B, Potassium Nitrate, Mono Potassium Phosphate, Potassium Sulfate, Magnesium Sulfate)

I was shopping parts at BRS to put together a three stage chloramine filter to plumb my municipal water supply directly to the ATO tank, and thus avoid pre-treating and lugging jugs of water from the kitchen. The parts quickly added up to the cost of the entry level BRS 4 Stage 75GPD RO/DI system, not to mention a trip to the home center for fittings and the effort to put it all together.

RO/DI is not the direction I was going. If RO/DI water goes into a FW Planted tank, and the GLA fertilizers are dosed at the appropriate level, will the water contain all the minerals and elements the fish and plants need to thrive? Or is something else needed, or is RO/DI simply not appropriate for FW planted tanks?

Thanks.

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-08-2018, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Westone View Post
I have a 90G Planted tank w/ a 20G sump filter, C02 & 10G ATO, automatically dosed with GLA PPS-Pro fertilizers (Plantex CSM + B, Potassium Nitrate, Mono Potassium Phosphate, Potassium Sulfate, Magnesium Sulfate)

I was shopping parts at BRS to put together a three stage chloramine filter to plumb my municipal water supply directly to the ATO tank, and thus avoid pre-treating and lugging jugs of water from the kitchen. The parts quickly added up to the cost of the entry level BRS 4 Stage 75GPD RO/DI system, not to mention a trip to the home center for fittings and the effort to put it all together.

RO/DI is not the direction I was going. If RO/DI water goes into a FW Planted tank, and the GLA fertilizers are dosed at the appropriate level, will the water contain all the minerals and elements the fish and plants need to thrive? Or is something else needed, or is RO/DI simply not appropriate for FW planted tanks?

Thanks.
RO/DI water will need to be remineralized.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-08-2018, 06:39 PM
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You would need to either add a GH booster to re-mineralize the r/o water or you could mix with tap water to reach your desired GH. GH boosters are mainly made up of calcium and magnesium, which is important to all freshwater planted tanks. How much GH will depend on the species of fish/shrimp you plan to keep. Most have a pretty broad range in what they'll survive in, with the exception of a few sensitive species.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-08-2018, 06:57 PM
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If this just being used to top off due to evaporation loss RO/DI water will be fine. Minerals do not evaporate


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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-08-2018, 11:25 PM
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It is hard to find a carbon filter good enough to remove just chlorine and those still don’t remove chloramines, so trusting so-called chloramine removing carbon filters is just too risky. Chlorine mixed with ammonia makes chloramine, so when carbon removes chlorine then ammonia remains there to poison the fish.

And for RO units, there is no need for the expensive DI filters for cooking and aquarium use.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westone View Post
I have a 90G Planted tank w/ a 20G sump filter, C02 & 10G ATO, automatically dosed with GLA PPS-Pro fertilizers (Plantex CSM + B, Potassium Nitrate, Mono Potassium Phosphate, Potassium Sulfate, Magnesium Sulfate)

I was shopping parts at BRS to put together a three stage chloramine filter to plumb my municipal water supply directly to the ATO tank, and thus avoid pre-treating and lugging jugs of water from the kitchen. The parts quickly added up to the cost of the entry level BRS 4 Stage 75GPD RO/DI system, not to mention a trip to the home center for fittings and the effort to put it all together.

RO/DI is not the direction I was going. If RO/DI water goes into a FW Planted tank, and the GLA fertilizers are dosed at the appropriate level, will the water contain all the minerals and elements the fish and plants need to thrive? Or is something else needed, or is RO/DI simply not appropriate for FW planted tanks?

Thanks.

I'll levae the choice of whether or not to use RO (or ro/di) up to you. But I want to point out that a three stage chlorine block system is essentially the exact same thing as a three stage ro system (with a 4th stage for the di). The only difference is the actual filter that goes into the housing. But you still need the separate filter housings, the plumbing between, etc. Thats why the parts added up to roughly the same cost.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Edward View Post
It is hard to find a carbon filter good enough to remove just chlorine and those still don’t remove chloramines, so trusting so-called chloramine removing carbon filters is just too risky. Chlorine mixed with ammonia makes chloramine, so when carbon removes chlorine then ammonia remains there to poison the fish.

And for RO units, there is no need for the expensive DI filters for cooking and aquarium use.
That's not true. My tap water has a lot of chloramines, so much you can taste it. I run 2 carbon filters on my RODI unit. A standard carbon and then an fx chloraguard carbon block and it takes out all the chlorine. I have test the water with standard chloramine/chlorine strips and also my sensafe idip commercial tester.

Also while a DI filter is not really all that needed in freshwater tanks, it is needed in saltwater.

My 2nd filter under my sink which is exclusively used for my espresso machine uses an everpure commercial cartridge and also gets rid of all the chlorine and chloramine from the tap.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by gus6464 View Post
I run 2 carbon filters on my RODI unit. A standard carbon and then an fx chloraguard carbon block and it takes out all the chlorine. I have test the water with standard chloramine/chlorine strips and also my sensafe idip commercial tester.

Also while a DI filter is not really all that needed in freshwater tanks, it is needed in saltwater.
This thread is about installation of either Carbon filtration or RO unit in order to remove chloramine. I am saying that relying on carbon filtration to remove chloramine is not safe for fish. Your home carbon may work well when new, but after time it will start leaking chloramine without warning. Older it gets more chloramine will leak out including the previously accumulated. In your installation it does not matter since the water goes through RO cartridge.

And since this forum is about freshwater planted aquariums I am saying DI cartridge is not needed. RO removal rate without DI is ~95% and easily tested with TDS unit.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward View Post
This thread is about installation of either Carbon filtration or RO unit in order to remove chloramine. I am saying that relying on carbon filtration to remove chloramine is not safe for fish. Your home carbon may work well when new, but after time it will start leaking chloramine without warning. Older it gets more chloramine will leak out including the previously accumulated. In your installation it does not matter since the water goes through RO cartridge.

And since this forum is about freshwater planted aquariums I am saying DI cartridge is not needed. RO removal rate without DI is ~95% and easily tested with TDS unit.
That's more of an issue with maintenance than the filter itself. My espresso machine filter until it's exhausted itself does not leak any chloramines and it has no RO stage whatsoever.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 06:40 PM
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That's more of an issue with maintenance than the filter itself. My espresso machine filter until it's exhausted itself does not leak any chloramines and it has no RO stage whatsoever.
How long does it take to exhaust? I was under the impression, for years now, that an RO membrane was the only way to remove 99.9% of everything in the water, chloramines included. I thought carbon was only good at stripping the chlorine for a short period of time.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 07:06 PM
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How long does it take to exhaust? I was under the impression, for years now, that an RO membrane was the only way to remove 99.9% of everything in the water, chloramines included. I thought carbon was only good at stripping the chlorine for a short period of time.
It depends on the carbon blend. The chloraguard filters have a shorter lifespan than standard carbon which is why they recommend putting a standard carbon filter in front. The one I use is rated for 2000 gallons if I am not mistaken. On my RO/DI unit I replace both carbon filters once a year and the sediment every 6 months. I replace the set no matter how many gallons I make in a year as I use it for drinking water as well. My RO membrane is a spectrapure 99.9% membrane and it's on year 3. My DI cart is 2 years old and about half exhausted going by the color change. TDS in from tap is 475 TDS, TDS out from RO before DI is 1. I didn't get to this by just plug and play though. It started out as the basic BRS 75gpd unit and I have been adding stuff to it. It has an auto flush restrictor and booster pump as well.

On my everpure ESO7 for my espresso machine I have a flow counter on it with an alarm that goes off after 500 gallons. The replacement counter on that one is based off of the amount of softening it does.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-10-2018, 08:15 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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This thread is about installation of either Carbon filtration or RO unit in order to remove chloramine.
Actually, this thread is about whether RO water with GLS ferts added back contains all the necessary elements for fish and plants in FW tank. Please refer to original post.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-10-2018, 12:37 PM
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Actually, this thread is about whether RO water with GLS ferts added back contains all the necessary elements for fish and plants in FW tank. Please refer to original post.
I don't think that just adding GLA ferts to RO water in the quantities recommended for low/med/high light tanks will remineralize it sufficiently for fish or plants. It will add obviously add minerals back to the water, but not in the quantities necessary to hit a certain GH or KH target.

You could calculate the necessary quantities of the individual GLA ferts to hit a GH or KH target, but then I think you'd be out of alignment with the level of the fertilizers you're trying to achieve for optimal plant growth (ie. phosphorus would be out of alignment with nitrogen).

I think it's much easier to just remineralize your RO water with salty shrimp/equilibrium (or equivalent products) before adding it to the aquarium and then fertilizing according to either EI or PPS-Plus.

*take my advice with a grain of salt though, i'm fairly new to the hobby*
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-10-2018, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westone View Post
I have a 90G Planted tank w/ a 20G sump filter, C02 & 10G ATO, automatically dosed with GLA PPS-Pro fertilizers (Plantex CSM + B, Potassium Nitrate, Mono Potassium Phosphate, Potassium Sulfate, Magnesium Sulfate)

I was shopping parts at BRS to put together a three stage chloramine filter to plumb my municipal water supply directly to the ATO tank, and thus avoid pre-treating and lugging jugs of water from the kitchen. The parts quickly added up to the cost of the entry level BRS 4 Stage 75GPD RO/DI system, not to mention a trip to the home center for fittings and the effort to put it all together.

RO/DI is not the direction I was going. If RO/DI water goes into a FW Planted tank, and the GLA fertilizers are dosed at the appropriate level, will the water contain all the minerals and elements the fish and plants need to thrive? Or is something else needed, or is RO/DI simply not appropriate for FW planted tanks?

Thanks.
Hello. I thought i would give my insight since I have been using RO/DI water in my tank for the past couple months with GLA ferts and this is what i learned. You will need to add KH and GH back into the water. For KH i use seachem alkaline buffer to 4 kh and for GH i dose 30 ppm of Ca and 10 ppm of Mg. Once you have KH, GH and added your macros and csm+b you have majority of the minerals needed. *not too sure but from what i read I am missing Cl, Na, Co and Ni from CSM+B so i am currently trying flourish comprehensive and trace to see if these work better. I do know of some other members that use RO with csm+b and have beautiful tanks. I dose according to EI tho and not PPS pro. Hope this helps in some way. Goodluck .
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-10-2018, 03:26 PM
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I use RO water and remineralize with seachem equilibrium and alkaline buffer, GLA dry nutes and micro nutrients are great and would be needed in addition (I use them as well).
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