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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-25-2020, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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RO Water Machines

I had a question about the efficacy of the commercial RO self-service water machines you find in front of grocery stores. I have used it for over 8 years on planted tanks, but never tested it.

My test before adding Prime:

The pH=6.0 (the lowest on my test kit)
The kH= 1 degree
The GH= ? (after 30 drops it still doesn’t change from orange to green)

My testing components may be defective, but it’s the second set of reagents I have used.

I thought the high GH was from something in my tank, but after testing the RO store water, I was curious if anyone had any experience / comments.

Thank you.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-25-2020, 10:01 PM
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Hi, I don't have my results handy, but I tested the water from two different stores here (WF and a local store). The local store was way better on all tests, WF failed. I will test again when I get my next bottle and update you. I also have a small RO counter top machine which I use and it works great for me as my tanks are small.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-26-2020, 12:31 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you. That would be good info.

I think my recently introduced Cardinal Tetras are suffering from osmotic shock from going from 2d GH I don’t even know what I can’t measure it after 30 drops of API reagent.

I just wanted to know if anyone got RO water this way, and if so, what was their experience / test results.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-01-2020, 04:33 PM
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Hi, I finally picked up some new RO water from my local natural food store. Our city water is quite hard to begin with, but I was surprised at the results. This store has a very high end RO unit with UV as well. Results: TDS - 8, GH 2, KH 6, Ph 8.5 (surprised me). I will have to look back at my notes to see if their Ph has always been that high.

My own RKIN counter top unit tests today: TDS 18, GH 2, KH 1, Ph 7.

I use my own RO water on two tanks with cardinal tetras, Cory Catfish, gourami, shrimp, oto, celestial pearl danio, and goby. I use Salty Shrimp to raise KH on my RO water. All have been doing great.

From what I have read, keeping the KH steady at ideally at 4 is the most critical. Others here are quite expert, so maybe ask again! Hope this helps, please don't hesitate to ask more!

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-01-2020, 09:14 PM
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First, all assumptions are based upon accurate values for your tests. With many reagent tests, you may get varying results. If they are test strips, you would do better throwing them in the trash.

A dKH of 6 would put you in the ballpark for a pH of 8+. It looks, to me, that your own RO unit is a better source, despite the apparent difference in TDS. TDS meters can vary if calibration is kicked out of balance or temperature differences exist between two samples (even if the meter compensates for temp). If you tested both samples at the same time, try it again and be sure to wiggle the TDS meter in the water. If you still see a difference (although 10ppm TDS is not significant), something else is sneaking through your RO filters.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-07-2020, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you both for the responses.

I did find out that my API GH reagent bottle was expired while the kH wasn’t. And I bought them in the same box.

I have a 54 gallon tank, so I don’t know whether it would be easy to “keep up” using a table top unit for reasonable water changes. Also, using it that much, would it be expensive to operate, change media, etc.?

My friend checked the Glacier grocery store RO water at another location and it had 398 TDS! So there may be servicing quality control issues with these machines, making a home version a better choice.
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