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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just curious.

I fill my 55 display tank and 25 quarantine with pure rainwater. My tetras spawn about once every two weeks, and all my other animals and plants are happy.

So, am I the only one who uses a free and [mostly] abundant source of water?
 

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I dont but I know a shrimp breeder in this forum that does. I think it is Ohbaby714

My issue with rainwater/RO/distilled is that I have to go back and add minerals and salts.

I talked to a guy who used to be a local aquarium guru and he tells me the best thing about South Florida water is all the minerals the fish love.

Filtered water was killing my shrimp until I added minerals and switched to good ole tap.
 

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I have not tried rain water but am curious to learn more about it. We typically have fantastic rain here in Indiana from March until about May or June, then nothing really until November it seems. THen of course it's snow until March. So, it's not as abundant as I'd like in this area.

How do you collect it? Do you have an open container, or do you have something at the end of a gutter downspout? And if at the end of a gutter, do you have to worry about the debris that might collect in your gutters and get washed down?
 

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I use it. I collect by using a 100 gallon resevoir under a downspout.




At my old house, I had several daisy-chained together.




Today, in the fishroom I have a 250 gallon resevoir that I pump it into. I use this tank to mix it with tap to whatever ratio needed at the time.

 

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VERY NICE photo examples, thank you!

mscichlid - is there any worry about debris that washes into the gutters? And what do you do through the winter when it freezes or comes down as snow instead?
 

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Thanks. To capture the live food and debris, I attach a mesh bag on the end of the hose. When there is a lot of pollen, I use a m350 with a micron filter. Otherwise, it's just aerated.

In the winter, I break the ice and drop in the pump. The resevoir indoors then gets a 300 watt heater to raise the temp to 70 degrees.

Snow isn't a factor unless it's melting. Normally, we don't get enough snow to make a dif. But when it does snow substantially, I don't bother with it because I'd have to shovel a path to it. Shoveling the driveway, patio and sidewalk is enough for me. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have a simpler setup than mscichlid. I bought a 55 gallon plastic barrel from the local Pepsi bottling plant for $10. I rerouted my downspout to feed into it and attached a faucet to the bottom with epoxy.

I've read elsewhere that one should only collect the 'clean' rain that falls after most of the contaminants have washed out of the local atmosphere. So I wait until it has showered for 20 minutes or stormed for 5 before collecting.

I get it into my house with a simple hand pump, which works great for my 55 gallon. 50% WC in about 10 minutes. 15-20 minutes if I have to pump it inside to my 30g trash can for pre-heating. I don't do as many WC in winter; but then I have a low-light low-tech tank.

The water is generally very pure, but sometimes it gets a 'little' ammonia in the autumn- around 0.5ppm. For vanity I used a white barrel, although blue might have served to better prevent the decaying algae that I suspect cause this ammonia spike. Well, that's what Prime is for!
 

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I appreciate all the input on this thread, even though it wasn't my original post. LOL. I saw our local conservation department had a learning event at the library last year about how to do these rain barrels to collect rainwater for gardening, etc. I think I'm going to sign up for one if it's offered again and see about this. We're on a well, so the water I go through doesn't "cost" me in utilities except for the electricity when the well pump kicks on. But our water is liquid rock. So then I run a RO unit to cut down my well water to acceptable parameters. The waste coming out of the RO unit is atrocious, and I can't measure the environmental cost of how much water I go through. And every time I run my RO unit, I kick myself and think there has to be a better way to do this. Even if I can only collect rainwater during our rainy months in March-June or November, it's still an offset to all the wasteful usage currently!
 

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55 GALLON barrells can be picked up from a lot of diffferent companies. perferablly beverage companies. cut a whole. lay some screen. attach hoses and a faucet to each one and ur rockin.. if u link them together from a downspout. use 2-3 inch hose!!! i can not say that enough. we used 1 inch and the first barrel overflows because the 1 inch can't handle

on a good rain they both fill up in 30 seconds HAHAHAHA
 

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I live out in the middle of a corn field in rural Indiana. I'm *guessing* ours would be ok after the dust has been settled. Guess that's a question for the next soil & conservation district seminar on these rain barrels, though, to be sure!
 

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i don't bother, the tap water here in Vancouver is devoid of most minerals (about 3ppm dissolved solids on a bad day)

rainwater through carbon worked for me when i lived in north eastern Australia
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Urban and suburban rainwater SHOULD be treated with caution due to pollutants in the air. However, any of those pollutants that can dissolve in rain WILL wash out of the air after a significant amount of rain has fallen. When I have a little more time and access to scientific journals (tomorrow at work) I'll try to find an article that explains the effect of precipitation on air pollution.
 
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