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I'm in the process of gearing up to convert a small FW fish/plant tank over to Neocaridina shrimp. My tap water (which goes through a whole house, salt type, water softener) has been used successfully for close to 20 years for fish and plants. It reads PH 7.8, KH 8, GH 0-1, TDS ~200. I realize that I'm going to have to probably invest in a RO/DI setup and add shrimp salts to make the water just right. The shrimp (and a few corydoras, & MTS) are going to be in a tank of somewhere between 10 and 20 gallons (haven't decide which tank yet).

Due to the small nature of the tank (and limited funds) I was looking at the RO Buddie+DI to make the water. I've read a few reviews though that say that the replacement cartridges lasted a much, much, shorter duration than the originals, which is a bit off-putting. Getting a much more costly unit is out of the question though. So, if anyone can recommend a better option at about the same price for the unit and/or replacement cartridges that would be appreciated.

The unit will NOT be permanently mounted by the sink. It would come out of the closet maybe once a month to make some water. My questions... since I know nothing about how to best maintain these systems are...(I'll number them for easier responses)
1) Can you put these systems away "wet", with water still sitting inside?
2) Does that harm them to have water sitting inside for a month? Will the water go stagnant, or cause some harm to the membrane or media?
3) Can, or should you do a flush when re-hooking it up and put all water to waste for some period of time, to flush it clean?
4) Is it OK to make lets say 10 gallons of water and leave it in sealed containers for use many weeks later, or is it better to leave it in open containers and possibly put an airstone, or sponge filter in it?
5) If you are storing water, do you typically put a heater in it the whole time if it's stored in a cold basement for example? If no heater, then how do you bring it up to the proper temperature before use?
6) To replace water due to evaporation, do you typically just use the RODI water without any salts? I'm assuming the salts remain behind. Do you then just measure the tank parameter itself after adding the water to ensure it is still within spec?

7) Not RODI related, but any thoughts on this...I was planning to run a sponge filter, and an Aquaclear 20 with the OEM sponge & ceramic rings, and a bag of Purigen (love the stuff for fish tanks), along with a pre-filter to keep shrimplets out. Is it OK to have the extra filtration/water movement in a 10 or 20 gallon tank? Is Purigen a good or bad idea for shrimp? And, lastly, I've read that some people say to throw away your Seachem Prime when raising shrimp. What's the deal with that?

Lots of questions, but I've no one else to ask, and the only local pet store is a franchise with constantly overturning employees that knows even less than me in regards to shrimp!

Thanks,

Andy
 

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Do you have access to your water prior to the water softener?

I don't have an RO filter system, but it's from my understanding - cheap system, expensive replacement parts - expensive system, cheap replacement parts. You could always look into making your own replacement cartridges, however, I do not know what this fully entails. I can only say that it would be cheaper than buying replacement cartridges if you do it right.

Many do have these systems running 24/7 or only temporarily, so putting away "wet" I imagine is okay. #4 I imagine you might get different responses to - I see most people use closed containers with just a hose going to the container with an auto-shut off valve. Some may use airstones.

I imagine you could use a heater prior to putting the water into the tank OR drip the water back into the tank so it changes temp slowly over time rather than shocking the entire tank inhabitants.


If only doing top offs, yes you only use RO water without salts. The water evaporates, the minerals don't.


7 - everything sounds fine! If going for a 20g, go for a 20 long and you could put the sponge filter on one side of the tank and the AC on the other end if you really wanted to. Purigen is fine for shrimp. Not a bad idea to have on hand for shrimp actually! In regards to Seachem Prime... well, it's meant for tap water. NOT required if you are using RO or distilled water. Wouldn't hurt to have around if your tank crashes, but otherwise not necessary.
 

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^^ What zoidburg is saying. I wouldn't recommend the RO Buddy unless you're in a temp situation, as the filters don't last long, and they're expensive since they're not interchangeable with other systems.

1) You can do that, that's basically what happened with my RODI unit when I was at college. I'd do large water changes on the holidays, and the rest of the time it was used intermittently for topoff water for my reef tank at home. I'd recommend storing it in a bucket though so the lines don't end up leaking water everywhere.

2) For the carbon and sediment filter, no. Same for the DI resin. The RO membrane is tricky, but I'd probably say no without prior experience.

3) No. Unless you're talking about a reverse flush of the RO membrane, in which case you should flush it prior to storage, and then flush for a little bit post storage.

4) It's fine to put it in storage containers for a while. No need to aerate until you start mixing it with the salt product.

5) No, I don't use a heater. That just wastes energy.

6) Yes you use RODI water to replace water lost from evaporation. Typically what I do is I just have a set level of the tank that I fill to, and then pop in water to that point. If you're paranoid you can go ahead and test each time, but it shouldn't affect it too much.
 
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