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Let me explain my situation.

In the past I had a 75gallon that used tap water (TDS of 800-900). The plants did horribly and they barely survived. I tored it down and now it's sitting in the storage.

I downsized to a 30gal and used only RO water. I now have much better success.

The problem is, this 30gal has no lid (because I like floating plants) and it evaporates like hell. I have to top it off 0.5gal (2L) every day. Imagine doing this with a larger tank. It will cost a lot of RO water.

So I want to use my 75gal again, with the same method as the 30gal. Would this be a nuisance with a lot of work and RO water wasted? Are you guys doing the same thing? If so, how did you solve this? Any suggestions?
 

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Let me explain my situation.

In the past I had a 75gallon that used tap water (TDS of 800-900). The plants did horribly and they barely survived. I tored it down and now it's sitting in the storage.

I downsized to a 30gal and used only RO water. I now have much better success.

The problem is, this 30gal has no lid (because I like floating plants) and it evaporates like hell. I have to top it off 0.5gal (2L) every day. Imagine doing this with a larger tank. It will cost a lot of RO water.

So I want to use my 75gal again, with the same method as the 30gal. Would this be a nuisance with a lot of work and RO water wasted? Are you guys doing the same thing? If so, how did you solve this? Any suggestions?
Water will always evaporate, you can just live with the lowering water level until you do your next big water change, or you can automate a system for auto water topoff. This is a lot of work to make it happen on something as big as a 75 gallon. BUT, it can be done and if its important to you that the water level never change then its doable. Presumably you have your own RO system and a big storage container standing by, if not, you should definitely get one.
 

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I have an xp aqua auto on my 143 gallon. very easy and clean. Place 5 gallon bucket of ro water in stand under aquarium. Place pump in bucket and magnetic sensor at desired water level in aquarium and good to go. operating 9 months now with no problems.
 

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If you're looking to go with ro on an open tank that size the best option is to get an ro unit and make and set aside your water for top offs. It's either that or invest in the larger containers of ro water. I don't know where my dad gets it but he uses a CPAP machine and orders 55 gallon barrels of the stuff for pretty cheap. Either way I hope you find a way to keep up the results you're looking for.
 

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I don't know where my dad gets it but he uses a CPAP machine and orders 55 gallon barrels of the stuff for pretty cheap.
I feel like the hobbits in the bar scene.. "It comes in pints??" I had no idea I could order 55G barrel.. course don't know where I would put this in a 1 bedroom apartment, but still. Humping 4 5G jugs up the stairs every week is very tiresome!
 

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I feel like the hobbits in the bar scene.. "It comes in pints??" I had no idea I could order 55G barrel.. course don't know where I would put this in a 1 bedroom apartment, but still. Humping 4 5G jugs up the stairs every week is very tiresome!
I feel you, I have to drag the 55g barrels into my dads garage and siphon 5 gallon buckets to bring home twice a month. I think if you look at medical suppliers' websites you might find something, if you decide to go that way. 😂 hobbits reference had me laughing 😂👍
 

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I have both a 55 and 75 gallon with no top... for plants, we have pothos growing out of them. The evaporation here is crazy (dry Idaho air). I usually add 2-3 gallons of RO a week in each tank. I use a 5 gallon tote and a power head with a hose to pump the RO into my tanks. works really good.
 

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I agree that you should get an RO unit, or at the very least an RO unit. You can also mix it with tap water to lower how much RO water you use (although with a TDS of 800-900, that's going to be like, a drop of tap to a gallon of RO). I have a nice 75gpd RODI unit that fits under the bathroom sink (shhh, don't tell the landlord) and after a lot of panicking on my end (I don't know how to plumb stuff), it was pretty easy once I knew what materials I needed to buy. It's going to be cheaper for you in the long term if you buy the unit, although more costly up front (they're $$$).

Would you consider putting a lid on part of the tank? Like, you could keep part of the tank unlidded for floating plants, but still prevent some amount of evaporation going forward by putting a lid on half the tank or so. Also, have you considered using an ATO (auto top-off) ?

My parent's saltwater tank (55 gallons) regularly loses 2-3 gallons a day due to the cold dry air in the winter. It's a lot of hauling the jugs back and forth.

Oh, and before you buy a container: do NOT get those flimsy storable containers. They're good for camping I guess (never been), but for a tank you really want those hard plastic 6-7 gallon ones (they say they hold 5 gallons...I say they hold 7).
 
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