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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, here's my deal:

I'm installing an automatic water change system on my 120g tank. Dosing prime into a 120g tank will get expensive, fast, so I'm looking to filter my water coming in.

It's not in the project budget for this tank to purchase an RO unit at this time. While RO's aren't necessarily that expensive, it would require a method of reconstituting the water...and finally, my water is already really soft out of the tap (like close to 0 deg KH and GH). The only thing I need to remove is chlorine.

My water supplier does not add chloramine, only chlorine. Activated Carbon removes chlorine. Typically in aquariums we say that carbon only lasts 3 weeks. When looking at inline carbon filters for household water lines, they indicate that they last signifantly longer...some months, some a year.

What's the deal with that?

I'm considering just making a PVC chamber and filling it up with activated carbon and installing it inline on the refill line. How often should I expect to change the carbon? Again, in fish tanks we say every 3 weeks, but in a water line....?
 

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My water supplier does not add chloramine, only chlorine. Activated Carbon removes chlorine. Typically in aquariums we say that carbon only lasts 3 weeks. When looking at inline carbon filters for household water lines, they indicate that they last signifantly longer...some months, some a year.

What's the deal with that?
We hope that live fish aren't actively pooping in our tap water lines. :icon_lol:

No clue if your system would be effective at removing chlorine... but I do think you need to be careful. Many water treatment municipalities will change their treatment regimen and occasionally shock/flush their systems with something else.
 

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Most recommendations I see for carbon cartridge replacement are based on the calendar and not the amount of water processed or the chlorine content of the source water. IMO chlorine damage is the major reason for RO membrane failure.

Your best bet would be to contact a vendor. Obviously not all carbon cartridges are equal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I did a bit of research and found some good cartridges that specify 1500 gallons or 12 months, whichever comes first. Time isn't the issue, I'll hit 1500 gallons a long time before 12 months.

I did a good bit of research, and granulated activated carbon will remove chlorine.

Lauralee, you're right, I have to be vigilant and know that chloramine is not being added without notification.

I want inline filtration because I don't want to have a separate reservoir. If my city ever starts using chloramine, I'll just have to setup a trashcan with a pump and dose that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We hope that live fish aren't actively pooping in our tap water lines. :icon_lol:
I thought that might be the answer. :red_mouth

No clue if your system would be effective at removing chlorine... but I do think you need to be careful. Many water treatment municipalities will change their treatment regimen and occasionally shock/flush their systems with something else.
Yeah, I considered this. After doing a bit of reading, it appears that granulated activated carbon will remove some chloramine, and if the retention time through the filter is favorable, up to 90%. Chuck Gadd has an interesting article comparing different methods of reducing or eliminating chloramine. He suggest that small water changes, 10% or under do not introduce enough chloramine to a tank to produce signifcant risks. Therefore, between an inline GAC filter and doing 10% changes per day, I think I'll be ok.
 

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jmhart,

I use Prime in my 84g. One capful to treat a 50% water change. The stuff goes a long way. You might want to recaculate the cost of prime vs cartridges, not to mention the startup cost of a filter before going forward.

One 2L bottle treats 20,000 gallons. If you change 50% per week, that's 60 gallons. whcih would give you 333 water changes from a 2L bottle of prime.

At $45 per 2L bottle that would cost you about 13 cents per water change...or 6.4 YEARS of water changes. That seems a lot less expensive than filter cartridges.

When I top off, I use water from an under sink filter in the kitchen just because its there and top offs are low volume. In reality I doubt topping off needs any treating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
jmhart,

I use Prime in my 84g. One capful to treat a 50% water change. The stuff goes a long way. You might want to recaculate the cost of prime vs cartridges, not to mention the startup cost of a filter before going forward.

One 2L bottle treats 20,000 gallons. If you change 50% per week, that's 60 gallons. whcih would give you 333 water changes from a 2L bottle of prime.

At $45 per 2L bottle that would cost you about 13 cents per water change...or 6.4 YEARS of water changes. That seems a lot less expensive than filter cartridges.

When I top off, I use water from an under sink filter in the kitchen just because its there and top offs are low volume. In reality I doubt topping off needs any treating.

The problem there is that you must treat the water separately from the aquarium, meaning, you must have a separate water reservoir where the water is treated in order to only use that much Prime. I'm looking to avoid a separate resevoir. In order to use Prime, I'd have to dose the entire tank for every water change....120g. It would cost be approximately 22 cents per water change to use Prime. But, I can get an inline carbon filter that filters 1500g for $5 and I'd only be "treating" the water being added to the tank, so it would only be 4 cents per water change.

I'm very aware of Prime, but I'm setting this up with my automatic water change system and looking to avoid waste, i.e. treating the whole tank with Prime. In addition, if I used Prime with an automatic water change system, I'd have to put a dosing pump on the Prime...another $100 and a dedicated spot on the controller.
 

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Wanted to bring this one back up from the depths. I just got a steal of a deal on a whole house filter. It uses 3 10" filter blocks. 1 is a 10micron sediment the other 2 are a 5 and 1 micron carbon block. Im using this for the same reason Jeffrey is, i want to stop the use of dechlorinators and also help clean up the incoming water a little bit more than it already is. Guess im wanting to know is anyone doing this now with good success and complete removal of all chlorine and chloramines.
 

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How about setting up some sort of fill setup that slowly drips water into the tank and slowly siphons water out with a float switch and valve that turns water off if it gets too high. That way you would never be removing or adding enough water at one time to bother with prime or filters. Calculate it so that the weekly change is spread over the whole week.
 

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I have topped off with tap water, no treatment. Tap water here is almost always 1 ppm chloramine. Top off is never even as much as 10% of the tank volume.

On the other hand I have done larger water changes and not gotten the dechlor in on time (when I used to do direct fill from the tap), and yes, the fish are sensitive to chloramine.

I no longer do direct fill from the tap because of dissolved gases in the tap water, especially in the winter.
 

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I don't think you'd even need a float valve if you set up a permanent siphon for your outflow. When ever the tank get's above your pre-set level, it siphons into the small resevoir where the drain is located. The height of the drain will determine the level in your tank. The resevoir can be as small as you want it to be and just hangs on the back of your tank.
 

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Auto water changer

I had a system set up on my 55, is until my water co. started using chloramines. I used 2 home depot carbon filters in a row and tested for chlorine , came up w/ 0 ppm. But the dang water co. had to throw in a monkey wrench. I have a sump where i mounted a small rio pump on a timer . the pump would come on for 1 minute twice a day pumping water out of a 3/4 inch tube to a p trap i put in the basement, For supply I used a float valve with 1/4 plastic from the 2 carbon filters. this would change 3 gallons a day. It worked perfectly. Just be sure to use a siphon break on the pump to drain side to eliminate the possibility of draining the whole tank or sump. I still use this setup but only for top offs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I had a system set up on my 55, is until my water co. started using chloramines. I used 2 home depot carbon filters in a row and tested for chlorine , came up w/ 0 ppm. But the dang water co. had to throw in a monkey wrench. I have a sump where i mounted a small rio pump on a timer . the pump would come on for 1 minute twice a day pumping water out of a 3/4 inch tube to a p trap i put in the basement, For supply I used a float valve with 1/4 plastic from the 2 carbon filters. this would change 3 gallons a day. It worked perfectly. Just be sure to use a siphon break on the pump to drain side to eliminate the possibility of draining the whole tank or sump. I still use this setup but only for top offs.

Thanks for sharing!

Currently, my water company doesn't use any chloramine, but I've been told that they may depending on season. However, I've read that small water changes using chloramine treated water shouldn't be a problem. I'll be running test periodically to be sure. Worst case scenario, I'll have to install a RO.
 

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Ive read that ro filters do not remove chloramines, activated carbon will but it needs a long contact time with the carbon to effectively remove it. I'm researching an DIY autodoser for the seachem prime I use for dechlor.
 
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