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Do you use RO or RO/DI water?

  • No, I don't use it on any of my tanks.

    Votes: 66 53.2%
  • Yes, I use it for some of my tanks.

    Votes: 15 12.1%
  • Yes, I use it for all of my tanks.

    Votes: 37 29.8%
  • No, I once did, but don't at this point.

    Votes: 6 4.8%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bert H's recent thread about growing plants in hard water (liquid rock) got me thinking. Many people advocate using whatever comes out of the tap and adjusting your choice of organisms to match. Others have recommended all sorts of ideas to lower the hardness. From a practical viewpoint, RO is easier and more effective than many options. It can, however, increase the expense and workload associated with the hobby.

The use of RO/DI isn't universal in the salwater reef side of the hobby, but it is fairly common. I'm curious about what people here are doing in 2008.
 

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I answered no because I don't USUALLY use it. I have somewhat hard water, but I only keep fish/plants that can live and grow in that water. However, every once in awhile (maybe once every two months) I'll use RO instead of tap during my weekly waterchange, just to make sure I'm not building up any extra hardness.

-Dave
 

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I use it for my blackwater Cryptocoryne setup.

I also use it for drinking water as I can't stand the taste of the chlorinated municipal water supply.
 

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As the post Bryce refers to indicates, I do not use it. But if I had the mean$ and I could figure out a way to do it without a lot of lugging of water around, I would consider it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, for most people the trouble of RO probably doesn't justify its use. The only way it works for me is that the unit dribbles into a float-controlled 105 gallon storage reservoir. I have that hard-plumbed to the 180g aquairum. If I actually had to carry buckets or hoses around I'd never bother with it. In fact, my 46g aquarium upstairs gets to have only fish and plants that do well in my hard well water (GH 20, KH 15). I suppose I could rig up a pump and a hose to get the stuff up through the floor, but ....... eh, on second thought..... I'll just stick with what comes out of the tap.
 

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Use pure RO for all my tanks at home and wouldn't go back to tap water. My tanks at school that use it have far more algae and other problems (for various reasons; not just because of the water used). I do end up luggin 25l containers of it around but it's not too bad. I keep toying with rigging up a permanent solution but haven't got round to it yet.
 

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I will be using a RO-DI water since I got one for the reef tank. Now all that tanks will be on the softer side.
 

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There's some advantage to having hardness in your water. I killed all my fish with CO2 after moving from a desert area with liquid rock to the rainy pacific northwest with water of 1 dKH. My fish died in an acid bath. Now that I know, I do small water changes, and seachem equilibrium and carbonate hardness to the water.

I'd rather have what I have than you guys have though, because I have control (when I know what I'm doing anyway. I could get by without testing kits before, now I regularly test my tank water).
 

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Since using a mix of RO and tap to lower my GH (which was >25), I've noticed a general overall improvement in the health of the plants, plus an increase of pearling, etc. GH is now approx. 9.
 

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I use RO as my local well outputs nitrates in the 80-100ppm range. I also like it because I can Reconstitute it back to a known value - one I like, not what I'm given out of the tap.

- Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
80 ppm nitrates!!!!!!?????!!!! Yikes!!!

That's well in excess of DEQ water quality guidelines. Don't let your family drink water that contaminated.
 

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I use an under-sink RO - we had a big petro-chemical (perchlorate) scare a few years back. Turned out we didn't have it in our well.

I've often wondered what the max value should be... I'm also wondering what else could cause such a reading (I'm using a Lamotte kit) - as with that high of a level, you think my grass would be really growing fast, and it doesn't.

But I have to dilute my sample by 30% or better when I do a tap reading of nitrates...

I'd ask our water board, but that in and of itself is a whole different can of worms.

And I use RO, so I know what I have ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Municipal water testing results are public domain and must be provided by the local water authority on your request. If the community is large enough, the results are often posted to their community website.

Around here, the huge increase in local feedlots and dairies has bumped up our NO3 readings. They're sometimes up as high as 20ppm in certain areas. 80ppm would be exceptional and worthy of national news coverage.

DEQ regulations state that the maximum contaminant level for NO3 is 10 mg/liter (10ppm) and 1 ppm for nitrite (NO2). Be careful when you look at the municipal report. They sometimes report NO3 and they sometimes report NO3 as N. The two values vary by a factor of 4.4.
 

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I really want a RO unit. My tap water is 3dkh and 13dgh. I just havent totally convinced myself that this is the reason my CRS babies dont survive...
 

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I recently purchased the "Might Mite" R/O unit from airwaterice.com. It was one of the cheapest units that I could find (about $100). I would recommend it. It was a good deal less than the majority of R/O units sold by various "aquarium supply" companies. And for the $, it appears to be a quality product. Here it is if anyone is interested:

http://www.airwaterice.com/product/1MM/MIGHTY_MITE_RO_SYSTEM_50GPD.html
 
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