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  #1  
Old 12/05/2007, 12:44 AM
dskibs dskibs is offline
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tap water

If i know that my pipes aren't copper lined am I ok to use tap water? Should I buy that Kent water conditioner?

it's just RO/di is like...priceeeeeey
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  #2  
Old 12/05/2007, 01:02 AM
REEF-n-Chicago REEF-n-Chicago is offline
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DO NOT start a tank without RO water. You will live to regret it> algae problems galore as well as other things... think about it water is the most importain part! Until you can buy a ro unit drag the water home from wally world or so on! LOL


Good Luck!!
  #3  
Old 12/05/2007, 01:16 AM
bertoni bertoni is offline
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Some people do well with tapwater, but it's usually risky, depending on the tapwater source. In the end, I bought an RO-DI filter.
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  #4  
Old 12/05/2007, 02:12 AM
demonsp demonsp is offline
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The main problem with tap water is consistance and control. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/water4maruse.htm

Useing tap seems fine for awile. Then after months or yrs you see the adveses results and never think it was the source.

Use want as much control as possible and controling the water source is number 1. Also testing small batches doesnt work either as they readings maybe to loo to measure and only collect after time.
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  #5  
Old 12/05/2007, 04:27 AM
michaeldaly michaeldaly is offline
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It can be done, depending upon your tap water quality.

I have been running my tank on tap water for the past two years without any major problems. I do have algae in my tank but I can keep it under control.
  #6  
Old 12/05/2007, 08:45 AM
pablodub01 pablodub01 is offline
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A RO unit is very cheap this days i wouldn't chance it
  #7  
Old 12/05/2007, 10:06 AM
Vin7250 Vin7250 is offline
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I GOT MINE FOR LIKE 120$ AND ITS A PRETTY GOOD UNIT
  #8  
Old 12/05/2007, 11:07 AM
NirvanaFan NirvanaFan is offline
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After you spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on the tank, livestock, rock, sand, corals, etc, what is another $100 for pure water? You may even be able to pick up a used ro/di for like $75 used.
  #9  
Old 12/05/2007, 11:54 AM
irishsea irishsea is offline
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Wrong post sorry
  #10  
Old 12/05/2007, 12:16 PM
Sk8r Sk8r is offline
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It'll be fine for a while, and then your tank will start being overrun with algae, choking out the fish and the corals---even fish will start having trouble; and then you'll be stripping everything out to start over...or you'll have given up the hobby in despair because nothing works as advertised.

Here's the deal on ro/di: it is water which has been 'hollowed out', stripped of all content and minerals except the hydrogen and oxygen. It will quickly dissolve things it contacts---namely your ocean salt mix, thus providing a perfectly balanced real sea water.

Your tap water contains probably a hundred elements besides hydrogen and oxygen, or it would eat your pipes up. Our water near OKC even contained arsenic.

Evaporation concentrates anything the water brings in: you're constantly 'topping off' with ro/di [as well as using it in your original salt mix.] If there were anything 'brought in' with your water, it would stay in the tank as evaporation removes only the H and O. So a little arsenic could become a lot of arsenic over a year, piling up to a noticable dose.

That's why ro/di. It's expensive, but it's basic.

Get a good ro/di unit: After nearly 2 years use, I only had to recharge one cylinder and replace one, of the 4 mine has.
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  #11  
Old 12/05/2007, 12:39 PM
GoingPostal GoingPostal is offline
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Ro is much better but tap depends on where you live, for instance I've been using tap for over three years and can't even grow algea, it's not quite the death trap people make it sound but some places change their water frequently or add chemicals occansionally that can be damaging.
I just didn't know any better when I started and figure another six months isn't going to hurt anything until I set up my larger tank, plus ro wasn't an option when I was apartment living and can't even be bought around here. Look around RC there's plenty of tanks drowning in algea and other problems in tanks that are using ro. It's just one variable among many. I'm not saying use tap, ro is much cleaner I'm sure, just pointing out that it won't neccessarily lead to instant death for your critters or algea blooms.
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  #12  
Old 12/05/2007, 01:14 PM
r0bin r0bin is offline
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I use a pur water filter and my tap water. No one can say your tank will be overrun with algae, unless they are your next door neighbor, are using the same water you are and have a marine tank. Tap water can be used in some instances, I use it with no algae problems what so ever. You may have a tank overrun with algae and you may not. As far as people saying whats another $100 with all the equipment you buy? Its not the $100 I am worried about, its the 4 gals of water I waste for every 1 useable gallon. Just ask the anyone in Atlanta a month ago (drought).


edit: I forgot to add I do top with with Wal-Mart Distilled to keep things from getting concentrated in my tank. I also use carbon in a HOB filter in addition to the PUR filter.

FACT: Did you know that all the major aquariums (Georgia, ect.) use City water treated with carbon. They cannot afford to purify all the water they use.
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Last edited by r0bin; 12/05/2007 at 01:31 PM.
  #13  
Old 12/05/2007, 01:18 PM
Sk8r Sk8r is offline
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Re waste water, which is a serious issue in drought areas: set up your ro/di off a Y connector to the cold water connnection to your washing machine, and run the yellow [waste] line into the washing machine, just saving it for the next wash. You can thus save and use all the waste water.
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  #14  
Old 12/06/2007, 12:54 AM
prickles prickles is offline
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If you take a TDS meter to your local water ,you would probably be pretty shocked. In fact, here it runs about 300ish. After just a simple filter like the ones in your refrigerator or the ones you can get for ~$20 at HD, you will get rid of 95% or so of the reading. That's really not bad. Most of the expense of an RO unit is getting it those last few bits to 0, which is nice, but 10 really isn't bad. The local "Pure water" type store here sells water that is RO at about 45 TDS, so if you can get it to 10-30 for $20, not too bad.
  #15  
Old 12/06/2007, 05:15 PM
AZDesertRat AZDesertRat is offline
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Refrigerator filters do very little for removing TDS, probably 1% at best. TDS stands for Total Dissolved Solids with the key word being Dissolved. Rferigerator filters trap TSS or Total Suspended Solids or what is know as sediment and particulates. Thye als occontain some carbon for taste and odor control which removes some of the chlorine. The do absolutely nothing for dissolved solids. Do not believe anyone who tells you a Pur or Britta type filters is as good as an RO/DI as it just is not anywhere near true.
Nothing is a close substitute for an RO/DI system.
  #16  
Old 12/06/2007, 06:52 PM
Rewd Rewd is offline
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I broke my RO unit and after having none for six months I had cyano all over my tank within a week. Don't use tap if you don't absolutely have to.
  #17  
Old 12/06/2007, 08:47 PM
Nereaga Nereaga is offline
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I started my tank a year ago with tap water. HUGE mistake! I tested the tap water in my area and its usually around 250-300 ppm. I have been using RO/DI water since the 6 month mark. I am still to this day over run with algae. I currently just filled my new 75g tank with fresh RO/DI water.... Hopefully no more algae over runnings with the new setup!
  #18  
Old 12/06/2007, 09:42 PM
dsn112 dsn112 is offline
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Re: tap water

Quote:
Originally posted by dskibs
If i know that my pipes aren't copper lined am I ok to use tap water? Should I buy that Kent water conditioner?

it's just RO/di is like...priceeeeeey
If you think RO/DI is priceeeeey, wait till you buy the rest of the things you will want/need for this hobby.

IMO, what takes up the majority of your tank??
WATER

Why not make sure that you use the best possible water since its the main part of your setup.
I know it costs a little more upfront, but in the long run, well worth it.
  #19  
Old 12/06/2007, 10:24 PM
baldomero baldomero is offline
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ive been using tap water 4 years never had a problem
  #20  
Old 12/07/2007, 12:33 AM
burks burks is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by baldomero
ive been using tap water 4 years never had a problem
It's all I've ever used as well. It just depends on the area you come from and the water source.

Around here there are certain times of the year when using the tap water is just horrid. Nitrates are super high, so high I won't even use it in my freshwater tanks (even though I keep a good level of nitrates for my plants). I go with distilled then.

As a general rule of thumb, RO/DI is the best route while tap is the most risky. But some people can go all tap with no problem. Worst problem I've had is cyano, big whoop.
  #21  
Old 12/07/2007, 01:17 AM
sayn3ver sayn3ver is offline
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Ideally, go have your tap water tested somewhere or by a local hobbyist. My inline tds meter says my tap water is roughly 116 TDS.

That's not as crazy as those with 250-300+ tds but I still wouldn't use it for a reef tank.

If you are concerned with the waste water, setup a holding tank/trashcan/etc and fill it with the RO wastewater and use it to water flowers, do laundry, wash cars, etc. ofcourse, the smaller the tank the less water you will need to make.

You could try cutting down on your morning shower too, if you are concerned about water usage. Don't forget all the electricity you'll be burning as well with a tank.

These things are truly double-edged swords to us who care about the planet.
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  #22  
Old 12/07/2007, 02:33 AM
MTB MTB is offline
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My tap water seems to stay constant around 85 tds. Never had an algae problem while I used tap water for over year. I still bought an RO/DI though a few months ago.
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  #23  
Old 12/07/2007, 04:16 AM
michaeldaly michaeldaly is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by AZDesertRat
Refrigerator filters do very little for removing TDS, probably 1% at best. TDS stands for Total Dissolved Solids with the key word being Dissolved. Rferigerator filters trap TSS or Total Suspended Solids or what is know as sediment and particulates. Thye als occontain some carbon for taste and odor control which removes some of the chlorine. The do absolutely nothing for dissolved solids. Do not believe anyone who tells you a Pur or Britta type filters is as good as an RO/DI as it just is not anywhere near true.
Nothing is a close substitute for an RO/DI system.
I'd imagine distilled water would be as good if not better than RO/DI.

Even just a DI filter would work as well but would need frequent replacing.
  #24  
Old 12/07/2007, 01:09 PM
skiguy411 skiguy411 is offline
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I currently live in an apartment, so a RO system isn't really possible for me.

What options do I have other than going to the store and buying RO water?
  #25  
Old 12/07/2007, 01:23 PM
Sk8r Sk8r is offline
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If you have a kitchen sink or a washingmachine in the apartment, ro/di is very possible---the washing machine makes it particularly easy. A Y connector, waste line down into the washer.
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