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Old 01/06/2008, 12:04 PM   #1
ProHaloSniper
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Tap water from a well suitable for SW Fish?

Just wanted to know if regular old well water, no chlorine, would be suitable for saltwater fish? I didn't really have much trouble with it in my 30 gallon, but did get some algae.

I want to be 100% sure before investing hundreds into the completion of my 55.

Let me know, guys.

--Jim C.


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Old 01/06/2008, 12:07 PM   #2
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is it possiable - yes but you will prob. have alage issues due to this.

a good quality rodi is recomended


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Old 01/06/2008, 12:14 PM   #3
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Sam's right. There are plenty more chemicals of concern than chlorine, and plenty of other adverse effects than algae. A simple water change in my tank with just RO (TDS ~5) will give me an impressive diatom outbreak. Get a good RO/DI unit. Check out The Filter Guys and Spectrapure


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Old 01/06/2008, 12:20 PM   #4
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Can you guys elaborate?

I already filled the tank. What is my next step? Should I start over?

Let me know, please!

--Jim C.


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Old 01/06/2008, 12:26 PM   #5
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I have used well water for the entire ten years. My tanks are not the best and baddest, but I do not have algae trouble.
I keep fish, inverts, and shrooms.

I would look into a RODI unit tho. It seems to be the best thing going right now.


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Old 01/06/2008, 12:29 PM   #6
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I would -- just to be sure that I got off to a good start. If you haven't added sand or rock to the tank yet, empty it completely, clean it thoroughly (vinegar and RODI water then a good rinse in RODI to make sure all of the vinegar is out)

Here is a link to good RO/DI units (I like the Ocean Reef+2 unit)
http://www.thefilterguys.biz/ro_di_systems.htm

Pick up a good TDS monitor as well.

If you already have put sand and/or rock in it, siphon the water out and replace with new (RO/DI) saltwater and hope for the best. I'd also run carbon for a few weeks during the cycling process then a large water change. Copper and Silica are a couple chemicals that may be of concern. I'm sure others will have varying advice.


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Old 01/06/2008, 12:42 PM   #7
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So, some say tap water is fine, others do not.

I will watch my tank and see what happens.

If I do run in to algae problems, what should I do?

When water change time comes around, will changes with RO water help?

Thanks in advance.

--Jim C.


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Old 01/06/2008, 12:48 PM   #8
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the is the sad part about starting with tap water then find problems later and tring to switch to rodi.

if you start with tap water and metals and what ever else is in it can be absourbed(sp.) into your rock and such and it will take a very long time to remove them after switching to rodi water.


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Old 01/06/2008, 12:48 PM   #9
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Your tank. Your call. Persistent algae may be the least of your worries.

Before you continue though, I'd read the following links:

http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/20...wbie/index.php
http://reefcentral.com/forums/showth...hreadid=239848

.. then I'd read a few dozen posts by WaterKeeper and AZDesertRat posted in this forum.

Good luck!


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Old 01/06/2008, 12:49 PM   #10
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the is the sad part about starting with tap water then find problems later and tring to switch to rodi.

if you start with tap water and metals and what ever else is in it can be absorb(sp.) into your rock and such and it will take a very long time to remove them after switching to rodi water.


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Old 01/06/2008, 01:06 PM   #11
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Actually, if you insist, there is a way to somewhat test the water on your own rather than using your tank for a testtube.
Get a TDS meter. That will tell you your Total Dissolved Solids but it won't tell you what those solids are. But if you let water dry in a bucket, is there residue? Could be calcium if you run through limestone. But there could be other things.

So get some polyfilter---pricey, but you can cut it into bits. Put a bit in your water. The color it turns will tell you if it's copper, or iron, or whatever.
Unless your water is uncommonly good, you will get metals readings.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

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Old 01/06/2008, 01:23 PM   #12
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Nope, no residue in buckets if dry.

I am in VA and my well is about 200' down.

I have the salt mixed already in the tank. What should my next step be? Should I add live rick and substrate and see where my reading are in a week?

Let me know.

--Jim C.


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Old 01/06/2008, 01:32 PM   #13
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If you haven't added substrate and live rock yet, then this is a no-brainer IMO -- start fresh with RO/DI. Again though, if you insist, then test your water first. The chances of you having glacier-clean water from your well is very low though. And if you do have something like a little bit of copper in your water, the longer you let it sit in the tank, the more likely it'll end up trapped in your seams.. Invertebrates, corals don't take kindly to copper and other heavy metals.

Here's the thing -- if you start with tap/well water, and later on end up having problems, you're going to find it very difficult to get help. Water is the single most important part of your system -- without controlling it, makes it difficult for the pros here to isolate the causes of problems you may have down the line (diatoms, hair algae, slime, etc..).

Start fresh. Wait for a good RO/DI unit to come in, get the tank nice and clean and know you're starting as pure as possible. Patience is the key.

Just my $0.02.


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Old 01/06/2008, 01:38 PM   #14
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If you insist, then I will.

I will test my water and post the stats.

Now, would you suggest BUYING RO distilled water from Walmart or getting a RO system? Would a basic "Faucet Filter" be good enough?

Thanks again.

--Jim C.


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Old 01/06/2008, 01:57 PM   #15
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No one is insisting anything they are trying to help spare you from potentionally losing hundreds of dollars before you even start your tank! It is so much cheaper to buy a ro/di unit but if you want to buy water until you get your unit that will be fine. Thats a lot of water to be lugging in. Those basic filter units you are talking about are no good for a fish tank. I would also go with The Filter Guys for a ro/di unit.Good Luck with your new tank!



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Old 01/06/2008, 02:15 PM   #16
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i have phosfates, nitrates and copper in my well water


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Old 01/06/2008, 02:38 PM   #17
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I used well water (tds 165) in my 55 (fowlr) when I first set it up. I had a very hard time with algae and cyno. When I decided to switch to a reef I used distilled water from the supermarket for a while and have since bought an RO/DI. I have had no issues since. Best investment I made.


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Current Tank Info: 55 Gallon Display, 20 gal sump, 30 lbs LR, 1X seio 820, 1X seio 620, 1x Koralia #3, 1x Koralia #4, 2x 175W Halides W/ Ushio 20 K, 4x 55W PC's, Mated Pair of Ocelleris Clowns, 1 Cromis, LPS, SPS Frags
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Old 01/06/2008, 05:05 PM   #18
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Is standard bottle drinking water a suitable source? I cannot find anyone in my dumpy town that would carry 5gal jugs of distilled water. I know bottles may not be the most cost effective, but I can get my hands on plenty of them.

I did what you guys suggested and emptied my whole tank, ready for real water. I AM NOT putting up with more algae and such in this tank, as it is the center-piece in my TV Room and needs to look nice.

Thanks for your guys suggestions, please inform me if bottled water is OK.

THANKS!

--Jim C.


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Old 01/06/2008, 05:19 PM   #19
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When you change the filters on your filtering system for your house water, what color are they prior to you changing them?


If they have shades of orange and red in your sediment filters, thats the signs of metals in your well water. Most well water is going to have irons, coppers and other metals in it.


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Old 01/06/2008, 05:23 PM   #20
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yea, its white prior to changing...Usually a yellow or brown color when its done.

Let me know about the bottled water.

--Jim C.


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Old 01/06/2008, 05:46 PM   #21
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I used 1 gallon bottles of distilled water water from my local store. the TDS on these was 002. Walmart also carries these. I saw no ill effects from its use. But at .69 a gallon they get expensive over time. Thats why I just ordered the RO/DI unit.


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Current Tank Info: 55 Gallon Display, 20 gal sump, 30 lbs LR, 1X seio 820, 1X seio 620, 1x Koralia #3, 1x Koralia #4, 2x 175W Halides W/ Ushio 20 K, 4x 55W PC's, Mated Pair of Ocelleris Clowns, 1 Cromis, LPS, SPS Frags
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Old 01/06/2008, 05:48 PM   #22
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Also a friend of mine used the same bottled water with no ill efects in his 29 gal.


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Old 01/06/2008, 05:57 PM   #23
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While you're awaiting your RO/DI unit, go for the distilled water (not the plain RO) if you can find some. I'd imagine you'll get a lower TDS from distilled (really it should be zero if it's distilled I'd think) over just RO.

Bottled drinking water is going to be very expensive, and if I recall correctly, most of it is just tap water with a label on it If that is your only option, I'd just hold out for an RO/DI unit if possible.


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Old 01/06/2008, 06:22 PM   #24
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I would not get spring or drinking water. The drinking water from the same store had a TDS of 016 and the spring water was around 50. Like cd77 said get distilled.


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Current Tank Info: 55 Gallon Display, 20 gal sump, 30 lbs LR, 1X seio 820, 1X seio 620, 1x Koralia #3, 1x Koralia #4, 2x 175W Halides W/ Ushio 20 K, 4x 55W PC's, Mated Pair of Ocelleris Clowns, 1 Cromis, LPS, SPS Frags
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Old 01/08/2008, 10:19 AM   #25
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What you can't test for can hurt you. Well, not you but your tank.

Just because a water is fit for human consumption doesn't make it suitable for a reef. The EPA drinking water standard for copper is 1.3 ppm. See how long your inverts survive at that level. A RO/DI takes the guess work out of it by eliminating all those elements that are not found, at least in major concentrations, in seawater. It also saves money as you don't need a hundred or so test kits.

Anybody know who makes a test kit for Ununoctium?


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