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Old 01/07/2008, 10:10 AM   #76
Randy Holmes-Farley
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RO/DI works perfectly well, maybe even better, without softening of hard water. What does happen is that the RO membrane gets deposits on it that render it less than effective over time.

FWIW, Spectrapure says the max hardness that they recommend is 170 ppm, so yours may be fine.

http://www.spectrapure.com/SYSTEM_BREAKDOWN.htm

I do not know of a good way around that problem, aside from softening the water or using the membrane until it's output is too low.

Perhaps others have better suggestions...


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Old 01/07/2008, 10:28 AM   #77
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Thank you for your quick response. The guy at airwaterice told me that the membrane would clog in 2 or 3 months without a softener.


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Old 01/07/2008, 10:38 AM   #78
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I used a RO for 14 years before adding a water softener about 18 months ago. My tap water TDS is over 800 and the hardness is in the neighborhood of 20+ grains or about 350 mg/L (ppm) (mg/L or ppm divided by 17.1 equals grains per gallon hardness). Membranes lasted 3+ years no problem. The secret is keep the waste ratio at the recommended 4:1 or slightly higher as high as 6:1. By keeping the membrane well flushed it lasts just fine. Its when people try to reduce the waste that they shorten the membranes life.


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Old 01/07/2008, 01:00 PM   #79
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Thank you AZDR, I thought that hard water shouldn't have to mean I couldn't use RO/DI. If your water is 350 mg/L, then it is significantly harder than anything I should be encountering in L.A. city water. I will test the TDS when the unit gets here, as it has a TDS meter. Again thank you and Randy for your quick replies.

This RO/DI is all new to me. I've had very good luck with just plain old tap water, one of my current ritteri anemones is over over 5 years old just using dechlorinated/dechloriminated tap and mixing salt in, adjusting temp. and letting it circulate for ~24 hours. I'm "upgrading" based on the readings I've done on here and WWM that suggests that tap is somewhat unpredictable. So, that is why I'm going to give the RO/DI a try.


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Old 01/09/2008, 05:14 PM   #80
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AZ, quick question.

I am retrofitting my older 25-50gpd RO/DI to a 75 filmtec membrane from BFS. I forgot to add a 75gpd flow regulator to the order.
I'm thinking I can still use this set-up until I get the proper restrictor.

Is this correct, or will I need to reduce the current restricter flow more to increase pressure on the membrane to get production?

Just need to make 20-30 gallons in the next week or so while waiting for the new restrictor to be delivered.


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Old 01/09/2008, 05:59 PM   #81
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It'll work but you will want to get the correct size soon. You will find you will not be wasting enough with that one so the membranes life would be shortened over time due to reduced flushing action.


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Old 01/09/2008, 07:01 PM   #82
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Thanks, I should have mentioned it is one of the fast flush models that is have a lever to produce water or flush the membrane.
Might be a good idea to stop every once in a while and have it flush itself while making water?

BTW, in looking for one came across theh20guru.zoovy.com, AKA air, water & ice. Think you mentioned them before, but they are as competitive as BFS I think.
They've got a killer 150gpd 98% rejection Filmtec at a nice price.....
Dang, they include the fast flush restrictor too... anyone want a 75gpd NIB?

Tanks alot.



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Old 01/09/2008, 07:14 PM   #83
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As long as you get the correct flow retrictor soon its should not matter. I just wouldn't go too long.
The 150 GPD membranes are a sweet deal if you can get one that really delivers 150 GPD at close to 98% rejection. I have witnessed problems with them producing 98% efficiency. Spectrapure tried them recently but had trouble getting them to pass their rigid standards so dropped them. They are the only vendor who bench tests their membranes that I am aware of so others may be relying on Dow's word that they work. Most vendors will not guarantee a membranes performance so you may or may not get a good one?


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Old 01/09/2008, 07:34 PM   #84
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Thanks for the heads up. Knew I bought that dual inline TDS meter for a reason. I'm going for it, and they say they stand behind their products.


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Old 01/09/2008, 07:39 PM   #85
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Use a handheld TDS meter to confirm the inline readings. The handhelds are more accurate and give you the added portability where the inline is dedicated and depends on flow past the probe to work. The reason inlines are not as accurate is they monitor air temperature and not water temperature. The readings can be something like 2% off for every degree difference C. in the air and water temperatures. I have two dual inlines and rarely use them for that reason, they never agree with good handheld like the HM Digital COM-100.


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Old 01/09/2008, 08:34 PM   #86
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Well, I've got a handheld Hanna Primo also.... not buying anymore.
I'll find someone with a real good one out here in al ab somewhere and do a test.


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Old 01/10/2008, 02:03 AM   #87
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Quote:
Originally posted by stevelkaneval
heres my tank its a 20 long about a year old and ive never used ro/di.

[IMG][/IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]
I don't think your lens can focus from that close!


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Old 01/10/2008, 02:07 AM   #88
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Quote:
Originally posted by ricks
Here are a couple of pictures of our 500 gallon reef... I use unfiltered mud puddle water, has worked great for many years.

Just kidding..

If your choice is tap water more power to you. Most hard core reefers would never trust there prized reefs to tap water..

Happy Reefing


That is an AMAZING tank! After seeing so many on here, it's rare that one really catches my eye.


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Old 01/10/2008, 12:47 PM   #89
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I am using a well (which I drilled BTW) and having just as good a luck without the RO/DI as I did when I had it hooked up. It is nice to fill my 30 gal. water change trash can in about a minute. My TDS is 130 but most of it is probably calcium due to the limestone.

My best looking tank was on well water at my parents house. I had great sps growth.


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Old 01/10/2008, 06:48 PM   #90
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As always, there are exceptions to every rule. Tap water is not the norm though and for good reason.


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Old 01/10/2008, 07:59 PM   #91
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Of course. I wouldn't recommend it to most people. Not all water is created equal.


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Old 01/11/2008, 09:35 PM   #92
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This in not doing the tap water is fine issue any good , I would reccommend RO/DO in your tank.You would see a world of differance.


Quote:
Originally posted by stevelkaneval
heres my tank its a 20 long about a year old and ive never used ro/di.

[IMG][/IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]



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Old 01/13/2008, 11:49 PM   #93
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The tank in the original post is far from thriving IMHO. Same with a few others posted.


The main flaw in this kind of thread is the very term of "Tap Water". As if there is some kind of uniformity and equality with it.

Really, if you have good enough water from your faucet to not kill things quickly, good for you, but you have nothing on your side but luck. It does not reflect any kind of skill (it seems these threads always assume that.. "look at me, i can do it with toliet water") or helpful to other readers that do not get your exact same water source. Even if they do, it still could give them false assumptions based on very little.

In fact, trying to turn you luck into proof that water straight from a faucet is fine for a tank could lead other people without your exact water source into bad decisions.


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Old 01/15/2008, 09:35 PM   #94
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I think we'd all agree that testing your tap water when starting out, and repeating those tests throughout your tanks life, will dictate whether you'll benefit from a a RO filter.

With that said, I had a thriving mixed reef tank for over 7 years that only received tap water. To say that my tanks health was due to nothing more than luck would be absurd. I took the time to test regularly and make smart choices as to how the tank would be maintained.

Suggesting that someone needs to either buy an RO filter or filtered water to achieve success in this hobby is no more responsible that someone stating they had decent results with tap water.

Lots of people dump buckets of money into this hobby based upon what others suggest when in fact what you really need to do is understand YOUR local water quality so we can make smart decisions regarding the care of our tanks and what equipment is needed to meet our goals.


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Old 01/15/2008, 09:43 PM   #95
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Quote:
Originally posted by roxy
I think we'd all agree that testing your tap water when starting out, and repeating those tests throughout your tanks life, will dictate whether you'll benefit from a a RO filter.

With that said, I had a thriving mixed reef tank for over 7 years that only received tap water. To say that my tanks health was due to nothing more than luck would be absurd. I took the time to test regularly and make smart choices as to how the tank would be maintained.

Suggesting that someone needs to either buy an RO filter or filtered water to achieve success in this hobby is no more responsible that someone stating they had decent results with tap water.

Lots of people dump buckets of money into this hobby based upon what others suggest when in fact what you really need to do is understand YOUR local water quality so we can make smart decisions regarding the care of our tanks and what equipment is needed to meet our goals.
I said the fact someone has the ability to use tap with no harm is luck. Not the overall success of that tank.

As for suggesting filtered water, like everyone said, it depends on the water source AND the tank. I did not see people saying it is absolutely required..?

I said exactly what you ended your post with, tap water is not universal and it is imperative to know your exact source and quality before making any decisions.

And that "I use tap water and you are all wrong" threads are not helpful and can mislead people. How does that give any recommendation to be aware of your water quality and make



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Old 01/15/2008, 09:52 PM   #96
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Sorry HBtank, My thoughts were not directed at you but more at the overall view that many take about what is required to have a reef tank. You can find endless threads where people hammer away that you cannot have a reef without "insert name brand here". I think lots of people get into the hobby and don't even consider the basics.

Everyone has to be accountable for their own decisions and the only way that can happen is understanding your particular situation.


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Old 01/15/2008, 09:57 PM   #97
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The thing is most of the corals that are in these tanks come from regions of where water quality is not the best, or conditions are not pristine. Most of those LPS would benifit form having high nutrients, and organics in the water.
Anyone have any tap water SPS tanks? =)


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Old 01/15/2008, 10:52 PM   #98
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I got my RO/DI unit the other day. It came with a TDS meter. I found that the tap here in Los Angeles is right around 300 TDS (it varies a little with readings ranging from 295-316, of the several times I've tested so far). I'm waiting on a faucet adaptor so I can screw it into the kitchen faucet (I live in a rental so I don't want to modify the plumbing). Anyway, I found a hose adaptor on an old DI unit I used a while ago. I jerry rigged this and found that the TDS is zero after the RO/DI. The TDS is around 11 with just RO alone. Is this about what I should expect with a TDS of 300 in the source water?


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Old 01/16/2008, 04:52 AM   #99
Randy Holmes-Farley
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Is this about what I should expect with a TDS of 300 in the source water?

Yes.


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Old 01/16/2008, 05:00 AM   #100
Randy Holmes-Farley
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I think we'd all agree that testing your tap water when starting out, and repeating those tests throughout your tanks life, will dictate whether you'll benefit from a a RO filter.

What do you test yours for? Copper? That's my biggest concern with tap water. A large portion of homes in the US are demonstrated to have copper too high. If yours isn't one, consider yourself lucky. FWIW, most test kits cannot accurately read low enough to adequately evaluate tap water for reefs, so you'll probably need to be repeatedly sending it out for testing.

Suggesting that someone needs to either buy an RO filter or filtered water to achieve success in this hobby is no more responsible that someone stating they had decent results with tap water.

I disagree. It is like recommending seat belts. Can you survive a car trip without one? Sure. Are you much less likely to have a problem if you use one? Certainly.

Few people say that you cannot have success with tap water. But what is inappropriate, IMO, is for someone to say that because Joe X did it, it is generally OK to do. That shows a lack of understanding of the issues involved, and the clear fact that the biggest problem (copper) can vary from house to house, even in the same neighborhood. Your personal success says nothing about whether someone else would succeed.


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