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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, I'm wanting to start the aquarium hobby after a while without aquariums. I know that about 1/3 of the water must be changed once a week, esp. for large fish. This is a bit of a hassle if you do it manually. I understand there used to be some drip systems a long time ago, maybe there still are, but now tap water is chlorinated and all. Changed water of course must be treated for chlorine and softened according to the fish, but is there a way to do this automatically with a drip system? I'm sure there is, but could something like that be set up relatively cheap without some state of the art, super expensive setup? Just shooting in the dark pretty much, I doubt this can be done.

I plan to use a 125 gallon tank filled 3/4 with plants and two oscars.
 

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don't think so. manual is pretty much the only way to go
 
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ro-di system...people use this as an auto-top-off system. it completely treats all chemicals and neutralizes all dissolved materials....which in simple words, makes it pure water or nearly pure water.
or you could setup some kind of distillation system which i bet would work just as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, thanks for all the replies. I imagined there wasn't something new either way.

ro-di system...people use this as an auto-top-off system. it completely treats all chemicals and neutralizes all dissolved materials....which in simple words, makes it pure water or nearly pure water.
or you could setup some kind of distillation system which i bet would work just as well.
I was under the impression that Ro-Di was meant for saltwater. It can work for freshwater? I thought pure water was bad for freshwater fish that need soft water.
 

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it's fine to use with freshwater...my lfs has around 1000g total of freshwater and i believe they use that system
 

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It's fine but you get harder/neutral water, right? I would prefer to output soft water, that's the problem here. Fish do a lot better in water they are meant to be in. They won't die either way, but they'll grow faster and bigger when done right.
 

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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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No you don't get harder water, Lots of people use ro/di water for softwater fishes. RO water is neutral, but in certain situations you add back certain minerals. I have tanks that I use ro water in, but since they are small tanks I just buy it by the gal. Some are mixed 3/4 ro and 1/4 tap. It brings my ph to 6.9.
I know several breeders that use strictly ro and don't use any tap water.
 

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I have avoided using straight RO for anything except topping up water that I have had evaporate, Susan. I am always afraid that I will end up with water that is way too soft and too low in mineral content for my livebearers. I know that planted tanks need the minerals as building blocks for the plants and many livebearers do much better in fairly hard water. In my cory tanks, I have been using mostly RO but I always mix in enough tap to get in at around 80 ppm of TDS. That is 4 degrees of GH approximately. There are a large number of SA fish that do well around that value so I am guessing it would be a bad idea to go much further. I don't know that for sure but my cories seem to do better in that water than in my tap at 325 ppm of TDS.
 

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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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I think it has mostly to do with the fish. Now you get amazon black water fish, that is really on the soft side, but no matter what you either have to add the minerals back or use some tap water to add it back.

In my old house before we moved into this one, the gh and kh were 3 and 4 with a ph of 6.5 adding ro water would have caused my ph to crash. But there are fish that can thrive with a ph as low as 5. This new house in a different area of the same town, my ph is 7.6 which isn't bad, but my angels prefer the lower ph as with the rams, so its mixed with ro. The big tank that I am setting up will have mostly RO because of the fish and plants that I plan on keeping in it. Time for a RO unit. that would be a lot of water to buy.
 

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I do run my own RO Susan. I bought one that installs in the kitchen and use it for making coffee and such. It is also convenient when I want a couple of gallons for my fish. As I said, when mixing 3 to 1 for my cories, I end up using a lot of RO. That means that I need to draw off water into storage so that I will have enough for 10 or more gallons at a time. The little RO units made for the kitchen only hold about 3 gallons total.
 

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In our experience the freshwater folks go with RO (rather than RODI, and they mix the RO with dechlorinated (run through carbon) tap water to hit a target TDS.

Russ
 
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