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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So what about Reverse Osmosis (RO)?

Reverse osmosis is basically when water is passed under pressure through a series of prefilters, to remove particles and chlorine, and finally a membrane designed to allow water molecules through but trap everything else present. An RO unit on average, will remove 92 - 97% of the dissolved solids that your water contains. To remove the remaining dissolved solids, most quality RO units will have a DI (De-Ionization) pod at the end. This will then, as previously mentioned, give you pure water for mixing your chosen salt with. The DI filter is capable of polishing 100% of the dissolved solids out of your water on its own, but it's costly, hence the reason a mixture of filters are used.

How do we measure the quality of our water?

To monitor the quality of our water we use a TDS (total dissolved solids) meter. TDS meters measure the amount of organic or in-organic substances that are present in water. The higher the TDS reading you get, the more unwanted properties your water contains.
There are 2 main types of TDS meters that are used by marine keepers, 'hand held' and 'in-line', both are very affordable costing about $15 - $25. The in-line meters are preferable if you have your own RO unit. These meters normally have a before and after reading, meaning you can see what the TDS is of your water before the filtration process and the end result allowing you to replenish your DI resin in plenty of time, and check your membrane is working ok.
Hand held meters can be used when you're buying your RO water from your local fish shop, or producing your own.

How much will it cost me to produce my own RO water?

The most cost effective way to use RO water is to buy your own unit. For example a 50gpd (gallon per day) four stage RO unit with the added DI resin pod should cost under $100.
Most LFS will sell RO water as well, but the quality of the water will vary from shop to shop, most LFS wont filter the water through a DI unit meaning the water will more than likely be of a lesser quality than if you owned your own unit. Buying RO water from your LFS, is not really cost effective either, costs average between $2 - $4 for 25gallons . So you can see after a year of buying water from your LFS, you will have probably spent more money than if you were to buy your own RO unit, for water that's of a poorer quality.

There are running costs to a RO unit, the prefilters which protect the membrane have to be changed at regular intervals, recommended every 6 months dependant on use. But these very occasional costs still add up to being much cheaper than buying your water. It isn't easy to work out exactly how much say 25 gallons would cost, there is just so many factors involved, but one major manufacturer (RO-MAN) says that working off some standards that have had to be set, it works out about 63 per 1 gallon of RO.

Would it not be cheaper to just use tap water???

At this stage is may appear that tap water is the cheaper option over buying or producing your own RO water, but in the long run this will not be the case. To counter-act the poor quality water being used, more equipment will likely be needed to reverse the effects of your tap water, such as a phosphate reactor. Add to that the monthly if not fortnightly renewal costs of the phosphate removal media, and the fact you will need certain additives to balance your water parameters it is not a cheap option. In the long run, RO water is cheaper, and the better option for your tanks inhabitants.

A picture of the same sand bed after switching to RO water for 7 months and adding some phosphate remover.
 

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i had some slime like the one shown in other thread and all i did was get 25 red leg mexican hermit crab they like slime lmao
 

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DI by itself is not capable of removing 100% of the contaminants. DI works on things that are electrically conductive, either positively or negatively charged and there are DI resins specific to both or blends to capture a wide range of things.
It takes the combination of carbon, reverse osmosis and deionization to get everything. Carbon adsorbs the residual chlorine disinfectant plus most of the volatile organic chemicals like herbicides, pesticides and fuel products leaked into the water like benzene and toluene. RO is the undisputed workhorse and gets 90-99+% of the contaminants including some but not all of the nitrates, silicates and phosphates. DI gets pretty much whatever is left including ammonia if you have water that is disinfected with chloramines.

While some RO and RO/DI units can be had for less than $100 I would not advise it. You really truly get what you pay for with RO and especially RO/DI systems. A very good reef quality system won't cost you much more than that, anywhere from $169 to about $199 for some very reputable systems.

I did some math and my RO/DI costs me right at 6 cents per gallon of water to make. Thats using a water rate of $3.00 per thousand gallons and sewer rate based on 75% of my winter months water usage. Compare that to 25 cents per gallon for RO only water from the local vending machine or Water & Ice store, both of which I have no control over their quality or 50 cents and up from the LFS for RO/DI again which is hit and miss. Even if I factor in prefilter and carbon replacements every 6 months and DI resin as needed i am still money ahead. Now factor in the cost of the unit itself and it stillcomes out that it is completely paid for in about 1 year if you use it pretty heavy and less that two years if you don't make as much wate ras some of us.

I found an easy way to justify the purchase was to use it for drinking water too. Everyone seems to carry around bottles of drinking water today. That gets expensive! We refill a bottle about half way and freeze it then pull it out and top it off with RO when we want a drink. Saves a ton of money. Its now hooked up to a faucet at the kitchen sink, the frig door water and ice maker, the laundry sink RO faucet and finally the DI filters for the aquariums. We fill the pet water bowls with RO as well as use it for numerous things like cooking too.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
DI by itself is not capable of removing 100% of the contaminants. DI works on things that are electrically conductive, either positively or negatively charged and there are DI resins specific to both or blends to capture a wide range of things.
It takes the combination of carbon, reverse osmosis and deionization to get everything. Carbon adsorbs the residual chlorine disinfectant plus most of the volatile organic chemicals like herbicides, pesticides and fuel products leaked into the water like benzene and toluene. RO is the undisputed workhorse and gets 90-99+% of the contaminants including some but not all of the nitrates, silicates and phosphates. DI gets pretty much whatever is left including ammonia if you have water that is disinfected with chloramines.

While some RO and RO/DI units can be had for less than $100 I would not advise it. You really truly get what you pay for with RO and especially RO/DI systems. A very good reef quality system won't cost you much more than that, anywhere from $169 to about $199 for some very reputable systems.

I did some math and my RO/DI costs me right at 6 cents per gallon of water to make. Thats using a water rate of $3.00 per thousand gallons and sewer rate based on 75% of my winter months water usage. Compare that to 25 cents per gallon for RO only water from the local vending machine or Water & Ice store, both of which I have no control over their quality or 50 cents and up from the LFS for RO/DI again which is hit and miss. Even if I factor in prefilter and carbon replacements every 6 months and DI resin as needed i am still money ahead. Now factor in the cost of the unit itself and it stillcomes out that it is completely paid for in about 1 year if you use it pretty heavy and less that two years if you don't make as much wate ras some of us.

I found an easy way to justify the purchase was to use it for drinking water too. Everyone seems to carry around bottles of drinking water today. That gets expensive! We refill a bottle about half way and freeze it then pull it out and top it off with RO when we want a drink. Saves a ton of money. Its now hooked up to a faucet at the kitchen sink, the frig door water and ice maker, the laundry sink RO faucet and finally the DI filters for the aquariums. We fill the pet water bowls with RO as well as use it for numerous things like cooking too.
*w3 See what happens when we come together. It's all about personal experience and research which enables us to help one another.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
i had some slime like the one shown in other thread and all i did was get 25 red leg mexican hermit crab they like slime lmao
But did you ever find the source which was feeding your slime?
 

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But did you ever find the source which was feeding your slime?

too much light time i was running for 12h a dday then i went dow to 8 to be able and control the slime.And i didn't use slime away jusr the hermit's it went away in like four days then i just kept adding time evey other week now i have a smaller tank with a metal halide pendant and i run it for 9h day and it working fine
 

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Do you use any GFO products like Phosban to remove the phosphates introduced in foods and fish wastes? Even using RO/DI will not eliminate nitrates, silicates or phosphates introduced into the tank other than from the water.

I forgot to mention earlier I am not a fan of inline type TDS meters for RO/DI systems. They have drawbacks like they can only test two dedicated points, usually post RO and final RO/DI TDS. You need 3 numbers to determine if your system is working properly, tap water TDS, RO only TDS and RO/DI TDS and a two probe meter will not do this. It takes two dual meters which is what I have (probe 1- tap water TDS, probe 2- RO only TDS, probe 3- first DI TDS, probe 4- second DI or final RO/DI TDS) but I still use and depend on my handheld HM Digital COM-100 TDS meter for accuracy. The inlines are not truly temperature compensated either and can be significantly off unless your air temperature and water temperature are exactly the same which rarely happens. If you were to disassemble a inline probe you would find it has a small metal probe outside the plastic housing which senses air temp not water temp. Notice how the fat part of the probe has a little rectangular opening in the plastic, thats where the temp probe resides.
With a handheld you can monitor incoming tap water TDS, RO only TDS, RO/DI TDS, the neighbors, the grocery store bottled water, your DI storage reservoir etc. Very handy and lots of useful information all with one meter which is temperature compensated.

Personal observations, but more accuracy and usefulness with a single meter.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
To keep my nitrates and phosphates at 0ppm I grow codium and caulerpa in my sump/refugium to absorb nutrients, I thaw all frozen foods after rinsing in RO water and I only use E.V.S. for flakes.
 

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Gee why do my tanks both FW and marine run for years with tap water? and in many many cites in the US as I moved around in the air force?

All I do is balance out the tanks with plant life (Fw plants, marine macros) and don't do water changes.


Hmmmmm must be doing something wrong.


Must have been extremely lucky with all those cities' tap water.


Or perhaps the plant life conditions that tank and the lack of water changes makes the quality of the water used irrelevant.


Naaa couldn't be that easy.




Warining for more delecate corals like SPS that may not work. For anything else it does.
 

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NYC tap water is one of the worst, thats why they are operating under consent orders from the EPA and paying huge daily fines until the build some treatment plants and get them in operation. Yes the TDS is low but the suspended solids and particulates is one of the worst in the country.

Aquasafe RO systems are pretty low end as evidenced by their small horizontal DI filters and choice of components and filters. The only advantage they have is they are available in Canada for a reasonable price without shipping from the states. No high end reef quality systems use 5 micron prefilters or carbons and none use horizontal DI's.
 

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ROFL New York City is 1 of only 5 big cities that does not require you to filter your water before you drink it. Safe to drink, safe to put in your fish tank for sure.
 

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Have u ever had pizza or a bagel from anywhere else in the world it sucks. Ive lived all over the east coast and there is nothing that even comes close to NYC tap water.
 

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Read the EPA website and then check back with us. I think you may be sorely mistaken and surprised. NYC is paying tens of thousands of dollars in fines every day of the year and have been doing so for years. Makes you proud huh? NYC water is way down the list as far as quality and close to the top of the EPA list.
 

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I read the EPA 2009 report, cleanest big city water in the world still. I think your under the assumption that tens of thousends of dollars a day is a lot, relate that to the size of the city, its a fairly small fine. It does make me proud, our tap water great just like our subway and bridges and tunnels. The tap water is among the cleanest in the world, everything will read will tell you that over and over again.
 

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DEP’s water quality monitoring program – far more extensive than required by law – demonstrates that the quality of New York City’s drinking water remains high and meets all health-related state and federal drinking water standards.

thats from the 2009 report
 

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Read the substance of the fines and the health risks they pose.
Suspended solids are a huge issue as is their inability to disinfect.
 
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