R/O Water? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 02-09-2012, 01:48 AM Thread Starter
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R/O Water?

Is this something you folks would recommend for freshwater tanks?

I have a 50 gallon planted tank and I was wondering if during my water changes, I should be putting this in instead of my regular tap water.

My PH levels have been around 7.4-7.6, would this lower that at all?

Also, for those of you that do use R/O water, how do you get it? Do you just get distilled water from the grocery store? And if you do that, do you bring in like old milk cartons to fill up with the water or what?

Thank you,
Max
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post #2 of 11 Old 02-09-2012, 07:16 AM
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Yes, it would slightly lower your pH as pure water has a pH of 7.

However, it also has a hardness (GH) of 0, and an Alkalinity (KH) of 0. That means you have no buffering capacity, and your pH can drop like a rock as the water absorbs CO2.

Typically people use RO if they have extremely hard water and want to soften it, they will mix their tap water with the RO water, but they won't use just RO water.

If you are just looking to slightly lower your pH, add some Malaysian driftwood to your tank, it will naturally release tannins in the water which will slightly lower your pH. Some people also use peat moss in their filter for the same effect.

Is there any particular reason you are looking to lower your pH? 7.4-7.6 isn't that bad, several fish will do okay in that. 6-7.6 offers a wide range of choices, wild caught fish are more picky than tank bred and may require the slightly acidic 6-7 range. There are some, however, who like basic water (live bearers come to mind). The fish profiles here can give you specific conditions needed, link is on the blue bar up on the top of the page.
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post #3 of 11 Old 02-09-2012, 12:13 PM
Adamson,

I like yer boat, I have one just like it (ok, maybe mines a little smaller <>

Although R/O water is sometimes sought after for SW tanks, I think it's counter productive in FW and I'm not sure Max's goldfish will really appreciate it. Your ph is typical and fine so you should just do WWC with your conditioned tap water.

Father Knows Best but Abbey knows everything! I once knew everything, then I asked one question.
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post #4 of 11 Old 02-09-2012, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, yeah I was just thinking of getting some more acidic fish down the line, nothing in particular though. How do people get r/o water home though? Through one gallon jugs?
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post #5 of 11 Old 02-09-2012, 01:30 PM
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I agree that your present water is suited well for goldfish. And plants should have no issues (except being eaten by the goldfish).

The pH is closely tied to the hardness as has been mentioned; you can read more here:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-73276/

Adjusting the tap water is not always easy. If there is a real need to do so--and the particular fish intended would determine this--using some form of "pure" water to dilute the tap water by some degree is the safest method. RO, distilled and rainwater can all be used. This is also mentioned in the linked article. Fish species have "preferences" with respect to hardness and pH, and some are quite exact while others are quite variable. We have fish profiles, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top, and the water parameters are mentioned for each species.

Peat, leaves and wood can lower pH; the degree this occurs depends upon the initial GH and KH of the source water and the amount of tannic substances (peat, etc) used. These wear out, quickly or slowly again depending upon the hardness, and need regular replacement.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #6 of 11 Old 02-09-2012, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Don't worry the gold fish are gone Haha! Thank you for the information, my plan is to put a gallon or so of distilled water during each wwc to even out what seems to be rather hard water at my home.
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post #7 of 11 Old 02-09-2012, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adamson View Post
Don't worry the gold fish are gone Haha! Thank you for the information, my plan is to put a gallon or so of distilled water during each wwc to even out what seems to be rather hard water at my home.
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I suggest you obtain the actual numbers for the GH and KH/Alkalinity from the water supply people; many have a website. Knowing where you stand is wise, as it tells you what this or that will likely do to the water.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #8 of 11 Old 02-09-2012, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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I have looked and can't find it anywhere! If anyone knows how to figure it out I would appreciate it, my zip code is 56301..
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post #9 of 11 Old 02-09-2012, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
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I have looked and can't find it anywhere! If anyone knows how to figure it out I would appreciate it, my zip code is 56301..
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Start with the directory for the municipal departments of your municipality (city), they must have a water board or whatever it may be called.

Failing that take a sample to a reputable fish store and ask them to test GH and KH, and be sure they give you the numbers.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #10 of 11 Old 02-10-2012, 08:16 PM
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You can also by test kits yourself. The test kits the LFS use are the same ones that you buy from them. As far as R/O unit, the easiest way and less pain staking way is to invest in one. You can get R/O water at some LFS but its a pita based on the size of your tank. I got my R/O unit from an ebay seller. I paid under 200 for a 4 stage Reef filtering system. Been using it since 09 and just now ordering filters for it.

The saying is to keep fish based on the water that you have. To me, whats the point of having an aquarium if you can't have what you want. I don't think we should be forced to keep what we don't want. Instead learn to provide for the fish that you want. My tap is too harsh for the fish I want to keep so I learned to make my parameters suitable for them. Its more work sure, but no one said the hobby was easy.
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