04-03-2012, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Byron
RO is used when there is something in the source water (presumably tap water, but can be well water) that you don't want. Minerals that cause hard water is the usual issue, if one wants to soften the water for instance.
The problem with RO is that is literally removes everything, so you are left with very pure--but very un-natural--water. Water like this does not exist in nature because water is a powerful solvent, meaning that it takes up in dissolution almost everything it comes into contact with. Depending upon the fish (and sometimes plants) in the aquarium, you need to either mix the RO water with some tap/well water, or add properties (usually minerals, but perhaps tannins) to it.
It can also be expensive. Running tap water through an RO unit is slow, and most of the water is wasted. The resulting RO water is less than the initial volume.
I think that explains it simply. If you have questions on why you may need it, if you think you do, we may be able to suggest alternatives.
Thanks Byron for the info.