Which water to use?
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Which water to use?

This is a discussion on Which water to use? within the Beginner Saltwater Aquariums forums, part of the Saltwater Fish and Coral Reef Tanks category; --> So I plan on starting a brand new saltwater tank. I wanted to know, can I use tap water (removing all of the chlorine, ...

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Old 04-13-2009, 11:39 AM   #1
Question Which water to use?

So I plan on starting a brand new saltwater tank. I wanted to know, can I use tap water (removing all of the chlorine, and other bad stuff first) then adding the salt, or should I use store bought distilled water and then add the salt? Which is better?
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Old 04-13-2009, 12:49 PM   #2
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Well, I'm new to the whole aquarium thing, but I read that you have to use reverse osmosis water for salt water tanks.
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Old 04-13-2009, 03:49 PM   #3
I have no idea what that means.
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:19 PM   #4
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It is a filtration system that uses membranes with filters small enough that only let water molecules through, basically leaving you with pure H2O. They are usually called RO/DI (reverse osmosis, deionized) systems. You can usually find them at home depot or water supply stores, even plumbing shops. It is a definite requirement though, do not use tap water. I did and found out the hard way that I had immediate hair algae growth. I managed to make that go away though after using RO to fill up the tank and purchasing some other products.

Everyone with experience will tell you to start with RO and I found out that hard way, long story lol.

PS: I am no expert but have been researching a lot... Hope that helps!
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:46 PM   #5
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agree with the research tidbit, that's the key to any aquarium sucess

Yes RO water is the way to go for sure

I get mine by the gallon from my next door neighbors, Petland 8)
You can either purchase your own RO unit (an expensive investment, but worthwhile in a larger setup) or buy by the gallon from a local fish shop. Ask around, typically vendors will be glad to accommodate you, or point you in the right direction
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Old 04-13-2009, 07:29 PM   #6
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RO units in my area run for about 350 and up. Not to bad considering its just another part of the filtration system.
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Old 04-13-2009, 07:33 PM   #7
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True, that's not bad, but I'd say that it's only worthwhile to buy a RO unit and maintain it if you have to work with large quantities of water. Otherwise it's cheaper to just buy it from either another hobbyist who has a unit, or a shop IMHO

Last edited by klosxe; 04-13-2009 at 07:35 PM..
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Old 04-13-2009, 07:40 PM   #8
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True I guess I am biased as I am a plumber and already had a system installed in my home :p Although it was disconnected at the time of filling the tank and I got screwed there! Hope it'll be alright...
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Old 04-13-2009, 07:43 PM   #9
350 may not seem like alot to you all, but I am a college student on a slim budget. i cant drop that kind of money. Besides, my LFS arent that great. So, how about another route to get water into a tank oh and i have decided to use a 40 gallon that i am about to go get.
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:21 PM   #10
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Hey, I will throw something at you because I was in your footsteps only weeks ago. Whatever your budget is, multiply it by three.

I was thinking I could get away with 4, 5 hundred bucks. I have spent well over a grand.

Here is what I purchased, and from what i've read, for a marine tank, is the minimum to have water parameters at their best, almost.

Protein skimmer - Cost me 180 for a Tunze 9002 rated up to 50 gallons and to tell you the truth, I am going to buy another larger one as I am looking to upgrade my tank, do yourself a favour, plan and THEN buy. Now i'm gonna have to get another skimmer, well soon enough.

Tank - I already had one but thats not a very big expense if you find a local classified
Light - If you want coral, you're looking at around 5 hundred, for a proper T5 set up.
Powerheads - I spent a little more than necessary maybe but those cost me 40 each and I have 4 (two would have done but I got a good deal on the additional two so I took it)
Live rock - I paid 6.50 lb for 50 lbs. (like 300ish?)
Sand - 20 lbs bag was like 30 bucks
Test kits - 80 bucks for master marine and salt water kits for all tests (and I still don't have a magnesium test kit)
Thermometer - Not much, I had one, but can be like 5 to 20 for a good one
Heater - 150 watt was 40 bucks
Salt - another like 40 or 50 bucks for a largeish pale
Hydrometer - 10, but people will suggest a refractometer (I may get one soon)
Phosban Reactor - I had phosphate issues with the original tap water accident, but I would have got this anyway. Cost me 60 with a pump

Other random accessories - $50 +

and thats with no fish...

Plan ahead, way ahead, and patience is key..I have learned this over a months time, I was completely new at this

And I still want more and more..lighting is my next thing but that is because I want to keep coral, and its one big expense!! And a tough one to boot.

Good luck my friend.
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