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Mean Harri 02-20-2010 10:13 AM

RO units. Hey sw guys look here
Considering the nitrates that I have in my tap water I've been kicking around the idea of an RO unit. I guess my plan would be to mix RO water with tap water to get those nitrates cut. (30ppm out of the tap)
While they may be inorganic and not immediately harmful to the fish I am not comfortable with that reading.
I do have the water being tested in a lab by scientists. Should the nitrates be over what the EPA allows there will be hell to pay for the water company. And I'll start it.

Does anyone have experience with this brand? Products, Premium Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filters Systems, Portable Purifiers, Filtration Parts
I don't want to spend a ton of money but for $300-ish I can live with that.
I like that it's made in the USA. The portable one was enticing but I think may be more of a pain than anything. Seeing that these things fill a storage tank and the tanks fill slowly I'm thinking their 14 gallon tank upgrade would be wise. 14 gallons of RO and should I do an even 50/50 mix, that's 28 gallons of water in total. That's a 50% water change in my 55g. That should be good imo.

Comments, experiences, recommendations needed. And thanks...

Angel079 02-20-2010 12:11 PM

Which conditioner do you use?

Get a jug filled with your tap water (something like a gallon or whatever size you have there) and also add your conditioner as if you were to do a w/c. Add an air stone in to it. Let that sit for at least 24hrs and then test what your parameters are.

I'd exhaust all other options first before buying a r/o unit.

Mean Harri 02-20-2010 12:18 PM

Angel, will that gas off nitrates? Nitrates in the tap are the problem. I have Prime cond. and I have an old Whisper 800 air pump. They don't even make them like this anymore. It has a big dial on top that you can adjust the air flow with. It's blows some bubbles man. It was like 2nd or 3rd from the biggest Whisper made back in the day, I believe. And I'm itching to use it

Angel079 02-20-2010 01:02 PM

I pers myself never had NO's nor Ammonia come from the tap so I have not 1st hand dealt with it...but pers I'd try and see what happens with the prime & air stone mix over 24hrs. If it helps then I'd prep my water 1 day prior for the tank in like a rubermaid tub or so and call it even (sure cheaper then the r/o unit lol)

iamntbatman 02-21-2010 06:09 AM

This is a planted tank, yes?

Plants use nitrates. I'd be tempted to see how much damage a heavily planted tank could do to 30ppm nitrates with a regular water change schedule. Some people with heavily planted tanks never see nitrates get above 5ppm or so with normal water change schedules, so you might be able to use your plants as a nitrate sink and keep your levels pretty reasonable even with all that nitrate coming out of your tap.

NC Frank 02-21-2010 06:32 AM

My discus/angels tank is planted (not heavily like some but I have over 20 assorted live plants in it. My nitrates have not been measurable since I started using RO-DI water. Prior to RODI water my nitrates were an extremely manageable (between 5 and 10) using tap conditioned with prime. My nitrates from the tap didn't approach 30... but I have a fairly large bio load in my tank. A well planted tank should be able to deal with some if not most of the nitrates from your water changes.

However... I am a huge fan of RO-DI water and am glad I switched to it for my FW tank when I first got into SW tanks.

One question before I give my final opinion... what is the current nitrate level in your 55 and what percentage of water do you change. If your tank nitrate is relatively low and you change only 20% of the water 30PPM of nitrates in the changing water isn't THAT drastic. Also your little tetras are hardy little guys and wouldn't be bothered by MINOR nitrate fluctuations.

Mean Harri 02-21-2010 11:34 PM

The tank has been planted for a week now. The nitrates have been 30ppm both tank and tap. Yesterday (sat) the nitrates in the tank were are 10ppm. Obviously the plants are taking care of that. Today they were back up to 20ppm. I'm just now coming due for a water change. I was thinking maybe 15-20% to try diluting the nitrate level from the tap water since the tank readings are down some. There seems to be no ill effects on the fish at this time.

iamntbatman 02-22-2010 05:03 AM

I dunno, I'd be tempted to chart your nitrate levels over the course of a couple of weeks. Depending on how much nitrate the plants can absorb (say, if your tank levels never get above the 30ppm coming out of your tap) I think you're probably fine. Keep in mind that RO/DI brings other factors to the table other than just zero ammonia/nitrite/ will dramatically soften your water and could potentially lead to a pH crash. All that sounds riskier than having a tank that's perpetually between 10-30ppm nitrate.

Mean Harri 02-22-2010 06:48 PM

Thanks for the input guys. Everyone I talk to says the same thing basically. Even the guy at the pond shop that has his own sw tank. I'll ride it out and see what happens.

Mean Harri 02-25-2010 09:30 PM

The water tests are in from the scientists.
Sodium is off the charts for the test.
Nitrates are high.
Calcium is high.
Basically the scientists said we should not be drinking our tap water. lol
the sodium was so high they ran the test again. Since it was off the charts again they ran a comparison test of the water in their bldg. where they know what the sodium levels are at. That test confirmed their equipment was working. They actually thought their equipment wasn't working because my tap water sodium was so high.
I'm going to be getting a RO system. For our health at the house and to mix/dilute with the tap water for water changes. I'm not drinking this crap. Luckily I have a filtered water pitcher for now to drink from.

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