Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Tiny green and purple balls in tap water filter - harmful? (

Mike 08-20-2007 01:52 PM

Tiny green and purple balls in tap water filter - harmful?
Hi everyone,

I run tap water through a "tap water ion exchange resin chamber" to filter it before it goes into my tanks. I notice, though, that sometimes the water that has passed through it contains tiny green and purple balls that were inside the chamber. I do my best to make sure they do not get into the tanks, but does anyone know if these are harmful to the fish or their water and, if so, to what degree?

I imagine the balls can't be too bad, for the water at least, because the water is supposed to pass through the balls when it is being filtered.


fish_4_all 08-20-2007 02:54 PM

It seems to me like the "balls" could be getting worn down and getting small enough to passd through the membrane.

Mike 08-20-2007 03:38 PM

Thanks, Chris. Perhaps it is time to get a new unit, then. Do you suspect the balls may harm the fish?

fish_4_all 08-20-2007 04:05 PM

I don;t know if they will hurt the fish as I don;t know anything abut if they are inert or what they actually are.

As for a new unit, is it possible to replace the balls or just the mebrane or both and save some $$?

caferacermike 08-20-2007 05:19 PM

You are using a straight through "Nuclear Grade De-Ionization resin bed" type filter. The beads won't do much in the way of harm.

The good news is that it is time to upgrade your unit. Those are EXTREMELY expensive to run. They only produce about 25G of water before the resin is spent. It would be cheaper to buy DI water from the grocery market in 1g jugs. Today is the day you order an economy RO/DI unit from Buckeye Field Supply, tell Russ I sent ya. For about $120, or 5 filter changes (125g of water), you can produce hundreds of gallons of clean water. I've been running my unit for a year now and still have not used up a single canister of DI resin. The RO membrane creates such clean water my resin barely works at all. Dow FilmTech membranes are the best you can get, buy the 75gpd units for the most economy. I have a 300gpd unit that uses 6 pre-sediment filters, 3x 100GPD membranes and 3 10" DI resin cartridges. I could not be any happier.

Edited to add link:

These are the net forums nicest and most supportive RO guys around, hands down. Not to mention for the same price as a Chinese Ebay system with junk lookalike filters you get the actual real deal stuff.

willow 08-20-2007 06:37 PM

is it right that when they change colour
to a blue,violet colour that it is time to change them ?

caferacermike 08-21-2007 03:54 PM


Originally Posted by willow
is it right that when they change colour
to a blue,violet colour that it is time to change them ?

The brands are different, not all beads are color changing. The typical difference is from black to tan. You may have beads made by another less known manufacturer. The only "true" test for water is to buy a $35 TDS meter to measure the amount of solids being released from the unit. DI resins should read 0TDS. A good RO unit may read around 4-8 TDS before needing a membrane change.

willow 08-21-2007 06:02 PM

:shock: .ok i'm out of my league.
it was something i had seen,and i just wondered about it.

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