Beginner Questions Pt. 4

LifeOfAquatics

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all this is for a 75 gallon reef tank with RODI water. Thanks in advance.

Please answer all questions if you can and please label your answers.

1. Do you have to replace your rodi unit or some part of it?
2. Do I need a TDS tester? When should I test the tds of my water? After it comes out of the rodi?
3. When you replace an RODI unit, what exactly should I replace? The ro? Di? Both?
4. What is an appropriate tds for a reef tank?
5. Should I even really worry about the tds of my tank? I plan on going with something like the aquatic life rodi unit since it is much cheaper and in my budget. Should I just change the di unit every year or so? How should I go about changing it?
6. Do I need to measure water pressure or psi or anything like that?
7. So how exactly do I make saltwater? Just rodi water, mixed with the appropriate amount of salt yes? Then let that mix with a powerhead for about 30-60 mins with a heater right until the temp matches the main tank?
8. How long should I drip acclimate fish for? 30 mins? 2 hours? Until the water doubles?
9. What is the best salt mix? Would just instant ocean work as a staple?
10. So if I use salt water from an lfs, how should I go about changing the water? Should I drain some, then poor in regular salt water? And to top off (if I did it manually) I would just poor the desired amount of fresh water right?
11. Would the fresh water just be rodi water?
12. You wouldn’t use water conditioner on rodi water right?
13. So to do a water change, remove water, add saltwater with same salinity into tank, to top off, use fresh rodi water right?
14. If all my saltwater is from a lfs in jugs, I wouldn’t need to test salinity or anything right since it all comes from the same source?
15. Should I quarantine fish if they are all coming from the same source and they are going to be the only fish in the tank?
16. How should I cycle a tank fast? Just put live rock and sand and dr Tims in there and ghost feed for a week or so and check my water parameters?
17. Can I ghost feed (to cycle a tank) using freshwater fish food?
18. Can you add invertebrates to a tank that is not fully cycled?
19. How should I dilute/increase the salt content in water? Ik that we need to add more salt or add more rodi water, but how much? Are there any estimates like 1/2 gallon of rodi water will add .02 to your salinity or stuff like that?
20. Should I use instant ocean salt (like the actual salt) or the water conditioner version?
21. What is a good water pump that will pump water upwards? (i.e. if I make saltwater in a bucket, what is a good pump that will pump the saltwater straight into the tank from the bottom of the bucket?)
 
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Jekyl

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If you buy the BRS 5 stage it comes with a TDS meter. The TDS needs to be zero for your tank. Most of us use Brute garbage cans to mix our water. Brute can, heater, powerhead. I mix mine over night usually. 30mins to an hour isn't enough. It's usually about a half cup per gallon of water but you will need to get a refractometer with calibration liquid to be sure.
 

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1. Do you have to replace your rodi unit or some part of it? Replace filters as needed
2. Do I need a TDS tester? When should I test the tds of my water? After it comes out of the rodi? TDS before the membrane, TDS after the membrane and TDS after the DI filters
3. When you replace an RODI unit, what exactly should I replace? The ro? Di? Both? Use your TDS readings to determine when to replace the membrane and DI
4. What is an appropriate tds for a reef tank? 30,000 plus
5. Should I even really worry about the tds of my tank? No

I plan on going with something like the aquatic life rodi unit since it is much cheaper and in my budget. Should I just change the di unit every year or so? How should I go about changing it? Look at longterm cost also.
6. Do I need to measure water pressure or psi or anything like that? I use two pressure gauges One incoming and one at the membrane
 

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all this is for a 75 gallon reef tank with RODI water. Thanks in advance.

Please answer all questions if you can and please label your answers.
1. Do you have to replace your rodi unit or some part of it? Yes, you should regularly replace the individual filters in your RO/DI unit. There are several components in each filter - one or more pre-filters (sediment filter, carbon block), the RO membrane, and then 1-3 DI chambers. Each of those filters contains components or filtration media that will eventually be exhausted, so you'll need to replace them as they wear out. Thankfully, the individual components are not terribly expensive.
2. Do I need a TDS tester? When should I test the tds of my water? After it comes out of the rodi? Yes, you should have a TDS tester. Ideally you should test the TDS of the water coming in to your unit, and the water coming out.
3. When you replace an RODI unit, what exactly should I replace? The ro? Di? Both? Yes. The different components wear out at different rates, so you should replace the individual components as they wear out.
4. What is an appropriate tds for a reef tank? 0.
5. Should I even really worry about the tds of my tank? I plan on going with something like the aquatic life rodi unit since it is much cheaper and in my budget. Should I just change the di unit every year or so? How should I go about changing it? Yes. TDS means "Total Dissolved Solids," and refers to any and all contaminants in your water. These contaminants could be mostly benign, like calcium, or lethal to your tank, like copper. For information about how to change the filters, there are plenty of videos from a variety of manufacturers that demonstrate the process and tell you when you should do it.
6. Do I need to measure water pressure or psi or anything like that? Not necessary, but higher pressure makes your unit run better (produce more purified water).
7. So how exactly do I make saltwater? Just rodi water, mixed with the appropriate amount of salt yes? Then let that mix with a powerhead for about 30-60 mins with a heater right until the temp matches the main tank? This will vary depending on the brand of salt you use. The initial mixing of salt into your freshwater is a somewhat volatile reaction that releases heat and sends the PH into wild flux. I usually have my saltwater mix for at least a day before I use it. This is less necessary with certain brands of salt. Instant Ocean (the cheapest brand) usually needs at least a full day of mixing before I would risk using it, unless it was an emergency.
8. How long should I drip acclimate fish for? 30 mins? 2 hours? Until the water doubles? Generally you shouldn't drip acclimate fish, unless you also have a way to simultaneously remove ammonia from the shipping water. You want to match the salinity of your display tank. There are quite a few threads on fish acclimation that you can research.
9. What is the best salt mix? Would just instant ocean work as a staple? There's no such thing as a best salt mix. Pretty much any salt mix can work so long as you're getting it from a reputable manufacturer. IO is just fine, though you may need to dose certain elements depending on what you want to keep. I personally use Tropic Marin Pro, but to each their own.
10. So if I use salt water from an lfs, how should I go about changing the water? Should I drain some, then poor in regular salt water? And to top off (if I did it manually) I would just poor the desired amount of fresh water right? Exactly. Remove water from your tank, discard, replace with freshly mixed salt water. If you get salt water from an LFS, put it into a container to keep it circulating and heated. To top off, again exactly correct. Have a marked fill line, fill up with FRESH water only up to that line. You can use salt water in an emergency if you don't have any fresh water for some reason, but doing that repeatedly WILL increase your salinity over time.
11. Would the fresh water just be rodi water? Yes.
12. You wouldn’t use water conditioner on rodi water right? Correct.
13. So to do a water change, remove water, add saltwater with same salinity into tank, to top off, use fresh rodi water right? Yes.
14. If all my saltwater is from a lfs in jugs, I wouldn’t need to test salinity or anything right since it all comes from the same source? You should always test. Humans make mistakes all the time. Don't rely on the LFS to be perfect, it will eventually burn you.
15. Should I quarantine fish if they are all coming from the same source and they are going to be the only fish in the tank? Whether you QT or not is purely a reefkeeping decision. I've never QT'ed in 12 years of reefing and have only lost one fish to ich or other diseases. However, I just started QT'ing for fish I purchase online. There are solid arguments on both sides of the QT debate.
16. How should I cycle a tank fast? Just put live rock and sand and dr Tims in there and ghost feed for a week or so and check my water parameters? Plenty of resources on how to do that, look up "fast cycle" or "skip cycle" and you should find what you need.
17. Can I ghost feed (to cycle a tank) using freshwater fish food? I don't see why not, the point of ghost feeding is to add organics to the water to decay into ammonia. Unless the freshwater food has something in it that would be toxic to saltwater (which seems like a weird thing to add to a food), shouldn't be an issue.
18. Can you add invertebrates to a tank that is not fully cycled? Are you alright with possibly losing some? Then yes. Otherwise, don't add until you're sure it's safe.
19. How should I dilute/increase the salt content in water? Ik that we need to add more salt or add more rodi water, but how much? Are there any estimates like 1/2 gallon of rodi water will add .02 to your salinity or stuff like that? There's a site called Hamza's Reef with a number of salinity calculators on it. There aren't any rules of thumb because it's always going to be different based on your actual volume.
20. Should I use instant ocean salt (like the actual salt) or the water conditioner version? Actual salt.
21. What is a good water pump that will pump water upwards? (i.e. if I make saltwater in a bucket, what is a good pump that will pump the saltwater straight into the tank from the bottom of the bucket?) Almost any pump can do this, but Sicce makes a very nice utility pump that can suck all but the last 2-3 mm out of the bucket and is compatible with a Python hose.
 
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LifeOfAquatics

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1. Do you have to replace your rodi unit or some part of it? Yes, you should regularly replace the individual filters in your RO/DI unit. There are several components in each filter - one or more pre-filters (sediment filter, carbon block), the RO membrane, and then 1-3 DI chambers. Each of those filters contains components or filtration media that will eventually be exhausted, so you'll need to replace them as they wear out. Thankfully, the individual components are not terribly expensive.
2. Do I need a TDS tester? When should I test the tds of my water? After it comes out of the rodi? Yes, you should have a TDS tester. Ideally you should test the TDS of the water coming in to your unit, and the water coming out.
3. When you replace an RODI unit, what exactly should I replace? The ro? Di? Both? Yes. The different components wear out at different rates, so you should replace the individual components as they wear out.
4. What is an appropriate tds for a reef tank? 0.
5. Should I even really worry about the tds of my tank? I plan on going with something like the aquatic life rodi unit since it is much cheaper and in my budget. Should I just change the di unit every year or so? How should I go about changing it? Yes. TDS means "Total Dissolved Solids," and refers to any and all contaminants in your water. These contaminants could be mostly benign, like calcium, or lethal to your tank, like copper. For information about how to change the filters, there are plenty of videos from a variety of manufacturers that demonstrate the process and tell you when you should do it.
6. Do I need to measure water pressure or psi or anything like that? Not necessary, but higher pressure makes your unit run better (produce more purified water).
7. So how exactly do I make saltwater? Just rodi water, mixed with the appropriate amount of salt yes? Then let that mix with a powerhead for about 30-60 mins with a heater right until the temp matches the main tank? This will vary depending on the brand of salt you use. The initial mixing of salt into your freshwater is a somewhat volatile reaction that releases heat and sends the PH into wild flux. I usually have my saltwater mix for at least a day before I use it. This is less necessary with certain brands of salt. Instant Ocean (the cheapest brand) usually needs at least a full day of mixing before I would risk using it, unless it was an emergency.
8. How long should I drip acclimate fish for? 30 mins? 2 hours? Until the water doubles? Generally you shouldn't drip acclimate fish, unless you also have a way to simultaneously remove ammonia from the shipping water. You want to match the salinity of your display tank. There are quite a few threads on fish acclimation that you can research.
9. What is the best salt mix? Would just instant ocean work as a staple? There's no such thing as a best salt mix. Pretty much any salt mix can work so long as you're getting it from a reputable manufacturer. IO is just fine, though you may need to dose certain elements depending on what you want to keep. I personally use Tropic Marin Pro, but to each their own.
10. So if I use salt water from an lfs, how should I go about changing the water? Should I drain some, then poor in regular salt water? And to top off (if I did it manually) I would just poor the desired amount of fresh water right? Exactly. Remove water from your tank, discard, replace with freshly mixed salt water. If you get salt water from an LFS, put it into a container to keep it circulating and heated. To top off, again exactly correct. Have a marked fill line, fill up with FRESH water only up to that line. You can use salt water in an emergency if you don't have any fresh water for some reason, but doing that repeatedly WILL increase your salinity over time.
11. Would the fresh water just be rodi water? Yes.
12. You wouldn’t use water conditioner on rodi water right? Correct.
13. So to do a water change, remove water, add saltwater with same salinity into tank, to top off, use fresh rodi water right? Yes.
14. If all my saltwater is from a lfs in jugs, I wouldn’t need to test salinity or anything right since it all comes from the same source? You should always test. Humans make mistakes all the time. Don't rely on the LFS to be perfect, it will eventually burn you.
15. Should I quarantine fish if they are all coming from the same source and they are going to be the only fish in the tank? Whether you QT or not is purely a reefkeeping decision. I've never QT'ed in 12 years of reefing and have only lost one fish to ich or other diseases. However, I just started QT'ing for fish I purchase online. There are solid arguments on both sides of the QT debate.
16. How should I cycle a tank fast? Just put live rock and sand and dr Tims in there and ghost feed for a week or so and check my water parameters? Plenty of resources on how to do that, look up "fast cycle" or "skip cycle" and you should find what you need.
17. Can I ghost feed (to cycle a tank) using freshwater fish food? I don't see why not, the point of ghost feeding is to add organics to the water to decay into ammonia. Unless the freshwater food has something in it that would be toxic to saltwater (which seems like a weird thing to add to a food), shouldn't be an issue.
18. Can you add invertebrates to a tank that is not fully cycled? Are you alright with possibly losing some? Then yes. Otherwise, don't add until you're sure it's safe.
19. How should I dilute/increase the salt content in water? Ik that we need to add more salt or add more rodi water, but how much? Are there any estimates like 1/2 gallon of rodi water will add .02 to your salinity or stuff like that? There's a site called Hamza's Reef with a number of salinity calculators on it. There aren't any rules of thumb because it's always going to be different based on your actual volume.
20. Should I use instant ocean salt (like the actual salt) or the water conditioner version? Actual salt.
21. What is a good water pump that will pump water upwards? (i.e. if I make saltwater in a bucket, what is a good pump that will pump the saltwater straight into the tank from the bottom of the bucket?) Almost any pump can do this, but Sicce makes a very nice utility pump that can suck all but the last 2-3 mm out of the bucket and is compatible with a Python hose.
Thank you so much! An answer like this is what I was hoping for. But a few questions, for 3, how should I know when my RODI unit's parts need replacing? Also, for 8, what should I do aside from drip acclimating? And I do not plan on purchasing fish online, just from my LFS. Would drip acclimating be appropriate then? Thanks!
 
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davidcalgary29

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Thank you so much! An answer like this is what I was hoping for. But a few questions, for 3, how should I know when my RODI unit's parts need replacing? Also, for 8, what should I do aside from drip acclimating? And I do not plan on purchasing fish online, just from my LFS. Would drip acclimating be appropriate then? Thanks!
Your TDS unit is exactly for this purpose: when readings rise, it's time to replace the filter. Each RODI is different; some units have filter media that changes colour to help you know when it's time to change. I'd still rely on the TDS tester first, though.
And you can't use your TDS tester with saltwater: the readings will go through the roof.

Many reefers no longer use drip acclimation for fish because of the increased risk of ammonia exposure in a sealed bag that's being reopened. I simply float my bags to ensure that the fish won't get temperature shocked, and then proceed with my usual dipping and quarantine procedure without going through any type of drip-acclimation process.
 

mdb_talon

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1. Do you have to replace your rodi unit or some part of it? Yes, you should regularly replace the individual filters in your RO/DI unit. There are several components in each filter - one or more pre-filters (sediment filter, carbon block), the RO membrane, and then 1-3 DI chambers. Each of those filters contains components or filtration media that will eventually be exhausted, so you'll need to replace them as they wear out. Thankfully, the individual components are not terribly expensive.
2. Do I need a TDS tester? When should I test the tds of my water? After it comes out of the rodi? Yes, you should have a TDS tester. Ideally you should test the TDS of the water coming in to your unit, and the water coming out.
3. When you replace an RODI unit, what exactly should I replace? The ro? Di? Both? Yes. The different components wear out at different rates, so you should replace the individual components as they wear out.
4. What is an appropriate tds for a reef tank? 0.
5. Should I even really worry about the tds of my tank? I plan on going with something like the aquatic life rodi unit since it is much cheaper and in my budget. Should I just change the di unit every year or so? How should I go about changing it? Yes. TDS means "Total Dissolved Solids," and refers to any and all contaminants in your water. These contaminants could be mostly benign, like calcium, or lethal to your tank, like copper. For information about how to change the filters, there are plenty of videos from a variety of manufacturers that demonstrate the process and tell you when you should do it.
6. Do I need to measure water pressure or psi or anything like that? Not necessary, but higher pressure makes your unit run better (produce more purified water).
7. So how exactly do I make saltwater? Just rodi water, mixed with the appropriate amount of salt yes? Then let that mix with a powerhead for about 30-60 mins with a heater right until the temp matches the main tank? This will vary depending on the brand of salt you use. The initial mixing of salt into your freshwater is a somewhat volatile reaction that releases heat and sends the PH into wild flux. I usually have my saltwater mix for at least a day before I use it. This is less necessary with certain brands of salt. Instant Ocean (the cheapest brand) usually needs at least a full day of mixing before I would risk using it, unless it was an emergency.
8. How long should I drip acclimate fish for? 30 mins? 2 hours? Until the water doubles? Generally you shouldn't drip acclimate fish, unless you also have a way to simultaneously remove ammonia from the shipping water. You want to match the salinity of your display tank. There are quite a few threads on fish acclimation that you can research.
9. What is the best salt mix? Would just instant ocean work as a staple? There's no such thing as a best salt mix. Pretty much any salt mix can work so long as you're getting it from a reputable manufacturer. IO is just fine, though you may need to dose certain elements depending on what you want to keep. I personally use Tropic Marin Pro, but to each their own.
10. So if I use salt water from an lfs, how should I go about changing the water? Should I drain some, then poor in regular salt water? And to top off (if I did it manually) I would just poor the desired amount of fresh water right? Exactly. Remove water from your tank, discard, replace with freshly mixed salt water. If you get salt water from an LFS, put it into a container to keep it circulating and heated. To top off, again exactly correct. Have a marked fill line, fill up with FRESH water only up to that line. You can use salt water in an emergency if you don't have any fresh water for some reason, but doing that repeatedly WILL increase your salinity over time.
11. Would the fresh water just be rodi water? Yes.
12. You wouldn’t use water conditioner on rodi water right? Correct.
13. So to do a water change, remove water, add saltwater with same salinity into tank, to top off, use fresh rodi water right? Yes.
14. If all my saltwater is from a lfs in jugs, I wouldn’t need to test salinity or anything right since it all comes from the same source? You should always test. Humans make mistakes all the time. Don't rely on the LFS to be perfect, it will eventually burn you.
15. Should I quarantine fish if they are all coming from the same source and they are going to be the only fish in the tank? Whether you QT or not is purely a reefkeeping decision. I've never QT'ed in 12 years of reefing and have only lost one fish to ich or other diseases. However, I just started QT'ing for fish I purchase online. There are solid arguments on both sides of the QT debate.
16. How should I cycle a tank fast? Just put live rock and sand and dr Tims in there and ghost feed for a week or so and check my water parameters? Plenty of resources on how to do that, look up "fast cycle" or "skip cycle" and you should find what you need.
17. Can I ghost feed (to cycle a tank) using freshwater fish food? I don't see why not, the point of ghost feeding is to add organics to the water to decay into ammonia. Unless the freshwater food has something in it that would be toxic to saltwater (which seems like a weird thing to add to a food), shouldn't be an issue.
18. Can you add invertebrates to a tank that is not fully cycled? Are you alright with possibly losing some? Then yes. Otherwise, don't add until you're sure it's safe.
19. How should I dilute/increase the salt content in water? Ik that we need to add more salt or add more rodi water, but how much? Are there any estimates like 1/2 gallon of rodi water will add .02 to your salinity or stuff like that? There's a site called Hamza's Reef with a number of salinity calculators on it. There aren't any rules of thumb because it's always going to be different based on your actual volume.
20. Should I use instant ocean salt (like the actual salt) or the water conditioner version? Actual salt.
21. What is a good water pump that will pump water upwards? (i.e. if I make saltwater in a bucket, what is a good pump that will pump the saltwater straight into the tank from the bottom of the bucket?) Almost any pump can do this, but Sicce makes a very nice utility pump that can suck all but the last 2-3 mm out of the bucket and is compatible with a Python hose.

I did not read your responses, but you win most thorough response of the day award!
 
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LifeOfAquatics

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Your TDS unit is exactly for this purpose: when readings rise, it's time to replace the filter. Each RODI is different; some units have filter media that changes colour to help you know when it's time to change. I'd still rely on the TDS tester first, though.
And you can't use your TDS tester with saltwater: the readings will go through the roof.

Many reefers no longer use drip acclimation for fish because of the increased risk of ammonia exposure in a sealed bag that's being reopened. I simply float my bags to ensure that the fish won't get temperature shocked, and then proceed with my usual dipping and quarantine procedure without going through any type of drip-acclimation process.
Ok so if the TDS is passed about 2, then I should replace the filters? But how would I know which part of the unit I should replace? So when you said you "proceed with my usual dipping and quarantine procedure..." what do you mean by this? The dipping part specifically.
 

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Ok so if the TDS is passed about 2, then I should replace the filters? But how would I know which part of the unit I should replace? So when you said you "proceed with my usual dipping and quarantine procedure..." what do you mean by this? The dipping part specifically.

I change my prefilters (sediment/carbon) every few months. WIth lower useage every 6 months is probably more appropriate. Can also do things like check the pressure before and after prefilters to help determine when they are getting clogged. TDS does not help you much on determining when to change those filters.

For the RO membrane it should last anywhere from a year to several years if you flush (and stay on top of changing the prefilters regularly). Test the TDS after the RO membrane when new and see what it is. Recheck regularly and as it starts to creep up it is probably time to change it. For the DI you can do the same monitoring TDS out of the DI and how it changes (hopefully initially zero. There is also color changing DI resin that should do a good job of telling you when it is exhausted and needs replaced.
 

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Ok so if the TDS is passed about 2, then I should replace the filters? But how would I know which part of the unit I should replace? So when you said you "proceed with my usual dipping and quarantine procedure..." what do you mean by this? The dipping part specifically.
I dip my fish (and only fish -- not inverts) in 5 ml of 3% hydrogen peroxide/1L of saltwater. In short: anecdotally, this type of prophylaxis has produced good results; #Jay Hemdal's own trials are on going. In any case, you should be aware of the risks (and limitations) of proceeding with this process before doing it yourself. Hydrogen peroxide dips are not a substitute for good husbandry and tank quarantine measures.
 
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LifeOfAquatics

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I change my prefilters (sediment/carbon) every few months. WIth lower useage every 6 months is probably more appropriate. Can also do things like check the pressure before and after prefilters to help determine when they are getting clogged. TDS does not help you much on determining when to change those filters.

For the RO membrane it should last anywhere from a year to several years if you flush (and stay on top of changing the prefilters regularly). Test the TDS after the RO membrane when new and see what it is. Recheck regularly and as it starts to creep up it is probably time to change it. For the DI you can do the same monitoring TDS out of the DI and how it changes (hopefully initially zero. There is also color changing DI resin that should do a good job of telling you when it is exhausted and needs replaced.
I am so confused lol. Here I'm not getting a RODI unit anytime soon since my first saltwater tank is going to be a 10-gallon using LFS premixed water. Once I upgrade, I will research more into the RODI unit. Thanks though!
 

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I am so confused lol. Here I'm not getting a RODI unit anytime soon since my first saltwater tank is going to be a 10-gallon using LFS premixed water. Once I upgrade, I will research more into the RODI unit. Thanks though!
I agree that there's a lot to digest here, but these units don't necessarily have to be fancy: there are usable, basic models for under a hundred dollars on Amazon.

Buying water from your LFS is certainly a solution, but I'd still check -- at the very least -- salinity to make sure it's at a level that you want before you add it in. This is also a way that you can introduce unwanted pathogens into your tank, so I'd make sure that your LFS is reputable and not just selling you old tank water.
 
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LifeOfAquatics

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I agree that there's a lot to digest here, but these units don't necessarily have to be fancy: there are usable, basic models for under a hundred dollars on Amazon.

Buying water from your LFS is certainly a solution, but I'd still check -- at the very least -- salinity to make sure it's at a level that you want before you add it in. This is also a way that you can introduce unwanted pathogens into your tank, so I'd make sure that your LFS is reputable and not just selling you old tank water.
Really? I haven’t seen a RODI unit for under 100$ except for the aquatic life one and that doesn’t even have good reviews. I was just planning on going with the bulk reef supply one since it’s popular and has good reviews.
 

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Really? I haven’t seen a RODI unit for under 100$ except for the aquatic life one and that doesn’t even have good reviews. I was just planning on going with the bulk reef supply one since it’s popular and has good reviews.
The Aquatics Life "Buddie" model is not going to get great reviews from some dedicated enthusiasts because it's a basic model that, yes, does have its limitations. Many people here do use it, however, and report good results from it. You've certainly got a number of options for sourcing your water.
 

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The Aquatics Life "Buddie" model is not going to get great reviews from some dedicated enthusiasts because it's a basic model that, yes, does have its limitations. Many people here do use it, however, and report good results from it. You've certainly got a number of options for sourcing your water.

My issue with the "buddie" system is the nonstandard filters. Thats where they make up their profit.

There are however many options under $150 that use standard filters and are 5 or 6 stage. Some even have pressure gauges built in.

I am sure the BRS units are great, but really it just plastic canisters and tubing at basic level. The filters themselves can be of varying quality, but with few exceptions(like the "buddy") you can use any brand filter with any unit
 

CrimsonTide

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For small tanks the RODI buddie would be fine. Its not a big unit and the cartridges I believe are a little more expensive to replace then buying resins to replace in more expensive models but if you aren't making much water in the long run it is fine. If your LFS is reputable their water should be fine for you to start. If you have a 10gallon tank make sure you keep a 5g bucket of saltwater and at least 2.5g of RODI on hand for emergencies and just keep up with your regular waterchanges. Use a sharpie and put a line on the back of your tank or the side where your Full Line will be and when the water evaporates below the Fill Line add a couple cups or RODI to fill the tank back up to the Fill Line. You'll want to get a refractometer to make sure the salinity of your tank stays where you want it. You can add more saltwater or RODI to keep it stable where you want it.
 

Biokabe

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I am so confused lol. Here I'm not getting a RODI unit anytime soon since my first saltwater tank is going to be a 10-gallon using LFS premixed water. Once I upgrade, I will research more into the RODI unit. Thanks though!

Some of us who've been doing this for a long time sometimes forget how complex some of the things that we take for granted are. =)

RO/DI doesn't need to be complicated. The complications only come in when you try to eke the maximum efficiency and lifespan out of it. As a rule of thumb, replace the pre-sediment filter and the carbon block every 6-12 months. Replace the RO membrane every 2 years. Replace the DI media every year.

You might need to change more often than that (probably not). You might be able to go longer than that. But for just starting off, those are simple rules that will cover the vast majority of situations.

Now, you will eventually want to get into learning the signs that actually tell you when to change things instead of just going by a timeline. Most of the time, that will translate into cost savings for you, because you won't be changing filters before they need to be changed.
 
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LifeOfAquatics

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My issue with the "buddie" system is the nonstandard filters. Thats where they make up their profit.

There are however many options under $150 that use standard filters and are 5 or 6 stage. Some even have pressure gauges built in.

I am sure the BRS units are great, but really it just plastic canisters and tubing at basic level. The filters themselves can be of varying quality, but with few exceptions(like the "buddy") you can use any brand filter with any unit
Could you give examples or send a link to RODI units that are 150 or below?
 

WHAT WATER CHANGE "PERCENTAGE" MAKES IT WORTH DOING?

  • 5% - 10%

    Votes: 5 11.9%
  • 10% - 20%

    Votes: 28 66.7%
  • 20% - 30%

    Votes: 5 11.9%
  • 30% - 40%

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 40% - 50%

    Votes: 1 2.4%
  • 50% or more

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No water change is worth it

    Votes: 1 2.4%
  • Not sure

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other (please explain in the thread)

    Votes: 2 4.8%
Coral Frenzy
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