Is DIY tap water filter sufficient because i dont have R/O

Key-tie

Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 7, 2019
Messages
99
Reaction score
77
Location
Allentown
I never went out and got a reverse osmosis filtration setup. But I had old tanks lying around, so I built my own tap water filter, and would like to know from the experienced reefers if if they think it is sufficient. I basically took an old 10 gallon tank, put two HOB filters on that are each rated for a 20 gallon tank. One has activated charcoal and ammonia remover, the other has bone Char carbon to help remove fluoride, and I added a small UV sterilizer to the tank. I let it run constantly filled with tap water, and when I need water for my saltwater reef tank, I just scoop out of gallon and basically dump it into the saltwater tank. I get constant filtration of the tap water multiple times a day in the entire 10 gallon "tap" tank, and the UV sterilization also. Is this equal to reverse osmosis or at least close enough that the tap water I'm getting out of my 10 gallon tank filter is good enough to go straight into my saltwater aquarium?
 

AllSignsPointToFish

"The Guy Without FaceBook"
View Badges
Joined
Oct 1, 2015
Messages
3,655
Reaction score
2,854
Location
Gulf Breeze, Florida
I never went out and got a reverse osmosis filtration setup. But I had old tanks lying around, so I built my own tap water filter, and would like to know from the experienced reefers if if they think it is sufficient. I basically took an old 10 gallon tank, put two HOB filters on that are each rated for a 20 gallon tank. One has activated charcoal and ammonia remover, the other has bone Char carbon to help remove fluoride, and I added a small UV sterilizer to the tank. I let it run constantly filled with tap water, and when I need water for my saltwater reef tank, I just scoop out of gallon and basically dump it into the saltwater tank. I get constant filtration of the tap water multiple times a day in the entire 10 gallon "tap" tank, and the UV sterilization also. Is this equal to reverse osmosis or at least close enough that the tap water I'm getting out of my 10 gallon tank filter is good enough to go straight into my saltwater aquarium?
No, it's not even close to reverse osmosis. The treatment you're doing may remove the chlorine/chloramines, but it won't removed dissolved solids (nutrients) like phosphates, nitrates, and silicates that will fuel nuisance algae growth.
 

naterealbig

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
616
Reaction score
747
Location
Tampa
I never went out and got a reverse osmosis filtration setup. But I had old tanks lying around, so I built my own tap water filter, and would like to know from the experienced reefers if if they think it is sufficient. I basically took an old 10 gallon tank, put two HOB filters on that are each rated for a 20 gallon tank. One has activated charcoal and ammonia remover, the other has bone Char carbon to help remove fluoride, and I added a small UV sterilizer to the tank. I let it run constantly filled with tap water, and when I need water for my saltwater reef tank, I just scoop out of gallon and basically dump it into the saltwater tank. I get constant filtration of the tap water multiple times a day in the entire 10 gallon "tap" tank, and the UV sterilization also. Is this equal to reverse osmosis or at least close enough that the tap water I'm getting out of my 10 gallon tank filter is good enough to go straight into my saltwater aquarium?
Like all signs said, your filter will remove some chlorine. Depending on whether it's chlorine or chloramine, what the level is, the quality, form, and volume of carbon, and volumetric flow rate of your hob filter - it may or may not remove all of the chlorine.

Assuming your tap is completely pure aside from chlorine, and that the carbon removes 100% of it - your fine. Other than this, you are rolling the dice - and your odds are much less than 6:1.

You'd be much better off buying purified water, but truly, if your not using at least a 3 stage filter designed for aquarium use, you are doing yourself and your pets a disservice.
 

AZMSGT

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
May 6, 2019
Messages
1,344
Reaction score
1,814
Location
Surprise, AZ
No your home made filter is not going to do the job. Unless it consists of the same filters as a system. An inexpensive system shouldn’t cost to much. This isn’t a cheap hobby. Water is the #1 resource you will use and your live stock will live in. Spend a little more on it and you won’t regret it.
 
OP
Key-tie

Key-tie

Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 7, 2019
Messages
99
Reaction score
77
Location
Allentown
my HOB filters are actually higher end fluvals with multi-stage filtration.
I also have a UV sterilization unit in the tank.
I do not understand using RO to strip everything from the water just to add it back in chemicals and elements.
We have elements in the tap water that are necessary, which is why we dose them back in.
We put organisms in our tanks to soak up and use the extra nitrates and phospates, and some reefers advocate slightly "dirtier" water to benefit some organisms.
Why strip everything out, just to add it back ???
To save some algae in the future ??
We create a slice of nature in our tanks, i tend to let mine be more controlled by nature then controlling every single parameter like a scientist...lol.
And my xenia seem to love the extra nitrate pop they get when i add water.
They eat it up like candy.
 
World Wide Corals - Quality Aqua-cultured Coral

Softhammer

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 21, 2012
Messages
647
Reaction score
687
Location
Tampa
You would be the first one in the history of the hobby to make this work, and it’s more complicated. Xenia’s could probably live in urine so I would not be using that to measure anything. Consider what you would spend on corals to add to your setup, compare this with a RO system.. don’t write posts like this if you are already convinced that the successful majority is wrong. Hit us back in a month or so when your impending cyano and algae problem warrants a reset.
 
OP
Key-tie

Key-tie

Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 7, 2019
Messages
99
Reaction score
77
Location
Allentown
Love posts like this....

Hobbyists comes to forums to ask if what their doing is right, when told no, they basically try to explain why they think it's good, and continue doing it anyways.

Why even bother making a thread?
First off...I am not worried about being right.
I am new to the site, not new to reefing and having tanks.
back when I had my reef tanks, 25 to 30 years ago, the technology was nothing like it is today. Our idea of a timed tank light was one that turned on your fluorescent tube at certain times of day and turned it back off. I'm actually writing this thread because I enjoy other people's opinions, and the technology is vastly superior today, but I wonder how much is overkill. Do we tune our fish tanks too finely now with all the technology? Back when I did it, I balanced my system with the right mix of organisms because we didn't have the technology. I enjoy the discussion, and I enjoy the different modes of thinking.
 
OP
Key-tie

Key-tie

Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 7, 2019
Messages
99
Reaction score
77
Location
Allentown
Love posts like this....

Hobbyists comes to forums to ask if what their doing is right, when told no, they basically try to explain why they think it's good, and continue doing it anyways.

Why even bother making a thread?
what I am doing, is actually trying to retain the natural properties of the water, but only remove what humans have added such as the chlorine, the chloramine, the fluoride, and most of the bacteria with my UV sterilizer.
 

ss30

Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 11, 2014
Messages
84
Reaction score
51
Location
Oxford, England
At the very least go and buy your RO/DI water from a LFS, it might not be 0 TDS but it will be A LOT better than what you are using.
 

homer1475

Figuring out the hobby one coral at a time
View Badges
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
1,222
Reaction score
1,618
Location
Way upstate NY
Ok lets put it this way.....

We all know copper at elevated levels can kill livestock, be it corals or fish. 99% of the house holds around are supplied with copper pipes, and RO/DI unit will remove this copper. What your doing will not.

And thats only one thing we know of that an RO/DI removes.
 

Jake_the_reefer

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 19, 2019
Messages
1,615
Reaction score
1,357
I want to understand peoples thinking on why to strip the water bare and add things back in our own ratios...rather than letting the reef tank system balance to what it needs ??
Its a good discussion, and I enjoy knowledge.
Its moreso because we dont always know what's in our tap waters. In some theres levels of copper which will destroy coral but are safe for us. There could be a ton of little things in the water that could harm the fish or cause blooms of algae or bacteria. Rodi just gives a perfectly clean slate which means we know exactly what's in the water going in out multi thousand dollar investment.
 

ss30

Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 11, 2014
Messages
84
Reaction score
51
Location
Oxford, England
I want to understand peoples thinking on why to strip the water bare and add things back in our own ratios...rather than letting the reef tank system balance to what it needs ??
Its a good discussion, and I enjoy knowledge.
We strip out all of the rubbish to put back in the things we need in it. Marine salt wont contain Phosphates, Nitrates, and Silicates as long as you buy a good branded marine salt, but tap water will and it will cause algae to grow in your tank.

As you said your new to marine fish keeping so when you ask a question and people with knowledge of the hobby give you advice take it and learn from it don't through it back in their face.
 
OP
Key-tie

Key-tie

Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 7, 2019
Messages
99
Reaction score
77
Location
Allentown
Its moreso because we dont always know what's in our tap waters. In some theres levels of copper which will destroy coral but are safe for us. There could be a ton of little things in the water that could harm the fish or cause blooms of algae or bacteria. Rodi just gives a perfectly clean slate which means we know exactly what's in the water going in out multi thousand dollar investment.
Now that makes sense...
But do you believe that we can put back all the good RO removes as well ?
Is it possible that we get so precise that the smallest parameter swing is what crashes a tank seemingly out of nowhere ??
And i am not being combative...lol...just trying to understand this new way of thinking with tech controlling everything.
 
OP
Key-tie

Key-tie

Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 7, 2019
Messages
99
Reaction score
77
Location
Allentown
We strip out all of the rubbish to put back in the things we need in it. Marine salt wont contain Phosphates, Nitrates, and Silicates as long as you buy a good branded marine salt, but tap water will and it will cause algae to grow in your tank.

As you said your new to marine fish keeping so when you ask a question and people with knowledge of the hobby give you advice take it and learn from it don't through it back in their face.
Im new to the site, not to reefkeeping.
All this tech is whats new for me.
I was into it 30 years ago.
We couldn't keep some of the elaborate corals that people do now, but we kept some good reef tanks on very little tech also...
 
World Wide Corals - Quality Aqua-cultured Coral

Do you run TWO return pumps for redundancy and to be safe? (check all that apply)

  • Yes I run two return pumps..

    Votes: 124 21.9%
  • No it's a waste..

    Votes: 67 11.9%
  • No but I would like to..

    Votes: 135 23.9%
  • No but I have a spare return pump...

    Votes: 270 47.8%

Online statistics

Members online
2,262
Guests online
4,556
Total visitors
6,818
Use pumps from different brands TOGETHER!
Best reef aquarium LED lighting
Top