Tap Water Reef Tank

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People who have been very successful running a reef tank just on tap water and water conditioner let’s see you tank or here your story.

I know running a reef tank with an RO water system is the way most people go with obvious advantages, but it was done pretty successfully before they were popular!

Does anyone still go this route today? Did you ever go back and forth? This thread is for the simple and successful with whats supplied to them at the home.
 
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I think it all depends on the water source. as you know most people opt. for RODI so they can control the TDS in there water.

get a water report form your city but RODI are pretty affordable these days.

IMHO at the very least run it through some carbon.

back in the day that is what I did never knew what my city water TDS was or what was in it but the tanks did OK.
 

Rjukan

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I agree with @Devaji the water source quality can vary dramatically depending on where you live. Ive read some areas have upwards of 500ppm TDS!! Luckily here in NYC I'm seeing around 42ppm tops out of the tap, but still use RODI.
 

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I dont check my local water. But if its good for plants and discus then it should be fine for salt water. So i just used the tap when i started and i had no issues.

I have two reef tanks setup my biggest is my 135g with 80+ different corals. No problems. I have tons of acros, bubble corals one thats bigger than a basketball. Other lps and zoanthids. And sps.

In fact my corals grow really fast, so fast i just bring in the large colonies of lps to my local stores and get store credit for more corals. I dont pay for corals anymore lol.

I also use 3 emperor 400 hang of back filters. Three koralias power heads. One is 800 one is 1150 and another 1500gph. I use a uv sterilizer. And no sump and no skimmer. I dont premux ny water ina 80 gallon witch cauldron with a pump or heater like people do either... i dump it right ina 5 gallon bucket turn the sink on and mix it and when its full i dump it right in.

Wont post a billion pics but this is my tank its about 2 years old now
20200918_212937.jpg
20200918_205505.jpg
20200307_205718.jpg
 

Dr. Dendrostein

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People who have been very successful running a reef tank just on tap water and water conditioner let’s see you tank or here your story.

I know running a reef tank with an RO water system is the way most people go with obvious advantages, but it was done pretty successfully before they were popular!

Does anyone still go this route today? Did you ever go back and forth? This thread is for the simple and successful with whats supplied to them at the home.
October 2017 I started with tap water and of course you condition it and I would put an air stone and aerate it for 3 days before using.I used tap water for like a year , year and a half.

No issues. Right now I don't have the space but after using tap water I went to real saltwater which was cheap for me to buy and I love that even more, but my corals were not affected by tap water. Because of the preparation


1 of 48 carnation corals aka dendronephthya sp

Screenshot_20200917-092837.png
 
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I dont check my local water. But if its good for plants and discus then it should be fine for salt water. So i just used the tap when i started and i had no issues.

I have two reef tanks setup my biggest is my 135g with 80+ different corals. No problems. I have tons of acros, bubble corals one thats bigger than a basketball. Other lps and zoanthids. And sps.

In fact my corals grow really fast, so fast i just bring in the large colonies of lps to my local stores and get store credit for more corals. I dont pay for corals anymore lol.

I also use 3 emperor 400 hang of back filters. Three koralias power heads. One is 800 one is 1150 and another 1500gph. I use a uv sterilizer. And no sump and no skimmer. I dont premux ny water ina 80 gallon witch cauldron with a pump or heater like people do either... i dump it right ina 5 gallon bucket turn the sink on and mix it and when its full i dump it right in.

Wont post a billion pics but this is my tank its about 2 years old now
20200918_212937.jpg
20200918_205505.jpg
20200307_205718.jpg
Wow! This is truly inspirational! Do you by any chance know how good (or bad) your city water is? Looking at your tank you'd think you were getting RODI right from your city's system. LOL
 

Karen00

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October 2017 I started with tap water and of course you condition it and I would put an air stone and aerate it for 3 days before using.I used tap water for like a year , year and a half.

No issues. Right now I don't have the space but after using tap water I went to real saltwater which was cheap for me to buy and I love that even more, but my corals were not affected by tap water. Because of the preparation


1 of 48 carnation corals aka dendronephthya sp

Screenshot_20200917-092837.png
Very nice! I'd be curious to know what your city water is like. I posted the same for the other member that showed beautiful pics on city water.
 

SaltISlife

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Wow! This is truly inspirational! Do you by any chance know how good (or bad) your city water is? Looking at your tank you'd think you were getting RODI right from your city's system. LOL


I live in Northern Virginia.

Here is whats in my city water according to this website. My water passes all legal limits by a good amount. But according to ewg my water exceeds (their standards and i should be dead from cancer lol) but its good enough for my reef.

You can probly use this website and enter your zip code and see whats in your water


 
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Using tap water is highly dependent on your local water supply’s water quality. Be forewarned that it can change at anytime depending on the season. TDS isn’t always a indicator of contaminants in your water and with the “unknowns” that could be there, it is highly recommended to use a RO/DI unit anytime dealing with a marine tank.
 

Karen00

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I live in Northern Virginia.

Here is whats in my city water according to this website. My water passes all legal limits by a good amount. But according to ewg my water exceeds (their standards and i should be dead from cancer lol) but its good enough for my reef.

You can probly use this website and enter your zip code and see whats in your water


Oh geez. That's funny!!!

I've been debating whether to try tap water or to invest in a RODI system. I've seen people's successes with tap including yours. I live in Toronto and we have good water so I'm going to compare ours to yours and if they're close then that will give me the confidence to try tap water for my setup.
 

SaltISlife

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You could always just try it out. I dont think youll know if it itll work until you setup the tank with tap and put corals in. Id start woth easy corals like some basic montiporas and lps corals and move onto basic acros like green slimers and stuff and see what happens
 

Ippyroy

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My tap water has a TDS of 22 - 24, and is non chlorinated. Yet it has 2ppm of copper and radon and uranium can get high without notice. My very low TDS water will kill my corals very quickly. The city is also dealing with some nasty stuff in the water now and uses chlorine about once a week, without any notice.
 

Karen00

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You could always just try it out. I dont think youll know if it itll work until you setup the tank with tap and put corals in. Id start woth easy corals like some basic montiporas and lps corals and move onto basic acros like green slimers and stuff and see what happens
Yes, very good advice. I would definitely start with just one or two to see how it goes. It would be absolutely awful to fill the tank with corals only to lose all of them because there is something in my tap water they can't live with.

Do you just condition to remove chlorine/chloramine and then do your salt mixture?
 

Karen00

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Using tap water is highly dependent on your local water supply’s water quality. Be forewarned that it can change at anytime depending on the season. TDS isn’t always a indicator of contaminants in your water and with the “unknowns” that could be there, it is highly recommended to use a RO/DI unit anytime dealing with a marine tank.
This is a good point. Are there places that will do a full analysis? As it has been pointed out city water can change without notice but hopefully getting a full analysis will at least let you know what your should be like a majority of the time (or maybe a full analysis a couple times a year to see if anything has changed).
 

Ippyroy

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Yes, very good advice. I would definitely start with just one or two to see how it goes. It would be absolutely awful to fill the tank with corals only to lose all of them because there is something in my tap water they can't live with.

Do you just condition to remove chlorine/chloramine and then do your salt mixture?
Chloramines have ammonia btw.
 

SaltyT

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RODI is best for a reef tank, but you could run a fish only tank with conditioned tap water.
 

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in NY freeport had their own deep wells and didnt treat with chlorine or chloramine...so thats what i used...i also had access to real sea water and would bring back 5 gal if we went out on my friends boat...i moved to NC and did the same with my well water and the tank turned into a mass of brown slime....the water test we paid for said everything was great but phospates and nitrates werent things that were tested...so i sprung for a ro/di and i'm about to do a massive clean and reboot
 
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HAVE YOU EVER BUILT A NEW HOUSE "AROUND" A NEW DREAM REEF TANK SET UP?

  • Yes (tell us in the thread)

    Votes: 12 14.6%
  • NO, but I would like to

    Votes: 49 59.8%
  • NO, I would worry about the tank later

    Votes: 17 20.7%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 4 4.9%
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