Using whole house filtered water as RO substitute?

MaxTremors

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A number of years ago my young daughter was attending a Summer Camp and she told me during lunch the Counselors would fill up all the kids drinking glasses out of a hose.

I did research and about fell out of my chair.

Ever wonder why water out of a hose tastes "funny "?

You're drinking 1) mold and mildew that grows inside a hose, 2) other various forms of bacteria growing in a dark place inside the hose, 3) particulates of broken down pieces of hose sweltering in the blazing sunny.

All very bad for your health

I immediately told the Camp Director who about lost her mind bc they were in major violation of State Health Board regulations.

They could have be shut down immediately if inspected and fined a hefty fine in the 10s of thousands of dollars.

They changed the drinking water source immediately the next day.

Soooooooo. Do you really want the residue crap coming out of a hose in your tank?

Just saying


.
I mean, I don’t think a camp should be giving that water to people’s kids, but if it were really that dangerous, I’d probably be dead. When I was a kid we’d drink out of the hose all the time. In terms of using an out door spigot to make rodi, I imagine most people are hooking their rodi unit straight to the tap, or using dedicated hoses, regardless, it’s going through the filter, so it doesn’t really matter.
 
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ru4serious

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I don't get it, you can get a good ro/di for around $200-$250 , you will certainly have a lot more money than that tied up in even a small biocube, why would you want to waste time and money, setting up setting up an aquarium that has a higher probability of failure, for something so relatively cheap
 

DaddyFish

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I don't get it, you can get a good ro/di for around $200-$250 , you will certainly have a lot more money than that tied up in even a small biocube, why would you want to waste time and money, setting up setting up an aquarium that has a higher probability of failure, for something so relatively cheap
There is a cost of ownership and operation associated with any RO/DI system. And it can be expensive. Cartridges expire much quicker in relation to gallons of yield than they do with a filtration system.

IMO the OP asked a viable question and should be given accurate information based on everyone's experience. Let him/her make the final decision.

I have two RO/DI systems in addition to whole house filtration. But I am experimenting and testing and evaluating all options. An open mind doesn't necessarily lead to disaster, not if you tread carefully and test often.
 

skyrne_isk

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I mean, I don’t think a camp should be giving that water to people’s kids, but if it were really that dangerous, I’d probably be dead. When I was a kid we’d drink out of the hose all the time. In terms of using an out door spigot to make rodi, I imagine most people are hooking their rodi unit straight to the tap, or using dedicated hoses, regardless, it’s going through the filter, so it doesn’t really matter.
Every time I finish my 7-8 mile runs, I come home and drink as much water as I can out of the hose. Delicious.

This mans on about bacteria and “deadly” hose water - lol.
 
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underthereef

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RO systems are rated by how much RO water they can produce per day. Small under sink units are pretty tiny. You should also note the rating is at a specific pressure and temperature of the source water. It’s rare for an individual to meet the specific criteria hence the actual amount is usually less. Which is why many people will opt for a larger unit that typically doesn’t cost too much more.
Got it. So an RO system I'd get for the aquarium would be larger hence have a faster flow. Thanks!
 
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underthereef

underthereef

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I don't get it, you can get a good ro/di for around $200-$250 , you will certainly have a lot more money than that tied up in even a small biocube, why would you want to waste time and money, setting up setting up an aquarium that has a higher probability of failure, for something so relatively cheap
That's starting to get through to me. LOL. XD I was just trying to learn more specifics about the water chemistry and why exactly it's so bad to not use RODI when using already purified filtered conditioned water. Especially because I've always used it for every other fish tank (except saltwater) for years and its been great. But I'm not a saltwater tank master yet so I just didn't know why everyone was exactly so huge on RODI or if it's just become a standard without question. Lol.
 

Shirak

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Got it. So an RO system I'd get for the aquarium would be larger hence have a faster flow. Thanks
Yes probably. I think most of the under counter systems are in the 50gpd range but they could be higher.. or lower..
You could try testing your kitchen system. Drain the holding tank and then time how long it takes to fill a gallon jug. Or any reasonably accurate container so you can extrapolate gpd.

Many people use 100-150 GPD RO systems in the hobby. A 100gpd system will fill a 5 gallon bucket in a roughly 75 minutes if your pressure is good and the water is not cold.

Me, I am impatient and I have a larger system. I also use quite a bit of water, and my water is cold which reduces output.
 

Shirak

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That's starting to get through to me. LOL. XD I was just trying to learn more specifics about the water chemistry and why exactly it's so bad to not use RODI when using already purified filtered conditioned water. Especially because I've always used it for every other fish tank (except saltwater) for years and its been great. But I'm not a saltwater tank master yet so I just didn't know why everyone was exactly so huge on RODI or if it's just become a standard without question. Lol.
Well since you posted you would like to keep animals other than fish. Heavy metals are toxic, particularly copper which will kill invertebrates and corals etc very quickly at very low levels. Then other stuff like silicates will cause diatoms to grow.. a lot. Then there is the issue of mineral balance so stony corals are able to grow and stay healthy and attached to their calcium carbonate skeleton. So many reasons why reefers want to start with super pure water and high quality salt and be certain of exactly what is going into their tank. You asked earlier and not sure if anyone answered. Yes as the corals grow minerals need to be replaced, which is done by regular testing to know how fast they are being used up and then replenishing through water changes and dosing of specific minerals. The primary ones being Calcium and Carbonate of some sort.
 

ru4serious

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There is a cost of ownership and operation associated with any RO/DI system. And it can be expensive. Cartridges expire much quicker in relation to gallons of yield than they do with a filtration system.

IMO the OP asked a viable question and should be given accurate information based on everyone's experience. Let him/her make the final decision.

I have two RO/DI systems in addition to whole house filtration. But I am experimenting and testing and evaluating all options. An open mind doesn't necessarily lead to disaster, not if you tread carefully and test often.
In comparison to the money I have spent on my aquarium, or that matter the cost of the fish food alone , I don't find the $60 dollars a year to change filters , expensive.
 

ru4serious

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That's starting to get through to me. LOL. XD I was just trying to learn more specifics about the water chemistry and why exactly it's so bad to not use RODI when using already purified filtered conditioned water. Especially because I've always used it for every other fish tank (except saltwater) for years and its been great. But I'm not a saltwater tank master yet so I just didn't know why everyone was exactly so huge on RODI or if it's just become a standard without question. Lol.
RO/DI water is so pure(stripped of minerals) that is advised not to drink it
 
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underthereef

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Well since you posted you would like to keep animals other than fish. Heavy metals are toxic, particularly copper which will kill invertebrates and corals etc very quickly at very low levels. Then other stuff like silicates will cause diatoms to grow.. a lot. Then there is the issue of mineral balance so stony corals are able to grow and stay healthy and attached to their calcium carbonate skeleton. So many reasons why reefers want to start with super pure water and high quality salt and be certain of exactly what is going into their tank. You asked earlier and not sure if anyone answered. Yes as the corals grow minerals need to be replaced, which is done by regular testing to know how fast they are being used up and then replenishing through water changes and dosing of specific minerals. The primary ones being Calcium and Carbonate of some sort.
Awesome I appreciate all your help! So with doing RODI stripped water changes you'd need to dose to replenish the calcium and carbonate. What about how some people try to do no dosing or low nutrients? Do some of the better quality salts brands put some of the good stuff in with the salt mix already so dosing isn't necessarily required?
 

Shirak

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Awesome I appreciate all your help! So with doing RODI stripped water changes you'd need to dose to replenish the calcium and carbonate. What about how some people try to do no dosing or low nutrients? Do some of the better quality salts brands put some of the good stuff in with the salt mix already so dosing isn't necessarily required?
Salt formulated for reef tanks contain elevated levels of major elements such as Ca, Mg, they can vary quite a bit in their alkalinity. They often contain more of the trace elements needed by invertebrates and corals.

Dosing or not will be determined by the needs of the tank. Types of invertebrates and corals as well as amount. A lightly stocked tank with some fish just a few snails and a couple soft corals would be fine with just regular water changes. A tank of wall to wall lps and sps would need dosing of Ca and alkalinity as a bare minimum because it’s impractical to keep up with their needs through water changes
 

ru4serious

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Awesome I appreciate all your help! So with doing RODI stripped water changes you'd need to dose to replenish the calcium and carbonate. What about how some people try to do no dosing or low nutrients? Do some of the better quality salts brands put some of the good stuff in with the salt mix already so dosing isn't necessarily required?
All major salt brands will grow coral they infused with the necessary elements, different brands have different levels of these elements, pick a brand that has the levels you want to keep in your aquarium, so adjustment are minimal
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Awesome I appreciate all your help! So with doing RODI stripped water changes you'd need to dose to replenish the calcium and carbonate. What about how some people try to do no dosing or low nutrients? Do some of the better quality salts brands put some of the good stuff in with the salt mix already so dosing isn't necessarily required?

No. New salt mixes do not need anything added to them.

"better" salt mixes is purely an opinion, but in general, those perceived by some to be better do not have more of anything. Perhaps they match their aquarium parameters better, perhaps they are perceived to have less batch to batch variation. Perhaps they have better marketing...
 

ca1ore

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Perhaps this has already been discussed, in which case apologies for being redundant .....

Most whole house water softeners remove calcium and magnesium by swapping in sodium. All the other elements of TDS remain. On my house, post water softener reads about 400. I do not know for sure what is in there, but I would not use it on my system. Water softeners certainly do add sodium, that is not a myth. Whether it is safe to drink, that I cannot say. I do use a drinking water RO unit on my kitchen sink. Have never checked the TDS on it. Reef tank RODI is separate and output reads 0 on the TDS meter.

Reef tank success is better today than in the past. A lot has changed, so I am not going to suggest that improved success is solely about the use of a RDOI .... but I think it is a significant factor.
 
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Jedi1199

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So I haven't been here in a few days (14-16 hour work days plus 3 hours of commute really cuts into browsing time). Did you say how large your tank is? Do you NEED 100 gallons a day of RODI water? My system (which I also teed off the washing machine supply) will fill a 32 gallon Brute can in a little less than a day. That is plenty for my current consumption. I have 3 cans running at all times. 1 large 32 gallon of fresh cold water, 1 20 gallon of fresh water kept at tank temp, and 1 20 gallon of mixed salt water also kept at tank temp.
 

What temperature do you think it too high for your reef tank?

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