Just ordered my first RO unit, question about remineralizing

faydout

As the title states, I just ordered my first RO unit which should get here this weekend. I picked it up after getting 2 (I bought one, and my wife bought me one after seeing it sit in the Amazon cart for a few days for xmas) TDS pens. Testing my tank and tap water, I've got 450 TDS out of the tap and 525 from both tanks. I'll be starting slowly, mixing it in with tap, starting with 5 gallons RO / 15 gallons tap and working towards whatever it takes to get under 200 - 250 TDS over a few months. Even lower would be better, but we'll see when I get there, how long it takes to make the water I'd need.

Denver metro's tap water has low KH (0 to 1 drops from the API test, 8 - 9 drops for GH) but pretty high PH (8.1). I'm wondering whether I should be remineralizing my RO water from the start, or if not, when should I be looking at adding minerals back in? 10G RO / 10G tap, 15G RO / 5G tap, or is there something I can test for that will "tell me" when the right time is? As far as what to remineralize with, would Equilibrium work best for general purposes, or would some of the shrimp keeping options work better? I don't have shrimp, but have a 5G that I'd like to eventually set up for them.
 

AvalancheDave

You're probably not going to get any kH from mixing RO with that tap water. The pH is probably high due to sodium hydroxide which isn't a carbonate source that nitrifying bacteria can use.

I would just use straight RO water and remineralize from the start. You can use Barr's gH booster for gH and sodium/potassium carbonate/bicarbonate for kH.
 
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faydout

So doing some research on re-buffering KH, between sodium bicarbonate and potassium bicarbonate, is one preferred / required for planted tanks? Going with Sodium bicarbonate (because I can run to King Soopers for it), it's looking like I may not need more than about 1 tsp per 10 gallons as a starting point. I'll be taking the week after getting the unit to test with, so I've got room to play around with it.

Additionally, it looks like Kent's RO rite is alot easier for me to get, and I've got a few other Kent's products and like them. Is there anything wrong with their GH booster?
 
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AvalancheDave

So doing some research on re-buffering KH, between sodium bicarbonate and potassium bicarbonate, is one preferred / required for planted tanks? Going with Sodium bicarbonate (because I can run to King Soopers for it), it's looking like I may not need more than about 1 tsp per 10 gallons as a starting point. I'll be taking the week after getting the unit to test with, so I've got room to play around with it.

Additionally, it looks like Kent's RO rite is alot easier for me to get, and I've got a few other Kent's products and like them. Is there anything wrong with their GH booster?

Plants don't like sodium so I recommend potassium carbonate or bicarbonate for planted tanks. Carbonate forms are harder to find but you only need to use half as much.

Kent RO Right has been around for a long time. I don't recall any complaints about it. Barr's gH booster is an open source recipe that you can either buy or DIY. I think its main and perhaps only advantage is that it's cheaper.
 
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RayClem

There are varoius options. Kent Marine RO Right is one such product. I use Seachem Equlibrium to remineralize RO water for my tanks. Equilibrium adds calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium , and iron. These all increase GH. However, Equilibrium does not contain any carbonates or phosphates to contribute to KH. For that you will either need to use a phosphate buffer or baking soda. As AvalancheDave indicated, potassium bicarbonate is better than baking soda, but it is more difficult to find. If you do use a combination of Equilibrisu and baking soda, be sure you add the Equilibrium to the RO water, but wait until after the remineralized water is added to the tank before your add sodium or potassium bicarbonate. That way there will be less chance of precipitating calcium carbonate,

Recently, another forum member introduced me to Shrimp Minearals GH/KH+ by SaltyShrimp. It is supposed to contain minerals to increase both GH and KH. The KH is supposed to increase by half as much as the GH. I have not been able to locate a listing of incredients. I presume the KH is provided by phosphates as if the product contained both calcium and carbonates or bicarbonates, calcium carbonate would tend to precipitate our of solution when it is first mixed with water.
 
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faydout

Took a trip to Ace to get an adapter that fits on the shower in the basement, but I'm flushing the RO membrane now (finally). Tested the clean water at 23ppm TDS and the waste at 625 (which is why I didn't bother with the DI cartridge, don't want to replace those every other week). So, step 1 is looking good. Once it's flushed, I can start making RO and testing the right mix for remineralizing and hopefully tomorrow I can start mixing in RO with my normal tap water. Looks like I'm getting about 2:1 waste / RO so far.
 
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