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RO Direct feed?

Discussion in 'Discus Fish' started by Atavar, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. Atavar Valued Member Member

    Is RO Water safe to add directly to an aquarium? Prolly a tupid question, apologies in advance.. I was thinking about setting up an RO system to automatically top off my Discus tank..

  2. Nutter Fishlore VIP Member

    I would say that it depends on how adding the RO water will effect the water chemistry.
    If there is any chance that it will alter the GH or KH I would say not to add it automatically. The quality of your RO unit will have a bearing on this to.

    You should mix RO water with some percentage of tap water to ensure that the fish get all the minerals in the water that they need. If you can work out a way to mix the proper amount of tap water in automatically, then you could do it. Otherwise I would suggest that your better off collecting the RO water in an old tank, mixing it with the proper amount of tap water & then pumping it into the main tank.

  3. Atavar Valued Member Member

    Yeah, but the point is removing chlorine, and I don't know of a realistic anti-chlor metering device for the tap water..

  4. Nutter Fishlore VIP Member

    If you can leave the mixed water sit for 24hrs then the chlorine will dissipate without the need to add chemicals. This can be speeded up even further by using an air pump to cause surface disturbance in the holding tank & also by introducing the tap water under pressure, preferaby in a spray from a shower rose or adjustable hose nozzle. Leaving the water to dechlorinate naturally in the holding tank would also give you the chance to heat it up & match the parameters to your main tanks water.
  5. Atavar Valued Member Member

    Reading a bunch of other posts gives me the impression that some people run tap water direct in to their tanks and then dechlor????

    I have been putting the tank water in to 5 gallon water bottles (like you use in the office bubbler) and putting dechlor/slime/blackwater extract in there and aging it a day before adding it to the tank.

    I ran the tank for a week without the back flap after hanging the biowheel before I found a few minutes to make the cutout for the HOB filter.. BOY does a 55 gal tank at 80 degrees with a four inch open slot across the back evaporate water fast! I don't think my humidifier puts that much water in the air.. lol Does replacing 5 gal a day count as a pwc? :;dete
  6. Nutter Fishlore VIP Member

    No evaporated water doesn't count towards your water changes. The water that evaporates is pure & doesn't contain any of the salts, minerals or pollutants that are present in the tank. You need to top the evaporated water back up with pure water that also contains no minerals, salts or contaminants. I use distilled water or RO water that I get off a mate that has a quality RO unit. If your RO unit is really good & removes almost all of the salts & minerals then you can top off with that.

    Rather than using the 5gal bottles, perhaps it would be easier for you to invest in a secondhand tank to use for water prep. For a 55gal main tank you would only need a 20-30gal tank to act as the preparation point. Put the smaller tank next to the main tank with a cheap aquarium heater & a pond pump in it. Plumb the pond pump with a two way valve so that you can either pump water up to the main tank or just circulate water in the prep tank. You can then put in the RO water & tap water the day before a water change, heat it up, add whatever salts etc you want & it will be ready to go when you have siphoned the main tank the next day.

    Sounds complicated but it's not really. Makes water changes heaps easier & eliminates any fluctations in the parameters or temperature when doing water changes. I've got a similar set up but I just use tap water & a flexible hose running from the pond pump so that I can just move the hose to which tank I want to fill.
  7. dvc_r Valued Member Member

    That's a good idea, I've never thought of that. Now you've got me thinking!:;dete
  8. ldbrown3138 Valued Member Member

    When I was keeping discus for breeding purposes, I used RO water an added Seachem Discus buffer. I did not use any straight tap water. The fish thrived and I had many successful spawns. For raising discus, I slowly adjusted the fish to straight tapwater b/c most people that were buying the fish did not use RO
  9. ifixoldhouses Valued Member Member

    my water is pretty stable, so I have a drip emitter coming from a whole house filter, with a charcoal filter in it, and then I have an overflow that hangs on the back, so the water is always moving, the overflow dumps into a bucket, which dumps into a condesate pump, which pumps it into the sink.
  10. ldbrown3138 Valued Member Member

    That sounds like a nice system, I wanted to build something like that but my tanks are tempered so I can't drill them and trusting a syphon style overflow is too risky for my personal tastes.

    My idea was to use an RO unit and have 2 separate systems, a hard water alkaline system that would flow through reject water and a soft water system for the RO filtered water.
  11. sirdarksol Fishlore Legend Member

    In most cases, no, RO water can't go directly in (or rather, you need to add minerals in at the same time or shortly after). If you're topping off from evaporation, that's fine, but other than that, pure water is bad for fish. There are trace minerals in every body of water that keep the fish healthy.

    And yes, many of us do use the Python (or similar water change device) to fill the tank, and put dechlorinator in while we're filling. There's only a small amount of chloramine in tap water, and it takes quite awhile for it to damage gills. Since the dechlor works instantly on contact with the chloramine, and since the refilling process stirs the water up, the chloramine doesn't last long enough to do any harm.

    Only if it's actually chlorine and not chloramine. Not many municipalities still use chlorine to treat the water. I think that the fact that chloramine doesn't evaporate before the water does is part of the reason it's used.

    Edit: Oh, and it's not a stupid question. In 99.9% of cases, the stupid question is the one you don't ask. If you don't ask, then you can't operate on the correct information.
  12. Nutter Fishlore VIP Member

    I need to try to remember that your water in the US is treated with chloramine rather than chlorine. In Aus our water is still treated with chlorine so I tend to forget.
  13. sirdarksol Fishlore Legend Member

    Gotcha. That's an excellent reason to forget it. (And I'll have to try to remember that Australia uses chlorine. The info could come in handy for a user down the line)