Thinking About Ro Water For All My Tanks

Discussion in 'Aquarium Water' started by Aquaholic3, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. Aquaholic3Valued MemberMember

    I have been thinking about using RO DI water for all my tanks for a while now because our tap water is so unreliable. I never get the same parameters 2 weeks in a row pH goes from 7.6 with a KH of 4 and GH of 7 one week to 8.2 the next with a KH of 3 and a GH of 6.

    I want to keep Tanganyikan catfish and cichlids. I was wondering if anybody here uses RO water for their fish and what products they use to condition the water. I have never used RO water because i never needed to but it seems its getting to that point pretty rapidly.

    I also have bettas, guppies various SA catfish some asian catfish and some others i intend to use the RO water for. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    I could keep 2 200-300l food grade drums with one treated for Tanganyikans and the other with a netural PH for the rest?

    I should also mention the cichlid breeder keeps and breeds all his fish in wild parameters so i imagine they will be like keeping wild caught fish?

    Thanks again


  2. Tyler FishmanValued MemberMember

    Yes though expensive RO water will save you tons of future problems, I my self intend to get a system set up. I also plan to use a product known as replenish, which will restore the water of vital minerals. I would simulate wild conditions as of course its better the fish. if you ever bought fish from an LFS or petsore their will always be a change in parameters, the acclimation process is alayws key to health, remember soft water fish can handle a higher GH and KH but fish in higher GH and KH values cannot live well in soft water, this is due to nutrient depletion, this is how I'm able to keep my cardinal tetra on a well water system. Though it's hard water, fish adapt.

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    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
  3. stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

    I have a recently installed R/O system and am awaiting delivery of the additives I plan to use. My tap has high pH, very high GH, and varying levels of nitrates that I am so sick of. I don't have the experience yet but am looking forward to being able to have much more control over water parameters. The products that were recommended to me are

    Seachem Replenish - to restore minerals/GH
    Seachem FreshTrace - trace elements to aid in fish health
    Seachem Alkaline Buffer - I will use this to maintain pH at about 7.8. There are also Neutral & Acid buffers available.

    I plan on doing some tests this weekend but I believe this is all I will need to add back vital minerals & stabilize pH where I need it to be for my tank. I know that these are the products used by a more experienced fishlorian than myself and I trust the info, so I'm going for it. :)

    Edit: Of course, I plan on being very precise with measuring and dosing these products to avoid exposing the fish to varying parameters :)
  4. Aquaholic3Valued MemberMember

    Its strange because every time i talk about using RO water, people look at me like im crazy or slow. My water is different from theirs and if they can use tap water, then that's great for them but mine is rubbish one day it tastes like sugar the next day it tastes like mud.

    When you have thousands of dollars worth of fish and equipment why cheap out on the water they live in?

    I found this brand called Continuum which i have been told is great, also a brand called Aquapics, they both make GH and KH buffers aswell as trace minerals for African cichlids. They claim to have properties that reduce agression and help with breeding, they also have iodine in them and i have been told iodine is great for african cichlids.

    I have decided, i am going ahead with the RO conversion and have ordered a 180GPD RODI system. I can always use the waste water for something else. I am also going to get 2x 55g drums. I plan to pre mix the water in them. I just need to figure out what to add, emails to LFS's and sellers has proven a waste of time so far.

    Today my tap water is showing a PH of 8.2 with a KH of 3 and GH of 5 :l
  5. AvalancheDaveWell Known MemberMember

    I used RO/DI water for over a decade. I lost way more fish due to not understanding how to use it than to water quality or disease. I suggest getting a TDS and pH meter. The pH meter will need to be calibrated out of the box and then calibrated periodically. gH and kH tests are also helpful.
  6. Aquaholic3Valued MemberMember

    I already hve both thanks. Thats why i want to do as much research before going over to the RO stuff. I have done quite a bit but not as much research as I'd like.

    What type of fish do you keep?
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
  7. Aquaholic3Valued MemberMember

    The problem for me is i am running out of time as the water is getting pretty bad. I am also going to start a saltwater tank before the year is up. I want to keep a walking shark, coolest thing i have ever seen:)
  8. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Hi, I use RO water myself. I use Seachem Replenish for GH, Seachem Alkaline buffer for KH and PH and fresh trace for micro nutrients.

    For the African tank you could use aragonite sand and that would buffer your tank nicely. They also made cichlids salts which are for tanks like yours, I'd probably look into something like that. Seachem makes a few different products.

    For your other tank, I'd just go with the products I mentioned above. I wouldn't bother with acid buffer, just alkaline buffer.
  9. TwoHedWlfWell Known MemberMember

    Rainwater might also be an option. With RO you're going to be wasting thousands and thousands of liters of water.
  10. Aquaholic3Valued MemberMember


    I have crushed coral substrate and texas holey rock in my african tank, along with crushed coral in the filter.

    I also have crushed coral in the filters of my other tanks. I have recently bought Aquapics african GH and KH, they look good and its what the breeder uses so i guess its what they are used to.

    I still need to get some buffers for the other tanks. I will look at seachem for them, thanks.

    I just worry i will be missing out on something the fish might need. I think that i am just being paranoid.
  11. Aquaholic3Valued MemberMember

    I would like to used rainwater but we dont have a rainwater tank and $300 or so for an RO unit vs $3000 for a decent rainwater tank has pushed me to using the RO unit. I also worry about rainwater, you never know what its picked up on its way to the tank. I use about 1-1.5kl a month so its not too bad. I can always use the waste water for other things.

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