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RO water, starting a cycle...easy questions.


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Ok, I revised a plan to construct my SW tank.


First things first: RO water.


Now, I've been told RO is a must. Even for FO, or mushrooms, because it will cause massive algae. Could someone please explain why this is so?


Secondly, I'd like to ask the best ( or cheapest ) way to get RO water. From what I know, my LFS would be best...if I bring my own container, it will cost me $2/ 5 gallons. ( $12 for my initial fill up, plus probably $2 per week for water changes.)


Is it best to buy from a dealer, or is there a cheap-ish and reliable personal RO unit?


Also, It IS a must to use RO in the first fill-up, even without any fish or LR....right? ( I just need water to mix salt and begin the cycle. )


And last....a question about cycling. I've been told from various forums to fishless cycle, without LR, before I buy any livestock. So....where do bacteria form? Am I suppossed to add sand, and let that be the breeding ground?




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OK, from my newbie-ish experience...


1) RO water (or better yet RO/DI water) will contain less phosphate and other "stuff" that algae need to grow. Tap water has lots of it, so you get lots of algae! Also, RO water will have less other "unknown" trace elements that might be REALLY bad for your fish/inverts, such as copper....if you (you probably do!) have copper pipes in your house


2) I bought an RO unit on eBay from some place in Vancouver called Aqua-Safe. I didn't buy the DI unit (which was only 10 bucks more) All told, it cost $140US, the bonus is that I can drink the water and it has a holding tank of about 3 gallons. So you do the math...at $2/5gallons, the break even point is 350 gallons, so if top off costs you a gallon per week, plus you are water changing another 2 gallons per week/2 weeks, Then you are consuming, what 8 gallons/month. so 350 gallons would last you a couple of years. Of course, you can drink the RO water too. So figure out if it is worth it to you! I figured that it was for me, because I prefer the convenience of having the RO literally "on-tap"


3) Cycling - The bacteria is everywhere. (Literally). But it needs something to hang onto, like rocks or sand. So if you don't put in LR/LS, then you will have a smaller bacteria colony. I suggest getting your LR and cycling with that. That way you can cure (cycle) the new rock and the tank at the same time!





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