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Water source options?


CDNSimpson

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I'm working on setting up a 4 gallon pico reef, and I'm a little hazy on what I should be using for water. Right now I have the tank filled with distilled water + Instant Ocean to 1.025 sg. All I have in there other than water is the heater and a canister filter (Finnex PX-360 which came with the Finnex 4 gallon aquarium) - no live sand or rock yet. I'm planning (hoping) to use the natural filtration method I read about on this site.

 

Our tap water has nitrites and nitrates in it - 12.5 to 25.0 mg/l nitrates. I understand that this is too high for a reef aquarium (right?). So do I need to use RO or distilled water? What do I need to add to it to replenish trace elements? There is a source for well water not far from where I live - would that be a better choice?

 

I feel like these must be very common questions and that I'm just not looking in the right posts or something. I appreciate any insight.

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RODI if possible.. If not distilled is good

 

A 4 gallon tank is difficult to justify a RODI unit if your on a budget...

 

I switched to distilled water from walmart (purple cap) and my problems are almost solved! And the RODI unit will be in tomorrow

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I'm working on setting up a 4 gallon pico reef, and I'm a little hazy on what I should be using for water. Right now I have the tank filled with distilled water + Instant Ocean to 1.025 sg. All I have in there other than water is the heater and a canister filter (Finnex PX-360 which came with the Finnex 4 gallon aquarium) - no live sand or rock yet. I'm planning (hoping) to use the natural filtration method I read about on this site.

 

Our tap water has nitrites and nitrates in it - 12.5 to 25.0 mg/l nitrates. I understand that this is too high for a reef aquarium (right?). So do I need to use RO or distilled water? What do I need to add to it to replenish trace elements? There is a source for well water not far from where I live - would that be a better choice?

 

I feel like these must be very common questions and that I'm just not looking in the right posts or something. I appreciate any insight.

 

Distilled, RO, and RO/DI are all fine to use. The important thing is that your source water measures 0 on a TDS meter and doesn't contain any phosphates or silica, which is true of the above water types. Financially speaking, it will make more sense in the long run to purchase a RO/DI unit and make your own water, but what you're using now is fine.

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I was considering an RO unit because it would also be good (I hope) for my fresh water aquariums. But I would need to use some sort of trace elements supplement, correct?

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I was considering an RO unit because it would also be good (I hope) for my fresh water aquariums. But I would need to use some sort of trace elements supplement, correct?

 

Yes.. when you have the freshwater they need a lot of these... only for planted tanks though

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Yes.. when you have the freshwater they need a lot of these... only for planted tanks though

 

But not for the reef? ie just straight spring/RO/distilled water?

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But not for the reef? ie just straight spring/RO/distilled water?

 

 

spring is bad for reef.. it still contains stuff.. with the reef.. the LESS you put in the better.. realize the ocean is very HUGE and any trace elements are such a minor ppm .. you are trying to reflect those same conditions inside the tank.

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RODI > Distilled > RO

 

+1 to a good salt containing all you need to add to the purified water to make seawater.

 

For freshwater, you will need to add to the water to make it suitable for the type of tank you want to use it for. If you bought an RODI, you could make your DI resin last longer by installing a bypass and using RO only for the freshwater IMO.

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+1 to a good salt containing all you need to add to the purified water to make seawater.

 

Like this implies, there is always the chance you might have to dose some additives at some point. But that would only be if you are using a low quality salt, not doing water changes often, and have high demand corals.

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:lol: As you noticed, I deliberately skirted the issue of dosing. Necessary additives would only be magnesium, calcium and alkalinity and these are not trace elements. The pros and cons of dosing minor or trace elements is not a topic for the beginner's forum IMO and would only confuse this thread.
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