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should I be testing my LFS saltwater?


BubbleTrouble

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Consider making your own.  A RO/DI unit will pay for itself, even with a nano tank.  An alternative is to use distilled water.  Having control over your source water removes any doubt about the maintenance of their RO/DI filters.

 

When I first started, I purchased RO/DI water from a local fish store.  There was stuff floating around in it.  I'm not sure where it came from (I suppose it was from their storage tank).  I also purchased RO water from a self-service machine at Walmart.  This water ended up having 40ppm of nitrate in it (I assume due to poor maintenance and/or old filters).

 

So I purchased distilled water for awhile.  But found that to be expensive and sometimes they were even out of stock, causing me to have to buy it from another store.  Plus lugging ten gallons of water around got old quickly.  Getting a RO/DI unit has saved me a bunch of money over the years.

 

If buying freshwater (RO/DI) from a fish store, get a handheld TDS meter to make sure that it is maintained.  I would probably mix my own saltwater.  But if you are buying pre-mixed, I'd check it for salinity; and I'd spot check it for nutrients (nitrate and phosphate).  Also, you should know which brand of salt they are using and if they tend to change brands sometimes (as some stores do).

 

I actually wouldn't be overly concerned about the level of calcium and magnesium in their newly mixed saltwater.  It should be in line with the brand of salt they are currently using.  Mixing your own saltwater also helps ensure that these levels are to your preference, and that they don't radically change without your knowledge (like switching to another brand they got a deal on).

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BubbleTrouble
7 hours ago, seabass said:

Consider making your own.  A RO/DI unit will pay for itself, even with a nano tank.  An alternative is to use distilled water.  Having control over your source water removes any doubt about the maintenance of their RO/DI filters.

 

When I first started, I purchased RO/DI water from a local fish store.  There was stuff floating around in it.  I'm not sure where it came from (I suppose it was from their storage tank).  I also purchased RO water from a self-service machine at Walmart.  This water ended up having 40ppm of nitrate in it (I assume due to poor maintenance and/or old filters).

 

So I purchased distilled water for awhile.  But found that to be expensive and sometimes they were even out of stock, causing me to have to buy it from another store.  Plus lugging ten gallons of water around got old quickly.  Getting a RO/DI unit has saved me a bunch of money over the years.

 

If buying freshwater (RO/DI) from a fish store, get a handheld TDS meter to make sure that it is maintained.  I would probably mix my own saltwater.  But if you are buying pre-mixed, I'd check it for salinity; and I'd spot check it for nutrients (nitrate and phosphate).  Also, you should know which brand of salt they are using and if they tend to change brands sometimes (as some stores do).

 

I actually wouldn't be overly concerned about the level of calcium and magnesium in their newly mixed saltwater.  It should be in line with the brand of salt they are currently using.  Mixing your own saltwater also helps ensure that these levels are to your preference, and that they don't radically change without your knowledge (like switching to another brand they got a deal on).

I havent tried the RO water from my LFS, should I check that out and see how the water clarity is before getting my own RO/DI system? I am on a smaller budget so I know long term the system would be cheaper but ah

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23 minutes ago, BubbleTrouble said:

I havent tried the RO water from my LFS, should I check that out and see how the water clarity is before getting my own RO/DI system?

If it's convenient to purchase and priced less than distilled water, then you could try it.  I'd buy a TDS meter to test it.  Ideally the TDS meter would read zero, but the water could pick up TDS from exposure to air and the storage containers.  1 TDS should be fine, maybe even expected.

 

Also, it should be RO/DI, and not just RO.

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BubbleTrouble
10 minutes ago, seabass said:

If it's convenient to purchase and priced less than distilled water, then you could try it.  I'd buy a TDS meter to test it.  Ideally the TDS meter would read zero, but the water could pick up TDS from exposure to air and the storage containers.  1 TDS should be fine, maybe even expected.

 

Also, it should probably be RO/DI, and not just RO.

Sure, I'll look into that meter!!

 

Sorry haha I think just incorrect use of slang on my part 

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On 6/29/2023 at 10:20 PM, BubbleTrouble said:

I've never tested my tank for calcium or magnesium (just ordered those tests!). Should I be checking the new saltwater to see what levels that water has?

If you're curious and want practice with your test kits, then I recommend testing everything that seems interesting to test.  🙂 

 

For a while after I started in the hobby, I would test the tank water AND new saltwater before doing a water change....and then I'd re-test the tank after the water change.  

 

Same process before and after dosing anything.  

 

I was always curious to see what changes did (or didn't) happen.  

 

Sometimes with a new test kit I'll even test everything in triplicate....three tests per water sample.  Helps me see where the test kit (or my use of it) isn't consistent.

 

Outside of curiosity, I'm not sure there's a good reason for testing like that "all the time".

 

17 hours ago, BubbleTrouble said:

Sorry haha I think just incorrect use of slang on my part 

No, seabass is right.

 

I have no idea why, but some folks only run RO, and some only run DI.   Either situation *should be* pretty unusual – full RODI is the norm in reefing – but it's worth asking if they are using RODI (both parts!!) just to be sure.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Murphs_Reef

I do TDS test the RODI. But the salt water I just test salinity (sometimes). 

Unless you have mad amounts of SPS your not to conserved with macro or trace elements (which you would be dosing anyway) so as long as the salinity is between 33 and 35 or what ever you keep your water at ... Your good. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
BubbleTrouble
On 7/21/2023 at 12:05 PM, Murphs_Reef said:

I do TDS test the RODI. But the salt water I just test salinity (sometimes). 

Unless you have mad amounts of SPS your not to conserved with macro or trace elements (which you would be dosing anyway) so as long as the salinity is between 33 and 35 or what ever you keep your water at ... Your good. 

 

What counts as massive amounts of SPS for a nano? I have 2 hammers, 1 frog spawn. I am only starting my learning journey of dosing so any knowledge is helpful!

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Murphs_Reef
1 hour ago, BubbleTrouble said:

What counts as massive amounts of SPS for a nano? I have 2 hammers, 1 frog spawn. I am only starting my learning journey of dosing so any knowledge is helpful!

That not a lot and LPS is generally slower growing than SPS. For most softie / LPS tanks a common salt mix brand of a Salinity of 35 is fine. You should get all the Kh, ca and mg you need but you'll not get much trace in that (Iodine, Iron, Vanadium, Cobalt, etc etc) but don't worry about that for now... 

 

If anything and to put your mind at rest you could dose an all in one like zlements all in one or Tropic Marin All for Reef... But you definitely want to test your TANK water for levels of KH and Calcium first for a few days making sure they are depleting and at what rate otherwise you'll end up with increased levels. 

 

 

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