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Thread: RO and blackwater?

  1. #16

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    Unless you are keeping Lepidogalaxias salamandroides you don't need super soft water for anything native. Even wild caught Iriatherina werneri, Rhadinocentrus ornatus, Galaxiella sp, and the various pygmy perches will be fine in water with a GH of 100ppm.
    I had Galaxiella sp and Lepidogalaxias living in Perth tap water with a GH of 120ppm. I did use some pH down to drop the pH to around 6.0 for the Salamanderfish but the Galaxiellas were fine in alkaline water once they had been acclimatised to it over a month. For breeding you can lower the pH to 6.5-7.0 for the Galaxiellas and lower for the Salamanderfish (around 5.0).

    If you are heading south for the Salamanderfish grab some sand from where you get them. It is extremely acidic and will drop the pH of the water to less than 5.0. Have a thin layer of this in the tank and your pH will drop. Don't have too many tannins in the water because Salamanderfish get fungal infections and it can be hard to see if the water is too dark.

    Once they have settled into the tank they actually do quite well in neutral water that has no tannins and a general hardness of 100ppm. But for breeding you want soft acid water. If you do manage to breed the Salamanderfish you will be the first person to do it

    If you feed Salamanderfish frozen bloodworm (Chiromonid midge larvae), use a pr of scissors to cut the bloodworm up into little pieces. Some of the smaller fish choke on full bloodworms. I prefer to feed them on daphnia, microworms, newly hatched brineshrimp and small bits of prawn, fish and squid.

    Don't have too much water movement in the tank because they get sucked into power filters and killed or injured.

    re: Galaxiellas. They jump so make sure their tank is completely covered. And I mean every corner, no gaps anywhere. They will get out of the corners where the airline goes into the tank so stuff a bit of filter wool into the corners. In a pond they are less inclined to jumping out but they are aerial acrobats in an aquarium. The Salamanderfish don't normally jump but might if they are startled.

    When you get the fish, take some 20 litre water containers and bring back enough water to set up their tanks and do a few water changes. Then you can slowly acclimatise them over to the new water. And while you are collecting, change the water they are in each day or twice daily and keep the water aerated and cool. I have lost fish due to the bucket of water heating up in the car, so use an airconditioner or wind the windows down.

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    R/O units waste a lot of water so the only time to use one is if you need soft water, but your water supply contains a lot of minerals.

    What is the general hardness (GH), carbonate hardness (KH) and pH of your water supply? this will vary depending on time of year and how much ground water they use. If you don't have test kits for this just take a glass full of tap water to the local petshop and get them to check GH, KH & pH. Write the results down and post them here. Perth water (south of the river) is normally soft (GH less than 100ppm, KH usually 0) and pH around 8.0. The high pH is from the chlorine and other crap they add.

    If your GH is less than 150ppm you don't need to lower it for anything native except the Salamanderfish.
    The KH test will tell you how much carbonate & bicarbonate ions are in the water. These neutralise acids in water and stabilise pH.

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    Your tannin reactor (container with leaves in) will become anaerobic and is not recommended. The leaves compact too much in a confined environment (filter case or similar) and turn black. You are better off using driftwood or just putting a few leaves in the tank so they sit on the substrate. Don't add too many leaves because they break down and use up oxygen in the water and produce ammonia as they decay.

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    R/O water can be used to top up marine tanks but isn't normally necessary. Marine tanks need minerals like calcium and if you have hard water it is fine to top up the marine tank with hard water. However, if you have chemicals in the water supply, then a high grade activated carbon filter can be used to remove them so they don't get added to the aquarium.

    If you do have chemicals in the mains water, the most effective way to treat it is to fill a container with water, add dechlorinator and allow to aerate vigorously for 24 hours. Then put a power filter containing carbon on the tank and let it run for another 24-48 hours. Then the water should be free of chemicals. Then throw the old carbon away and use the water.
    Last edited by Colin_T; 16-04-18 at 12:03 PM.

  2. #17

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    Actually I haven't even used it yet, just got it home yesterday. I'll get it mounted onto the wall, but I'll test it out today and test the water. I don't think RO can get a TDS of 0, but I think it gets pretty damn close. RO comes out at pH 7 (still too high), which is too high, but since the kH is 0, it'll be really easy to adjust.

  3. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin_T View Post
    Unless you are keeping Lepidogalaxias salamandroides you don't need super soft water for anything native
    I am

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin_T View Post
    Even wild caught Iriatherina werneri, Rhadinocentrus ornatus, Galaxiella sp, and the various pygmy perches will be fine in water with a GH of 100ppm.

    R/O units waste a lot of water so the only time to use one is if you need soft water, but your water supply contains a lot of minerals. What is the general hardness (GH), carbonate hardness (KH) and pH of your water supply? If you don't have test kits for this just take a glass full of tap water to the local petshop and get them to check GH, KH & pH. Write the results down and post them here.
    I guess it's time for another visit to Aquotix then.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin_T View Post
    If your GH is less than 150ppm you don't need to lower it for anything native.
    The KH test will tell you how much carbonate & bicarbonate ions are in the water. These neutralise acids in water and stabilise pH.

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    Your tannin reactor (container with leaves in) will become anaerobic and is not recommended. The leaves compact too much in a confined environment (filter case or similar) and turn black. You are better off using driftwood or just putting a few leaves in the tank so they sit on the substrate. Don't add too many leaves because they break down and use up oxygen in the water and produce ammonia as they decay.
    Might need to scrap that idea then, lol

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin_T View Post
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    R/O water can be used to top up marine tanks but isn't normally necessary. Marine tanks need minerals like calcium and if you have hard water it is fine to top up the marine tank with hard water. However, if you have chemicals in the water supply, then a high grade activated carbon filter can be used to remove them so they don't get added to the aquarium.

    If you do have chemicals in the mains water, the most effective way to treat it is to fill a container with water, add dechlorinator and allow to aerate for 24 hours. Then put a power filter containing carbon on the tank and let it run for another 24-48 hours. Then the water should be free of chemicals. Then throw the old carbon away and use the water.
    I don't think I have much chemicals (other than the usual fluoride and chlorine), so it's a good thing I have Seachem Prime on hand, which'll probably take care of the chlorine and flouride.

  4. #19

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    Why do you need to visit Aquotix again? Are they telling you to use pure water for Galaxiellas?

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    Perth water is really nasty for added things. And regardless of what the WA Water Corp says, it does not just contain chlorine and fluoride. We had the Water Corp come and test the chlorine in our tap water and they found it was 3.5 times higher than the safe legal limit. Safe limit being 2 and ours was 7.5. They put this down to the fact the water gets dosed with chlorine at each station.
    eg: We use to get dam water from the hills and it went from the dam to our house and was only dosed once with chlorine, at the dam. When they brought in the desalination unit they sent the dam water to a mixing station where desal water was added. The water was chlorinated at the dam, and again at the mixing station. After the mixing station it was pumped back up the hill to service the areas that originally used dam water only.
    The same thing happens when they add ground water. They chlorinate it and send it to the mixing station where it is chlorinated again, before being pumped into our homes. And in summer they increase the chlorine levels in Perth tap water, on top of the stuff they add at the mixing stations.

    The Water Corp claims there is only chlorine and fluoride in the water but we regularly get a white residue left after water has evaporated. I have taken scrapings off this and tested it for calcium and pH and it is not calcium and the pH is unaffected by it. Water corp claims it is nothing to worry about but won't say what it is. In addition to this I have done tests on fish eggs using Perth tap water that has been dechlorinated and left for various lengths of time and found that unless the water was dechlorinated and aerated for at least 7 days, it killed rainbowfish fry within seconds of hatching from the egg.

    edited coz I wrote tap water as one word again
    Last edited by Colin_T; 16-04-18 at 12:30 PM.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by pseudechisbutleri View Post
    Actually I haven't even used it yet, just got it home yesterday. I'll get it mounted onto the wall, but I'll test it out today and test the water. I don't think RO can get a TDS of 0, but I think it gets pretty damn close. RO comes out at pH 7 (still too high), which is too high, but since the kH is 0, it'll be really easy to adjust.
    Korrecto. Testing the pH of RO water can be a tricky subject.

  6. #21

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    Aquotix offers free water tests (as does Pet Magic). Plus I was told that galaxiellas (or at least nigrostriata, Munda is apparently slightly more tolerant of harder water) like softer water. Maybe you're just in a bad part of Perth, t***ater-wise, but wouldn't a regular dechlorinator solve at least some of the problems? My tap water also leaves white residue, but my fishes are all happy. Also thanks for the info about lepidogalaxias and galaxiellas . You're right about them jumping, I had one jump into the output of my HOB and ended up at the bottom of the media compartment. Little guy survived though
    Last edited by pseudechisbutleri; 16-04-18 at 12:55 PM.

  7. #22
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    @Colin_T (or anyone else who reads in future) - "R/O water can be used to top up marine tanks but isn't normally necessary" - This is not entirely true. Sure it isnt necessary (nothing is though ) but it is well documented that tap water contains other nasties like phosphates which will build up in a marine tank and cause algae. You will hate tap water more and more as you fight a never ending battle using tap water which is causing the problem in the first place This goes for using it as top up only or using it to mix up salt with.

    I'm also curious what in the water you used for the rainbow egg experiment is killing the fry that would not be a problem in 7 days, even after a dose of prime.

    Sorry to derail thread a little

    EDIT - I also dont htink the leaf reactor is as bad as made out. Sure it isnt great, but the reactor would have flow coming thorugh it and leave wouldnt compact. They also wouldnt be in there THAT long before breaking down completely. Think about IAL tea bags a lot of people use, no issues there? Leaves also shouldnt cause ammonia as they decay (your beneficial bacteria) should handle the possible trace amount. You would however see a rise in TDS.

    the reactor is over kill though. Just use them in a filter bag, or make your own (or buy) a blackwater extract from leaves, etc. Than use hte leaves in tank too to look like a black water environment.
    Last edited by indir; 16-04-18 at 01:38 PM.
    "The stuff I buy is a bit pricey however it is as dry as a nuns nasty" - BigDaddyAdo

  8. #23
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    Yeah I'd say that RO/DI water is absolutely necessary in a coral reef (marine tank). It is necessary for top offs as well as when you mix your reef salts. Sorry OT.

    Leaf reactor is an interesting concept..... From now on, instead of saying I am putting the kettle on, I am going to call it the tea leaf reactor.... :P

  9. #24

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    I thought just RO was sufficient for a reef?

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by pseudechisbutleri View Post
    I thought just RO was sufficient for a reef?
    Sufficient in expert hands I think. Ideal; I think not. I didn't want a beginner who reads this thread to assume that they can keep a reef with tap water.

  11. #26

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    Of course, a tap water reef is gonna end badly 99.99% of the time.

  12. #27
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    With Rebel on this one, better to start with RODI (especially for a reef) and remineralise what you need in a controlled way. Sorry for derailing your thread a little, but as Rebel said. Newbies in future make assumptions sometimes. It helps to start with pure water with no nasties especially for someting like a reef tank where a build up of a particular thing like phosphates can kill a coral over time, or at least destroy its colour.
    "The stuff I buy is a bit pricey however it is as dry as a nuns nasty" - BigDaddyAdo

  13. #28

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    It all really depends on the starting TDS, if the TDS of tap water is low enough, the RO filter should be able to lower the TDS to an acceptable level.

  14. #29

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    Just got my water tested.

    Tap water pH: 6.8

    Galaxiella munda tank pH: between 6.4 and 6.8

    I did a 50% water change on the Galaxiella tank (nitrates were high), with the new water being comprised of 35% tap water and 15% rain water (good thing we had a bit of rain last night). I'm gonna try get the Galaxiella on tap water, so that I won't need to dilute with rain or RO water in the future.

    The pH of my tap water really surprised me, it's never even less than 7.8, but today it's 6.8??? I doubt the pH will stay that low, if it will, I'll be very happy.

    I didn't get the GH or KH tested, the bloke at the LFS forgot to test for these lol

  15. #30

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    the pH of Perth tap water is usually alkaline due to the chlorine and other things they add to it. In summer when we got ground water the pH dropped to about 5.0. The water corp might have used more ground water recently and less dam water due to lack of rain. However, with the onset of rain, the dams will get runoff and sediment suspended in the water so they will probably increase the chlorine over the next few weeks.

    Speaking of rain, it's raining now, wooo hooo. Time to move the car outside so I don't have to wash it.

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