Back to Basic Water Chemistry

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by Cheygirl8, Aug 3, 2014.

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  1. Cheygirl8

    Cheygirl8 Astrea Snail

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    So this applies both to my fresh and sw tank. I for the longest time was under the impression to use RO water because it was the purest the fishies could get. But while using it with the fresh, I noticed I could never balance the PH. The test would always read acidic. I did multiple water changes to help reduce ammonia but that still didn't put a damper on it. So I tested the unit itself, to do so I used 3 test tubes AND two different test kits (one for SW the other Fresh) so 6 tubes but same variables. (I currently have a BRS 5-stage ro system)

    In my test, I filled one tube with tap water, for the second I took off the final carbon block stage on the unit and ran the system and filled tube with that sample. Finally, I put it back on and ran it again. My results were as follows: tap water a good neutral 7 and both RO tubes tested out to be lower than 6 for both test kits. I understand you don't want anything like copper in the water for sensitive inverts. But am I missing something? I read up on it a little and found that RO systems essentially suck everything out of the water, but how do you get from that to neutral without costly buffering? I am sorry if the answer is in front of my nose and I am just not understanding it. x.x But thanks for words of wisdom.
     
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  3. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You need to remineralize the water so you are going to have to buy something.:( Check out Green Leaf Aquariums for an idea on what to get.
     
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  4. Billme

    Billme Eyelash Blennie

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    I tested some distilled water and came up with a pH of 7. I don't know exactly how this relates to your situation but it must mean something.
     
  5. Vinnyboombatz

    Vinnyboombatz Giant Squid

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    Theres nothing basic about water chemistry.lol RODI is water pure and simple.Nothing but hydrogen and oxygen.We do this so we can add the minerals and ions in the quantities we want to achieve.
    Since we as hobbyists only test for a small number of these other things it is best to start at 0 tds.Hope that answers your question.There are many products to use with ro water.I used to use Kent's R.O. Right with my fw systems.;)
     
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  6. Billme

    Billme Eyelash Blennie

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    What are you using for test kits?
     
  7. Cheygirl8

    Cheygirl8 Astrea Snail

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    @Billme Both were API Kits, I used both to make sure the results, if too far skewed would also tell me a thing or to about the quality of my test kits.

    @Vinnyboombatz I thought of it as basic water chemistry because essentially you get your feet wet in the hobby in general with freshwater. Then proceed to get a leg in, and then head first into sw (as a bad analogy) Since I questioned my understanding of the chemistry as it affected my freshies too. But the fish are troopers!
     
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  9. Billme

    Billme Eyelash Blennie

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    Can you take a sample to the LFS to double check your results. API has questionable results on some of their kits. You don't want to be attempting to correct for false readings.
     
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  10. Cheygirl8

    Cheygirl8 Astrea Snail

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    I definitely can, just has been hard lately as far as getting around. But I will keep you posted :)
     
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  11. AZDesertRat

    AZDesertRat Giant Squid

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    Since RO and RO/DI water are so agressive, trying to get back to their natural "dirty" state, you cannot accurately test things like pH. It is for all intents and purposes "neutral" and quickly takes on the characteristics of whatever it is added to or is added to the treated water.
    Many freshwater fish like higher pH, more alkaline waters so there are supplements and additives for those purposes. For saltwater systems, the salt mix contains everything needed and in the correct amounts so no buffering is needed or wanted. Modern salts are blended specifically for RO/DI or distilled waters.
     
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