Tap Water or RO

Gulczi

New Member
Joined
9 Aug 2020
Messages
24
Location
Poland
Hello everyone,
Im at the beginning on my aquascape journey and I have 2 questions.
First - George Farmer recommends to Change 50% of Water weekly and he uses Tap Water. He is also saying that Water in his living płace is very hard.

I have also very hard Tap Water here in Poland (22 GH) and Im wondering If I can use it directly to my tank and how it will affect my plants and fishes..

Plants that I have: anubias, ferns, crypts, hemianthus cuba, Hygro polysperma.

Live stock: amano And red cherry shrimps,otocinclus,tetras

second question isnt about Water but I dont want to create another thread.
Im looking for good co2 reactor for 200 l tank. The one Im using right now isnt disolving co2 and I can still see bigger bubbles to get the ppm level that I want. Propably my tank is too big for it.

thank you guys for any support. I hope that my english isnt so bad and its understandable.
 

Zeus.

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1 Oct 2016
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3,222
Location
Yorkshire,UK
Hi Gulczi and welcome to the forum :D

If you are planning a high tech tank eg CO2 injection and medium to high light then 50% weekly Water Change (WC) is the way to go.

Using RO water can have its advantages but there is a cost of the RO water plus the remineralising agent/salts,. A lot of professional aquascapers do use the RO route, but great tanks can still be achieved using hard water. Some plants prefer hard water but most will adopted to it, it's a case of trial and error. If after three attempts with a plant and no joy it normally best to try a different one.

Plus with a 200l tank you will need 100l a week, so you will need to either buy 100l a week or produce your own and store it, RO units are not that expensive but are slow to produce water and the harder the water the more water they use so up goes the cost again.

Quite a few folk mix RO water with tap water - say 50:50 then there is no need to use a remineralising agent/salts.

The cheapest way is just use your tap water ( as I do with my 500l tank)

CO2 reactors can be tricky to get them to work right and they can be noisy too. then there's a few different approaches high flow/Low flow/ high pressure/ post filter and pump assisted to name few.

I took the DIY route and used an APS EF2 cheap and cheerful and does the job IMO/IME. I have been using mine for about 3 years and use a low flow (so they are quiet). I do have a bit a of a unique setup with twin injectors and reactors plus a PLC which controls the injection but with it I am able to get well over a 1.0pH drop in less than 30mins (not for the faint hearted ). However a 200L tank would normally take 2 to 3 hours to get a 1.0 pH drop.

I hope that my english isnt so bad and its understandable.
its excellent IMO - better than mine and I'm english :oops:

Zeus.

I found it very useful to start a Journal before starting my tank (even before buying anything), then first post you can edit to update the tank details, then you can post question (just edit the title of journal) and all the details are in the first post, plus all answers are in the same place too
 

Gulczi

New Member
Joined
9 Aug 2020
Messages
24
Location
Poland
Thank you Zeus for your feedback :)
I think I have high tech but to be honest using 50% RO water is pretty a pain. I will try to use like 25l of RO and 75l tap water and will see what happens.

I bought sera 500 reactor for try.

Today I will create a Journal as you said :)
 
Joined
3 Jan 2016
Messages
358
Location
Woking, UK
Would you consider using rainwater?

I don’t know what is available in Poland, but in this country you can buy a “diverter” kit that you insert into one of the guttering downpipes of your house, and it diverts the rainwater into a water butt (a large plastic tank).

Rain water is very pure - usually very low hardness, perhaps zero. And it’s free! But obviously it depends what your climate is like - do you receive enough rainfall to give you the amount you need reliably?

For my 25 litre nano tank, I use a mixture of 10 litres of rainwater and 2 litres of tap water. My tap water is very hard, so this mixture gives me moderately soft water, ideal for my mixture of fish and shrimps. But of course I only need about 10-12 litres to do a 50% water change, and one of my water butts always has plenty for that. Might be a bit different for a larger tank, but you might not need to use such a large proportion of rainwater as I do.
 

hypnogogia

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6 Apr 2017
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561
Location
Oxfordshire
I second the use of rainwater. Like the doctor says, cut it with tap to get the right composition. My water butt is 400lt, so plenty for me to do my water change.
 

Zeus.

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1 Oct 2016
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Location
Yorkshire,UK
I was thinking about using rain water and cutting it with tap water, but like Darrel pointed out to me with my 500L tank and 50% WC thats a lot a rain water (7,000 litres a year) to have a steady supply
 

dw1305

Expert
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7 Apr 2008
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10,520
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
thats a lot a rain water
I've got ~800 litres of water butt storage, but I wish I had somewhere to put a 10,000 litre water tank.

You could fill it several times over during the winter with rain and it would definitely tide me over through the summer. My guess is you might have a bit more summer rain in Poland? With a more continental climate? But presumably frozen for a long period in the winter.

cheers Darrel
 
Joined
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Location
Dorset
I’ve been using mostly rainwater as well and it’s been great not having to clean limescale from the tank and equipment.
 

Conort2

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16 Feb 2018
Messages
392
Location
London
I’ve started using it since Darrell's suggestion. Only issue is getting enough of it to use which is difficult at the moment as I don’t have a great deal of rainwater storage. Don’t know if I’m imagining things but rotala appears to have improved in form since I started using rainwater which obviously has a much lower TDS than my tap.

Cheers

Conor
 

Gulczi

New Member
Joined
9 Aug 2020
Messages
24
Location
Poland
Okay but what about aging of rainwater? ANd to be honest Im living in a flat so for me is kinda impossible or very hard to get enaugh rain water consistently.
For example its now second week with no rain...
 

Gulczi

New Member
Joined
9 Aug 2020
Messages
24
Location
Poland
I just did the math and cost calculations. Its like 80$/year for 50:50 tap water RO mix so its like nothing... I still looking for upgrading my RO unit. Seems that adding second membrane should help a lot.
 

Zeus.

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1 Oct 2016
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Location
Yorkshire,UK
Did mine some time ago, as I can get RO water from LFS at £0.06 per litre, and put in the cost of tap water alone in sewage charge and based on 250L = 125 tap and 125 RO

1597240800326.png


Then there's picking it up!!!

I Could get RO unit at home but then where to store 125l per week
 

jaypeecee

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21 Jan 2015
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Location
Bracknell
Hi Folks,
Rain water is very pure - usually very low hardness, perhaps zero.
It's pure until it has to flow over a roof, for example. In so doing, it is likely to flow over bird droppings, etc. Someone here on UKAPS quite recently was surprised to measure ammonia in water from a rain butt. It seems daft not to use rainwater but it may require some filtration/treatment prior to adding it to an aquarium. Best to play safe.

JPC :)
 
Joined
3 Jan 2016
Messages
358
Location
Woking, UK
I’ve used rainwater collected via a diverter for donkey’s years, and never had any water quality issues. There are daphnia living in my water butt, so I’m confident of its quality.

The perceived risk of rainwater is no greater than with tapwater. You never know whether the supplier has added a bumper dose of chlorine or chloramine after performing maintenance on supply pipes.

I always use a full-tank dose of Prime with every water change, so I don’t worry about either.
 
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jaypeecee

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Bracknell
Hi @Dr Mike Oxgreen
There are daphnia living in my water butt, so I’m confident of its quality.
The presence of Daphnia in your water butt sends out the wrong message. Daphnia have no problem with ammonia in their water. If I remember rightly, Daphnia can be raised on a mixture of ammonia and yeast. I seem to recall that this combination is used in aquaculture. I agree with what you say about tapwater - I never use it. Chloramine, in particular, can be a problem. Some tap water conditioners do not deal with chloramine. I suspect your use of Prime is what's keeping the water from your water butt safe for fish, etc.

JPC
 
Last edited:
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Woking, UK
I suspect your use of Prime is what's keeping the water from your water butt safe for fish, etc.
Or it could be because my rainwater is absolutely fine...

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 7
KH: ≤ 1
GH: ≤ 1

I wouldn’t recommend using any source of water without a decent conditioner, and Prime is the best in my opinion. The only reason I do a full-tank dose with water changes is because it’s quite hard to measure the minute amount I’d need just to treat the replacement water.
 
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