Automatic Water Changers

Mike Bateman wrote:

>I use Kent's RO Right or Recon 50 to bring my hardness back up to
>about 80ppm and Kent's pH Stable to bring my alkalinity up to
>around 45ppm.

This is more or less what I've been doing for my 20 gal. tank since I
had a terrible outbreak of red algae last year, although I am using
the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Tap Water Purifier (ion exchange
resins) and using their pH Adjuster to raise KH.  They also make
"Electroright" which is Mg and Ca salts  (I think) already in solution.
I am using the Kent stuff too but find that it takes a long time to


>A cheaper alternative would be to mix your tap water with the RO
>water to give you the parameters you like.  If your tap water is
>generally clean (no nitrates, phosphates, copper, or nuclear waste)
>then this would be the way to go.

I have been getting adventurous lately and trying to find the right
proportions of tap water to DI, which brings me to my question.  I am
planning my next tank already.  I am still uncertain of the size but
you can be sure it will be big enough to necessitate the use of at
least some tap water during water changes.  My question concerns
those "automatic water changers" I see advertised and in the
catalogs (some of which are probably not so automatic).  I haven't
found much in the archives about them.  Do they have a built in
dechlorinator or activated carbon?  How well do they work?  Can you
control the temperature of your tap water with them?  I have found
that due to back pressure on my deionizing column it is impossible
to control the temperature of the feed water.  I store the cold DI
water in a 10 gallon food container and heat it up with a dedicated
submersible heater prior to reconstituting it in a 4 gallon bucket (I
also aerate it at the same time).  As you can imagine, this is
practical only for a small aquarium.  Any comments about some of
the products out on the market will be appreciated.

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