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RE: RO for aquaria

> Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 04:13:01 -0800 (PST)
> From: cprokes at awinc_com (cp)
> Since my well water hardness is 430ppm and house has built in ion
> exchange  water softener, I was convinced that Reverse Osmosis system is 
the best
> approach for me to get good quality water for my tanks.  I was searching
> in the Krib, FAQ and Web but only general statements and rejection tables
> were found.  I have decided on 35gal/day unit, which will give me more 
than I
> will ever need. My question is on actual set-up because storage tank will 
be only three
> gal. Do I have a barrel where to store and mix with my raw water? If not
> mixing with raw water, what needs to be added to get proper chemistry? 
> kind of heaters you use to preheat the water before adding during the 
> changes? Is a copper piping O.K. to use for the distribution?
> Your answers will be much appreciated.
> Charlie

My well produces similarly hard water Charlie.  I also use a household 
water softener, though in my case it's purchase was primarily because of 
the aquariums. :)

In an effort to minimize required maintenance efforts I have created a 
fully automated system which runs the softened water through RO and DI 
units, into a 100 gallon reservoir in my crawl space.  From there a small 
pump fills a pressure tank which feeds faucets directly over each aquarium. 
 That same pressurized distribution system is plumbed into float valves on 
the trickle filters so that replacement of evaporated water is automatic.

It is very important not to use metal pipe or fittings for any stage after 
the RO unit.  Very pure water is, as one person described it to me "Ion 
hungry" and will corrode copper or brass.  Parts of what I have built are 
PVC and other parts are CPVC.

Originally I intended to mix raw well water with the purified water to 
bring the hardness up to a desirable level, but in practice I have found I 
am much more comfortable using only the purified water and adding calcium,  
 magnesium, Kent RO Right, and good old sodium bicarbonate to it.  The 
makeup of my well water will change with the seasons (and perhaps the 
weather?) - by doing things this way I know exactly what I am putting into 
the tank.

The very act of seeking sets something in motion to meet us;
something in the universe, or in the unconscious responds as if
to an invitation.  - Jean Shinoda Bolen