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Re: [APD] tap water purifier
Message: 13 Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2004 21:14:50 -0500 From:
revance at indiana_edu Subject: Re: [APD] tap water purifier
How hard is your water? You should be able to grow plants in
hard water without any problem.
It's not the plants I'm concerned about. I plan to keep discus in the
tank... and it's not just the hardness I am concerned about, our city
water has all sorts of chlorine, heavy metals, etc.
Treat the chlorine/chloramine with a good dechloraminator, like "Amquel"
or "Prime" but leave the other stuff alone. [City water is almost sure
to have chloramine, any more, even if they don't report it that way to
you.] Your fish and plants *need* those trace elements. [They are not
allowed to approach toxic levels in domestic potable water.]
You can avoid chemical treatment by slowly filtering the water through a
carbon filter, like the refrigerator ice-maker filters. Be sure to test
for chlorine frequently, as they can saturate and "punch through."
The discus might *breed* more readily if you dilute the tap water with
some RO, but otherwise will probably do as well or better in regular tap
water that gets frequent partial changes. [Ever since I was able to
breed Neon Tetras in 450 ppm (really hard -- 20 degrees GH) water, I
have taken the soft-water mythology with a grain of salt. (pun intended)
I have lost track of the number of sick discus I have seen, because an
innocent hobbyist was trying to keep them in water so dead that it could
not support life, or became toxic at the slightest addition of sodium
ions (via foods) because the needed Ca and Mg for cell metabolism were
A de-ionizer, like the subject device, is only cheap to buy. The
replacement resins will eat you alive, if your water is at all hard. The
only replaceables in an RO unit are the carbon filters and sediment
filter, and they are very cheap compared to recharged ion-exchange
resins. The main use for DI in tanks is some special situations in reef
tanks, where you really need zero nitrates, copper, etc. The water they
put out is really, really bad for fresh-water fish if you don't add back
some tap water or reconstitute them with expensive additives like "RO
Right," "Equilibrium," o/e.
The only economical use for the "Tap Water Purifier" is *after* an RO
filter, so the resins aren't depleted after only a few hundred gallons
or less. Then, use it only if you need battery water or have other uses
for truly "dead" water.
After over 50 years in the hobby, I have finally learned to never try to
keep either fish or plants in water much below 100 ppm of tds, and at
least half of that (3 degrees or so) should be general hardness. Fish,
including discus, do not feel the pH of the water, any more than you do
when you go swimming. pH can convert more of the harmless ammonium ions
to ammonia, at levels above 8, and some fish may suffer acidosis at pH
below 5 or so. Keep the water changed, often, and that is always easier
to do if you are not trying to toy with delicate chemical balances and
BTW, few plants will tolerate the high temps that discus need. Have you
considered that choice? Getting the right plants for 85F+ water will be
considerably tougher than getting the chemistry right for discus, IMHO.
Wright Huntley - Rt. 001 Box K36, Bishop CA 93514 - whuntley at verizon_net
"Do we really think that a government-dominated education is going to
produce citizens capable of dominating their government, as the
education of a truly vigilant self-governing people requires?" [Alan Keyes]
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