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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 absent.

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 mixing.

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
                    760 872-3995

"Do we really think that a government-dominated education is going to
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education of a truly vigilant self-governing people requires?" [Alan Keyes]

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