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> Date: Mon, 8 Feb 1999 23:07:48 EST
> From: RGORDONPF at aol_com
> Subject: RE:  KATI/ANI

> I would like to put a 100 gallon plant tank in my office.  I
> would rather not
> use untreated tap water as the San Diego tap water is considered
> moderately
> hard; i.e. Carbonate hardness of 160 ppm, Total hardness of 325
> ppm, and Total
> dissolved solids of 567 ppm.  Because of the commercial office setting
> installing an RO unit is not feasible.  This is because the low
> water pressure
> and the 65 degree F tap water temperature reduce the efficiency
> of RO units to
> about 40% of rated capacity per a phone call to the people at SpectraPure.
> Thus, even a 160 gpd RO unit would take almost two days to fill the tank.
> Hoses running in and out of the office for almost two days, even on the
> weekends, is not acceptable.

Pet Warehouse sells booster pumps to increase the water pressure to the
optimal range, but I've never tried them so I don't know how easy they are
to hook up and operate.  They're expensive too.  Either way, you'd probably
want to build some kind of little cart to make your purifucation setup

65F water should not be that big of a problem.  When I first got my Kent
Maxxima Hi-S, they had all sorts of disclaimers about how the production
rate would fall off if the water was too cold, or had too many dissolved
solids, etc.  But my water is in the 55F range with about 480ppm total
hardness and 20ppm silicates and I get at least 30gpd (maybe more) out of
it.  The unit is rated for 60gpd.

RO is a pain to operate, but given your water quality, DI really isn't
feasible.  The best of both worlds is RO followed by a DI column.  This will
give you highly purified water, and maximize the life of the DI resins also.

> I had, therefore, thought about using the Aquarium
> Pharmaceuticals Tap Water
> Purifier.  However, contact with them indicated that with my tap water, I
> would get, maybe, 15-20 gallons per cartridge.  The cartridges,
> if bought in
> bulk via mail order can be purchased for $11.79.  That is very expensive
> water.

Been there, done that, got about 15-20 gallons out of the first cartridge,
just like they predicted.  You were smart to ask first!  Had I known at the
time I wouldn't have spent the money.

> "IMPORTANT: We strongly advise using separate dedicated drip
> systems for each
> regenerative fluid due to the reactive nature if these chemicals
> contact each
> other."

Frankly, I don't relish the idea of messing around with corrosive chemicals
to regenerate DI resins.  That's why I like RO/DI.  The resin is used up so
slowly you can afford to just replace it when it's depleted.  Or if you do
regenerate it, you only have to do it once in a long while.

> When I investigated at the Kent Marine Deion 200 I was also looking at the
> Kati/Ani units.  However, after learning what it took to
> regenerate the Kent
> Marine units, I thought the Kati/Ani units would require the same
> treatment.
> Is that true?  Does anyone have experience with regenerating the
> Kati and Ani
> units?  If so, how do you do it?  What is involved?

I don't know about KATI/ANI specifically, but I think they're all pretty
similar and require the use of hydrochloric acid (muriatic acid) and other
hazardous chemicals.  Some might not call for the 24-hour drip approach that
Kent suggests, so they might be a little simpler to regenerate.

> Any other thoughts as to how I can cost-effectively remove the dissolved
> solids from my tap water?

Without RO you are going to have a tough time of it, IMHO.  You would be
better off just doing a 50/50 mix of tap water and purified water.  This
would cut your pure water needs in half, and still give decent water for
many if not most fish and plants (you weren't planning on running an Amazon
tank were you?).

In my opinion, and speaking as someone who has never run a tank in his
office, it sounds like you might want to scale back your expectations.
Maintaining a tank of any size using only purified, reconstituted water can
be a pain even under the best circumstances (unless you have a nice
permanent setup as some people do with large storage reservoirs and pumps to
move the water from the storage and into the tanks effortlessly).  A 100g
tank would be even more of a pain, and doing all that in an office
environment sounds like it would be sheer hell.  What are you going to do
when your tank gets an outbreak of ich or green water or something and you
need to start doing 25% water changes every day for a week or two?  Expect
to spend a few late nights working on your tank!

In my opinion a 55 would make your life easier, and still be large enough
for some nice fish and plants.  Alternatively, consider running a hard water
tank, and stock it with african rift-lake cichlids.  These are colorful,
highly interesting fish to watch, and from everything I've heard about them,
they will love your tap water.  They're a bit hard on plants though because
they like to dig a lot.  But if you stuck to plants like Java Fern and
anubias you could attach them to rocks and they probably wouldn't be
disturbed.  There are many other species of fish and plants that would do
fine in hard water also.

Good luck!