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RO/DI and algea blooms

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cronicreef

Active member
Joined
Jul 18, 2004
Messages
38
I have notice that I get algea blooms (green/brown) that come and go about every 5-6 months. I was thinking that it was just my VHO bulbs in need of changing.

Since this month I have switch to compacts lighting

But someone said it might be something else like my water chem. I have been using what I thought was RO water but it turns out to be just DI.

I'm not really a water mager or anything so I don't know much about it. All I know is that RO is suppose to have the least trace elements in it 99% at least. DI is just like buying unleaded gas for you car from what I understand.

I was woundering if anyone has noticed a difference in using DI from RO. I have made the switch to see what happens or should I be looking at more than just the water source. I'm kinda stuck on what else I should do

Just some info on the tank. 50gal with 2x60watt compactes + 2 actinic
around 55LBS of LR. Sandbed is around 3". It has been up and running for 1-1/2 years. Also 50gal sump and skimmer is running 24 hours.

PH is 8.2, temp is around 80-82 degrees. I also do a 10% water change weekly.

I have also notice that snails don't seem to do very well in my tank for some reason. I have around 2 dozen in there but I had alot more befor.
about a dozen hermits in there too.

For a Bio load I have alot so this might be a proplem too.

I have 4 clowns
Blue tang (getting a bigger tank just so the tang police know)
blue clown goby
bio color blenny
marten's butterfly

sorry about going on and on

But any thoughts or info would be nice
Please ask if you want an more info

Thanks
 

cwcross

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2004
Messages
250
Yes, RO water is better than DI water. Even better is RO/DI. This is the most pure other than distilled. Distilled has the potential to be problematical though if it is distilled with copper coils.

RO/DI water will keep the phosphate and silicate levels going into your tank from water changes and top off water to a minimum. Algea love to eat these things so good quality water will really help keep algea levels controllable by a good cleanup crew. A must really for a reef tank.

Sincerely...Collin
 

MDMAquatic

Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2004
Messages
22
Location
Cleveland , Ohio
Hey cronicreef, i can attest to the ro/di....i recently had my ro/di system get contaminated and plugged unknowingly by work that got done on the water hydrant in from of my house. We ended up dumping lots of phos in the tank..again unknowingly, and boy will that create an alagal bloom....Up until that point everything was fine. Just my 2 cents
 

cronicreef

Active member
Joined
Jul 18, 2004
Messages
38
Thanks for the replies I'm planning on getting a RO/DI for myself for christmas. LOL.
I just have to figure out what I want and what I need. I tend to go overboard and get everything befor knowing what it really does.

I'm looking at a getting eithere a 4 or 5 stage RO/DI and getting everything that I need for a auto shut off too. Want to do it right the first time. Also going to test my TDS levels to figure out what size unit I really need.

If you have any othere thoughts please post it!

Thank
Cronic
 

Error420

New member
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
1
Location
Bentonville, AR
RO better than DI?

I must have got my information wrong or someone does. But I thought DI water ment the water lacked extra ions. I wish I could find what they make DI water with. I went and just bought a simple RO filter from the local hardware store to get RO water. Of course I have a custom storage tank instead of the stock one (trash can).
I thought that RO water still had ions in it after it was filterd. But DI water was lacking ions and didnt get any until you add them or touch metal to the water. I know the RO filter makes 1800 gallons for $200 whole setup until you have to replace the filter media. Now DI water cost $60 for the filter and the directions state that it will only make between 20 and 120 gallons of water per filter. Same price as the RO filter pack $25.

The local pump and water store has ion exchange resin for $85 a cubic foot. I'm pretty sure a 70 lbs. bag of masonry is 1 cubic foot.
 
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tasos

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 23, 2005
Messages
63
Location
Athens ,Greece
Something else:hermits and snails don't coexist peacefully in a tank!Hermits love to kill snails to take their shells as homes!
I use R/O but my tap water doesn't have any phosphates ,too !!
 

wrightme43

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2004
Messages
4,355
Location
bowling green ky
Reverse Osmoisis gets about 90-95% of the stuff in water. The De-Ion gets the rest. If you just have De-Ion if it is quality it will get most every thing by itself. Why is RODI better in my opinon is that RO gets most of the stuff and all of the stuff that will get by DI then the DI filter will get the rest. The down side of just DI is it does not last very long at all. The most cost effective method and the best for the reef is RODI in my experince. Steve
 

hopper

Active member
Joined
Oct 8, 2005
Messages
30
Location
Alexandria, La.
Your tank is only as good as the water you put in it. RO/DI water is a must IMO. Minimal investment considering what you have in the tank.
 

hopper

Active member
Joined
Oct 8, 2005
Messages
30
Location
Alexandria, La.
The RO membrane is a semi-permeable thin film. Water is forced through it under pressure. Molecules which are larger/heavier than water (which is very small/light) penetrate the membrane less easily and tend to be left behind.

The DI resin exchanges the remaining ions, removing them from the solution.

The RO membrane removes 90-98% of undesirable elements. The DI removes the remaining elements.

The sediment filter removes particles from the water. It's purpose is to prevent clogging of the carbon block and RO membrane. The carbon, typically a block of powdered activated carbon, filters out smaller particles, absorbs some dissolved compounds and deactivates chlorine. The latter is the most important part, free chlorine in the water will destroy the RO membrane.

Hope this helps.
 

dnjan

alveopora
Joined
Sep 9, 2003
Messages
1,585
Location
Seattle
Actually ... no, it doesn't. What I would like to know is what, after passing through the sediment and carbon filters, would be removed by an RO membrane but wouldn't be removed by DI resins.

I am hoping to get specific examples of "things" that are commonly in tap water that wouldn't be picked up by the DI resins but would be by the RO membrans.

Thanks,
 

wrightme43

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2004
Messages
4,355
Location
bowling green ky
Di does not do well with organic and bacteria, and can become a breeding ground for bacteria if they are not removed by ro. Check out GE's water purification texts in google.
 

steve-s

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Joined
Jul 7, 2003
Messages
2,435
Location
Vancouver, BC

dnjan

alveopora
Joined
Sep 9, 2003
Messages
1,585
Location
Seattle
Thanks!
So it sounds like the things in normal tap water that could get past a DI-only system but would be stopped by RO/DI are bacteria, viruses, and colloidal suspensions. I assume that the organics mentioned would be picked up by the carbon pre-filter.
Since I hope that the municipal water system takes out most of the bacteria and viruses, about the only thig left is colloidal suspensions. I don't think that these are very common in many tap waters.

The reason I was asking in the first place is that my tap water is typically around 30 ppm TDS, and I am considering going to a DI-only system to eliminate the waste associated with an RO unit.
 
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wrightme43

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2004
Messages
4,355
Location
bowling green ky
I follow what your getting at. It is my understanding that water treatment plants only kill the bacteria and that they are still in the water supply just not viable, or almost all are not viable. Comparing the cost of rodi and just di replacement it is cheaper for me to spend the money on the water I lose. I dont trust municipal water, I know they do the best they can with what they have. I just dont think that they get to use the best due to budget and politics. In my mind the goverments motto is just good enough and not a penny more unless its going in my pocket. Another thing is that DI is not approved for drinking water and ro is. I think the reason is that DI can not get live bacteria and spores. I drink my rodi water, I know that it is empty of everything but I also eat salt and drink gatoraid and tea and take my vitamins.
 
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