Bad RO/DI water,,, Maybe,,,

Discussion in 'The Reef Tank' started by Redfish, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. Redfish Koran Angel

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    So,,, apparently I have been using bad RO/DI water,,, I think,, I tested my phosphates in the tank Monday morning ,, it was 1. something,,, my Hanna Checker reagent was out of date,, I have new reagent coming in the next day or two,, I ordered Monday morning after that test from BRS ,, priority mail,, Testing with the out of date reagent,, I am not sure wither my water is bad or not,, but,,, I replaced all my RO/DI filters,, I replaced all my Top Off tank water,,, its a 17g container, dumped my 25g of reserve RO/DI water. I made 20g of new saltwater water yesterday morning for a water change ,,, I did that water change yesterday evening when I got home from work. I had changed out my GFO in the reactor last week,, I had put 3/4 of a cup in the reactor,,, When I get the new reagent in,, I will retest tank water again and test the water coming out of the GFO reactor,,, I will also change out the GFO in the reactor after the test,,

    I lost two SPS frags,,, and another SPS or two have lost some encrustment around the frag,,, other SPS corals are doing good,,,

    My question,,, how often and how large of a water change should I be doing? I have about 150g of water in my system,,, Should I increase that 3/4 cup of GFO I have in the reactor or stay the same? Is there anything else I can be doing?
     
  2. clsanchez77

    clsanchez77 Reefkeeping Extremist Global Moderator

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    GFO is very efficient, so I don't think you need to add more, you just will need to replace it more often. Unfortunately phosphate testing is the only way to know. Keep up with the water changes. As far as how much, that all depends on what you can reasonably do. I will see smaller more frequent water changes are better than random very large water changes. Our corals, SPS especially, require stability more than perfection. There are many wonderful tanks, and SPS tanks, that have phosphates in them....but they work because the phosphate level remains constant. I think the reason our hobby over emphasizes 0 phosphates is because keeping phosphates stable at 0 is easy, relative to keeping them stable at 0.10.

    I would not do anything else. You have a chaeto reactor right? Keep it going so your problem remains isolated to phosphate and does not also include nitrates....you have tested nitrates, right ;)
     
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  3. reefMD

    reefMD Marine Betta

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    didnt you test your RODI water? what was the TDS if its over 3 then yes you need to evaluate your filters.
     
  4. BluewaterLa

    BluewaterLa LARC Boil Master Administrator LARC Supporter

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    If the phosphates increased rather quickly I would say that it was an issue in your tank for corals, as with any parameter raising fast or rather quick is not a good thing.
    Having phosphate in the water is not all that bad and as mentioned above many successful long term tanks have elevated levels of phosphate and nitrate. Its all in what the corals are used to being in and stability.

    Rapidly stripping the water with GFO can and will cause an issue with most corals so be careful and monitor the levels before, during and after using the GFO to gauge out how much and how long to use it for.
    I am still on the side of having some available Po3 and Po4 in the tank for corals to utilize. Yes the ocean has near undetectable levels of these two mentioned above though they are in endless supply at the super low concentrations so corals never starve out, Unlike our tanks that are closed systems and dependent on having some form of the Demonized Po3 & Po4.
    This is another thing that should remain stable as best as possible but not as critical as other parameters, I have found in my experience that having one at zero level and the other at a readable level is a form of unbalance in water quality that some have linked to issues within their systems.
    No I am not speaking of any ratio like the ones commonly referred to in some discussions but rather just wanting to clarify that the only thing elevated Phosphate has been shown to, thought to and linked to is slow calcification of stoney corals.
    In my experience usually with elevated levels of Po3 &Po4 in the tank SPS usually do loose some color and or brown out if the lights are not adjusted higher in intensity to compensate / keep up with the elevated zooxanthellae within the coral tissue as these two are food sources for these symbiots.

    Keep calm and reef on ':beers:'
     
  5. Redfish Koran Angel

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    This whole problem with phosphates,,, was caused by my lack of interest that I had going on when it came to my tank :( 1st my duel TDS meters on my RO/DI unit quit working,,, I told myself I really didn't need to order a new TDS meters,,, because,,, as long as my color changing DI resin was good,,, I really didn't need to spend the money to replace the non working TDS meters ,,, the problem with that was,,, the color changing DI resin I got from BRS,,, apparently ,,, wasn't changing color :( I have replaced everything on the RO/DI machine,,, I will get the new TDS meters ordered,,, my phosphate reagent,, I am hoping comes in today ,,

    Nitrates,,, can using bad water from the RO/DI effect nitrates? Here is where I am at with nitrates in my tank,,, even with my lack of interest ( health issues had a lot to do with my treatment of my tank also ) that I had going on with my tank,,, I still didn't want my tank to go down hill and become an eye sore,, my wife would have had my head :) I didn't treat nitrates like I did phosphates,, I counted on the DI resin to have me producing good RO water,,, Nitrates ,, I still took a pro activate approach ,,,

    I tested,, with good test kits :) and I didn't over feed,,, I did 13 to 15 gallon water changes,,, my Nitrates are at 10 in my tank with a Salifert test kit,,, I can't seem to get them below 10 though ,, even skimming wet,, thats why I asked if bad RO water can effect Nitrates,, I was wondering since I am back to making good RO water,,, maybe I could get that nitrate number down a bit more,,, below that 10 number I am at,,,

    I won't over strip my tank to fast with GFO,, I will keep running the GFO that I have been using,, and doing weekly water changes,, I need that re agent though,, hope it comes in today :)
     
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  6. clsanchez77

    clsanchez77 Reefkeeping Extremist Global Moderator

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    It really depends on your source water. But in general, if your DI is allowing phosphates through, then it is also allowing nitrates, silicates and all the other -ates and -ites through. For that matter, DI resin is pretty dumb and does not know what it is doing. All it does is capture any particle that has either a negative or a positive ionic charge. Nitrates, phosphates, silicates all have negative ionic charges.
     
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  7. Redfish Koran Angel

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    Well,, I got the Hanna Phosphate reagent in yesterday,,, guess I threw away 37 gallons of perfectly good RO / DI water down the drain,,, better safe than sorry,, and it goes to show just how bad a reading you can get with out of date reagent. I tested the tank water twice,, 1st 0.07 2nd 0.05 tested the water coming out of the phosphate reactor 0.05

    I really only needed to throw away the water in the top off tank,, I could have waited and threw my 25 gallons of reserve water away after I got the reagent in and did the test. The wife was off that day,, so it was a good time to make all new water,, she could keep an eye on it for me,,,
     
  8. BluewaterLa

    BluewaterLa LARC Boil Master Administrator LARC Supporter

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    That stinks that you got hold of some resin that was not color changing and your TDS meters were not working to tell you that the DI resin was getting exhausted.
    With DI resin exhausted the TDS starts to creep and all sorts of not so goodies can and will pass right on into the final product water.
    Getting all new filters, resin and some working TDS meters plus new reagent is a solid plan.
    Nitrates holding at 10 ppm is not a bad thing at all especially if you are not dealing with an algae issue, Plenty of tanks are running numbers that level or bit higher and have good results. Of course it is all about balance, stability and what corals are used to pertaining to having all things balance out from Chemistry, nutrients, lighting and flow.

    Glad to see you gaining interest in your tank once again, Cant wait to see some pictures of all the things you changed since the last time you were keeping us updated.
    Good luck and happy Reefing
    BluewaterLa/ Mike
     
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