Water softeners and aquariums..?

dw1305

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Hi all,
Peat acts as an ion exchange resin, remove minerals from the water and replacing them with organic humic acids Worth a try but youd have to experiment with the amount of peat used.
It does work exactly how Alastair suggests, but you need a lot of high quality Sphagnum peat. <Peat Biofilter>.

cheers Darrel
 

Iain Sutherland

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I know a method using peat and a friend who lives down berkshire who also uses this method and gets great results in reducing his water hardnesd and ph.
Not to sure that would work for me Al, think it would be a lot of work for the volume i would need and time is something im prertty short of at the mo. Cant be long before you are running again mate..?

So back to water butts for a moment, would i right in thinking i remember something about getting the right type as far as the material its made from? Think a butt and pump, ooh er, for the RO unit is the most likely option for now however heating would then be the issue as can only have the water butt outside...hmm.
Maybe the logistics of this are too much and will just have to stick to fish that will be ok in hard water for now:(
 

BigTom

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You could always take the easy option and pick hard water fish (its what I ended up doing). There are quite a few out there apart from the obvious rift valley cichlids, which are easy enough to source with a bit of patience and mail order or a good LFS.

Lake Inle and associated areas of Myanmar have Danio erythromicron and margaritatus, Devario auropurpurea, Parambassis lala, Yunnanilus brevis and sp. 'Rosy' and oddballs like Indostomus paradoxus and Parasphaerichthys lineatus and even Dario. Lots of rainbowfish (including smaller ones like Iriatherina and Pseudomugil) hail from hard waters, as do many gobies and gudgeons (Tateurndina ocellicauda, Hypseleotris compressa, Brachygobious spp.), halfbeaks (Dermogenys pusilla), Aphanius spp. and some other killifish... West African stuff (Kribs, lampeyes are probably tolerant of a certain degree of hardness). Paradise fish (Macropodus opercularis) are ultra-adaptable, and there are even one or brackish Betta species coming to light that should do fine in hard water.

And that's just off the top of my head ;)
 

viktorlantos

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At my home tank i fill back the tank from the RO. Around 130L/week. Usually my tank temperature is around 23 but now as the weather getting warmer the average water temp increased to 25.5 already. Anyway after filling in the colder RO i still get to something like 18 in the tank which quickly heating up by the filters and the lamp heat plus room temperature. I haven't seen issue here. Not at winter or summer.

In the shop we fill a 500L barell usually. The place we store the barrell is well ventillated not heated and the water gets too cold sometimes. Still no prob with the tanks. However if i see that the temp is dropping too much let's say under 17-18 then i add in a Jager heater to the tank immediatelly. We only pre-heat the water for the shrimp tanks as Taiwans etc are not that tolerant for quick changes on temp.

Using Salty Shrimp GH booster if the tank need it. We measure all of them with a TDS pen. Try to be above 120 in average at planted tanks.
 

Alastair

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Not to sure that would work for me Al, think it would be a lot of work for the volume i would need and time is something im prertty short of at the mo. Cant be long before you are running again mate..?

So back to water butts for a moment, would i right in thinking i remember something about getting the right type as far as the material its made from? Think a butt and pump, ooh er, for the RO unit is the most likely option for now however heating would then be the issue as can only have the water butt outside...hmm.
Maybe the logistics of this are too much and will just have to stick to fish that will be ok in hard water for now:(
Not a lot of work really mate. My friend does his 700 litre tank each week with his.
Here is a link to the site if your interested. Would save you a packet


Peat Filtering your Aquarium Water

And yep hopefully 13th may my tank will be here
 

Iain Sutherland

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Not a lot of work really mate. My friend does his 700 litre tank each week with his.

Here is a link to the site if your interested. Would save you a packet



Peat Filtering your Aquarium Water

And yep hopefully 13th may my tank will be here
well, the packet has already been spent now, waterbutt in the garden, upgrade kit for RO unit to 3 membrane and RO booster pump on the way. The peat solutions looks to be a good one however i dont think it would suit me, this way the water will always be waiting ready for change.

Great to hear your tank is arriving soon mate, i just bought PFK and seen your article which just spikes my interest as to what you will do with the new monster. I hope to get my NA planted within a couple of weeks so will have more plants for you if you want them.... ill pm you soon buddy.
 

ian_m

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My mate who kept marines, years ago, had an RO unit under the units in his kitchen, fed to a barrel outside. It had a float valve in the water butt and incoming isolating valve for when there is no output (or else water continues to flow out via the waste). Also had an aquarium heater in the butt to stop it freezing, on a timer so only came on, on the day of water change.

Did get moved indoors eventually as I think the cold & ice caused issues, especially if adding very cold water to your tanks. Was a long time ago when circulation pumps were modified central heating pumps....:cool:

Dug out the comments he made in 1990's (sad still got emails from then). Water butt was originally outside, but suffered from freezing float valves and water pipes, so moved into his garage. Then worked fine, always had 100litres of RO water on tap.
 

Iain Sutherland

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thanks tom, i have no doubt that there are heaps of harder water fish that i have no idea about as im still trying to figure out high tech tanks. Hopefully in a few more years ill have a wider knowledge of the hobby as a whole and really be able to make informed fauna decisions. Your 'top of the head' list does throw in some interesting possibilities though. Everytime you post latin names of fish i always spend 10 minutes googling them all and most ive never seen or heard of :oops: please continue to do so:)

Viktor, again thanks for the info on your set up, i think i will try something similar and likely will only be a handful of months where heat will be an issue, certainly should be ok for the time being now spring is here.
If i remineralise with Salty Shrimp GH booster will this leave a deficit of anything in the water that i then need to consider, I will be using Vimi ferts.

Hey Ian_m, i hope cold water shouldnt be too much of an issue as i have nowhere to put it indoors, if need be i will wrap with insulation and heat before using it during the colder months.

While all of this does feel like high cost and effort i know i will be happy once i have the freedom to move my water params depending on the fauna i keep. Assuming all goes to plan all the fish for this tank like a carbonate hardness around 7 with ec 80-120 so should be very achievable.

Did i imagine it that some water butts can leach nasties into the water... maybe i read it on a marine site so would it likely be relevant in a tropical without sensitive inverts?

Thanks everyone for your input it has helped no end. you guys rock!:thumbup:
 

ian_m

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Hey Ian_m, i hope cold water shouldnt be too much of an issue as i have nowhere to put it indoors, if need be i will wrap with insulation and heat before using it during the colder months.
It wasn't the butt freezing being an issue is was the RO water pipes to butt and water out from the butt freezing (along with ball valve not opening as frozen) that caused the issue. The heater in the butt stopped the bulk of the water freezing, but that was no good if you couldn't get the water in and out.

Also butt was on a high stand, outside, so that water would just free low out of the butt into house/shed when required.

Eventually a change of job and no longer working at home meant he had to get rid of the lot. But in the 90's was pioneering type stuff.
 

HemantKumar

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If the water is very hard, you need to use another type water softening resin revitalized by HCL, not by salt. So the resin will not replace much sodium into the water.However, you need some know how to handle this. At least you need to have a PH probe.

Or you may use Potassium Chloride to treat the resin. It will be better than using sodium chloride.
Hi,
was reading the water softner process and came across this ........I too have resin based water softner so if Iuse KCL will this work
if yes then what about ca & mg to add in water
also adding potassium chloride will increase potassium in water which is good for plants but what about chloride which is aded will it affect the plant in the aquariums
need more elobration on this please
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
so if Iuse KCL will this work if yes then what about ca & mg to add in water also adding potassium chloride will increase potassium in water which is good for plants but what about chloride which is aded will it affect the plant in the aquariums
It will work, but it is quite an expensive option (KCl costs a lot more than "water softener" NaCl) if you want to treat a large volume of water?

You can add some calcium (Ca) back by cutting your softened water with some tap water, 10% tap should be fine. In the UK most tap water has very little magnesium (Mg), so this is best added as magnesium sulphate heptahydrate (MgSO4.7H2O) "Epsom Salts" (10% Mg). It is worth noting that high levels of K+ ions can interfere with the plant uptake of Ca++ and Mg++ ions.

Like sodium (Na+) the chloride ion (Cl-) is only needed by plants in small amounts, which is why the sea is salty with NaCl.

The softened water will have a higher conductivity than the original hard tap water, but this shouldn't matter.

cheers Darrel
 

ian_m

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You can use KCl as water softener regeneration salt. What is emitted by the water softener recharge waste is calcium chloride & magnesium chloride & potassium chloride with potassium carbonate being present in the house water.

In some US states, because of build up of sodium levels in water drainage courses, if you have a water softener you must use KCl. Since moving to KCl, poisoning due to excess Na has stopped. The calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride and potassium carbonate in the house waste water quickly disappearing once in the environment.

However, I once had this idea, lets use KCl in my water softener, then I can use it in my fish tank.

However my plans were quickly defeated.....25Kg sodium chloride £10..... 25Kg or potassium chloride £35....Potassium chloride for water softeners is much cheaper in the US.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
You can use KCl as water softener regeneration salt. What is emitted by the water softener recharge waste is calcium chloride & magnesium chloride & potassium chloride with potassium carbonate being present in the house water.
Thanks "ian_m", I should have said that most water softeners use "Sodium cycle Strong Acid Cation Exchange", so the anion is not replaced (it is repelled by a fixed sulphonate (SO3-) ion inside the resin bead), and you get the, soluble, K+ and HCO3- ions in the water. (basically dGH is lowered, but not dKH).

There is a good summary here <"Basic Ion Exchange"> and <"Lenntech: Ion exchange for ....">.

I didn't know that KCl was cheaper in the USA. I've seen it mentioned as a NaCl alternative on several US forums, and I wondered about the cost.

cheers Darrel
 

ian_m

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You unfortunately need more KCl than NaCl by weight as K is heavier than Na so your 25kg of KCl doesn't last as long as 25kg NaCl. Yet more cost...
 

HemantKumar

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Hi All ,
thanks for prompt reply ....I have specially put a small water softener for the fish tank with a bypass which holds around 7kg of resin and generates around 1000 liters of soft water before it is required to regenerate http://www.shopclues.com/jumbo-water-softner-water-softener-for-whole-house-bathing-washing.html

My tank is 500 lits so 50 % water change is around 200 liters to 250 liters of water .....which gives me 4 weeks of water change on 1 regeneration of the softener I require 700grams of ( Nacl ) to regenrate it so KCL would be around say 1000grams to regenrate

1000 grams KCL = 100 Rupees India currency its around £ 1 so thats quite fair enough even if i regenate it with £2 for in a month

just one more question is it safe for aquarium plants ?
also I calculated with rotalabutterfly calculator and it suggest me to add 300grams of mgso47h20 to my tank mixed with 1000 ml of rowater dosing 100 ml 3 times a week
300grams is that calculation correct :couchpotato:
 
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naz

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Hi all

Just found this thread on ro units,really good information about high end ro units did not no that you could get ro unit that projuice ro water so fast.

Iv got a basic ro unit at the moment 50 gpd with no ro pump but last week my home has been put on a water meter so it's costing me to much money to projuice the ro water so I'm thinking of buying a new ro unit this one.
https://www.wiltec.de/naturewater-reverse-osmosis-ro-1500l-day-nw-ro400-e2.html

I want to do away with filling container and to pump ro water straight to my tank.

My question is
Do you think this is a good choice of ro unit to pump water straight to tank ?
Will this ro unit projuice ro water with tds under 20 ppm ?
How many hours do you think it would take to refill 100 lt to 150 lt or ro water to my 200lt tank ?
What would the rejection rate of the ro water be in this unit 3 to 1 waste water 2 to 1 waste water ?

Just trying to work out how much £££ would cost to feel up the tank ....

Lee
 

Andrew Butler

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Iv got a basic ro unit at the moment 50 gpd with no ro pump but last week my home has been put on a water meter so it's costing me to much money to projuice the ro water so I'm thinking of buying a new ro unit this one.
Hi @naz I'm just wondering without reading through everything fully why you think this particular unit will produce water that much cheaper? Just because it is capable of producing more that does not effect the waste produced which is the key info you're looking for.
Will this ro unit projuice ro water with tds under 20 ppm
All RO/DI units should be able to produce water with 0 TDS, if it starts climbing then it's time to change filter cartridges.
How many hours do you think it would take to refill 100 lt to 150 lt or ro water to my 200lt tank ?
If you choose the unit you link to then it's a 1500 L/day unit HOWEVER that 1500 L/day first of all is based on the water coming in being at 25°C (which it's not going to be anything like), the pressure of that water coming in (despite the pump) and then also the TDS of that incoming water, this is before you factor in cartridges run slower as time goes on. In short there is no simple answer.
What would the rejection rate of the ro water be in this unit 3 to 1 waste water 2 to 1 waste water ?
If you look at the technical documentation link then it shows the clean water content relative to inlet Water as 15-20% quite the amount you do get can vary with factors already mentioned but it's still going to cost you quite a lot of waste water. Even at 20% it will cost you 5L to produce 1L
There are far more efficient filters out there but all waste quite a bit to produce not a lot. I had a Vertex Puratek Deluxe which claims 1:1 clean:waste so if that is to be believed then a huge difference to the claims the filter you're looking at makes. It's very unlikely you would ever get 1:1, especially as the feed temperature is going to be rather cold which does make a difference.
How many hours do you think it would take to refill 100 lt to 150 lt or ro water to my 200lt tank ?
How longs a piece of string kind of answer, maybe more a case of how long to refill your wallet? ;)
 

naz

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Hi Andrew

Thanks for the reply

I thought that because the ro unit was producing water quicker that it would do it with less waste water as well.
That's good that it will have a tds of 0 ish was not shore because of the big membrane it uses 400 gpd

I was hoping to fill 100lt of tank ro water up in about 2 hours that's what I was hoping for.
 

naz

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I want to find an ro system that produces ro water quickly that has an 2 to 1 or 3 to 1 waste water rate ,5 to 1 seems a bit excessive and to buy this ro system a cheaply as possible.

I was looking at buying just a 400gpd pump on its own for about £70
https://www.fastlight.co.uk/acatalog/400-GPD-Self-Regulating-Booster-Pumps.html
and running 2 x 150 gpd membranes that are about £20 easy on my ro system that I have.

The main thing I want is to pump the ro water straight to the tank I'm feed up with water containers

just looked at the Vertex Puratek Deluxe pretty pricey £300 but it does not seem to be as fast at making ro water only 200 gpd

Just open to idears of setting up a fast ro system and how to do it,or a complete system to buy, or a diy system for cheap

Thanks lee
 
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