Actinic lighting was developed and used in other industries before reef aquariumsWe marine aquarists use a variety of tools to help keep our tanks healthy by either changing or removing the waste products of the animals we keep. But did you know virtually all of the devices we use were originally designed for other industries? OzoneFor instance, ozone is a naturally forming gas found in our atmosphere that helps protect us from the damaging effects of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. It was discovered in 1839 by Christian Friedrich Schönbein. Ozone was originally used to purify drinking water and as a health-giving gas. Unfortunately, that health idea produced just the opposite result because the oxidizing effect we can use to purify certain things will also oxidize us, especially our lungs.
Drip, drip, drip…there are a number of options to reclaim reverse-osmosis waste waterWhile reverse-osmosis units are among the more practical, affordable means for producing purified tap water suitable for sensitive reef systems, there’s no question that they tend to generate a lot of waste water relative to the volume of purified product. In fact, they often produce upwards of four gallons of waste water for every one gallon of purified water. It’s only natural for conservation-oriented hobbyists to look for ways to reclaim this waste water and put it to meaningful use rather than send it swirling down the drain. But finding realistic ways to use all that water isn’t as simple as it seems, especially if you have a relatively large aquarium system and, therefore, need to produce a hefty amount of RO water on a fairly regular basis.The usual advice is to use the waste water to give your plants or lawn a drink. These are certainly valid options, but let’s face it, you’d have to have an awful lot of plants to keep pace with all the waste water produced. And as far as watering the lawn is concerned, I’m sure someone more inventive than I (which isn’t saying much) could find ways to do this efficiently using RO waste water, but I haven’t figured out a method that would work for my yard yet.