Salty Q&A: Is RO/DI Water All It’s Cracked Up to Be?

RO/DI treatment is a hedge against tap water which typically has impurities that can cause issues in our aquariumsQuestionI’ve been keeping saltwater aquariums for five years, and in all that time I’ve never used RO/DI water for top offs or mixing up clean salt water. I just use tap water treated with a dechlorinator / dechloraminator, and I’ve never had any problems. Could it be that people are exaggerating the benefits of using RO/DI?” – Submitted by Lee H. Answer Though you may have gotten by using only a dechlorinator/dechloraminator to treat your water thus far, you may not always be so lucky. I’m a strong proponent of using RO/DI-treated (or otherwise purified) source water in any marine aquarium system for several reasons. Here are just a few: Water treatment protocols are for people Municipalities aren’t (nor should they be) worried about providing water that’s safe for sustaining sensitive marine organisms. Their only concern is ensuring that the water is safe for people to drink, bathe in, etc.

Reclaiming Reverse-Osmosis Waste Water

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.
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