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Tarzan asked in PetsFish · 10 years ago

Can Tap water be changed into suitable reef aquarium saltwater?

With the help of chemicals like seachem's headstart and slat-mix rather than buying reef ready water for $1/gal from shop or buying RODI equipment for hundred of dollars while living at an apartment for 75 gal Tank who has fluval canister and wet/dry sump too.Just trying to squeeze the expenses in any posssible way/s.

4 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    It depends on the quality of your tap water. Using RO water then the salt mix gives you a consistent and reliable water chemistry and is best.

    Using conditioned tap water is acceptable but you will have more variation in the chemistry of your water. Many water companies have lower water quality and higher nitrates during and right after irrigation seasons (fertilizer and animal waste runoff in the river) for example, and thus you will have nitrate and algae bloom issues in the summer and early fall in many places. Some places have terrible water and lots of industry run off and chemicals in the water, or dangerous bacteria. Some places are so bad the tap water is literally white from all the chlorine that the company added to make the water safe for consumption! You can call your water company and ask for a consumer water quality report to see what the average levels of many elements are expected to be in your water.

    If your area has decent water without a lot of chlorine/chloramine, ammonia, copper, and nitrates, you should be fairly safe using a water conditioner and mixing your own salt water using the conditioned tap water. Some tap water filters or water pitcher filters, like Brita, certainly help as well.

    It also depends a lot on your coral. On very sensitive corals, like many SPS, use the best water available to you. On many leathers and many LPS they actually tolerate phosphates and nitrates fairly well, certainly better than SPS corals, and tend to be fine in most conditioned tap water situations.

    Source(s): Fish Store Owner
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  • Ianab
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    Depends on what's in YOUR tap water?

    The problem is that your tap water may already contain all sorts of random chemicals, magnesium, carbonate, phosphate, nitrate, calcium etc. If it does then your sea water ends up contaminated as well. Maybe enough to harm your corals and sensitive fish.

    By using a RO filter to purify the water first, you know you are starting with clean water, add the marine salt mix, and you will have something very close to the ocean. Start with your tap water, it may not be.


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  • Jenny
    Lv 4
    10 years ago

    I would let the tap water set with some water purifier for around 24hours, and then once you get a 0 ammonia read, add your salt!

    This is how I do it with my water anyway, my tap water has a reading of 0.05ppm, so I keep testing with the purifier, and once it's perfect the salt goes in! I also heat it to 26degrees celcius.

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  • Mike
    Lv 5
    10 years ago

    $1 a gallon is very expensive. My LFS sell RO for 50 cent gallon and walmart sells Filters/RO/UV steralized water for .37 cent per gallon. That is a price i can't complain about.

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