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Tap water a killer?

PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:25 am
by Darklight
So I've had my 20 gal going successfully since January when I moved it over here from my M-in-L's. Everything has been thriving and getting bigger since it came into my care. I do monthly water changes, on time, and even have a calendar marked with which days to do what chems, when to feed the corals, etc.

I usually do my water changes with RO water. When I top the tank off though I use tap water that's been treated with a conditioner safe for marine tanks (Prime water conditioner is the brand). I've never had an issue doing this over the last 8 months. Recently though, the RO unit stopped working and I had to do my water change using tap water. Since then I've lost 3 fairly good sized Kenya Tree Corals, and now my Brown Gorgonians are starting to wither up and die. My feather dusters are doing alright, as is my tiny button polyps, and my leather corals and mushrooms. I'm mad because I really loved those Kenyas and those gorgonians came with the tank and were perfectly healthy before I used tap water to do the change!

We are in the process of trying to take the RO unit apart to see WHY it suddenly stopped working. We think there might be a blockage in one of the hoses. Otherwise, I'm going to have to call around and see if any of the local fish shops sell RO water by the gallon.

And I'm sure someone will ask this, and I know its a tsk tsk, but I do not know the parameters of the water (pH, nitrates, etc), except that I've kept the Salinity at about 1.024-1.025. In the past with my fresh water tanks, every time I tried to test the water and mess with it to keep it "perfect", everything would just die. So I've become very accustomed to just doing my water changes and to leave things alone when they're doing well.

Re: Tap water a killer?

PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:04 am
by Freshwater Tropic
Well, Tap water can have some pretty harmful(to the corals) elements in it that a Conditioner just doesn't remove. It is different around the US when it comes to Tap water, But I usually don't recommend Tap water(Even for Top-off) with a reef tank. Also, Without knowing if your Nitrates are high(Which is very well known for withering corals). I HIGHLY recommend you test your Nitrates and see where you stand. Also, Only doing water changes once a month. . . To what volume are you doing these water changes? I usually recommend doing water changes every 2 weeks(3 weeks TOP!!!). 1 month of the same water in the tank can really accumulate a lot of waste. Than when you finally do change it, the corals get rushed with clean water not too soon after being surrounded by waste water. Sometimes that can be detrimental to corals.

Also, A good idea to do is test your Tap water(See what pH is and Check for Nitrates in the water). Tap is sometimes known for having trace amounts of Nitrates(which in turn, during a water change you are trying to eliminate those. Not add more)

Until you get this under control. I recommend completing another water change using Store Bought RO saltwater(or Regular RO Freshwater & you mix it... Either way)

Re: Tap water a killer?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:05 pm
by saban12013
In a pinch, I've even used filtered water pitchers in the past. They don't offer much, but it would be better than straight tap water. Like FT said, getting premixed water would be best, if you can.

Re: Tap water a killer?

PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:32 am
by Crazygar
Darklight,

Why not buy some bottled water from the Grocery Store? IN a pinch, they are much better than Tap Water! I learned a lesson about Tap water and LR. The LR absorbed the Nitrates in the Tap Water and I had continual algae blooms even long after I switched to RO.

Yes, the Tap Water is the culprit.

Gary

Re: Tap water a killer?

PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:15 pm
by Freshwater Tropic
+1