Filtered Seawater from the ocean, low salinity

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by SabrinaR, May 2, 2010.

  1. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    Sorry I wasnt to sure where to put this.

    I have been testing the water from my RO unit and I keep testing, but ammonia is always there and I'm not sure why other than maybe the water from my water company has very high ammonia right now. I often get my water from a source at the beach which is pre filtered for me but the salinity is always around 1.019. Is there a safe way to boil off the water so that I dont have to add anything to the water to get 1.026 in salinity? I worry about metals being put in the water if I used just a regular pot. Any thoughts would be very helpful.

    Sabrina
     
  2. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Why is the salinity lower? You could add salt to it to make it right, get some Instant Ocean instead of trying to boil it down.
    I personally use straight seawater in my tanks. In the past I collected it myself but I just found a guy that brings it too me for about 50 cents a gallon. He has a huge tanker truck and come right to my house.
     
  3. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    The salinity is lower because of the filter they use I believe. Its a very trust worthy source so thats the only thing I can figure. I had been not wanting to use salt to add to it but that might be the easiest way to get what I need.

    I live near galveston and the water here is NASTY brown looking unless you go out to the Moody Reef thats out there. And at this time I dont have any of the things needed to get there so I have to get what I can from where I can. I wish I knew a guy with a truck. That would ROCK!!
     
  4. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Ask your LFS there may be a saltwater guy in your area.
     
  5. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    I tested all the water I had in the house. First I tested the water in the tank... ammonia, then I tested my RO water... ammonia. So then I tested the saltwater I bought from the fish store to try and fix my ammonia problem... ammonia. WOW I was screwed no matter what it would seem. So I guess I will only be getting water from the ocean and then adding salt to it to fix the salinity. Man this blows.
     
  6. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    for ammonia there are freshwater test kits and saltwater test kits, You are testing your tap water with a freshwater kit right? another mistake i made in the past.
     
  7. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    As with CaptFish, I suspect something is amiss with your testing but that does not mean that you don't have an ammonia issue somewhere. How are you testing? If you are using one of the Coralife ammonia checkers, you will need to let it return to normal before making a second test if it detects ammonia(usually a day). The color disk must start out totaly yellow or you can get a false positive. Ammonia in your tap water is unusual and worth reporting if you can validate it. If you have a Britta or equivalent type water filter, try your test on filtered water (these will be charcoal filters). Start with a small fresh cup of water test it then let it stand for a day. Ammonia should evaporate out.
     
  8. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    If you just have an RO unit, you are not removing ammonia - it is a dissolved gas (like carbon dioxide) and passes through the RO unit. The RO part of the unit is like a tiny sieve, that prevents things from physically passing through the membrane. During the DI part of the filtration system, ammonia is removed. The DI part of the system uses an ion exchange mechanism to remove things like phosphates, nitrates and ammonia. If your local water has high levels of chloramine (used to control bacterial growth), it breaks down into chlorine and ammonia within your filter. This can cause a high load on the DI part of your filter, causing it to "wear out" quicker than the RO part. This may be happening with your LFS' water...
     
  9. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    I have an ro/di unit and though there my be something wrong with my unit, the water I bought from the LFS to help me with my ammonia problem the day I got my octo was riddled with ammonia too. I dont really understand how this happens. I thought maybe I was testing wrong or something too. So I did multipule tests many different ways and had other stores (3) test the water for me, then asked the LFS where I got the water to test the water there.... Same thing lots of ammonia. I have an almost brand new unit/w membranes. I dont understand how it could already be bogged down with ammonia.
     
  10. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    My only other thought is that somehow your unit is not set up correctly. You also need a fair amount of pressure going through the unit (about 40 psi). One site I looked at said that some DI units are only good for 200-400 gallons...
     
  11. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    Are you saying that if I leave the water be for a day or two once I make it from my RO/DI unit then it will be fine to use?
     
  12. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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  13. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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  14. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    I'm reading them now... thank you for the links.
     
  15. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    Quick question, are all RO/DI unit stock the same size? I ask cause I just bought this one and really dont want to have to buy a new one if I can help it. The situation that guy speaks of in the second link sounds like my problem exactly, and my LFS is on the same water supply so it would make sense that they would have the same problem unless they had upgraded to a better carbon filter. I tested the tap water which not supprising has strong amounts of ammonia... which is really disturbing when you think about the fact that we cook and drink that water.

    I know nothing about RO/DI units which is a shame but true so does anyone know which filters I could upgrade to? Im not sure if the ones listed on the second link are still the best out there or if there is a better one to fit my unit. If they are interchangeable and still the best way to go then cool if not your personal experiance would be helpful.

    Thank you for locating those links for me.
     
  16. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks for the links CG. I have heard of chloramine and that it was used in purifying drinking water but had no clue that is was, of all things the combination of chlorine and ammonia (something you should NEVER mix at home!). I also did not know that carbon would not remove ammonia. The one thing I did note is that both excellent discussion are several years old and I wonder if there are standard filters not that do remove the ammonia part of the mix.

    I never thought I would be glad for my naturally acidic water but IF it is in my water supply, my 6.0 or lower PH water should keep the ammonia in the easily removed range in the DI sand bed. I have seen people report low ammonia in well established thanks and am wondering if it is their supply rather than a tank cycling issue now. Unfortunately, the articles did not suggest that the ammonia would return to gas form like chlorine does if allowed to stand (with or without aggitation).


    SK, probably the place to begin is to check the PH of your tap water. If it is below 8.3 try changing out your DI resin first. If it is above 8.3 you may want to look for a chloramine removing filter that will replace the carbon filter in your existing unit. Lastly, a simple thing to try would be to pull off 5 gallons, check for ammonia, bubble it heavily for 24 hours and check again to see if it will come off as a gas (this may not be a sound suggestion because of my lack of basic chemical knowledge but it won't hurt anything if CG or one of our other chem/bio people does not come and shoot the thought in the scientific foot). CG, if just air exposure would not release the ammonia as gas, what temp (ie can she use a simple aquariuim heater) would cause it to be released from the water?.
     
  17. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    My ph is naturally around 8.3 or higher. I called Dr. Foster and Smith where I got the filter and they are just flabbergasted so I will be calling Aquatic Life to ask them about it. So the higher the ph the harder it is to remember the chloramine... geeze man. I have never been more sorry that I stopped using sea water... If I had taken 2 hours to drive to the beach things might have been different. But at least I know now and can fix the problem. I'm not sure if I distroyed my filter or not yay. lol Thank you for the help. I am not very good with tech stuff so I get overwhelmed easily. I probably would have just tossed the RO unit lol. My husband would have LOVED that lol.
     
  18. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    Ok so here is an update on the water issue. I have been on the phone for days now both with Foster and Smith and Aqualife (the maker of my RO/DI unit) To sum it up... Foster and Smith=helpful, Aqualife=crapy tech help. I spoke with Dave at Aqualife and he said being a marine biologist he knows for a fact that the ammonia couldnt have possibly killed my octo. Well, thats great considering every other source tells me different. Basically Aqualife is aware that Texas and Florida (not all parts of these states do) but that they use Chloramine to treat there water and felt in no way compelled to pass this information on to the distributors or customers. So I am only getting my water from the ocean and will add salt as needed. F and S is letting me return the unit even after its passed there time frame.
     

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