Thinking of getting a tank, a few questions

Discussion in 'Welcome!' started by pbh-reef, Mar 4, 2018.

  1. pbh-reef

    pbh-reef Supporting Member

    Hi BARs!

    I’m thinking of starting a small tank (20 gallons or less) in my small apartment in the
    Mission! I had a 120g Fowlr as a high schooler (around 17 years ago!). If I do start a new tank I’d love to become a member of BARs!

    My 2 questions:
    I will have to be gone for two 4-week periods this summer - does anyone have advice about Where to look for a tank sitter in SF?

    Does anyone have experience using rodi water from Whole Foods or Safeway for their nano tanks?

    Thanks so much!
  2. iCon

    iCon Supporting Member

    Tank sitter? @Coral reefer

    SF tap plus seachem prime and you’re set.
  3. pbh-reef

    pbh-reef Supporting Member

    Thanks for the quick response!
  4. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    I would run an ICP test on the tap 1st just to see what is actually in the water. Low TDS is good but what is in it matters.

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  5. JVU


    There must be someplace in SF you can get real RO/DI water. Wouldn’t take much for a small tank.

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  6. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer Past President

    I am in the excelsior, I can hook you up with rodi or mixed saltwater if you want to come get it. I can likely help out with tank sitting some as well.
    Kim Pattison and JVU like this.
  7. pbh-reef

    pbh-reef Supporting Member

    Thanks very much - that’s a very kind offer and so many folks responding is very reassuring! I think the tank just got more likely in the next few months (still need to do research and make some decisions). Maybe I’ll try to come to a group meeting or event before I get the tank to meet some of you!
    Coral reefer likes this.
  8. Deereef

    Deereef Supporting Member

    I have been using sf tab plus Sea chem for 2 years for my 70 gal reef and it is great. No problem at all.
    pbh-reef likes this.
  9. pbh-reef

    pbh-reef Supporting Member

    Great to know!
  10. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

    ICP test won't show you everything that's bad. For example, it can't tell you if or how much chloramine is in your water; it can only tell you how much total chlorine is in the water. Bacteria would never show up on an ICP test, but that's more an an extreme thing than the norm.

    Probably more importantly though, water sources can change. For example, during the drought, EBMUD was purchasing water from the Sacramento River to supply residents versus the normal source for some of the East Bay.

    So, what has been good to you for a while, might not be so good for you at a later date. You won't always know what's in there at all times. I personally wouldn't want to roll the dice on an unknown - keeping a stable reef is a pain in the ass already with 0 TDS RO/DI water I make at home.
    Coral reefer and JVU like this.
  11. xcaret

    xcaret Supporting Member

    Somewhere I read SF is now supplying water from Hetch Hetchy mixed with ground water; I believe is on MUNI buses where I saw the ad.
  12. iCon

    iCon Supporting Member

    Yup, all depends on what you're keeping. If it's a tank that you're going to be away from 4+ weeks at a time, I'm assuming relatively easy to keep stuff. If so, you'll be a-ok with tap.
    pbh-reef likes this.
  13. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Supporting Member

    You don’t have to wait for a meeting to ask questions. That’s what the forum is for.
    pbh-reef likes this.
  14. hermit

    hermit Guest

    @pbh-reef I've been using Glacier water from Safeway for my 8 gallon nano tank for the past year and never had problems. I've tested the the water for TDS on few occasions and its usually between 2-6. I perform water change every 10-12 days.
    pbh-reef likes this.
  15. Mozby

    Mozby Supporting Member

    RO buddie 4 stage is an affordable and compact system, perfect for low tds water supply and nano tanks. If the water is treated with chloramines, there is a 5th stage option.

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  16. pbh-reef

    pbh-reef Supporting Member

    Thanks everyone for your responses - getting to hear about people's actual experiences is exactly what I was hoping for by posting on this forum! It sounds like people are finding success with various water sources. I also checked out the Whole Foods by my home and they sell RODI water at 49 cents/gallon.

    Doing more reading and planning (just ordered Borneman's book on corals because I know way less about corals than I do about fish) before I get a tank, and may in the end wait until after I return from my summer away to set it up. I'm thinking of going with the Fluval evo 13.5 because it is one of the few tanks that will actually fit in my home, and my husband hates seeing any of the tech that supports the tank (including LEDs on goosenecks) so an AIO system that hides that stuff will be important!

    @Mozby's Reef - I believe San Francisco uses chloramine ( which necessities a 5 or 6 stage RODI. I'm struggling to find one that's easily movable (cause I have no place to mount it) and affordable. If you or anyone else has brand and set up suggestions I'd love to know. In the end, I may just go with what seems like the most common route of not buying an RODI system only to get one a year or so later if I'm pulling my hair (algae) out next year....
  17. Fish Boss

    Fish Boss Guest

    That’s a bit on the small side for a starters reef tank. Definitely possibly, but will be less stable than something larger. I really like the 20 gallon long tanks, personally. It would be a bit more work, but I don’t think it would be too tough to plumb it to a sump, thus hiding your equipment in the stand. The sump would also add water volume, making the tank more stable
    Coral reefer likes this.
  18. Mozby

    Mozby Supporting Member

    +1 on the 20g. I have the IM Nuvo fusion 20 and love it. It is also an AIO, so you can hide equipment in the back chambers. You do however have to get lights and might end up with a bracket or gooseneck inevitably. The 4 stage RO buddie is from aquatic life and you can get it at a great price on amazon. If you’re interested in going this route, you can add something called kdf85/GAC in-line cartridge as the 5th stage for chloramine removal. Feel free to pm me if you need more info.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    pbh-reef likes this.
  19. pbh-reef

    pbh-reef Supporting Member

    Totally agree that set up would be more stable and would be my ideal small set up (I'd love a sump w/a cheato fuge). But I cannot fit a tank larger than 24" long (which the 20g long is) and a 24" cube is simply too wide. In the end, the set up will have to be a compromise between a bunch of factors and the evo 13.5 hits a sweet spot in terms of size, price, looks, ability to be modified, etc. I'll just have to be willing to make livestock compromises in terms of easy corals and a light fish load.

    But I'll keep thinking and measuring in my home...
  20. pbh-reef

    pbh-reef Supporting Member

    Hahaha I just realized "RO Buddie" is the brand name, though you were calling me "buddy" :p
    Mozby likes this.

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