Using water directly from the ocean?

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry' started by SuryaKoti, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. SuryaKoti

    SuryaKoti Guest

    anyone around here using ocean water collected from around the bay area - maybe run through basic filtering like a mircon cartridge or carbon? I was talking to someone at an lfs and it came up that theres atleast 2-3 large tank owners that do this. what the person kept in their tanks was unknown.

    Im not too far from the ocean and I may have a line on someone who can deliver as well a minimum of 100gallons. Apparently the water is "filtered" before delivery. if this is a very viable option it would speed up plans for a tank since I dont have to deal with the water district and paying larger bills and being conscious of our water situation, and also making large water changes affordable :)

    I would like to hear your experience in using real ocean water from around the bay area - using and storing real water.
  2. brleong

    brleong Supporting Member

    i dont know about the bay area, but i know there are plenty of people that use real ocean water. i think theres a video from vivid aquarium of like a 1000 gallon tank where they had to truck in water for it
  3. SuryaKoti

    SuryaKoti Guest

    Looking for inputs from around the bay area. the dumbarton bridge area is not too far but I'd guess that water is not good for reef use. but the supplier gets it from somewhere around the half moon bay area
  4. Hondo

    Hondo Guest

    The saltwater that Neptune Aquatics in Milpitas sells is natural seawater collected somewhere I believe near Half Moon Bay.

    I've been using this water since March without any issues.

    They do dose it I believe to raise some levels better suited for reef tanks.
  5. Hondo

    Hondo Guest

    My only concern with your plan is what would be your backup plan if your natural seawater supplier stopped delivering.

    Then you would have to either find a new supplier or start making your own saltwater which you are reluctant to do now because of costs.
  6. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    Water collected from the ocean must be from a minimum distance off shore (not sure but it's miles) because anything close to shore is going to be either contaminated or very dirty (by reef tank standards) Kensington Reefer may be able to chime in on the practice of using sea water, I want to say he has had first hand experience with this but I could be wrong as I don't clearly recall the conversation.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
  7. SuryaKoti

    SuryaKoti Guest

    Thanks Hondo for sharing and giving me one more source :D

    Back up plan? :) buy RODI water and mix some commercial salt, I have used many salts but settled on Instant ocean for the last two years my tank was setup. I still have a 75gpd per day RODI unit from BRS that has practically all new filters including the membrane. or figure out something else.

    the concern is as much about costs as being cognizant of the water situation; when ocean water is usable then I'd rather go that route. however if I buy from someone delivering the water costs would no be no less than buying and mixing my own; not a huge saving even if there is a volume discount - the guy still needs to make money for gas and his time :)
  8. SuryaKoti

    SuryaKoti Guest

    Same concerns prompted this thread; however with the type of tides and currents around the bay I would presume the water is not so contaminated if the water is collected from a place where its not relatively stagnant.

    the gal I talked to mentioned "several" people used this supplier and they have large tanks - upwards of 500g so it got me very interested.
  9. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    Just got another 500gal today
  10. SuryaKoti

    SuryaKoti Guest

    :) :Thumbsup:

    how long it can be stored before there is loss of quality due to any die off?
  11. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Well first depends where you'd collect the water from, not everywhere in the bay area is created equally. Off the coast of San Francisco? No way no how... someplace further south, perhaps maybe...

    As for after market filtering, don't see why it wouldn't work to take out contaminants, probably won't take out bacterial issues though (not sure about algae size off the top of my head), but should be enough to filter out larger organisms. My big worry would be the pressure from squeezing it through any RO/DI type prefilters (sediment or carbon), and if you filter with loose carbon in a canister or something all bets are off as far as using that to filter anything other than chemicals.
  12. bluprntguy

    bluprntguy Webmaster

    In addition to collecting the water far enough offshore that it doesn't contain pollutants, you also have to cure the water for a few months to make sure that all diseases/parasites have been starved to death. Sounds like work.
  13. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Using local salt water was something I considered a bit as well.

    I am only minutes from the bay, so the idea was to run it through a 5, then 1 micron filter, then carbon.
    The 1 micron will get rid of mud, and all normal parasites, and carbon will eliminate most chemicals.
    Beyond that, viruses and bacteria were not a real concern. They are everywhere anyway.
    With the filtering, not really a lot to "die off", so less worries there.
    Concern with nitrates, phosphates, and scary industrial chemicals though.
    Plus, you still need to tweak calcium, alk, and perhaps even salinity if you want it perfect.

    After all that, mixing SW in a barrel does not seem so bad.

    Delivery works better, since they do some of the above steps.
    But then you need a really big tank (500G or so) to make it worth the trip for delivery person.

    Note: Using RO on natural seawater rather defeats the purpose - you end up with fresh water.
  14. eldiablosrt8

    eldiablosrt8 Sponsor

    We get 600 gallons a week delivered from our supplier, he pulls his water local but it goes through a filtration system but its more than 2 or 3 stages
  15. SuryaKoti

    SuryaKoti Guest

    Nitrates and phosphates, not too concerned- some is needed anyway. Scary industrial chemicals or sunscreen which known to cause bleaching is what scares me.

    This will part of routine maintenance so a little bit more is ok

    ;) also helps with sizing the future setup
  16. SuryaKoti

    SuryaKoti Guest

    filtered by your supplier?
  17. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    Filtered by supplier

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