View Full Version : Ocean H2O vs Store Bought H2O?

09/06/2008, 02:10 AM
When I lived back in Oklahoma I used RO water from an aquarium store cause I had a reef tank. Since I moved to the island, I thought this would be a great opportunity to get water straight from the ocean. Especially since Okinawa was known for low pollution and healthy fish. After all, the aquarium up north uses ocean water. But they also have a steady turn-over of new salt water.

This afternoon I went to Kadena Marina to load up on the salt water as I've been doing. I met a member of the forum there, I can't remember his whole screenname, but I remember it had "TJ" in it. He stated that I will have problems if I get my water near the coast. This is due to run-off and fresh water build-ups. He suggested going way out in the ocean or going to "The Marine Lagoon" to get my water. I took his advice today and invested my $9 on three bottles of water (about 4.5 gal = $3).

If you read the other posts, I have had a recent disaster in which I lost all six fish. It was likely due to a parasite. My tank is now waiting about six weeks before I reintroduce any fish. Tomorrow I intend to make several more runs over to "The Marine Lagoon" to finish a complete water change in my aquarium. I figure it can't hurt anything and might even minimize some of the parasites while I wait my six weeks.

I was wondering what others are doing and what luck they were having if they tried the local water. Perhaps this is where my parasite came from.


09/06/2008, 03:12 AM
Using locally collected water, or water bought from a store, you really dont have any kind of quality control over it, other than the store telling you where they may have collected it. I dont mean to sound negative about the stores here, but that's just how I see it.

I've got a 75GPD RO/DI, and a reservoir that holds about 70 gallons or so. I mix my own saltwater, using the red sea pro salt (the stuff made for RO water). the salt mix is pricey, but I have complete control over what I am adding to my tank. I dont have any worries about nitrates or phosphate coming in with a bad batch of local water, which is a big deal for me.

If anyone here on the forum wants to come pickup RO/DI water from my place on kadena. you can have as much as you can carry free of charge. Like I said, I keep about 70 gallons made up.

09/06/2008, 07:05 AM
I got RO about a month ago on Kadena as well. However, mine only holds 2 gal at a time. It's enough for topping off my aquarium, but I'm afraid to ask where you get the salt at? Is it local or do you have it shipped in? May I ask how much it costs for the salt?

09/06/2008, 08:12 AM
buying it local is cheaper than having the stuff shipped.. just because a 5 gallon bucket of salt is prohibitively expensive to ship.

a 5 gallon bucket of red sea coral pro salt costs me just under $100, depending on the yen rate. I get my salt from the mostly FW store (da-vivid/upper river) outside of gate 2. The guys there are pretty good about knocking down the price since i buy so much stuff from them. They can also order a whole lot of stuff that you wouldnt think is available here on the island. only takes about a week to get to them, too.

09/06/2008, 05:27 PM
Sounds like you have been working the connections--nice job. To bad we can't get a discount for everything we buy at the fish stores. Afterall, Reef Central is an awesome place to advertise by word-of-mouth the products and locations on an island that are hard to find. Would also be a great reason to get people involved in ReefCentral in Okinawa.

09/06/2008, 07:44 PM
nobody says i cant go pickup the stuff for you... :D

09/06/2008, 10:43 PM
I like the way you think--you've been in the Army for a while. :)

09/07/2008, 12:28 AM
damn right !

09/07/2008, 05:38 AM
How many gal of water does a 5 gal bucket of salt make? Still wondering why the ocean water here isn't good enough? Maybe I'm just on crack for trying.

09/07/2008, 05:58 AM
because you have no control over what's actually in the water. pollution, phosphates/nitrates/diseases. Or the mineral content of the water. Calcium, ect.

09/08/2008, 04:13 AM
wow... ok, Once someone figures out where PPM has moved to, get your sea water from them. Lionel.. $100!! I was getting "Aquarium Systems Synthetic Sea Salts Reef Crystals 160 gallon mix" from Drs. Foster & Smith for $50 shipped. I stoped after 2 buckets because it was easier for me to goto PPM.

And yes, pulling anything out of the ocean and sticking it strait into your tank is a very bad idea. I started my first tank about 4 years ago.. pulled LR, sand and water strait out of the ocean.. everything died and I had nothing but hair aleage growing. I did that twice.. 3rd time I said screw it and got rid of everything and picked up my friends LR and livestock and went to Makuman for bags of sand. worked like a cham.. never had an aleage issue after that.

09/08/2008, 05:18 AM
wow.. shipped to an APO address or a local address? cause if it's that cheap ill order salt from foster & smith from now on

09/09/2008, 04:05 AM
shipped to an APO addy

09/09/2008, 05:29 AM
I started off getting my water from Torii beach. It was really convenient but I kept getting huge algae outbreaks. Everything in my tank was furry. I've moved further north and collect my water half way between Torii and Bollo point (Zampa) now. My algae disappeared within a couple of days. I get a little bit of algae growth from time to time but nothing that makes me worry. I collect during high tide and wade in about chest deep then plunge the container between my legs.

09/09/2008, 05:56 AM
Based on this forum, I'm ready to get water from RO water.

09/09/2008, 06:15 AM
just send me a PM and you can come get as much as you can carry.. :D

09/09/2008, 10:03 AM
I'm the guy you meet at Kadena Marina the other day (Tjo). Good to see you are still researching. And good to see that you found the fish lady store. I haven't been on the forum in a while, but if some of my old post are still around you will see that they started out OK, then went real bad, real fast, and in the last one I was even trying to give away my stuff. That's when (with an unhappy wife, and empty pockets) I started over.

What I did right:

1. Started using GOOD H2O. The only ocean H20 I use comes from way out in the Karamas. And I only get it about once a month. You are getting a nasty stuff off the beach; pig farms, water treatment plants, algae, ect.

2. Figi live sand, lots of it! 50lbs for me. PetBox sells it. That's about all I will buy from there.

3. Never put ANYTHING in my tank that I don't know about. I scrubbed, soaked, dried, all rocks, ect.

4. Started a log, fish, chems, ect.

5. Most importantly, I started SLOW, a little at a time (three small blue damsels) until the tank cycled (6 weeks with the live sand).

I am happy to say that I'm glad no one wanted to buy my set up. For the past year my tank has been very healthy. My clowns are getting huge.

Check out my latest

Some older photos

Hit me any time at http://www.okidivebum.com


09/09/2008, 04:58 PM

It's good to hear back from you after seeing you at Kadena Marina! Your aquarium looks like it is doing awesome and it's good to hear that your tank is going well. Have you heard of anyone else who has got water at the "Marine Lagoon"?

I was real impressed when I saw that you had a puffer and a sea anemone in the same tank. Puffers are usually not considered reef safe fish cause they will poop like a cow (messing up nitrates, etc.) and tear things up. How long have you had him in there for?

09/10/2008, 04:32 AM
Funny you should ask about the Fugu McPuff-a-lot. That was an old photo. I kept him for about 4 weeks, then let him go. Too much personality for the tank. But, at least he didn't die.

I don't know of anyone else getting H20 from B Lagoon, but I have been for the past 6 months with great results. Then I augment with H20 from the Karamas about once a month.

09/10/2008, 01:54 PM
I think PPM gets their water from out near the Karamas..

10/01/2008, 05:47 AM
i need to quit pulling my water strait from the beach it seems. I collect off the junkyard side of the steps during low tide normally.

10/01/2008, 05:53 AM
you're right, dont collect water from shore!! its *NASTY*

ive got RO water for whoever needs it free of charge.

10/08/2008, 01:21 AM
Anyone who lives around Mc T I have RO water for free as well.

10/08/2008, 04:57 PM
I have actually been using both. I have a DI unit and Reef Crystals...not my favorite salt, but about the only one I could get shipped here reasonably at the time.

I also do collect NSW at high tide, for Kadena lagoon, sometimes the sunabe seawall. I let it sit for a day or two just to be safe and allow any cryptocaryon potential to pass. I do agree with you guys that it is not water that would meet our standards in the reefing community back home, but my logic is that I am collecting the water from where I caught most of my animals....4 percula clowns, 1 sailfin tang, a sailfin algae blenny, a S. haddoni carpet anenome, and a S. mertensii anenome. I have a few other things...but they were collected elsewhere. anyway, these animals were thriving in this water, so I use it on their tank. I have used more mixed water on the SPS tank. So far, I have had no issues.

What issues have you had with the lagoon water?