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Old 10-26-2019, 04:13 AM
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Default Re-mineralizing distilled/RO water.

Can anyone recommend a product to add minerals back to RO and distilled water? I searched the forums and didnt come up with much. I know Josh's sells a product. Looking for something not specifically marketed to frogs, but still safe, ie something I could buy without ordering online. Thanks!
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Old 10-26-2019, 01:32 PM
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Default Re: Re-mineralizing distilled/RO water.

Knowing your purpose for remineralizing would be useful. For most frogging purposes, remineralization isn't necessary.

I've read froggers using Kent RO Right. It is mostly chlorides, and as such is questionable.

I use Seachem Equilibrium and sodium bicarbonate. If you're using this for plant growth only, the bicarb isn't useful.

If you're trying to get a product water that is simply less hard than your tap water, you can mix treated tap water with RO water to yield the ppm you're aiming for.

If you're a DIY type you can mix up a remineralization agent with mostly over the counter products (epsom salts, etc) but the leg work on that would be better spent on nearly anything else you can think of. Some people like to make things really complicated, though, so it is an option.
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Old 10-26-2019, 03:59 PM
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I was planning on using it for tadpoles and the frogs. I've been using r/o and distilled for my tads and frogs for a bit but I've read that distilled and R/O aren't good for them basically for the same reasons it's bad for people to drink them. They are devoid of trace minerals and act like a sponge when drank/absorbed, leaching minerals from the person/animal. Should I just switch to dechlorinated tap water?
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Old 10-26-2019, 04:18 PM
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Default Re: Re-mineralizing distilled/RO water.

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Originally Posted by Drthsideous View Post
I was planning on using it for tadpoles and the frogs.

What species of tad? Some are adapted to surface water, some to rainwater with low-zero tds content.

"For the frogs" -- you mean for misting? Some (most) tap will clog mister nozzles and spot glass and plant leaves.

Have your current practices been working, or is there some problem you're trying to rectify?
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Old 10-31-2019, 02:17 AM
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Default Re: Re-mineralizing distilled/RO water.

If you need it (rain water in wild broms is essentially nature’s ro/di) salty shrimp kh/gh is the go to for remineralizing water for very very sensitive shrimps.
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Old 11-01-2019, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drthsideous View Post
I was planning on using it for tadpoles and the frogs.

What species of tad? Some are adapted to surface water, some to rainwater with low-zero tds content.

"For the frogs" -- you mean for misting? Some (most) tap will clog mister nozzles and spot glass and plant leaves.

Have your current practices been working, or is there some problem you're trying to rectify?
Current practices have been working. Currently it's for leucomelas and auratus tads and frogs. For the frogs means I like to keep a small water dish in the enclosures for the frogs to soak in if they want. I guess what I'm also getting at, misters aside, is tap water treated with dechlorinator safe for dart frogs and tads? I've read mixed things. Looking for some clarity.
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Old 11-01-2019, 01:09 AM
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Default Re: Re-mineralizing distilled/RO water.

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Originally Posted by Drthsideous View Post
is tap water treated with dechlorinator safe for dart frogs and tads? I've read mixed things. Looking for some clarity.
You'll read mixed things because various tap water is not remotely alike, other than being wet. Surface water, municipal well, private well, Flint MI (!!) are all very different both in terms of source water parameters and contaminants as well as what municipalities do to treat it.
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Old 11-02-2019, 02:56 PM
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Default Re: Re-mineralizing distilled/RO water.

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Originally Posted by RobJersey View Post
If you need it (rain water in wild broms is essentially nature’s ro/di) salty shrimp kh/gh is the go to for remineralizing water for very very sensitive shrimps.
I want to push back against this idea; there is a fair amount of debris, both large pieces and fine particulate organic matter that accumulates in the axils and lateral spaces of a bromeliad that results in a non-trivial amount of nutrients and salts building up in these phytotelmata, even if they are flushed consistently with rain. See this paper:

Richardson, B. A., Richardson, M. J., Scatena, F. N., & Mcdowell, W. H. (2000). Effects of nutrient availability and other elevational changes on bromeliad populations and their invertebrate communities in a humid tropical forest in Puerto Rico. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 16(2), 167–188. doi: 10.1017/s0266467400001346


But for a snapshot of the important bit, this table should help:

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Old 11-02-2019, 04:08 PM
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Default Re: Re-mineralizing distilled/RO water.

"Pure" water is bad for frogs

Rainwater is hitting airborne solids all the way to picking up solid particulate matter on the way down to the jungle floor. Everything it touches - rocks, bark, leaves ect.

Rainwater ends up being very far from 'pure'.

Here's an anecdotal story that may assist: There was a mom who kept a tiny tadpole in a drinking glass for her kids to see. The kids always insisted that the tadpole have 'clean' water. So after every feeding...every pooping, the water was almost completely replaced with RO water. CLEAN water. The tadpole's spine soon became crooked and it, of course, died.

There is some weird human fascination with 'clean clean clean ultra pure water' and it's just bad for the hobby.

Most city tap water is excellent to use in all facets when degassed. I think there is a 'flint michigan' level of suspicion that impares our hobby.
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Old 11-02-2019, 04:22 PM
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Default Re: Re-mineralizing distilled/RO water.

I have used RO right for years. Had very good success with mantella frogletse
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Old 11-02-2019, 07:25 PM
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Default Re: Re-mineralizing distilled/RO water.

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Originally Posted by TarantulaGuy View Post
Interesting data.

Note that Palo Colorado, Puerto Rico is less than five miles from the ocean; this likely explains the high level of chlorides. Iquitos, Peru is about 500 miles from the ocean. So, it is likely there are radically different water parameters in the broms used by Ranitomeya, for example. Other genera will likely experience different water as tads.

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I have used RO right for years. Had very good success with mantella frogletse
Another useful piece of information.

Looking at range maps, though, Mantella are often found within a couple miles of the coast. Ranitomeya are not; their main ranges are hundreds of miles inland. I don't know the ranges of other genera, but I don't think that generalizing tad water parameters for all Dendrobatids would be warranted.

I use only RODI water to flush broms, and my first dozen imitator tads look good. I wouldn't use such low TDS water for tads that are adapted to surface water.

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Most city tap water is excellent to use in all facets when degassed. I think there is a 'flint michigan' level of suspicion that impares our hobby.
'Most', yes. I lived in Minneapoils for a few years, and was a semi-serious fishkeeper at the time. Seasonally, Minneapolis -- like all cities that use surface water -- boosts chloramine levels to combat springtime increases in bacteria counts. This can catch keepers of aquatic animals off guard when they find their "dechlorination" routine insufficient, and animals die and RO membranes are damaged.
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Old 11-03-2019, 02:59 PM
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Default Re: Re-mineralizing distilled/RO water.

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Originally Posted by Socratic Monologue View Post
Interesting data.

Note that Palo Colorado, Puerto Rico is less than five miles from the ocean; this likely explains the high level of chlorides. Iquitos, Peru is about 500 miles from the ocean. So, it is likely there are radically different water parameters in the broms used by Ranitomeya, for example. Other genera will likely experience different water as tads.



Another useful piece of information.

Looking at range maps, though, Mantella are often found within a couple miles of the coast. Ranitomeya are not; their main ranges are hundreds of miles inland. I don't know the ranges of other genera, but I don't think that generalizing tad water parameters for all Dendrobatids would be warranted.

I use only RODI water to flush broms, and my first dozen imitator tads look good. I wouldn't use such low TDS water for tads that are adapted to surface water.



'Most', yes. I lived in Minneapoils for a few years, and was a semi-serious fishkeeper at the time. Seasonally, Minneapolis -- like all cities that use surface water -- boosts chloramine levels to combat springtime increases in bacteria counts. This can catch keepers of aquatic animals off guard when they find their "dechlorination" routine insufficient, and animals die and RO membranes are damaged.

Agreed, it could explain the salts, but not most of the others; there is still an awful lot of FPOM and nutrients from the breakdown of leaves and debris that brom axils capture; not to mention insects that fall in and drown, and algae that grows in them. They are far from being a 'pure' water capture; and as Philsuma mentioned, rain itself is certainly not 'pure' either. IDK why this myth of RO/DI water being good for frogs originated. But it's not, and no one should be using it for that purpose.
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Old 11-03-2019, 03:46 PM
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Thanks everybody, this is all really good info. I feel like I can make an informed decision now.
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Old 11-03-2019, 03:51 PM
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Default Re: Re-mineralizing distilled/RO water.

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there is still an awful lot of FPOM and nutrients from the breakdown of leaves and debris that brom axils capture; not to mention insects that fall in and drown, and algae that grows in them.
True, but I'm not sure how these constituents of brom water are relevant to the question of RO (low TDS, low possibility of chemical disinfectants and their breakdown products, industrial toxins) vs tap (sometimes high TDS, possibility of disinfectants et cetera).

Nitrate and ammonia in the broms in that study were much, much lower than EPA requirements for tap water (EPA caps nitrate at 10ppm, and there is no regulation of NH3 in tap water). Calcium and magnesium, as well: 2-3 ppm in that study -- this is much closer to RO than to most tap water.

As for the levels of DOC, no matter what water I flush my viv with, flies and leaves and poop and dust are going to get in there.
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Old 11-04-2019, 12:12 AM
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Default Re: Re-mineralizing distilled/RO water.

As a professional horticuralist I really don't agree with the whole 'RO water isn't healthy for humans, plants or animals'. RO DI water is guaranteed to be free of pathogens, chlorine, chloramine, toxins and anything else that you don't want. Any 'nutrients' the plants need are provided by the bio waste and mini ecosystems in our tanks and any 'vitamins' the frogs need will be provided by your supplements.

Plants that have very high and/or specific Nutrient needs will benefit from a Calcium/Magnesium/iron supplement, but I can't think of any that would be vivarium/dart frog compatible.

For tadpoles, a little bit of java moss and almond leaf is all you need to create ideal water conditions.

The whole 'dead water' is a marketing scheme. Just like marketing makes you think you NEED Gatorade or 'electrolytes' when a banana and a glass of water provides the same thing.

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Old 11-04-2019, 04:25 PM
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Default Re: Re-mineralizing distilled/RO water.

RO water is sufficient (and required) for a misting system. If it is for a water feature (or raising tads), then RO/DI water is insufficient. Long term use of water deficient in certain minerals can lead to bloated animals and kidney problems because they will struggle to maintain osmotic equilibrium.

I do not recommend mixing up your own using just any grocery store chemicals because sodium bicarbonate (baking powder) for example contains anti-caking agents such as corn starch and an acid salt.

For a recipe based on actual research and science, I suggest you read the Amphibian Husbandry Resource Guide posted by Amphibian Ark.
It can be viewed here:
https://www.speakcdn.com/assets/2332...ourceguide.pdf
Scroll down to page 25 for the ingredients.

That guide also recommends rainwater for certain uses:
"Rainwater usually will be slightly soft and is particularly useful for keeping leaf axil breeding amphibians such as the strawberry poison dart frog [Oophaga (=Dendrobates) pumilio]." But then you would also have to consider possible contamination by local amphibians.
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Old 11-04-2019, 04:47 PM
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Default Re: Re-mineralizing distilled/RO water.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinc Tank View Post
RO water is sufficient (and required) for a misting system. If it is for a water feature (or raising tads), then RO/DI water is insufficient. Long term use of water deficient in certain minerals can lead to bloated animals and kidney problems because they will struggle to maintain osmotic equilibrium.



I do not recommend mixing up your own using just any grocery store chemicals because sodium bicarbonate (baking powder) for example contains anti-caking agents such as corn starch and an acid salt.



For a recipe based on actual research and science, I suggest you read the Amphibian Husbandry Resource Guide posted by Amphibian Ark.

It can be viewed here:

https://www.speakcdn.com/assets/2332...ourceguide.pdf

Scroll down to page 25 for the ingredients.



That guide also recommends rainwater for certain uses:

"Rainwater usually will be slightly soft and is particularly useful for keeping leaf axil breeding amphibians such as the strawberry poison dart frog [Oophaga (=Dendrobates) pumilio]." But then you would also have to consider possible contamination by local amphibians.
Very good info. The bloating caused by osmotic deficiency with only RO water would only happen if the amphibians weren't getting the proper minerals from their diet and/or environment. With supplements, feeder insects, tank hardscape and the biology within the tank, frogs will be getting all they need.

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Old 11-04-2019, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: Re-mineralizing distilled/RO water.

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Very good info. The bloating caused by osmotic deficiency with only RO water would only happen if the amphibians weren't getting the proper minerals from their diet and/or environment. With supplements, feeder insects, tank hardscape and the biology within the tank, frogs will be getting all they need.

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But why add any extra physiological stress unnecessarily? It's just not needed. Unless you're dealing with just utter rubbish tap water, tap water is preferred. As part of a professional herp/fish/invert keeper team, we NEVER use pure RO for any of our animals; we reconstitute every time.
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Old 11-04-2019, 05:06 PM
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Default Re: Re-mineralizing distilled/RO water.

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I do not recommend mixing up your own using just any grocery store chemicals because sodium bicarbonate (baking powder) for example contains anti-caking agents such as corn starch and an acid salt.
Sodium bicarbonate is baking soda, and contains no additives:

https://www.ahprofessional.com/_down...ing%20Soda.pdf
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Old 11-05-2019, 02:41 AM
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Default Re: Re-mineralizing distilled/RO water.

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Very good info. The bloating caused by osmotic deficiency with only RO water would only happen if the amphibians weren't getting the proper minerals from their diet and/or environment. With supplements, feeder insects, tank hardscape and the biology within the tank, frogs will be getting all they need.

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I haven't considered that before. Sounds plausible. Do you have any scientific literature to support that? I am interested in reading further information on this.

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Sodium bicarbonate is baking soda, and contains no additives:

https://www.ahprofessional.com/_down...ing%20Soda.pdf
That is true, but baking powder is also sodium bicarbonate. My point is that I just feel it is too risky for the average Joe to undertake if they do not know what they are doing. The very nature of the original post suggests they might not fully understand the subject, hence why they are asking questions.
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Old 11-05-2019, 03:19 AM
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Do you have any scientific literature to support that? I am interested in reading further information on this.
Hmm. I would be interested too, since a cell containing a higher concentration of minerals would actually take up more water on the way to osmotic equilibrium, and so bloat more.
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Old 11-05-2019, 03:29 AM
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Default Re: Re-mineralizing distilled/RO water.

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That is true, but baking powder is also sodium bicarbonate. My point is that I just feel it is too risky for the average Joe to undertake if they do not know what they are doing. The very nature of the original post suggests they might not fully understand the subject, hence why they are asking questions.
Do you really think that someone shouldn't engage in something that involves a distinction between baking powder and baking soda? I thought I had little faith in humanity...
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Old 11-05-2019, 04:20 AM
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Do you really think that someone shouldn't engage in something that involves a distinction between baking powder and baking soda? I thought I had little faith in humanity...
Its a mistake I am sure someone would make. Believe it or not, a lot of people think baking soda and baking powder are pretty much the same thing, but you and I obviously know there is a difference. But maybe my faith is low
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Old 11-05-2019, 07:13 AM
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I haven't considered that before. Sounds plausible. Do you have any scientific literature to support that? I am interested in reading further information on this.
All the examples I can currently site are for humans and plants but this Same concept goes for amphibians. Minerals are essential for vital chemical reactions in the body, But they don't only come from water. Animals eat more minerals than they drink. Therefore by supplementing the proper minerals (i.E. dusting FFs) you are counteracting the lack of minerals in the RO water.

I would speculate the majority of us with medium+ size collections use RO water since we run misting systems. no issues so far
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Old 11-05-2019, 02:52 PM
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Default Re: Re-mineralizing distilled/RO water.

It's still a sub-optimal practice, especially for tads. It's not just osmotic potential, RO/DI water also has 0 buffering capacity and pH can swing wildly. Why even do this when most of our tap water is completely acceptable for our animals? It's not any easier, RO is wasteful AND more expensive for literally more potential harm and no benefit. I do not understand.
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Old 11-05-2019, 03:11 PM
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Default Re: Re-mineralizing distilled/RO water.

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It's still a sub-optimal practice, especially for tads. It's not just osmotic potential, RO/DI water also has 0 buffering capacity and pH can swing wildly. Why even do this when most of our tap water is completely acceptable for our animals? It's not any easier, RO is wasteful AND more expensive for literally more potential harm and no benefit. I do not understand.
I'm not going to argue that ro is wasteful. My tap water near the beach in California is horrible so that's not an option. Especially for misting systems and salt buildup.

As far as buffering tadpole water, I include java moss and Indian almond leaf. I don't see how that's adding any physiological stress. I agree that amphibians don't want a pure water, sterile environment, but that's not the case here.

Maybe some frog species appreciate harder water, but I've noticed no ill affects only using RO water for the last 5ish years.

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Old 11-05-2019, 03:25 PM
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Default Re: Re-mineralizing distilled/RO water.

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I would speculate the majority of us with medium+ size collections use RO water since we run misting systems. no issues so far
Those are both safe assumptions.

Has anyone here experienced any problems that they can reasonably attribute to the use of RO water? If most of use RO, and (nearly) none of us report issues, why the resistance? Extrapolation from human studies doesn't really cut it.

I personally have lost fish (not frogs, but physiologically closer to frogs than are humans, which are the primary consumers of the chemically treated, highly mineralized water that comes from most taps) to tap water and issues resolved when switching to reconstituted RO.

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RO/DI water also has 0 buffering capacity and pH can swing wildly.
True, and possibly problematic. But what do you think the carbonate content of brom water is? Pretty low, approaching zero, I'd wager. (It isn't listed in the chart above.) Isn't it probable that a species whose tads have adapted to spending months in a volume of water with little more mass than their own body would be adapted to the wildly fluctuating pH levels in brom water? The level of buffering compounds in that volume of water would have to be tremendous to counter the drop in pH from the CO2 that a tad expels (countered, I suppose, by the CO2 uptake of the brom itself).

Why don't all my tads die?
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Default Re: Re-mineralizing distilled/RO water.

This was a good read and I'm very happy for the elaboration discussing RO and Tap Water. I am using RO for misting and etc and i use supplements and gutloads etc, so I feel better about using RO now. It's also good to know as for my area we have clean and safe drinking water so I have the privilege of using both.

Thank you guys for a solid discussion!

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