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Hi there,

I've been using RO water in my Mist King since I got it. However making RO water is getting old and I've heard that some prefer de-chlorinated tap water for dart frogs due to the mineral content.

What do you prefer and do you have any build up issues with tap water? I live in the SF Bay Area and although I have not tested my water the general report shows pretty low TDS.

Cheers,

Josh
 

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How low is the TDS in government report?
Calcium and Magnesium carbonates will cause deposits over time, both in your misting system and on your glass. If the carbonates in your area aren't too high you could probably get by with dechlor tap water and soaking your misting nozzles in vinegar once a month (rinse thoroughly before putting them back in the viv) and wiping the interior glass of your viv monthly (or as necessary) with a chunk of lemon or a cloth soaked in lemon juice.

Someone with more knowledge than me can comment on whether its good for the frogs. Your plants may like the extra minerals, as long as it's not too much and you rinse the substrate completely from time to time so salts dont build up in the substrate.
 

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I would only use RO or DI in a mist king, all the extra mineral content will build up over time on various parts of the misting system as well as the glass. You'll be trading one problem for another.

If you're concerned about your frogs getting mineral content from their water, I suppose you could occationally hand mist with a spray bottle, being careful not to spray your glass. I know froggers that only mist with R/O or DI and have done so for years without issue. The frogs are getting the minerals they need from their dusted flies and probably pick some up through their skin from the substrate.
 

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However making RO water is getting old and I've heard that some prefer de-chlorinated tap water for dart frogs due to the mineral content.

This is one of those things that has been perpetuated via many venues when it isn't supported by the actual data... If you are worried about mineral supplementation, then you would be far better off looking at the substrate of the enclosure (since the frogs can aquire minerals through the skin and orally) and making sure that it was appropriate for the task (ABG, ground coconut husk (bed beast etc) are all deficient in minerals for the frogs).

The original data (and all of the recommendations from it) are based on ion loss by tiger salamander larva housed in distilled water.. what those initial studies didn't look at was the ability of the amphibians to reuptake the ions.... See this breakdown and discussion of it... http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/beginner-discussion/70300-water-discussion.html Unless it is isotonic to the frogs, they are losing minerals to it...

Ed
 

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Thanks Chris. My TDS is about 50. Mg is about 2 mg/l, Ca 3-9 mg/l, and total alkalinity is about 30 mg/l.
That is lowish, but there is enough present to still cause deposits which will shorten the life of your misting system and cause deposits on the glass.

How do you have your RO unit hooked up that it is such a PITA for you?
 

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Another vote for staying with RO here. I tried HMA once (like tap water, but with the nasty stuff taken out, but not the Mg or Ca) and my nozzles clogged VERY quickly, and it made a right mess of the glass.

I do however add BSP drops (a liquid vitamin supplement) to the misting water, and use either HMA or a HMA+RO mix for standing water in things like water features. I also have ALWAYS added finely powdered calcium bentonite clay to my take on ABG mix.

Dart frogs aren't aquatic, they don't spend their entire life sat in that demineralised RO water.

Ade
 
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