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My Southern California water is hard, high-pH, and contains high quantities of chloramines. I have 13 tanks at last count. That's a lot of buckets to dechlorinate on water change day! About a year ago, I took the plunge and researched what it would take to pre-filter my tap water so that I could refill tanks directly, I'm really glad I did, because in the long run, it has saved me more hours than I can count! Thankfully, it's a lot easier than it might seem. Below I will walk through the steps the average household can take to set it up, to show how easy and effective it really is! Plan on a $100 total expense. (All links are non-affiliate) (I have ripped off illustrative pics from the internet. He had it coming.) (Apologies to our overseas friends; this is how I did it in the U.S.) I'm assuming you know how to connect push-fit quick-connectors: Push, then pull, then insert a blue clip. PARTS: 1. 2 x Clear filter housings for 10" x 2.5" filters: 1/4" ports ($28) (clear is useful to see how dirty the sediment filter is) 2. Sediment Filter Cartridge: 1 micron ($7) (you could get 5 micron, but at this cost, why?) 3. Chloramine Carbon Block Cartridge: 1 micron ($20) (this cartridge is overkill if you're only treating for chlorine) 4. RO Canister Wrench ($7) (must-have for opening/tightening canisters) 5. Threaded fittings for RO canister housings: 1/4" ($7) (this is a basic selection; you can get more fancy here: elbow, direct connection, etc.) 6. Water supply RO adapter ($11) (basic is generally fine) 7. 25'-50' of 1/4" RO hose ($9) (how much do you need to reach your tanks?) 8. Assorted RO hose fittings ($12) (buy them all; you'll use more than you think!) 9. Vaseline or silicone grease 10. Teflon tape. STEP 1: Tap into the Cold Water Supply Pick a room with running water. I used my kitchen sink because of its proximity to big tanks, but bathroom or laundry hookups will do. Right where the cold water supply feeds the faucet, you can easily install the adapter valve. To install, simply: 1. Place a towel under the cold water shut-off valve. 2. Turn off the cold water valve. 3. Disconnect the hose to the faucet. 4. Install the adapter (use teflon tape for the threads!). 5. Close the new adapter's valve. 6. Reattach the faucet hose. 7. Turn the water valve back on! Here's a not-very-helpful picture of my installation. I have a RO-drinking water unit, so I had a similar adapter already installed: I do not worry about water temperature when refilling my tanks. I can't prove it, but I've heard that a quick blast of cold water simulates a rainfall and can stimulate breeding and other behaviors. Otherwise I will lose gallons of water trying to get the mix just right every time. Maybe if I had a fish room, but for 13 tanks, cold water alone is just fine. I change 50% in every tank every weekend. STEP 2: Load the Canisters Each of the filter canisters has a black o-ring in its housing. You'll want to gently pry it out, coat it with some vaseline or silicone grease, and push it back in. You can then load the filter cartridges in each one and screw the housings into the lids. Use the wrench to tighten them. STEP 3: Connect the Filter Canister Tops An RO threaded fitting needs to be screwed in both ports on each of the two canisters. You must use teflon tape or you'll have leaks! Once closed up, you can use some RO tubing to connect them to your home water supply adapter. Take note of the "IN" and "OUT" markings on the lids. Run a short length of tubing from the new adapter on your plumbing to the "IN" port of the canister with the sediment filter. Then, run a very short tube from the "OUT" of that same canister to the "IN" of the canister with the carbon block. The remainder of your tubing can be attached to the "OUT" port of that second canister, and will hopefully reach your tanks. Be sure and put a ball valve (you bought several) on the end of the tubing to your tanks, so that you'll be able to turn it on and off at that point! STEP 4: Check for Leaks I had to do this several times until I had used enough teflon tape or vaseline grease on the o-rings. It's worth paying attention at this stage to save yourself grief later! I closed the valve on the very end of my tubing, and opened up all the others. I keep it in this state indefinitely. STEP 5: Flush out the Carbon Powder I ran my unit for about an hour into the sink, until the water came out with the lowest TDS and clarity. STEP 6: TEST! I have a chlorine test kit that measures total and free chlorine; this allows me to infer chloramine quantities when I compare with an ammonia test. None of this is necessary, in my opinion, except maybe for peace of mind. I found that water coming out of this unit tests at zero for chlorine, chloramine, and ammonia. I suppose maybe the ammonia could read as much as 0.25 ppm, but it's my opinion that it's not enough to hurt fish, and any bio filter will snap that up right away. STEP 7: USE IT! I keep all the valves open at all times, except for the one on the very end of the hose that goes in the tanks to refill. The water coming out of this unit is not high pressure; it runs about 1 gallon per minute for me. I prefer that. Now, I just uncoil my hose to any part of the house I need, and coil it back up under the cabinet when I'm done! Clean water from the tap! STEP 8: ADDITIONAL TIPS 1. You can drink it too. 🙂 Unless you're already drinking RO water, it's MUCH better filtered than that stuff that comes out of your fridge icemaker or Brita filter. 2. The hose is so small I can put a tiny hole in my wall and get it to a tank for a permanent installation: Think auto-water changing! 3. You can add stages to improve the filtering capabilities. For example: A 5 micron sediment filter before the 1 micron will increase the lifespan of the latter. I haven't needed this; at seven bucks I plan to change it once a year whether it needs it or not. If you just want to take care of chlorine and not chloramines, you can go for a less restrictive carbon filter, which will boost your water pressure. For more neutral water and low-pH applications, you can add an RO membrane or DI resin. And so on. 4. For filling my rack, I went nuts: Hope this has been helpful. Thanks for reading! Bill