Really High Tin Levels in my RO/DI Water

cybermeez

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Does anybody have a suggestion? Is there an RO/DI resin that will remove the excess tin? Is there a water conditioner that will neutralize it? Kordon says their NovAqua Plus should, but I?m wondering if anyone has experience with it or some other product that is proven to remove tin that I can use in The RO/DI water before mixing in the salt.
 

cybermeez

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What Container you used to storage the ro/doi water ?
I don?t store it. I make it fresh each time. The water tested went directly from the RO/DI unit into the test tube.

I know the source of the problem, but I?m trying to figure out how to either get rid of the tin at the RO level or neutralize it before the water is even mixed with salt. This doesn?t seem to be a common problem and I can?t find any info online specifically about dealing with tin getting through an RO/DI unit.
 

bigyankfan

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You live in Manhattan, so if the issue was with your water, everyone in NYC would have that problem. Tin is a component in solder so maybe you're picking it up from your building's pipes. Check the levels from a neighbor's apartment and someone else in Manhattan to see if the problem is isolated to just your apartment. Good luck.
 

cybermeez

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You live in Manhattan, so if the issue was with your water, everyone in NYC would have that problem. Tin is a component in solder so maybe you're picking it up from your building's pipes. Check the levels from a neighbor's apartment and someone else in Manhattan to see if the problem is isolated to just your apartment. Good luck.
It's definitely the building. The building is new (opened in 2017) so tin leaching from solder is the most logical culprit.
 

Zoous

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Cuprisorb should work. Long term you probably have to continue using Cuprisorb or buy your RO/DI water from a LFS or a friend who will provide you with RO/DI water every week or 2 weeks.
 

cybermeez

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Update - Tin in RO Water....and More

Background - A Tank Wipeout
In June I moved to an apartment in a brand new building. It took me about a month to get the proper adapters to hook up my 6 stage RO/DI unit to my kitchen faucet. During that time I was using seawater in a box (Nature's Ocean Nutri-SeaWater) to fill the tank and do water changes, and everything was fine for that month.

When I finally got the proper adapters for my RO/DI, I replaced the sediment and carbon media (the DI resin was relatively new and still properly colored), slipped in a new RO membrane and made my own RO/DI water for the first time in the new apartment, and mixed up some saltwater. From there things went downhill really fast.

Within 24 hours the stony corals (SPS and LPS) had lost color and died, and all the soft corals completely closed. All the tank's water parameters were within normal limits. Still, thinking something went wrong with the water change I did another to try and rectify it and remove all the pollution caused by the coral die-off. "The solution to pollution is dilution," right?

During the next 24 hours every living thing in the tank except one fish, one cleaner shrimp and the zoanthids I could pull out of the tank died. When I say every living thing, I'm not kidding. All amphipods, copepods, aiptasia anemones, mysis shrimp and bristle worms were wiped out.

The Hunt for a Cause
Everything still alive lived in buckets of Nature's Ocean Nutri-SeaWater for the next 4 weeks while I tried to figure out what went wrong. I sent a sample of my RO/DI water to Triton Labs for testing and waited.

During that time a heater in one of the buckets malfunctioned and killed the cleaner shrimp. The water got so warm it felt like bath water and the only remaining fish (an Aiptasia Eating Filefish) barely survived.

A week later I got the results back from Triton which showed levels of tin in the RO/DI filtered water were through the roof at 53 ppm. I did not test the pre-filtered tap water since all I really needed to know was if there was something wrong with my RO/DI water, and there was.

The Search for a Solution
I searched extensively for info on how to deal with this from others reefers who'd had the same problem. As it turns out, nobody did. All accounts of tin in reef tanks were caused by equipment corrosion and easily remedied with water changes once the offending piece of equipment was found. Those aquarists who tried additives on the market designed to remove heavy metals like lead, copper and iron met with mixed results. I had to figure out how to remove the tin from the RO/DI water before it ever made it into the tank.

A Potential Solution
After a couple weeks of discussions with the staff at Triton, PolyFilter and BRS I think I've got a way to get the tin out of my RO/DI water.

I had been using one canister of DI resin (mixed bed cation/anion resin) in my RO/DI. That may have worked for the water at my old apartment, but wasn't enough to remove the excessive positively charged tin ions in my new water source.

What I need to do is expand my RO/DI so it has 3 resin canisters; the first with cation resin, the second with anion resin and the third with a mixed bed resin. The first will remove any positively charged ions like tin and lead. The second will remove negatively charged ions like phosphate, chlorine etc.. The third will catch any stragglers that may make it through the first 2 DI stages.

Update 8/30/19 - Not a Solution After All
I expanded my RO/DI filtration unit to include separate stages of cation, anion and 50/50 mixed bed DI resins. I flushed the unit for about 45 minutes then took another sample of the product water and shipped it off to Triton Labs. I got the results back today and I am totally bummed.

Not only did the DI resin fail to remove the tin, the level actually increased, and now there are also toxic levels of zinc and manganese too. At this point I should have the purest damn water in NYC, but I don't.

Since I dropped several Benjamins at BRS on the additions to the RO/DI system, I've reached out to them about the current situation and what to do to fix it. I'll keep you posted.
 

cybermeez

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BRS thinks that the Triton results are not accurate, but I?m not so sure.

ATI says they will test your RO water for free when you send in a sample of your saltwater. So, I think I?ll take them up on that. I?ll mix up some saltwater using the RO/DI water and also send the plain RO/DI sample in with it.

Damn, this is so frustrating!
 

Czynot

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Sorry to hear you still haven?t found a solution. Have you try triton detox?
I?m in Brooklyn. My TDS from the wall is 17. Zero after rodi. My triton icp test came back with high tin (17ug/l) and slight elevated alummium. I will have to send in another test next month to see if my tin level decrease or increase also.
Also where did you get a tin test kit?
 

cybermeez

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I got a tap water multi-test on amazon. Home Depot also has them, but since I didn?t know what I was testing for initially I bought one online made by Safe Home that had test strips for 20 different things. Since it was a test for drinking water safe for human consumption, the lowest levels it detects might be far above what would kill a coral, as all the metal tests I did with it were negative. Since I knew it was something to do with the water, that?s when I sent the first test out to Triton.

Sorry to hear you still haven?t found a solution. Have you try triton detox?
I?m in Brooklyn. My TDS from the wall is 17. Zero after rodi. My triton icp test came back with high tin (17ug/l) and slight elevated alummium. I will have to send in another test next month to see if my tin level decrease or increase also.
Also where did you get a tin test kit?
 
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cybermeez

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As you know, I?ve been battling metal contamination in my RO/DI water since moving to a new apartment in June. I added 3 deionization resin canisters to my RO/DI filter and sent the resulting product water out for a 3rd test to see if it fixed the problem.

Since ATI will also test your RO/DI water for free along with a saltwater sample, I chose to go with them for this 3rd test. The results came back at the beginning of the week and they were still positive for tin, zinc and manganese. Even more confusing, the sample of saltwater I sent them had lower contamination than the RO/Di sample, despite the fact that I used the very same RO/DI to make the saltwater.

After numerous email exchanges with Triton and BRS where the I got the DI expansion, the conclusion was that the test had to be wrong. Still not totally convinced I decided to add one more canister to the RO/DI unit filled with PolyFilter pads. They absorb all sorts of contaminants and if there really is any metal still in my RO/DI water the PolyFilter should absorb it.

Today comes the final test before using the water in my tank. To do it, I mixed up a couple gallons of saltwater in a bucket and bought a ?cheap? green Seiatapora frag to serve as the sacrificial lamb. I put it in the bucket of saltwater made with my RO/DI around noon. Since all the SPS that had previously been wiped out died within 24 hours of the water change that killed them, if this frag is still alive and well tomorrow morning, the water should be safe for my tank. I?ll let you know what happens.

BTW, the guys at BRS really went above and beyond the call of duty to help me figure this out. They even researched my problem in the literature. Also, despite the label on Triton?s Detox not stating that it would neutralize any of the metals I?ve been dealing with, Triton officially confirmed for me that it would detoxify them. Though I think using it on contaminated RO/DI water long term would be impractical due to the requirements and expense.
 
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cybermeez

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Finally some good news! The little seriatapora frag is still alive, meaning my RO/DI water is now safe to use. I don?t know if it was that the 3rd water test results from ATI were wrong or if the final canister in the RO filter filled with PolyFilter pads has removed any residual metal. I?ll test for that on another piece of SPS coral at some point in the future, but right now I?m just happy that for the first time since June I?ll be able to do a water change without using boxed water. I?ll finally be able to get the tank back in shape, do more frequent water changes again and stop specializing in growing hair algae.
 
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mfs1855

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Is there a way you can run the water for a few minutes before you connect your RO system to it? This should clear out the pipes substantially. Leaching lead, tin, zink, etc. will sit in the pipe but once the water is flowing it should reduce the levels substatially. You can test this by running the 'tap' water for 5 minutes and then send a a sample of this water in. I would expect the levels to be normal or close to it.
 

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