Questions about RO System
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:39 PM   #1
kruzerman
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Questions about RO System


I am thinking about getting an RO/DI system so I can start a reef tank and keep some of the pickier shrimp without having to figure out what is in my city water. Plus I am ready to start home brewing.

Is anyone currently using an RO/DI system for both aquarium use and drinking use? I know there are several hybrid setups out there but I don't think I will be using the RO water for drinking. Should I still go for a hybrid setup or just get any system that fits my needs/budget and install a T after the RO stage so I can pull RO for brewing and RO/DI for aquarium use. I know DI is recommended for reefs but how about planted tanks?
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:11 PM   #2
Miles03
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Well ill answer based on my experience I have a typhoon ro/di from air water and ice for the last three or so years. It has the drinking water attachment and tank that is awesome since the wife always bought bottled water but hasn't since (probably paid for its self in bottled water). I also have a reef tank that I use the di for and use the ro for planted...personally I think to much is stripped from the water by using di and not necessary in planted tanks.
It will be dependent on your water and should test your ro. I have loved my system and is only a recommendation as it seems there are hundreds of different systems.
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:30 PM   #3
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What do you mean hybrid system? Were you thinking about using RO/DI for the whole house??
RO water is certainly safe to drink but it lacks minerals that you need, so it's not a good idea to only drink that. The only time I've been drinking it was when there were problem with the quality of the city's tap water.

I used to have a reef so I still have a RO/DI unit. It goes only to the aquarium, with an auto-topoff system and a switch that allows me to fill bottles for water changes.

I'm currently changing my 95g from reef to planted freshwater. I will still need mostly demineralized water as top-off for my 25g. But my 95g will have automated water changes, and I dont feel I need RO/DI water for it, I only need to remove chlorine from tap water.
So here is how I plan to setup my RO/DI.

RO/DI units have 4 stages (some have 5, then one of the stages is there twice). The water goes through filters in that order : sediment, carbon, membrane, DI.
I will first change it to : sediment, carbon, sediment. The reason I use a second sediment is to keep carbon fines from getting into the aquarium, since they seem to be the cause of HLLE disease. It may not be necessary, but I prefer to be on the safe side.
After this second sediment filter there will be a T with a solenoid valve on each side.
The solenoid on one side is controled by the auto-topoff float switch and the water goes straight to the aquarium.
The solenoid on the other side is controled by the bottle filling system (on/off switch + float switch, so the water only flows when this system is on and the bottle is not full). The water goes through the RO membrane (then DI filter but I don't think it will be needed) then to the bottle-filling hose.
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:42 PM   #4
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It doesn't matter if you pull water before or after DI. It will be stripped of everything in a proportion that's useful to the plants anyway.

You WILL need to replenish the stripped water. Mostly because it comes out with almost 0 kH/gH. The only advantage to RO water in a planted tank is you control everything about the water chemistry. If you know how much and what you need to put back in it's okay to use RO. Otherwise, you'll gonna have a bad time figuring why some of your plants will stunt.

I use only RO water in my tanks. So far so good, you can find recipes here and on other forums on how to replenish the water. One way is to use commercial products and the other is to just use common sense and know what the plants need.

As short list you will need to put back:

- Calcium
- Magnesium
- Nitrogen
- Phosphorus
- Potassium
- Trace elements

Tom's GH Booster is a good recipe for Calcium and Magnesium although you can manage with household products just as well. The others you get from most fertilizer products.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:38 PM   #5
edicied
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Quote:
install a T after the RO stage so I can pull RO for brewing and RO/DI for aquarium use
Install the T after the Carbon block essentially splitting the line before the RO stage for drinking water purposes. No need for this hybrid filter as you it.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edicied View Post
Install the T after the Carbon block essentially splitting the line before the RO stage for drinking water purposes. No need for this hybrid filter as you it.
Here is one of the systems that i am looking at http://filterdirect.com/product_info...products_id=30. It looks like they just add a tank and sink mounted faucet.

I guess my real question is if there is any difference between a standard RO system and a reef/aquarium system besides the addition of the DI stage? To me it seems like I can buy a system from Dr. Fosters & Smith or Home Depot (and add a DI stage) and get the same thing. I can't find any real difference between an the two systems besides to DI or not to DI. I know I am going to have to remineralize for planted/shrimp tank use. I just want to make sure I get the right system and I seem to be having trouble finding the info I need.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kruzerman View Post
Here is one of the systems that i am looking at http://filterdirect.com/product_info...products_id=30. It looks like they just add a tank and sink mounted faucet.

I guess my real question is if there is any difference between a standard RO system and a reef/aquarium system besides the addition of the DI stage? To me it seems like I can buy a system from Dr. Fosters & Smith or Home Depot (and add a DI stage) and get the same thing. I can't find any real difference between an the two systems besides to DI or not to DI. I know I am going to have to remineralize for planted/shrimp tank use. I just want to make sure I get the right system and I seem to be having trouble finding the info I need.
Couple things I've learnt along the way and pretty much determine how 'good' system is. Don't get me wrong the others will work but they put more stress on the membrane & DI resin.

1) You want no more than 1 micron sediment filter.

2) Uses Activated Carbon block --not coconut shell.

3) 100 GPD TFC membranes has less rejection rate than a 75GPD, so best to choose a system with 75GPD membrane. Higher works, but you want the TFC membrane that's closest to 99% rejection rate. Higher rejection rate means DI resin will last longer.

4) Best to have your DI resin chamber placed vertically, with RO water flowing into the chamber from top which forces the water to flow from bottom up. Horizontally placed containers are not as efficient and you will go resin sooner.

Last edited by edicied; 01-19-2013 at 11:57 PM.. Reason: edit
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:37 PM   #8
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I dont think the DI is needed. But if you find out later that you need it, it's very easy to add.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:48 PM   #9
herns
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What is the cheapest RO system everybody's using?

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Old 01-20-2013, 09:33 PM   #10
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Cheapest is not best in this instance.

You can get a cheap $100 system from a generic reseller on eBay but they'll also have about 10,000 negative reviews, will provide no customer service and the equipment you receive will be sub-par.

Or you could spend $125-$150 on something like a Spectrapure system or other brand (Bulk Reef Supply, Buckeye, et al) and have it last for years and years and receive actual customer service. Those systems won't be made with cheap imports and will have tested, high quality material inside the equipment.

Avoid the "portable" systems. Any full-size system is just as transportable and can be attached to a sink faucet, no plumbing necessary. And full-size systems will be easier to refill.
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