All things RO/DI related - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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All things RO/DI related

I have come to the conclusion that there is not enough information available in one place regarding using RO/DI water in freshwater tanks.

Things I am interested in knowing:

- What system is necessary? Do I need RO/DI or is just RO enough? How about a decent quality drinking water filter with more like 5 gallons per minute flow rather than 75 gallons per day for the RO/DI? Does a drinking water filter account for hardness, pH, chlorine, chloramines?

- How do you have your system set up? Permanently plumbed into your water supply and a drain? How does it shut off when your storage tank or bucket is full? Float valve? Auto shut off?

- What are you mixing back into your RO water to buffer it? Is there a way to standardize this without using a text kit every time?

I have done quite a bit of basic research, but I would appreciate some more insight before a purchase an expensive unit. I do not want to find out that it is too difficult to use after I've already spent around $200.

Sorry for the huge list of questions, but any that you can advise on would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 10:29 PM
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I just went through the same thing and I decided on the Watergeneral RD-106. You can read about it here: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/eq...em-filter.html
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC21386 View Post
I have come to the conclusion that there is not enough information available in one place regarding using RO/DI water in freshwater tanks.

Things I am interested in knowing:

- What system is necessary? Do I need RO/DI or is just RO enough? How about a decent quality drinking water filter with more like 5 gallons per minute flow rather than 75 gallons per day for the RO/DI? Does a drinking water filter account for hardness, pH, chlorine, chloramines?
RO is all I use no DI unit here. Either will work depends on your needs. A drinking water filter is just a carbon filter and will not remove chloramines. A drinking water filter will only remove chlorine if hte flo of water is slow enough across the filter. RO Units use several methods of filtering the water from a Micron cartidge to trap sediments, carbon to remove impurities, Membranes to fitler 99% of everything out of hte water. If you add a DI unit the water will be nearly empty of 100% of everything but water. My RO unit takes my water from a TDS of 123 down to a TDS of 1, I could get it to zero if I saw the need for a DI unit. I store ~50g of water to age it before my use. I also still add a capful of Prime even though I don't need it I have it around and use it.

Quote:
- How do you have your system set up? Permanently plumbed into your water supply and a drain? How does it shut off when your storage tank or bucket is full? Float valve? Auto shut off?
Mine is hooked up into the master bathroom sink, I turn a couple of shut offs and turn the sink on and it is pumped to the storage tank in the next room, I jsut manually turn it off and on as it doesn't take much watching


Quote:
- What are you mixing back into your RO water to buffer it? Is there a way to standardize this without using a text kit every time?
You may need to test the first few times but will eventually figure out what you need to add each time, mostly trial and error. I use GH Booster and Baking Soda to reconstute my RO.

Quote:
I have done quite a bit of basic research, but I would appreciate some more insight before a purchase an expensive unit. I do not want to find out that it is too difficult to use after I've already spent around $200.

Sorry for the huge list of questions, but any that you can advise on would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Lots of options and opinions if you go for it it does cost upfront but its a choice not a requirment 99.9% of the time.

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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 10:52 PM
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My RO unit takes my water from a TDS of 123 down to a TDS of 1, I could get it to zero if I saw the need for a DI unit. I store ~50g of water to age it before my use. I also still add a capful of Prime even though I don't need it I have it around and use it.
Wow, that's pretty good. My city tapwater has a TDS of 301. After the RO/DI it's 0.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 11:02 PM
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Wow, that's pretty good. My city tapwater has a TDS of 301. After the RO/DI it's 0.
Yeah but hte city does all sort of crap wiht the tap to get it that way.

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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 01:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses, huuuge help so far. I read your entire thread kcrossley, and I learned a lot.

29g, hi-tech with CRS
ADA mini-s, low tech with CRS at the office
40g breeder, low tech with cardinals and amano shrimp
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 02:10 AM
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I just purchased this filter so im new to the water filtration crowd. I also purchased this float valve so I can automatically fill/shut off the trash can I plan on using to store the water. I talked with the rep for a while and we ended on this system because the water in his area is similar to mine. We went from a $400 unit to this and to me they seem to do the same thing.

My main questions concern the re constitution of the water because the purpose of the filter is to clean it of impurities. It seems that re constituting it is just adding the stuff you want out back into it. Please help me understand.


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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 02:14 AM
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Thanks for the responses, huuuge help so far. I read your entire thread kcrossley, and I learned a lot.
Glad I could help. It's tough being new at all of this stuff.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 02:16 AM
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My main questions concern the re constitution of the water because the purpose of the filter is to clean it of impurities. It seems that re constituting it is just adding the stuff you want out back into it. Please help me understand.
Yeah, I'm a little confused about this as well. The way I look at it RO water helps me start at a neutral point without having to worry about all the crap the city puts into the water. If I'm following the EI regiment shouldn't that be enough?
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsmith View Post
I just purchased this filter so im new to the water filtration crowd. I also purchased this float valve so I can automatically fill/shut off the trash can I plan on using to store the water. I talked with the rep for a while and we ended on this system because the water in his area is similar to mine. We went from a $400 unit to this and to me they seem to do the same thing.

My main questions concern the re constitution of the water because the purpose of the filter is to clean it of impurities. It seems that re constituting it is just adding the stuff you want out back into it. Please help me understand.
Water that is 100% pure can be harmful to fish. The components that you put back in that make up carbonate and general hardness effect the osmotic pressure at the cell level of fish. You need some amount of those components. Fish can be acclimated to extremely soft water just like they can be to harder water. You can easily shock a fish and kill it by introducing it to super soft water without properly acclimating it. Your plants also need calcium and magnesium that is removed by RO. Yes, you're removing those things but you add back a lot less than you took out.


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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 01:27 PM
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Water that is 100% pure can be harmful to fish. The components that you put back in that make up carbonate and general hardness effect the osmotic pressure at the cell level of fish. You need some amount of those components. Fish can be acclimated to extremely soft water just like they can be to harder water. You can easily shock a fish and kill it by introducing it to super soft water without properly acclimating it. Your plants also need calcium and magnesium that is removed by RO. Yes, you're removing those things but you add back a lot less than you took out.
Not to steal this thread, but if I'm using RO water and the EI fertilizer system, what else do I need to to this EI regiment?

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1035976-post35.html
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 04:02 PM
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Water that is 100% pure can be harmful to fish. The components that you put back in that make up carbonate and general hardness effect the osmotic pressure at the cell level of fish. You need some amount of those components. Fish can be acclimated to extremely soft water just like they can be to harder water. You can easily shock a fish and kill it by introducing it to super soft water without properly acclimating it. Your plants also need calcium and magnesium that is removed by RO. Yes, you're removing those things but you add back a lot less than you took out.
so adding ro right would probly be the best option since it is more controlled then adding my tapwater since I don't know the exact levels of the contaminants in it.


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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 04:17 PM
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 04:23 PM
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I use RO/DI not to remove magnesium and calcium (which I have to put back anyway by adding RO Right) but to remove stuff I don't want, such as ammonia, nitrates, phosphates and who knows what all else. I went to RO water after I started experiencing fish losses after water changes. Modern water sources just are not clean enough to be safe for fish.


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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 04:32 PM
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so adding ro right would probly be the best option since it is more controlled then adding my tapwater since I don't know the exact levels of the contaminants in it.
A pound of GH booster and a box of Baking Soda will go along way as RO right doesn't effect KH if I rememer right.

Initial dose of 1 Tbsp of GH booster gives my aquarium that is ~45g of total water a GH of 5

Initial dose of 2 Tsp of Baking Soda gives my aquarium that is ~45g of total water a KH of 4

So on a 50% water change I add 1/2 Tbsp of GH booster and 1 Tsp of Baking soda to my tank and it keeps the paramenters fairly stable.

When I test I add with a water change and test the next day to make sure it has all disolved into the system as GH booster sometimes clumps up but by hte next day has completely disolved into the water column.

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"C'mon, they're just plants, man, no big deal -- try some"
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