I live in the country, across the road from a 95 acre farmers field. I've measured nitrates in my well water as high as 80ppm+, although right now they seem to be down to around 20-40ppm. Way too high for partial water changes to keep tank nitrates low. I've reasoned it may be variable due to the time of year and relative rainfall. (e.g. they're just now spreading/spraying manure and we're expecting 4-5" of rain [oh my]).
Although it could work, I sortof ruled out RO - RO/DI water. With my 30/50psi well/pump system, I'd need an extra pump to force water through the RO unit. Then there's about 4g of waste water for every gallon of RO water AND then having to treat it for minerals and pH.
For a time, I used an API Tap Water Filter (now discontinued), but I only got 30-50 gallons per cartridge with my water and considering the cost of the cartridges, it would be cheaper to buy spring water - but then there's the hauling and I'd want/need at least 20-30g/week for my 60g alone.
Then I had some inspiration...What if I emptied a cartridge and filled it with API Nitra-Zorb to filter just nitrates from my well water? I ran the idea by the API (Mars) tech folks. They said they didn't know as the product (Nitra-Zorb) had never been tested in that way. But they also said that the resin run life was typically drastically reduced in the aquarium from detritus. (Hmm...no detritus in my tap/well water
So I gave it a shot with STELLAR results. I run (trickle) water through the API Tap Water filter filled with API Nitra-Zorb, then through an in-line activated carbon filter (rated for 2,500g) at my kitchen sink. (see photo).
I get about 200 gallons before I need to recharge the unit with salt water (I've used either aquarium salt or non-iodized table salt).
So far, I've run over 1000 gallons through the filter and the resin is still going strong! Eventually it will likely need to be replaced but I'm not sure yet when that will be.
DIY outside the box
1) Along with the above, I take numerous measures to keep tank nitrates low.
2) For inquiring minds, we have water delivered for drinking/cooking and often buy bottled water on sale. Fortunately for us, unlike many parts of the world, our water is nearly pure, inexpensive, and readily available.
Tank On, Mike-
60g Marineland Community, Finnex Planted+ 24/7, Silica (pool filter) sand.
10g, 29g, & 37g fry grow out tanks, 110g stock tank.
What came first, the chicken or the egg. It was the egg, but not the egg of a chicken.
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