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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all. About two years ago when I moved I had an RO system setup because my well water has nitrates. I was so overwhelmed at the time with renovations with the rest of the house that I just explained to the company what I needed for my fish tanks and had them set up a system for me. It hasn't been ideal so I wish I had spent more time research for myself so I could be more specific with my needs. Basically they set up the RO system in my utility room and gave me two 40ish gallon pressurized tanks to store it in which is connected to a utility sink.

Unfortunately the pressure is fairly low and it takes about an hour to fill a 45 gallon bin for me to then prep for a water change (which involves me wheeling it out into my fish room and then heating it to the desired temperature and aerating it until I can use it the following day.

As you can imagine this system is unwieldy and means I get lax about water changes because of what a pain it is. I have to set an alarm to give me reminders to check on the water and then even though technically it is 80 gallons of storage it only really holds about 45-50 gallons max.

Having them come out to upgrade my RO system so it will be RODI as well (my well is so high in nitrites that even the RO water still has some) so want to discuss with them changing the water storage system as well at some point but this time I want to be better prepared.

Is there some sort of storage tank with a float valve system I can do and then use a plug in pump to pump the water out? Can I preheat the water in the storage tank so it will be ready to go right away?

Please show me your system. Pics and an explanation of how it works would be great! Thanks!

This is mine:
New RO system at new house by Kaveh Maguire, on Flickr
 

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I use 2 x 55 gallon drums connected together in my basement to store RO.

A pump inside the drum pumps water up piping that runs inside the wall to just above the tank. Another pipe runs from a pump in the tank down the wall to a basement drain. One switch to empty, one switch to fill.

There is also a pressurized storage tank for drinking water/ice maker in the kitchen.

Water is pre dosed with all macros, heated, and aerated.

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Mine is large but pretty simple.
RO/DI unit:

135 gallon holding vats, one for pure water, one for mixed:

Amazes me how "dirty" the one with GH salts gets over time comparatively.
 

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Hi Everyone,
I know this is a little off topic but figured since this is about water storage.
I have pretty decent water in NY and just use my tap water and prime. I do have an RODI system for my reef tank and was considering using RODI water, what would I need to do to the water to prepare it for use on my planted tank.. Are the fertilizer packages from GLA something I would need? Thanks Gus
 

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Hi Everyone,
I know this is a little off topic but figured since this is about water storage.
I have pretty decent water in NY and just use my tap water and prime. I do have an RODI system for my reef tank and was considering using RODI water, what would I need to do to the water to prepare it for use on my planted tank.. Are the fertilizer packages from GLA something I would need? Thanks Gus
You would need CaSO4 and MgSO4 to build back up some dGH.

If you want to raise dKH, you can use either K2CO3 or KHCO3. Personally I run my tank with zero dKH, but many do raise it some.
 

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Arrgggg CaSO4, MgSO4 723SD, dGH, XYZ3Z - how can we know what all these symbols mean? We need some names applied to these things !!

You would need CaSO4 and MgSO4 to build back up some dGH.

If you want to raise dKH, you can use either K2CO3 or KHCO3. Personally I run my tank with zero dKH, but many do raise it some.
 

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Here is my setup... It has one disadvantage.... I never imagine that I would need to remineralize... so i just have one storage vessel (65 gallons spec, but 53-55 gallons practically). That means, I manually remineralize in one of my 20 gallon sump chambers... not ideal at all. I need to work out a means to have two vessels... a smaller one of unmineralized water for evaporation top-offs.... and a larger one for remineralized water for water changes... the 2nd larger vessel will be treated as batch process where I remineralize after filling it.. and then try to keep it heated, aerated and minerals in suspension for a few days until the big water change even which will use almost all of it...

Ok... all of the disclaimers aside, here's my system... (not pictured is the thermostatic mixing valve which delivers water to the RO Unit at 79degF, also not pictured is the Mag5 Pump which pumps water from the storage vessel to my fish room for both top-offs and water changes). I should also mention the DI cartidge has been removed... it was just unnecessary... It's a neat double stage RO system...where the waste water from the 1st RO stage runs through a 2nd RO stage to extract even more clean water... It improves my RO water ration to almost 2 to 1...

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Mine has a 34 gallon tank. Presently it is connected to my drinking water faucet and to both refrigerators for ice and chilled water. With an aquarium I am putting together now, I will use if for auto top off and auto water changes. That should be preferable to filling buckets to carry. I have no intention of doing remineralization. I would have to see a real need for hardness in practice, before I would consider that.
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the info everyone. This is what the company I am working with came up with. They gave me a credit for the two pressurized tanks and gave me a 100 gallon tank with a float valve. A pump will (hopefully) move the water along faster than the 1 gallon/minute or so I was getting with the pressurized system. Also had DI added so it is RODI instead of just RO. Needed as my well water has such high nitrates and RO alone wasn't enough.

New RODI system by Kaveh Maguire, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ugh. Just tried to use it for the first time and I swear it is slower than my old pressurized system (which basically moved the RO water at 1 gph into the trash cans I use for water changes. New system is supposed to be 3-5gph). If anyone is using a system with a storage tank and float valve what are you using to get the water out of the tank? Can you specifically show me photos or video of that process? This is getting annoying. I am going to take some time to fiddle with it tomorrow and see if I can do anything to speed it up but I do not have a good feeling about it. On the plus side I haven't paid them for it yet and won't until they get it working right.
 

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I use an Iwaki MD55RLT to move water from a reservoir (a drilled 29g tank, but literally anything works as a reservoir) in the basement up to my tank on the first floor of the house -- about 40' horizontal and 8' vertical. That gives me a flow roughly equivalent to a strong garden hose at the tank.

You simply have to calculate desired flow rate (how many GPM you want to flow out) and head pressure (which on shorter runs with no elbows in the line is simply vertical height; on longer runs the resistance of distance and that of elbows in the pipe can be calculated in -- there are head pressure calculators online) and choose a pump with specs that meet or exceed those needs -- you can throttle back a slightly oversized pump with a ball valve, but cannot increase the flow of an underpowered one. Mine is actually throttled back, but only because that pump doesn't like to start against a strong backflow (when water flows back down through the line; a check valve would fix the issue as well, but I wanted to dial it back a bit anyway).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
They gave me an Aquatec Demand/Delivery pump (DDP 550 3.2 gallons) hooked up between the tank and my utility sink right next to it. I have a hose attached to the faucet which I use to then fill a trash can on wheels. It seems like the pump just isn't turning on. There might just be something wrong with it or it is not set up properly because it did turn on briefly (and it is very obvious when it is on) but then right back off. And today trying again it is just not turning on at all and there is a trickle of water. I want something that is going to be consistent and not have any problems with pressure and a garden hose type of flow strength. Didn't realize it would be such a pain. It could be just something off with the pump that they can fix or replace but I am still questioning how much water pressure can come from these skinny little hoses attached between the tank and pump and pump and sink.
 

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Aquatec Demand/Delivery pump (DDP 550 3.2 gallons)
That's a pressure boost pump rated at 3.2gpm max. For reference, my Iwaki is 18.4GPM -- not saying you'd need this just to empty a vat. A garden hose is about 15 - 25 gpm, accordin to an online calculator I just ran. IDK about skinny little hoses, but something 5/8" - 3/4"ID would be about right for filling a bucket -- nicer to have less velocity at whatever gpm so there's not squirting all over.

If you just want to fill 5g buckets, raising that vat up a foot or two and drilling in a bulkhead for a faucet (actually, I'd use a PVC ball valve, an nice smooth one like the Cepex that BRS carries) would be the simplest and cheapest and most reliable way to go. If you want a pump, you'd need to figure out your needs like I explained. Figure out how fast you want the bucket filled, and do the simple math, and go buy a pump.

I used to work at an LFS, and Culligan supplied and maintained the RO unit. This isn't actually a criticism of Culligan, but drinking water folks don't necessarily have a clue about the needs of fish keepers -- it was pretty challenging trying to get fish-quality water from that situation, as they just care about how the water tastes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
No it is high nitrates. I believe the well water is at about 23 mg/l and it should be under 10 to be safe. I also only use this water for fish tanks not for drinking. I just buy bottled water for drinking. I brush my teeth/shower in the regular well tap water but don't swallow any of it.

It is not 5 gallon buckets I am wanting to fill. I have trash cans I can fill up to 25 gallons and another at 45 gallons for the larger tanks. Was confused about the booster pump at first because it seemed like it was something to just help an RO unit work better but reading further it seems they are also used for getting water from a tank to a sink so it isn't unheard of. It just wonder if the sink can just be bypassed and a stronger pump with hose attached that I can just flip on and directly drain from storage tank into these trash cans I use.
Right now it seems this pump is not turning on at all. I don't see any reset or on off switch on it aside from the plug (and the outlet does work I tested it with a lamp). There is also a small pressurized tank connected and when I turn it on there is a bit of water pressure which I suspect is just water from this small tank and when that runs out it slows to a trickle. Ugh. So annoying. I wish I could just have something work from the start. Because of the pandemic this has been like a two year annoyance and instead of them improving it they have made it worse.
 
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