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Old 01-25-2010, 12:26 AM   #1
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Question Reverse Osmosis...Opinions?

Hi everyone! I've been a FW hobbyist for years and am embarking on the exciting (and confusing) world of SW for the first time. I've done a lot of research on tank set-up, but one question thing still remains unanswered...is reverse osmosis a necessity? Some say yes, some say no. How expensive is it? Is it really going to make that much of a difference, especially with hardy fish? Let me know your opinions.

Thanks!
Mandi
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:33 AM   #2
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Tap water is dirty. Easiest way to say it. Ro/di water is clean. You will have spend money on products to get the tap water right. With RO or even store bought mix its done. To buy ro water it is usually around 50cents or $1 per gallon. Pre-made saltwater made with ro is around the same per gallon. How big is your tank? I think it is what is easiest for you but I would not use tap water.
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:38 AM   #3
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Thanks Bige. It's a 55 gallon tank. I've done research and priced the RO/DI units, but I can't seem to find an article as to how they hook up to the tank, if they're even hooked up to the tank! Or is it something that is installed to your main water line in the house? I also have a 90 gallon FW tank and have read that RO water is not good for them as it takes out too many metals and minerals that are beneficial to them. ?????
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:52 AM   #4
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Generally they hook up to a faucet either inside or out of the house. They have cast off water usually a 1/3 ratio or 1/4 ratio. For every one gallon made, 4 cast off gallons are also made (something to that effect). You usually make it in a trash can. Then you can mix the salt and use a pump to move to main tank. That makes it easy. As far as fw I would think that ro would be better as well. For all the good that there may be I would say there is more bad. Besides if you get an ro unit you can use it for your fw too. You have big tanks so you might consider a 150gpd ro/di unit. Anything smaller and you would be making water all month. BTW they work slower when cold.
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:57 AM   #5
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Good to know! Thanks for your help!!
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Old 01-25-2010, 02:01 AM   #6
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That's correct about ro water for fw tanks. It does strip alot of nutrients fish need and unless you want to buy additives to put back in just use dechlorinated tap water. In sw setups the salt mix has the nutrients needed for any fish and inverts. Plus if you don't have any problems with your fw tank, don't bother using ro. Bige is right about the trash can. If you do decide to get an ro unit get one with a tds(total dissolved solids) meter. It'll give you peace of mind about what's coming out. And make sure you know if chloramines are present in your tap water as some ro units do not remove them.
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Old 01-25-2010, 04:46 AM   #7
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I got this one on eBay

150GPD 0ppm Reverse Osmosis+(2)DI Aquarium Water Filter - eBay (item 380198864733 end time Jan-25-10 19:38:54 PST)

and couldn't be happier. Makes 80 GPD when the water if 55F. I preheat the water by coiling tubing in a 5g bucket with a couple of heaters and bump it up to about 110-120. $114 shipped. The seller has all kinds of different setups for dual use, etc, so plenty of options...
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Old 01-25-2010, 05:07 AM   #8
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RO or Ro/DI unit are great if you have poor water coming from your tap or well, and that can depend on where you live, where i live its not an issue,we do beautiful reef tanks with water right out of the tap, this would be a good time to have your tap water tested, the yhen you can deside if you really need an RO/DI unit. hope this helps

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Old 01-25-2010, 09:15 AM   #9
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My tap water has 500ppm TDS, pH of 8.8+, Phos over 0.2, Nitrate 5-10, KH 3, so there's just no getting around it.

They make models with built in TDS meters, etc etc, if you search enough on this site you'll see what I mean. I got mine off Amazon Amazon.com: HM Digital Pocket Size TDS Meter TDS-4 Water Quality Tester: Kitchen & Dining for $20 and you just test it once a month or whatever depending on how much you use (right after the membrane, before the DI) and that's all you need.
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:24 AM   #10
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FW is used as is with all the minerals in it. All you need to do is dechlorinate it.
IN SW we are adding a salt mix that has 70+ minerals in very specific quantities. You want to start with very clean water so your final mix is Near Sea Water (NSW) quality.
My tap water reads anywhere from 185 to 215 ppm of total disolved solids (TDS). That's not to say that everything has been removed, just those eletrictally conductive metals which is really all a TDS meter can test for.
I have a 5 -stage RODI unit (Typhoon III from airwaterice.com). The first stage is a 10 micron sediment filter, followed by a 5 micron carbon filter, followed by a 1 micron carbon filter, then the RO membrane. This setup makes each stage filter jsut the right amount so that the membrane gets rather pure water to begin with.

Using a TDS meter with a RODI filter is a must. Tap water pressure and temperature also affect how well a RODI unit work. Pressure below 50psi and/or temperature below 55 degrees wil cause the unit to produce less water per hour. In that case a booster pump may be necessary.
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