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Old 07-31-2009, 10:52 AM   #1
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Kold Ster-il versus RO/DI

Any opinions. I know initial costs are more for the kold ster-il system but there is MUCH less waste water and I have heard the water is actually better from kold ster-il. 4 gal/min with the kold Ster-il versus 50 gal/day with the RO/DI. I could plumb the kold ster-il system directly to my system without a holding reservior for top offs.
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Old 07-31-2009, 11:14 AM   #2
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No waste water is a good thing, does it off set the cost.. not so sure.
Quicker flow is good though generally I'm in no hurry

My RO/DI makes 100% pure, 0 TDS H2O. Not sure thi s unit can make water that ' is actually better' than that.
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Old 07-31-2009, 12:19 PM   #3
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0 TDS....o.k. better is not possible but as good? do you have any experience with this. It would take forever to offset the cost. is it true that you get about 2:1 waste versus good on an RO/DI?

my main thing is no purified water tank would be necessary. I don't really have a place for a large container of water.
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Old 07-31-2009, 12:31 PM   #4
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yea, waste water is the bad side of an RO or RO/DI system.

I must be missing the point with the container. Your going to need a container to mix your salt right? The RO/DI water goes in that container. When it's full, in goes the salt, mix for 24 hours... PWC.... and the fun starts over again.

I probably get 5 gallons every 2 hours..roughly, maybe, I think. And mine cost <100 delivered.
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Old 07-31-2009, 12:34 PM   #5
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Old 07-31-2009, 01:03 PM   #6
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Kold Steril (KS) is NOT even in the same ballpark as RO/DI. KS is very good filtered water, but not pure by any means. KS will knock out the chlorine, and some other nasties like copper, but will let nitrates and phosphates pass through unchecked. But RO/DI is pure.

What you need for water though depends on your system - freshwater or salt? I run saltwater and RO/DI is pretty common. Freshwater... I get the feel that most folks just use dechlorinated tap.

I started my SW tank using a Kold Steril system for the reasons you noted - no waste water, it doesn't strip the water of the "good" things like calcium, alkalinity, etc. But there's a lot of bad things it doesn't strip either. When I noticed a sudden increase in nitrates in a quarantine tank, I eventually traced it back to my source water. When I originally made the decision to go with the KS system, my tap water tested zero for nitrates and phosphates. Months down the road, that wasn't the case anymore. At that point, the light went on in my head that water quality isn't really a static thing that never changes. It can vary month to month, week to week. And what things are in the water that I can't test for that may effect my reef? At that point I realized that consistancy is what is best for my tank, and the only way to get it was to start with "pure" water.

Long story short, I plumbed a dual cannister DI system (no RO) after my KS system. I then plumbed the outlet of the DI to a separate faucet that is mounted above my laundry tub. I can fill buckets with pure DI (0 TDS) water on demand, with no waste. No need to store the pure water, but I do have a storage tub for the made up saltwater. I can flow through the DI resin at 40 gal/hr and still get 0 TDS output.

BUT... the system ain't cheap. Since I have no RO membrane to do the heavy work of pulling out all the junk, the DI resin depletes fairly fast. I go through one cannister of DI resin every 6-8 weeks. If you budget allows it, it's a fairly easy no-fuss way of getting pure water with no waste. But I'll be the first to say it ain't cheap. But you always pay for convenience no matter what it is you're buying...

The KS makes an excellent "pre-filter" for the DI system, and it does pull junk out of the water. After a year, my KS pads are a nice bright blue color - showing that it's adsorbing copper out of the incoming water. I change the KS pads/carbon block yearly - in fact I have a spare set ready to go in next week!

Hope that helps you decide. Don't make the mistake I made and think you're getting nearly pure water from the KS. You aren't. But whether you need RO/DI or not... well... that's something you're going to have to weigh the pros/cons for your own situation.
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Old 07-31-2009, 01:18 PM   #7
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Old 07-31-2009, 01:42 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info kurt. That was EXACTLY what I was looking for thanks for the great post. My LFS uses KS/DI water because of the flow rate.

I will be using the water mainly for top off water. that is why I want to plumb it into my system with no holding tank. I plan on setting it up so that I can make salt water with is whenever I want.

I think that the KS is definatly more enviromentally friendly.

this is what I am looking at
Kold Ster-il Hi-Flow Three Stage Water Filter
and then adding this

Add-On DI Filter - AquaCave
can I bypass the DI unit and use that water for my cichlid tank or do I need to run that water through my DI stage as well
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Old 07-31-2009, 04:35 PM   #9
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Personally, I'd go with a dual canister DI setup. The first canister turns into your "roughing" stage and the second canister is your "polishing" stage. That way, you can squeak out more use from that first canister and still get 0 TDS water out of the second canister. I run color changing resin in mine and swap the 2nd stage to the 1st stage when the 1st stage has totally changed color and the 2nd stage has changed color for about the bottom 2" of the canister. At that point, I'm putting in about 85ppm TDS water to the 1st stage, getting 5ppm TDS out of the 1st stage, and getting 0 TDS out of the 2nd stage. I could probably squeak even more use out of it by slowing down my flow - I'm running at 40 gal/hr - but haven't had the patience to experiement much with that.

Yes... you can add a tee right after the KS unit and before the DI, and that's what I've done. That way I can use the filtered KS water for drinking, etc. On my setup, right after the tee, I have a plastic ball valve so I can totally isolate the DI canisters. Right after that ball valve, I have an industrial flow meter/regulator so that I can control the flow rate. I also have a ball valve on the inlet side of the KS.

I'll try and post a picture of my setup tonight, just to give you some more thinking material.
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Old 08-01-2009, 01:07 AM   #10
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OK... here are some pictures. Pretty self explanatory, I think. If you have any questions, just ask...




The faucet attached to the wall is the filtered water faucet. Left handle is for DI water; right handle is for just Kold-Steril water, not DI. Think I got the faucet at Lowe's or Home Depot... one or the other.





Flow meter/regulator was from McMaster-Carr (mcmaster.com). DI canisters were from The Filter Guys (thefilterguys.biz).
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