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Old 03-24-2010, 02:51 PM   #1
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a good portable RO unit?

I'm looking into getting a portable reverse osmosis filter and am hoping for some recommendations or even just stuff to avoid. It needs to be portable because I live in an apartment and hope to be moving out in the next year or so, and it would be helpful to tote the unit over to my boyfriend's apartment, rather than lugging the filled carboys over (3 x 5gals).
Main concerns are to reduce nitrates (for fish) and soften the water (for turtle), not going to be using this for drinking water. I'll probably only need about 50gal filtered a week. Right now I'm considering either the 50gpd or 75 gpd sold by PureEarth, but can't find any reviews for their products or service.
So, can anyone recommend a good portable RO unit or have thoughts on the ones sold by PureEarth?
Thanks!
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Old 03-26-2010, 05:23 PM   #2
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This one I got a few weeks back, it's freaking awesome. Hands down.
And once filters run out, you can just replace them with whatever.
Some have said "ooooh, but it's not QUALITY!!"
Whatever, it gives me 0 ppm water, and the rating on all the filters are >2500 gallons.
I would rather buy this for 68$ than some 150-400$ anything else...
0PPM Portable 100GPD Reverse Osmosis DI Filter PO4B-100 - eBay (item 110499515533 end time Mar-26-10 21:05:47 PDT)

It's like with shoes, 'jordans versus payless shoes'...

Nothing lasts forever...
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Old 03-27-2010, 12:18 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Kungpaoshizi View Post
This one I got a few weeks back, it's freaking awesome. Hands down.
Looking at that filter, this is this is almost the dance I did, got too dizzy after the first few spins! So, with this filter, 0 nitrate? I know RO filters are meant to do this but it also removes chlorine & hardness? Some of the others I've looked at make this price seem too good to be true. Just sent a message to the seller asking the same stuff. But for now, MASSIVE thanks cuz this looks perfect!
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Old 03-27-2010, 07:20 PM   #4
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Ya, 0ppm on all

So ya, I thought it was too good to be true, but for sure, after I got mine, it comes out with
0amm (down from my tap)
0trites (0 in tap)
0 trates (50-80 in tap)
0TDS (150 in tap)
0 alkalinity
0 hardness
0 chlorine (might have chloramine, but still add just a little water conditioner JUST to be sure)

6.9-7 ph....

You're only asking for RO water, this is RO and Deionization.
So if you're using it for FW, you need to get Kent RO Right, or Seachem Equilibrium.
BW, salt + minerals + alk buffer (i use baking soda + kent marine essentials)
SW just this and salt

But like I said, I don't have a chloramine test unit, so I just add a little water conditioner to be sure..

Otherwise ya, I was ticked about the trates in my water, got this, was SOOO happy, cause all the units I found out there that did 0ppm water were 125$+...

2500g for sediment filter
1500g for GAC
RO says 2 years, heard some guys on the net have had their's for 5-10 years (if you add a 2nd carbon filter before the RO membrane...
Not sure what the life on the DI mixed bed resin is, but it's like 10$ to replace....

I thought it was a dam good price for everything...
I was going to build my own seeing as how most of the filters you can get for 10-15$, I was confused as to how companies are charging 300-400$ for units that must cost 100-130$ to build...

Just be sure to get a tds meter, here's the one I got, it does what it's supposed to....

HM Digital Pocket Size TDS Meter TDS4 Water Quality Tester

Enjoy
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Old 03-28-2010, 01:57 PM   #5
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You MUST have a tds meter when you have a RODI or RO unit.
Pretty amazing unit for the price. Only potential problem I have with it is that it used a 100GPD membrane. The 50, 75 and 150 gpd membranes have a 98% rejection rate. the 100GPD membrane has a 90% rejection rate. That means the DI will be used up faster.
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Old 03-28-2010, 02:02 PM   #6
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imho, you'll be better off without one. in sw, its great because the salt mix replenishes the nutrients lost in the filtration. in fw, it can cause unstable ph, lack of nutrients, etc. Unless you have discus, i'd stray away from it. jmo though
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Old 03-28-2010, 04:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kungpaoshizi View Post
Otherwise ya, I was ticked about the trates in my water, got this, was SOOO happy, cause all the units I found out there that did 0ppm water were 125$+...
Yeah, before this I'd been seriously considering that one for $140, pretty happy to pay half that & still get good water! Thanks for the recommendation! Plus it looks like the replacements for this one are less than those for a lot of others.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cmor1701d View Post
Only potential problem I have with it is that it used a 100GPD membrane. The 50, 75 and 150 gpd membranes have a 98% rejection rate. the 100GPD membrane has a 90% rejection rate. That means the DI will be used up faster.
Is that true for all 100gpd RO filters or just this one? Didn't know about that at all! Since I'll only need about 50-75gals at most a week, do you think the 50 or the 75 would be enough?


Quote:
Originally Posted by mfdrookie516 View Post
in fw, it can cause unstable ph, lack of nutrients, etc. Unless you have discus, i'd stray away from it. jmo though
Thanks, the pH is my biggest worry. However, the hardness of the water is starting to lead to deposits on my turtle's shell and if I don't get that cleared up it can start to harm her. As for the nutrients, do you think an additive like Kent's RO conditioner would help?


Also, what can I use to hold all the water? Have 3 5gal carboys now but to change the turtle's tank would be 30+ gals and I don't want to start refilling, wait several hours, then finish filling. Garbage can wouldn't be food safe would it?
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Old 03-28-2010, 04:41 PM   #8
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cmor1701d, what are you talking about?
I havn't heard anything like that, but really, just getting into all this myself..
Why would the GPD make a difference on the ratio of rejection?
I can see the higher gpd makes more pass through, but why would the 100 do the most as opposed to the 150?

And yes, mfdrookie516, I totally agree with you, except for the fact I have 50-80ppm nitrates straight out of the tap... :P

I wouldn't use that even with FW. I suppose I should just feel lucky that my tds is only 150... I've heard horror stories about that..
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Old 03-28-2010, 05:16 PM   #9
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hbeth82, as long as you use the Kent RO Right or Seachem Equilibrium, you should be alright for FW. Though if your water requires a higher ph, dunno bout Seachem, but the RO Right, is geared towards minerals/nutrients, moderate alk buffers, and mostly general hardness.
But if you use baking soda to adjust the alkalinity after testing with just the conditioner to adjust, you should be good.

I've heard some mix 50/50 tap + ro/di water too...

But I would just use the other stuff, depending upon your tds, that would probably be the likely cause of your deposits..

Just be sure if you have plants, to invest in some sort of fertilizer because their nutrient requirements might be different than that of what Kent RO Right or Equilibrium provides... (if you go 100% conditioned ro/di)

And on your comment about the 140$ model, ya, I got into this pretty much ignorant of everything that it required to have a healthy setup.. Thought I was going to have to sell a kidney for a lot of the ro/di models I've seen out there...

Oh ya, and a garbage can would be wise, then you can always have water ready to go in case of an emergency.. I've heard a lot of people use brutes, heard a couple guys say 'goto dollar general for a cheap one', I personally found an 8$ 26g can at walmart... Was a little iffy about using it since it had the new plastic smell, but that was weeks ago..
Just be sure to use some FRESH ro/di water (aggressive solvent pre conditioning) to rinse it out multiple times.
Personally I havn't seen any adverse affects of the 8$ can..
Some others on I think The Reef Tank forums said "the rubbermaid brute isn't on the approved list for containers that are acceptable for food storage!" (according to some plastic retailers catalog)

So ya, just as long as you don't use a metal garbage can you'll prolly be fine..
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Old 03-28-2010, 08:02 PM   #10
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Ah this is for a FW setup, not SW. At most you want RO, but RODI. The DI filter removes everything making the water unbalanced. It's ok for drinking but from what I remember does need to be conditioned for FW use.

The 100gpd FilmTec membrane (Made in the USA by DOW) is the one that has a 90% rejection rate vs the 98% of the others . The 150gpd membrane is new last year.
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Old 03-28-2010, 08:18 PM   #11
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You get the Filmtec name from the pic?
i'm looking at mine from my 100gpd, it says
ROUltraTec
TF-1812-100
Manufactured by R.O. UltraTec USA

But ya were you saying RO, or RO/DI is ok to drink?
I thought I saw somewhere that "because the output water is devoid of all chemicals/minerals, upon someone drinking it, especially because of the deionization, once the water comes in contact inside your body, with your cells, it actually 'sucks' the minerals etc from cells so fast that it causes the cells to collapse, leading to internal bleeding".....

That's really the only thing I've read on drinking ro/di water that has made sense. It also follows what I saw one day on ro/di water being used as a solvent in circuit board production, something about "because of the rate in which ro/di water absorbs minerals/elements, it's use as a spray solvent with metals renders it useless in a very short amount of time".

/shrug
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Old 03-28-2010, 08:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmor1701d View Post
Ah this is for a FW setup, not SW. At most you want RO, but RODI. The DI filter removes everything making the water unbalanced.
Thanks. Never did well in chemistry so I may be off on this but is the de-ionization what reduces the hardness? Unfortunately part of what I need it for is to get softer water for the turtle tank (that, and dropping my 30+ppm nitrates). Are there any conditioners I could add? Don't want to keep adding more chemicals but living in an apartment, don't know of any other way to get rid of hard water, nitrates, and not spend $15-20 each week on water.
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Old 03-28-2010, 08:43 PM   #13
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You can just unscrew the connector to remove the DI tube...
But still, the DI is going to remove the nitrates.
As far as making the water "unbalanced", I'd have to argue on that point :P
It gives you a "clean slate", to build up from.
You can't get anything more pure than what it provides.. So technically, that's balanced. It's what you put in it from that point that determines which way the scales tip.
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Old 03-28-2010, 10:55 PM   #14
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Still kinda concerned about the points brought up by cmor & mfdrookie. Will adding the conditioners help to balance things and return some of the nutrients, or is it just adding more chemicals than I ought to be using?
Thanks!
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Old 03-29-2010, 12:09 AM   #15
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For FW, you want to add conditioners. For SW you do not.

FilmTec is generally considered the best membrane for water systems. As for other manufactures, uou would need to check their data sheets for the rejection rate of the membrane. Probably have to contact them for the info as it is not available on their web site.

As for DI water causing your cell to collapse, chalk it up as anotehr urban legend:
"
QUOTE
As for the relative potability of the pure waters, the difference in waters is very small. There is no adverse health affect from drinking distilled or deionized water. Deionized water tastes kind of bland & somewhat insipid, and distilled water has no taste at all. Some people get used to these qualities & drink them all the time. In either case, the taste is improved by aeration--if you shake the pure waters up with some air, the taste improves. The taste of any given water is largely imparted by the various mineral components; many of the drinking waters on the market today are, in fact, purified tap water to which minerals have been added (Avalon, etc). By law, drinking waters can not have more than 1000 parts per million of dissolved solids, so when you get down to the analysis of most available waters, there really isn't much difference between tap water, mineral water, or purified waters (no nutritional difference -->at all<-- between any of them!) As far as the health issue is concerned, it is true, water is hypotonic to cells & will destroy them. However, tap water is also hypotonic to cells. Your skin & stomach & intestinal linings are perfectly suited for thriving in and processing water. If you were to inject water into your blood, cells would die. If you cut your skin & wash the wound, the exposed cells do die. Fortunately, the fats that lyse out of the exposed wound quickly makes the wound less susceptible to water damage. Any ultrapure water you drink will quickly dissolve some saliva from your mouth--as soon as it has dissolved few parts per million of any substance, it is no longer ultrapure anyway. If it is a concern & all you have to drink is ultrapure water, you can stir the water with a metal stainless spoon or your finger first & it will magically transform itself from ultrapure water to just water.
END OF QUOTE

Is It Safe To Drink DI Water?
DI water is 99% pure water, comparable to distilled water, so it is just as safe to drink as distilled water is. Due to the fact that it is so pure, a lot of people do not like the taste, so it's potability (drinkability) comes down to your own personal opinion.
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Old 03-29-2010, 01:01 AM   #16
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If it is a concern & all you have to drink is ultrapure water, you can stir the water with a metal stainless spoon or your finger first & it will magically transform itself from ultrapure water to just water.
= I can magically destroy ultrapure water

Thanks, that does help. Had never heard about RO/DI destroying cells though, seems like it wouldn't be used so heavily in biology labs if that were the case

The following will probably make me sound like the dullest tool in the crayon box (or shed, if you prefer) but want to make sure I'm understanding everything:

1. The process of RO/DI removes a lot of bad stuff but also some beneficial stuff. For FW setups, this beneficial stuff needs to be replaced using a conditioner such as Kent RO Right or Seachem Equilibrium.
2. The 'purified' water needs to be carefully monitored using a TDS meter (don't understand what that is yet but I'll get there at some point).
3. RO/DI can also lead to lowered pH, which can lead to additional problems (plus my using glass hoods. . .)
4. The 100gpd membranes may lack the efficiency of their bigger and smaller counterparts.
5. RO/DI will do less damage do you body than alcohol & is probably less enjoyable.
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Old 03-29-2010, 01:21 AM   #17
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As for the relative potability of the pure waters, the difference in waters is very small. There is no adverse health affect from drinking distilled or deionized water.

DI water and distilled are 2 totally different things.
One is about phase change, and one is about molecular adjustments...

Perhaps it's not so much a 'mineral vacuum' but an electric charge (ions) type of situation? I mean, I've seen a lot on "if you drink a lot of it, electrolyte imbalance"...

I could see maybe drinking it once it was aged, but definately not fresh.
I'm not an expert on it, but if it's used to clean circuit boards and removes resins.. (industrial cleaner)

I mean to each his own, but if you think about it, you have a certain polarity of molecules, and you introduce them into the body.
There's gonna be polarity shifting between the introduced medium and the container(your body)...

Heh, just thought to myself, 'well if it leaches ions from metal, I'm pretty sure human tissue isn't as tough'..

Ya here ya go, World Health Orginization:

The possible health consequences of low mineral content water consumption
are discussed in the following categories:
Direct effects on the intestinal mucous membrane, metabolism and mineral
homeostasis or other body functions.

Practically zero calcium and magnesium intake.

Low intake of other essential elements and microelements.

Loss of calcium, magnesium and other essential elements in prepared food.

Possible increased dietary intake of toxic metals leached from water pipe.

Possible bacterial re-growth.

The corrosive nature of demineralised water and potential health risks related
to the distribution and consumption of low TDS water has led to
recommendations of the minimum and optimum mineral content in drinking
water and then, in some countries, to the establishment of obligatory values in
the respective legislative or technical regulations for drinking water quality.

Salts are leached from the body under the influence of drinking water with a
low TDS.

The rest is here:
http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_...ineralized.pdf
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Old 03-29-2010, 09:46 AM   #18
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i've always been told by my father, who is a chemistry teacher, that drinking distilled or ro/di water is safe, its just not safe if its all you drink. there are nutrients in the water that your body needs, and it cant get those from distilled or ro/di water.
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Old 03-29-2010, 11:16 AM   #19
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there are nutrients in the water that your body needs, and it cant get those from distilled or ro/di water.
Sounds like what I remember hearing but high school was a long time ago. So, RO/DI treatment removes everything (or nearly everything) except the 2 hydrogen ions & 1 oxygen?
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Old 03-30-2010, 01:13 PM   #20
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The passage of water through the first exchange material removes the calcium and magnesium ions just as in the normal softening process. Unlike home equipment, deionization units also remove all other positive metallic ions in the process and replace them with hydrogen ions instead of sodium ions.
As the metallic ions in the water affix themselves to the exchange material, the latter releases its hydrogen ions on a chemically equivalent basis. A sodium ion (Na+) displaces one hydrogen ion (H+) from the exchanger; a calcium ion (Ca++) displaces two hydrogen ions; a ferric ion (Fe+++) displaces three hydrogen ions, etc. (Recall that home softeners also release two sodium ions for every calcium or magnesium ion they attract.)
This exchange of the hydrogen ions for metallic ions on an equivalent basis is chemical necessity that permits the exchange material to maintain a balance of electrical charges.
Now because of the relatively high concentration of hydrogen ions, the solution is very acid.
At this point the deionization process is just half complete. While the positive metallic ions have been removed, the water now contains positive hydrogen ions, and the anions originally in the raw water.
The partially treated water now flows through a second unit, this time an anion exchange material normally consists of replaceable hydroxyl anions and fixed irreplaceable cations.
Now the negative ions in solution (the anions) are absorbed into the anion exchange material. Released in their place are hydroxyl anions.

All that emerges from such a two unit system is ion-free water. It still contains the positive hydrogen ions released in the initial exchange plus the negative hydroxyl ions released in the second exchange.
What has become of these two ions? Through the magic of chemistry they have combined (positive to negative) to produce water molecules which are in no way different from the water in which they were produced.
The result of this two-stage ion exchange process is water that is mineral-free.

Equipment for use in the deionization process may be of several types. Available are both multiple bed and single bed units. Multiple bed units have pairs of tanks, one for the cation exchanger, the other for the anion exchanger. Single bed units incorporate both the cation and anion exchangers, mixed in a single tank.
Deionized water has a wide range of uses in industry. Chemical production, pharmaceuticals, electroplating, television tube production and leather goods processing are among the many diversified applications for deionized water.
Efforts to produce mineral-free water through multiple distillation have proved to be extremely complex and require elaborate and costly equipment.
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