Dumb RO Water Question

LHanna61

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HI Everyone--
I broke down and purchased RO water to cut my tap water for all of my tanks, my TDS is way too high and I've also started keeping Caridina shrimp so I need a slightly lower Ph-- figured it was just easier and better overall.

I bought the RO Buddie with a DI canister and also bought the TDS Monitor to track the drops. I do not have an automatic shut off or anything, I was trying to keep it simple-ish.

First, is it better to cut my tap water or should I just remineralize with equilibrium for each tank?

Second, I have successfully set it up but I was wondering if you could break down some basics for me. I'm having issues finding the answers online.
  • During the setup process (before the membrane goes in) you flush the system to clear out the carbon filter. When I did this, my output was about 1-gallon per minute. So at the end of my 5 minute flush, I had 5 gallons of water in a bucket.
  • When I put the membrane in, the flow slowed down MASSIVELY. I'm getting about 5-gallons (waste water) and MAYBE 0.5-1 gallon of good RO water per 30 minutes (according to google that is average). I assume the RO system is just slowing the flow from my sink? and I'm not actually pumping 30+ gallons of water through it (since I don't have any of that water in my buckets), right?
I know this sounds stupid but I want to make sure I'm not causing an insanely massive spike in the water bill and wasting water unnecessarily. Also, if I'm correct, is this kind of pressure buildup okay for the pipes? (I understand they hold water pressure all day but this is just very new to me so I want to make sure). I need to make sure I'm not going to blow my house up.

Third, since I'm so new to this RO world, are there ANY tips and tricks I should know about?
All I really know is that I shouldn't use hot water with this as it will melt everything and my tap is about 68 degrees.

Appreciate the help!
 

david1978

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As far as the ro system I don't know. The pressure issue is non existent since your pipes have the same pressure with the spicket turned off. You will not create more pressure in your pipes so no worry on that part.
 
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LHanna61

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david1978 said:
As far as the ro system I don't know. The pressure issue is non existent since your pipes have the same pressure with the spicket turned off. You will not create more pressure in your pipes so no worry on that part.
Thanks, that's what I figured. I appreciate the confirmation.

If anyone knows more info, please do share :)
 
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LHanna61

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Fourth Question, what's everyone's opinion on using the waste water for my neocaridina tank? The TDS of the waste water is 220 (if my system is working correctly?) -- I'm pretty sure that's what it is as just plain tap water, is that correct?
 

mbkemp

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There are a couple of things you can do to decrease the amount of waste water. Add a pump to increase pressure, add a second membrane, figure out a way to warm up your water about ten degrees. The simplest way to go is add a membrane

If your source water is not horrible the easiest way to remineralize is with tap. Do you have a hand held tds meter?
 
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LHanna61

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mbkemp said:
There are a couple of things you can do to decrease the amount of waste water. Add a pump to increase pressure, add a second membrane, figure out a way to warm up your water about ten degrees. The simplest way to go is add a membrane

If your source water is not horrible the easiest way to remineralize is with tap. Do you have a hand held tds meter?
I do have a TDS meter, I have no idea what my water pressure is and so I purchased a Pressure Gauge for the unit, it will be here on the 4th. I did see a YouTube video about adding a second membrane, that is very interesting to me.

At the moment, it seems that I'm creating about 30 gallons of waste water for 5 gallons of RO water. My tap TDS is naturally 190 and my Waste water is coming out at 220. Does all of that add up? I thought the waste water TDS was going to be higher (like 300).

Is the waste water okay to use with neocaridina shrimp in a planted tank? I only want the RO water for my caridina shrimp.
 

mbkemp

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I would not use the waste water, not sure why, just a gut feeling

I switched to a bulk reef supply 5 stage unit after about a month. I’m about 50/50 now with two membranes. My water is expensive so it paid to make the change. I can make 80 gallons or so in a day

Get the auto top off kit or go ahead and buy a water extraction system for floors. It’s not an if but a when
 
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LHanna61

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mbkemp said:
I would not use the waste water, not sure why, just a gut feeling

I switched to a bulk reef supply 5 stage unit after about a month. I’m about 50/50 now with two membranes. My water is expensive so it paid to make the change. I can make 80 gallons or so in a day

Get the auto top off kit or go ahead and buy a water extraction system for floors. It’s not an if but a when
Thanks!
Edit: I just added the additional membrane to my Amazon shopping cart-- I assume it's okay to mix brands in this scenario? My current RO system is only for 50 GPD. I knew I should have gotten a bigger system but I only have three tanks and I'm completely new to RO water making.

Just Googled this so Ignore: What do the top off kit and extraction system do? I assume it's to avoid spilling? or clean up spillage? I've already walked away too long and came back to an overflow in one of my waste buckets.

My main issue is I feel extremely guilty wasting THAT much water, I have two tanks with neo caridina shrimp who prefer higher ph and higher tds so if I can kill two birds with one stone, that would be amazing!
In the summer I can use it to water plants outside but I'm currently making too much waste water to use on my house plants (even though I have a lot of plants, it's too much water).
 

mbkemp

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I think it will depend on what dissolved solids are in your tap.
 
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LHanna61

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mbkemp said:
I think it will depend on what dissolved solids are in your tap.
How do I figure that out? or is that not possible?
 
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LHanna61

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mbkemp said:
Your water report can tell you
I will definitely look into that.
In the meantime, I just set up the second membrane-- I didn't have a Y-connector for the good RO water merge (the connection right before the DI membrane) -- I only had a T. Do you think this is critical enough where I should buy a Y?

Edit:
The system is 50 GPD and I'm getting about 1.5-2 gallons an hour of RO water with no waste water output. Does that seem right? I know once I increase the water pressure the waste water might increase?? but not having ANY waste water now seems a little off
 

mbkemp

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You should have waste water. My dual membranes are in a series. Water from the last carbon block goes in the first membrane and the output goes to the second membrane. My dI resin is after that
 
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LHanna61

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mbkemp said:
You should have waste water. My dual membranes are in a series. Water from the last carbon block goes in the first membrane and the output goes to the second membrane. My dI resin is after that
AH-HA so I installed it correctly-- that's how I have mine. It's insane that it is that much of a difference. Thank you for sharing that golden nugget!
 
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LHanna61

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mbkemp
Update: still not any waste water after the DI resin (I misread your previous comment, I thought you were saying I shouldN'T have waste water). Also, I've only had this installed since December 31st and my DI membrane has already changed colors entirely and my TDS output is at 2 because of this. I assume this is because my water flow isn't strong enough? It's at 42 psI straight from the faucet-- I haven't been able to get a plumber to the house yet. But I'm probably just going to have to have him check everything over.

Thanks for your guidance! I've gotten some water out of the system and my tank is doing well at this point.
 

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