RO, DI or ?

Terry

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What's everyone using for their water? RO or DI or ? I'm close to getting a nano tank and I'm wondering if DI water is OK, or is RO better? I think some folks use both from what I've seen in a reef forum. I'm planning on a fish plus live rock tank. I was thinking about starting up by getting a small DI unit to get the tank filled (34 gallon) - would that work or is an RO really needed? (Trying to keep the cost down too).
 
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Terry

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Thanks atmmachine. I think I'll get a small DI unit & a few cartridges. I can't see myself hauling 35 or 40 jugs of distilled water home LOL. I had thought about distilled for topping off, but I want to get the tank off to a good start rather than fighting the chloramine, chlorine, phosphates etc. in my tap water. My tap water is only 20-30 ppm hardness so the cartridges should last longer than they would in a hard water area. Do you think something like this would be sufficient?



Thanks.
 
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Terry

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Actually it's not just a filter - it is a small DI (deionizer) that uses replaceable resin bead cartridges. Based on what it says:

"The tap water filter uses a disposable, easy-to-replace cartridge to remove sediments, chlorine, chloramine, heavy metals, organic chemicals, and inorganic ions from tap water - creating contaminant-free deionized water for reef, saltwater, freshwater, and planted aquariums."

and also checking with some folks in a reef forum, it would do the job I need. Sounds like the best things are combination units, with both a RO and DI unit in tandem, but right now with all of the other costs to get set up in Saltwater the cost of that type of water treatment equipment is just a little too steep. A future purchase for sure.
 

atmmachine816

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O ok, sounds good, though it doesn't seem to make a whole lot of water with one cartridge though. I was under the impression other RO units make a lot more than 25-125 gallons with one cartridge.


sent a pm.
 
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Terry

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They do - ya get what ya pay for LOL. It's just a small DI, and there are higher capacity ones - for more bucks. It's jusy for a start till I recuperate from the other costs! I haven't even set anything up yet & I already feel broke LOL.
 
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Terry

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By the way. I know just enough about some of this stuff to get myself in trouble. We have both DI and RO units in the lab where I work.

In the DI units, at least in this little kind I sent a link to, part of the cartridge contains charcoal (removes chlorine & some other bad things), and the other part of the cartridge contains resin beads that remove water hardness, etc. Each part of the cartridge removes different impurities. The problem with this type of DI unit is that it's small and when the cartridge has removed all that it can it has to be replaced with a new cartridge. Since my water is soft they should probably last me a while, maybe close to that 125 gallons. In a hard water area the cartridge may only last for 25 gallons.

I don't totally understand RO units, but I know that in an RO unit (reverse osmosis), there is a membrane involved that only lets pure water though it. They have a water inlet and 2 outlets - one outlet for the pure water, and another outlet for some water that carries away the impurities that were blocked by the membrane.

The higher cost units of both DI & RO have higher capacities, and longer lives between cartridge replacement or membrane replacement.

Anyway, that's the little I know about DI & RO technology - hopefully I have the basics right at least.
 

Mike

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In my opinion, it depends on what kind of setup you're running. Fish only tanks with normal output flourescents, you could probably use an inexpensive water mounted filter such as the PUR water filter. If you're running a reef tank with intense lighting and expensive corals, you'll want to invest in an RO units or even better, the RO/DI combos.

It really depends on the amount of impurities in your tap water. See if you can get your hands on a report of your tap water from your water company. Tap water with high nitrate and phosphate readings will need to be ran thru an RO filter to remove them.

just my thoughts,
Mike
 
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Terry

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Thanks Mike, and atmmachine. I may go with the low cost DI option just to get the tank filled initially, and then do water changes & topping off with distilled till I get an RO unit set up. I plan on starting out with live rock to cycle the tank and adding a few fish slowly after the cycle is complete. I'm still doing all of my planning before I even get started, rather than just blindly jump into a saltwater tank.
 

atmmachine816

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Interesting thanks Mike.

I was at a lfs today and on a coralife RO unit you replace two cartridges every six months according to them but could go longer if they keep filtering and it didn't say on the third, in case you still wanted to know.
 

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