What type of RO Filter should I buy?

Discussion in 'Reverse Osmosis Filter for Freshwater' started by AngelZee, Jul 4, 2014.

  1. AngelZeeValued MemberMember

    I have decided to purchase an RO System because my Tap Water Source reads:

    Ammonia: 0.25 ppm
    Nitrite: 0 ppm
    Nitrate: 10-20 ppm
    pH: 8.0-8.4
    kH/gH: 12-14

    My fish have recently been dying. Mollies have been dying. One of the easiest fish to care for. They are mainly juvenile-adults that are healthy, no fish are sick, they are fed well, yet I have been losing many recently.

    I believe it has to do with the 8.4 pH in the aquarium and the 0.25 ppm Ammonia.
    I do weekly water changes but even then, the new water I am adding has Ammonia, and a high pH so it doesnt help the water parameters.

    I have been looking into RO Systems and there are several different ones, such as 3-Stages, 4-Stages, and 5-Stages.

    But which one should I buy, I will be using it in a 30 gallon tank as I have nowhere else to store water (as in space)
    I have two tanks, 50g with fish, 30g running with no fish. That is the only place i can set up the RO System.

    So can someone please help me out with which RO System I should buy? I will be using an RO Additive to make sure the water is safe for the fish and i will slowly switch to RO Water.

    Thank you.
  2. 1971roadrunner

    1971roadrunnerWell Known MemberMember

    All I can say is that I really like the BRS RO systems and their pricing, customer support and wide range of models to choose from. I've had them for many yrs.as do friends of mine and I've really never heard any negative reviews about them. I strongly recommend them. hope this helps.
  3. Claire Bear

    Claire BearWell Known MemberMember

    Hi, I am new into ro/di systems but I have a question based on what you said, why can you not add a shut off to the ro system and just run it as needed rather than having to use a tank.
    I have my system plumbed into my fish sink and fill everything as needed. I even have a trash can on rollers, thank you FL that I can pull around to a tank if I need to.
    As far as BRS supply, on line fish store they are really great. I had a question about a reactor I purchased from them and they responded to my email within 24hrs.
    I have the spectrapure RO/DI system and I like it.
    Hope that helps! :)

  4. OP

    AngelZeeValued MemberMember

    RO Systems take a while to actually filter the water properly.
    That is why they must be run for longer periods of time.
    Some say 70 GPD meaning if you run it one day, it will properly filter 70 Gallons. Otherwise the water will not be 100% RO.

    I wish it could be that fast as shutting it on and off and just getting the water you need.
    But unfortunately that is not how they work.

    My main question however is what is the difference between the 3,4,and 5-Stage RO Systems.
    Which is better?

  5. 1971roadrunner

    1971roadrunnerWell Known MemberMember

    I run a FOWLR and FW so I eventually went with a 5 stage rodi plus chloramine kit and it works great. The water here where I live is good though, and went without one of these for most of my years with no problems. Mine takes around 6hrs to process around 40g at 50psi of water pressure which is what my container holds safely. Any of the brands designed for aquariums seem fine but really just comes down to price I suppose. I would go with the better 5 stage to take any ?'s out of the equation if possible.

    * I got mine to reduce some algae and cyano issues I had at times and it worked.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2014
  6. OP

    AngelZeeValued MemberMember

    The 5-Stage Filters are about $200 though while the 3 and 4 Stage are $90-150.

    Is there an actual significant difference to buy the 5 Stage?

    Or will the 3-4 Stages be good enough?
  7. matsungit

    matsungitWell Known MemberMember

    Depends on the amount of filtration you want. It will help if you have a TDS meter. It will measure the total dissolved solids output. The 5 stage has a DI resin stage that will bring TDS down to zero. The 4 stage probably somewhere from 4-8 TDS. I'm not sure how high TDS the 3 stage will get you. Ammonia and nitrate are removed by carbon block filters. The 5 stage will have two carbon block canister stages to ensure these are removed and will last longer. With the 4 stage you can have either 2 carbon blocks, or 1 carbon and 1 DI stages. With 3 stage you will have 1 carbon and no DI. All types will have the sediment filter as the first stage.
  8. OP

    AngelZeeValued MemberMember

    I actually have never heard of TDS until now :O
    Is it important?

    I just need the filter to be able to make my tap water right. Lower pH, no ammonia, and no nitrate basically.
  9. 1971roadrunner

    1971roadrunnerWell Known MemberMember

    As mentioned it measures the Total Dissolved Solids in the water. A TDS meter is most useful to measure the quality of the water being processed by the RO unit to see if things need to be cleaned/replaced etc...
  10. matsungit

    matsungitWell Known MemberMember

    Total Dissolved Solids mean just that. It's the amount of solids in the water. It is a good way to measure mechanical filtration effectiveness. It probably won't measure non solids like mercury, nitrogen, ammonia, etc. This is where chemical filtration comes in, which is the carbon block. I recommend at least the 4 stage so that you can have two carbon block stages for removing ammonia and nitrate. BRS also sells units that has a built-in HM-Digital TDS meter. There's also handheld TDS meters for sale and they are not that expensive.
  11. OP

    AngelZeeValued MemberMember

    So what are the necessary items I will need for the RO System besides what is included in it.

    I am already getting an RO additive to make water safe for the fish.

    What else do I need in terms of maintenance?
  12. matsungit

    matsungitWell Known MemberMember

    Maybe a 1/4" shut-off valve. It depends on what else you want the RO system to do for you. I actually have an older proprietary drinking water RO unit when I bought my BRS RO-DI. It had a pressurized water tank reservoir and faucet. So I bought an extra check valve, a shut-off valve, and tee fittings to adapt the parts to the new 5 stage BRS unit. The 4 stages hook up to my fridge and RO faucet. The DI stage has a shut-off valve for when I want to refill my 5 gallon containers.

    My BRS 5 stage deluxe has a flush-kit already installed. You periodically use the flush-kit valve to flush out gunk in the membrane housing. This prolongs the membrane service life. You can add that to your order and they pre-install it (if it doesn't have one already). Other options are pressure gauge and inline TDS meter but that is up to you.
  13. _Fried_Bettas_

    _Fried_Bettas_Well Known MemberMember

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