Thinking hard about RO unit for freshwater. Looking for comments/reviews/suggestions
Hello, everyone! So I started a thread a few days ago asking about the water quality in 3 of my freshwater tanks:
A couple suggestions were to try either distilled or RO water, which I am highly thinking about. I have found a few RO unit choices on Pet Supplies | Dog & Cat Supplies, Pet Meds | DrsFosterSmith.com Pet Products . They are much cheaper than I thought they would be, and even CHEAPER on Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more, and I'd very much like to get one. However, I am finding mixed reviews.
I'd curious to know what everyone here might be using, as far as model and capacity, and any comments, reviews, or suggestions you may have on them. Does anyone have any of the ones listed on drsfostersmith? If not, where did you get yours, how much was it, and how happy are you with it? I am hoping this will let me decide on one with the least problems that I will be most happy with.
We are looking at similar options right now. We've got about 800 gals of tanks running in our house and the huge water changes and the cost of Prime is crazy. What I am most concerned with so far is the removal of Chloramines. I cannot get a straight answer from our water company if they use Chloramines in our water so I have to guess that they probably do whenever they feel they need to. Let me know if you find a RO water system that removes Chloramines. I have heard too many horror stories where entire tanks of fish have been wiped out because the water company started using Chloramines and folks did not know anything about it.
R/O system's can get expensive if one consider's that it can take eight to ten gallon's of tapwater to produce one gallon of R/O water .(storage may be needed)
Add to this, remineralising product's,and replacement of membranes for R/O unit,and cost can add up.
I considered this approach while raising Discus but being as how my water from tap was not all that bad for domesticated Discus, and that I had no interest in breeding this species,, I chose not to.
Could not afford to waste that much water.
Thanks for your input. I agree that's a lot of water to waste. The up-side of using Prime is it does remove chloramine and detoxifies ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and heavy metals. I can't find anything better than Prime, wish I could it's expensive, especially as much as we use in a month's time. But, it is worth every penny for the safety of our fish and peace of mind it provides!
If all you are concerned with is chlorine and chloramine, most conditioners will handle these. However, if you need to deal with ammonia in the tap water, at a significant level, a conditioner that also detoxifies ammonia is necessary. If you have nitrite, then you need one that deals with that too [and Prime and Ultimate are two that do]. If you have nitrates in the tap water, a conditioner like Ptrime, or perhaps another method [member AbbeysDad has a thread on dealing with high tap water nitrates].
I only have chlorine to worry about, so I go with the least expensive. And currently I am uising Nutrafin AquaPlus. To compare this cost-wise with Prime, and using my costs here in Canada, I can get a 2.09 gallon (8 liter) jug for $83. The largest size of Prime from the same source is the 4 litre jug, so half the volume, and it costs $77 which as you can see is almost double the cost per volume. So consider less expensive alternatives if they will handle your needs water-wise.
There are a host of issues when considering RO, DI, RO/DI water systems.
For RO, as 1077 mentioned, even the best require at least 4g of source water for each gallon of RO water. A fair amount of waste.
The system must also have sufficient pressure which may not be an issue for most municipal water supplies, but often require an additional pump for well water systems. Then there is pre-filter and membrane replacement costs.
RO, DI, RO/DI water is too pure for aquarium fish so mineral additives and pH adjusters are required and these are not cheap.
Finally, the process is not on demand, producing only a gallon or two per hour, so storage tank(s) are required. As you can see, the cost of a good RO water system can get a little steep. Purchasing RO, DI, RO/DI at <= $.50/gal might be an option? But then there's the drudgery of hauling water!
So we need to evaluate the inital cost of the RO system, maintenance as well as the on-going cost of mineral and pH conditioners. Combined, these would likely exceed the current cost of Prime.
Also, when comparing the cost of Prime to other conditioners, I think we have to look more closely than unit cost because Prime is much more concentrated than most other conditioners. We need to explore the cost per gallon of conditioned water. Often Prime will condition twice as much (or more) tap water than competitive products.
I think that unless there's some other reason to suspect your water quality, you are best served to continue using Prime or another effective conditioner.
To reduce costs, perhaps you might examine your current filtration/purification systems as well as tank maintenance such that you could somewhat reduce the volume and/or frequency of partial water changes?
interesting point of view about ro water but I have to ask why would another water pump be needed for well water pressure to increase?? It would be more reasonable to install a second pressure tank if one is inclined to do so but I would just change out the pressure switch on the existing pressure tank and pump it up with air to increase pressure of tank bladder. I believe there might be on- demand reverse osmosis filter systems but you know more about this than I do.
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