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-   -   API Tap Water Filter (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/aquarium-products-reviews/api-tap-water-filter-95837/)

AbbeysDad 03-11-2012 01:17 PM

API Tap Water Filter
 
I just got the API Tap Water Filter primarily to remove nitrates from my well water.

The API filter produces Deinonized (DI) water that filters out:
All disolved minerals:
- calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, sulfate, chloride, carbonate, fluoride

All heavy metals:
- copper, zinc, lead, iron, cadmium, aluminum

Undesirable contaminants:
- phosphate, nitrate, ammonia, silicate, nitrite

Chlorine and chloramine

Organic Polutants:
- insecticides, herbicides, PCBs, pesticides

The unit includes the instruction manual, filter, filter cartridge, two flex hoses, faucet adapter w/fittings for different types of aerators, Electro-Right and pH Adjuster.

Purchased from Amazon.com
Unit Cost: $41.34.
Replacement cartridge cost: $21.14
Pros:
- Simple to hook up and use (no tools required).
- Makes perfect filtered DI aquarium water.
Cons:
- Cartridge use life is relative to source water contaminants so may not be cost practical in areas with very hard water or other elements that would quickly shorten filter use life.

I've only made about 20 gallons as of this writing, but the setup and operation was as simple as it gets.
DI water is actually too pure for aquariums and requires the addition of the electro-right and pH adjuster to put back necessary elements. There are slightly different 'recipes' for Discus, Community and African Chichlid water.

AbbeysDad 03-13-2012 08:49 AM

I've now made 35 gallons of DI water and from the look of the color change in the cartridge, I will only get another 5-10 gallons before the cartridge will need replacing. That falls short of what I had hoped for, but considering the higher quality for the intended purpose and the cost relative to buying and hauling water from town, I still think it's worth the investment.

But I had another DIY brain fart...Applying the same principal as the tap water filter, it occurs to me that I don't necessarily need all the filtration that the filter provides. What if the filter merely had a resin that just removed nitrates from the tap water??? Hmmmm.

Tazman 03-13-2012 08:59 AM

RO/DI water is best used for marine systems where water quality is more critical than freshwater.

Be careful using it for freshwater as it can crash a tank quickly if you do not monitor the tank carefully. pH and GH can change quickly enough to stress fish to death.

API Nitra-Zorb would be a better product in my opinion (See here) as it can be recharged and used again.

AbbeysDad 03-13-2012 09:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tazman (Post 1011927)
RO/DI water is best used for marine systems where water quality is more critical than freshwater.

Be careful using it for freshwater as it can crash a tank quickly if you do not monitor the tank carefully. pH and GH can change quickly enough to stress fish to death.

API Nitra-Zorb would be a better product in my opinion (See here) as it can be recharged and used again.

API indicates that the tap water filter "Makes perfect water for fresh and saltwater aquariums."
DI water is actually too pure for aquariums which is why you add the Electro-Right and pH Adjuster.
With the use of my nitrate filter, I believe water changes will be reduced in volume and/or frequency so as not to cause a major change in tank water chemistry.

I am using Fluval Lab Series Nitrate Remover (very similar to Nitra Zorb) in the tank filter to bring nitrates down, but don't consider this a long term solution for very high nitrates in my well water.
I have put the question of using Nitra Zorb in the tap water filter cartridge to API, but looking at the retail cost, it looks like it would cost a kings ransom to fill the tap water filter cartridge with Nitra Zorb. (so perhaps a decent idea, but cost prohibitive).

onefish2fish 03-13-2012 10:13 AM

personally i would have just went with a RO/DI unit which would cost alittle more but produce more water at a lower cost long run. however thanks for the write up i always wondered about these, i just wish you could check the TDS.

AbbeysDad 03-13-2012 02:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by onefish2fish (Post 1011959)
personally i would have just went with a RO/DI unit which would cost alittle more but produce more water at a lower cost long run. however thanks for the write up i always wondered about these, i just wish you could check the TDS.

RO/DI systems for a little more than $40 - yer still sleeping. What is TDS?

(still think there may be a way to convert this to a tap water nitrate filter to make tons of inexpensive nitrate free water - or maybe I'm still sleeping :-D)

onefish2fish 03-13-2012 11:12 PM

you could find a RO/DI unit for around $100, esp if it was used and you replaced the filters. these would have lasted you longer then 40 gallons of water.

TDS is total disolved solids which basically tells you how much minerals your filter did take out ( so the goal here is as close to 0 TDS as possible, with the best being at 0 )

however a TDS reader will cost as much as this unit did unfortunately.

AbbeysDad 03-14-2012 08:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by onefish2fish (Post 1012780)
you could find a RO/DI unit for around $100, esp if it was used and you replaced the filters. these would have lasted you longer then 40 gallons of water.

I think $150 - $300 is more realistic. Then there's a potential water pressure issue. I've read that with ample pressure, r/o units produce a couple of gallons per hour. Most 'city' systems operate at 60-80psi. My home system is a 30/50 psi system which may negatively impact filtration through the r/o membrane.
I suppose 40-50 gallons doesn't sound very good. Considering the cartridge cost, that makes for about $.50/gallon, about half the cost of store bought water (not counting transport and hauling).

If I can get to say a 10g WWC (with my tank nitrate filter), that would be $20 or $25/month which would be okay.

Tazman 03-14-2012 08:56 AM

Have a look at these guys for cheap RO/DI filters. I have a 50gpd filter from them and bought a separate TDS meter from here.

While not a high end system it still gives excellent results. TDS is just slightly above zero when using the system, but this was to be expected not paying $300-400 for a 5 stage filter with bigger cartridges.

Unit has pretty much paid for itself already as I am a 40km round trip from a LFS which sells RO/DI water at .25cent a gallon.


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