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katarian

Is a good 5-stage RO System sufficient with city water?

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Hi everyone,

 

For the past few weeks now I have been looking into RO systems and RODI, for drinking purposes and for the use for aquarium.

Someone recently told me that DI water is not a big necessity, and it is expensive to run a DI unit, as of the price of Resins.

So my question is: Will a good RO system do the job? I know it wouldn't provide a 0 TDS value, but it wouldn't be high either.

I know our city water has Chlorine, and they do Fluoridese it.

I looked at the water quality report and didn't see very many harmful components in water. But it does have traces and Copper and Sodium and metals like that. And I believe RO systems are usually capable of getting rid of that stuff.

 

So please enlighten me on this subject and help me make a decision.

 

Thank you

 

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I live in Vancouver they only use chlorine and not chloramines which is easier on your carbon block. I have a hydrologic r/o system that does a hundred gallons a day i got a good deal on it and it works well. It gets about 98% of the stuff out of the water. I have 189 parts per million TDS on the tap water side after it goes through the R/o system it has 7-12 ppm depending on the condition of my filters. I have been running a tank with this water for a few months and have had no issues. With that said I am adding two more stages both filled with di resin. When the ppm goes from zero to 3 or more I will change the di resin in the first canister and move the last canister to where the first canister was. This way I'm not wasting any resin. You can get di resin on eBay cheaper than you can get it locally I believe the long term cost of the di resin will out weigh the potential tank crash you could have avoided by using the best quality of water for your tank. With all that said just think of all the crap we put in to our own bodies and the health benefits you can have by drinking r/o di water so that should also help justify the cost of the system.

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I know costs add up, but DI is arguably pretty important.   There are ways to save money in the hobby but many would say 'don't skimp on DI'.

 

The chlorine / chloramines need special attention too.  Bulk reef supply sells blocks that help with that.

 

Also noteworthy, there are some cautions about drinking water out of an RODI system, it is worth researching that also.

 

I don't know all the answers but wanted to at least throw some thoughts your way.

 

Good luck!

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I know costs add up, but DI is arguably pretty important.   There are ways to save money in the hobby but many would say 'don't skimp on DI'.

 

The chlorine / chloramines need special attention too.  Bulk reef supply sells blocks that help with that.

 

Also noteworthy, there are some cautions about drinking water out of an RODI system, it is worth researching that also.

 

I don't know all the answers but wanted to at least throw some thoughts your way.

 

Good luck!

 

 

He's right. Deionized water makes the water pH = 7. Reverse Osmosis removes any dissolved solids from the water. In many cities, the TDS runs pretty low and you could probably just get away with just using DI water. I think the DI water in our lab runs at 30 ppm, which really isn't too bad. No RO.

 

Some cities have extreme copper problems or are using well water and RO might be more important, but I think in most big cities it probably isn't too much of a problem to just run DI.

 

RODI water is actually bad to drink. Since there are no salts in the water, any salt in your body will try to fill the "space" left from the RODI water, ultimately depleting any salts in you body. That's why most water bottles have Calcium Chloride orPotassiumn Chloride added to them to compensate for this problem.

 

Save the money and wait to get a full RODI system. You won't regret it. Air, Water and Ice has a lifetime warranty.

 

Maybe use local fish store water or go and buy a large DI container from the grocery store. Most have very, very low TDS, even though they are not RODI.

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He's right. Deionized water makes the water pH = 7. Reverse Osmosis removes any dissolved solids from the water. In many cities, the TDS runs pretty low and you could probably just get away with just using DI water. I think the DI water in our lab runs at 30 ppm, which really isn't too bad. No RO.

 

Some cities have extreme copper problems or are using well water and RO might be more important, but I think in most big cities it probably isn't too much of a problem to just run DI.

 

RODI water is actually bad to drink. Since there are no salts in the water, any salt in your body will try to fill the "space" left from the RODI water, ultimately depleting any salts in you body. That's why most water bottles have Calcium Chloride orPotassiumn Chloride added to them to compensate for this problem.

 

Save the money and wait to get a full RODI system. You won't regret it. Air, Water and Ice has a lifetime warranty.

 

Maybe use local fish store water or go and buy a large DI container from the grocery store. Most have very, very low TDS, even though they are not RODI.

Thank you for the feedback :)

I am planning on using RO water for drinking purposes and adding back important minerals using himalayan rock salt (just a pinch to a pitcher), and using RODI just for the aquarium.

I'm getting a pretty good deal on a RODI system from Air, water and Ice.

I think I am just gonna order that instead.

 

 

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I really appreciate it. And there is a part of me who wants to believe it too.

But there are so many other people out there who highly recommend RODI.

So I'm very confused.

I'd probably wait a day more to order a unit, so I can get more feedback on it

 

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I really appreciate it. And there is a part of me who wants to believe it too.

But there are so many other people out there who highly recommend RODI.

So I'm very confused.

I'd probably wait a day more to order a unit, so I can get more feedback on it

 

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Well, take it from professionals who have kept 1000s of tanks. The people would think you need DI have been fooled by economy RO units, then popular hobby personalities like Mr. Saltwater Tank Guy get a hold of it and it becomes truth in this hobby.

 

This is the single #1 myth in this hobby.

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Well, take it from professionals who have kept 1000s of tanks. The people would think you need DI have been fooled by economy RO units, then popular hobby personalities like Mr. Saltwater Tank Guy get a hold of it and it becomes truth in this hobby.

 

This is the single #1 myth in this hobby.

That's what I sometimes wonder too. Because one day I was looking into what all stuff ocean water has, and it's no where perfect as RODI water. But then again, I'm very new to this hobby (setting up my very first tank). So I don't know what to do.

What RO unit are you using?

 

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Here's my 2 cents on the subject. It mostly depends on where you live and what's coming out of your tap. Here in Vancouver, my TDS in is roughly 120 give or take. If you have a membrane that is 98% efficient, it should be outputting about 3 TDS. Mine will vary depending on the day but I rely on my DI resin to clean up the rest and get it to 0. So why get it that low? Since TDS is not a measurement of anything specific, just that something(s) is/are present that are electrically conductive. Since you don't know what it is you want 0 TDS.

 

Since our test kits generally don't cover the full gambit of what could be in the water, why risk introducing anything when it's possible to have your water completely stripped? Assuming you're making saltwater with it, anything you've stripped that should be there will be added back in by the salt mixture.

 

This hobby, especially as the years go by and better tech is invented, is becoming more about control. This is why we all run controllers on our tanks, test many parameters on our tanks, or even send water samples to Triton for the ultimate testing. I can honestly say I've never heard of anyone having issues using DI, only that it has cost associated with replacement.

 

The membrane Trigger is mentioning sounds great. If I lived in Portland with the Bull Run water reservoir putting out 5 TDS from the faucet, you bet I'd keep it to just RO as it will likely get everything out of the water without the need for the DI. Where I'm at however, I enjoy the piece of mind that my water is perfect and I control everything that goes in it.

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Echoing what BlueZ said, peace of mind...


 


It's one of those questions of 'should I emulate successful reef tanks I can see and visit'?


 


Or...  do I want to try and be a pioneer and do it another way?


 


I love being a pioneer, but it gets old sometimes too.  


 


Lately I have taken the approach of less pioneering, more copying of local successful reefers.  These are local people with inspiring tanks that share information and consistenly do amazing.


 


From that sample, all run DI FWIWs, so I don't mess too much with success.


 


Part of the fun of the hobby is experimenting, so if that is your goal you cannot go wrong.


 


I think none of us know all the answers still, and there is allot to be learned yet.


 


Good luck!


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I understand what your saying, as that's the typical reasoning for most all marine keepers when they hear this.

 

With a TDS of 250+ a well designed TMC RO will have about 7 TDS afterwards. In 100s of applications 7 TDS vs 0 has never shown to make any impact in the aquarium. So, your paying for a piece of mind you do not really need. The amount of anything that could be the bit enough harmful would be in such a trace amount, it would be nothing compared to ocean water.

 

And, who's to say, your not taking something out, which would be beneficial, which your not replacing with the salts used, since most all people use economy salt.

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Yes, this is totally debatable.  

 

I agree with the your logic, and hold no ill will towards people bringing fresh ideas.

 

Copy the local pros with amazing tanks, be amazing too.

 

Hopefully not too much of a Jonestown mentality  :nutty:

 

However, it's my current mind set!

 

Thanks for the discussion as always...

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Yes, this is totally debatable.  

 

I agree with the your logic, and hold no ill will towards people bringing fresh ideas.

 

Copy the local pros with amazing tanks, be amazing too.

 

it's my current motto!

 

Thanks for the discussion.

 

It's debatable, but your debating with someone who's had experience with 100s of applications with many different RO/DI units in the hobby.

 

That's more experience than 100 people have in a lifetime with their one or two sets-ups they have for a decade?

 

If you follow the crowds, your most likely going to follow people who end up followers marketers with the deepest pockets. Which is how DI entered the market.

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Can you give us a little background on your claimed expertise.  Is it just you or are you speaking for others as well?  Whatever, how about some idea of your experience, education level and past publications.  If you are in fact Darwin, I don't want to argue.

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It's debatable, but your debating with someone who's had experience with 100s of applications with many different RO/DI units in the hobby.

 

That's more experience than 100 people have in a lifetime with their one or two sets-ups they have for a decade?

 

If you follow the crowds, your most likely going to follow people who end up followers marketers with the deepest pockets. Which is how DI entered the market.

 

I have no ill will towards fresh ideas, just sharing my personal approach for what its worth...

 

When MattV, Stylaster, SaltwaterNewbie, ReefnJunkie, MrBret, Softy etc dump their DI and continue to be successful, I might just follow suite based on this discussion!  

 

Thanks for the info...

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Can you give us a little background on your claimed expertise.  Is it just you or are you speaking for others as well?  Whatever, how about some idea of your experience, education level and past publications.  If you are in fact Darwin, I don't want to argue.

 

Check the article linked too. Owner of American Aquarium Products. Might want to check the bio as well. 40 years professional service.

 

I have no ill will towards fresh ideas, just sharing my personal approach for what its worth...

 

When MattV, Stylaster, SaltwaterNewbie, ReefnJunkie, MrBret, Softy etc dump their DI and continue to be successful, I might just follow suite based on this discussion!  

 

Thanks for the info...

 

It's not fresh ideas. DI of late became very popular when mass marketers for economic goods started pushing it...

 

I don't expect that second statement to ever happen, my 5 years being part of this group has proven that if you not in the cool kids club, you have no influence, but they'll make sure to get your donation each year ;)

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Check the article linked too. Owner of American Aquarium Products. Might want to check the bio as well. 40 years professional service.

 

 

It's not fresh ideas. DI of late became very popular when mass marketers for economic goods started pushing it...

 

I don't expect that second statement to ever happen, my 5 years being part of this group has proven that if you not in the cool kids club, you have no influence, but they'll make sure to get your donation each year ;)

 

For me it is more about personally visiting successful tanks and learning from that success.  

 

Anyone with a great successful long term tank is a cool reef kid to me!  

 

I put more stock in that these days than any marketing claims for sure.

 

Again, I hope you hear what I am saying.  I am open to the idea that DI is not necessary, its an interesting discussion.

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For me it is more about personally visiting successful tanks and learning from that success.  

 

Anyone with a great successful long term tank is a cool reef kid to me!  

 

I put more stock in that these days than any marketing claims for sure.

 

Again, I hope you hear what I am saying.  I am open to the idea that DI is not necessary, its an interesting discussion.

 

Understand that.

 

The science speaks for itself. There's no proof 0 TDS does anything better for any tank. So, it's a piece of mind deal, which isn't worth it money and hassle wise.

 

It was actually common knowledge in the the industry/hobby before the internet came around and mass economy marketers started pushing it.

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Lately my RODI unit hasn't been working properly and was putting out like 91 TDS! Didn't notice for a while until I checked the TDS reader. So far no ill effects other than just a ton of hair algae growth in my Fuge (hadn't been any before) but I don't keep Acros any more. Just LPS and Zoas. Currently trying to get my nut fixed but for now my little creatures are doing ok with the high TDS readings. Hopefully the are ok until I get my unit fixed :)

I know Robert in Corvallis only uses tap water for his tanks. When I was first starting out he told me that he never used RODI water haha.

 

 

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Please let's keep this thread on track. We had a great talk called the Secret of Reefkeeping with the basic premise that there is a lot of myth in reef keeping and less science like using garlic to cure ich. 

 

However, there are many ways to have a successful tank and there is no one  right answer. There have been people who have used tap water. There are people who do not do water changes. There are people that don't test. 

 

 

Different opinions are good and that's how we learn. Assuming that one way is the only way and the "right" way is dangerous thinking.

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Understand that.

 

The science speaks for itself. There's no proof 0 TDS does anything better for any tank. So, it's a piece of mind deal, which isn't worth it money and hassle wise.

 

It was actually common knowledge in the the industry/hobby before the internet came around and mass economy marketers started pushing it.

I don't think you can quote the scientific principal.  You do boast a lot.

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I don't think you can quote the scientific principal.  You do boast a lot.

 

You should read a little more and understand some history. 40 years of professional experience shows most people don't need DI. It was common knowledge, before the internet came about and fancy groups like this we're created. We've keep 1000s of aquariums long term. The experience is vastly greater than most. That's not boosting, that's just facts.

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Thanks for all the wonderful ideas and opinions guys :)

I can see the debate is getting a little hotter (which usually happens with debates haha).

So let's not hold hard feelings for anyone :)

And thank you again everyone. I really appreciate your inputs.

 

 

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