Can you make garden hose water reef safe?

OP
Dj City

Dj City

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 16, 2017
Messages
2,366
Reaction score
2,611
I just purchased the 200gal water saver upgrade along with 2x 175gal blue bucket Red Sea Salt. BRS did not have it in stock and had no idea when it will come in.
I purchased from Marine Depot.
 
OP
Dj City

Dj City

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 16, 2017
Messages
2,366
Reaction score
2,611
so for anyone that has done this, my water saver kit comes with a flow restrictor.
Do I need to use it as i already have one installed on me rodi unit?
 

Buckeye Hydro

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 17, 2013
Messages
865
Reaction score
495
Location
Ohio
Hi guys - read through this thread and saw some posts that provide info that's a bit misleading. The quotes below are paraphrased:

"A good RODI will give you a 2:1"
Not true. There is so much mis-information on this topic, especially in the reefing hobby. Here's the deal. Let's start with some jargon: Recovery is the percentage of the feedwater that ends up as treated water. So if you had a 1:1 ratio of "waste water to purified water, you'd have a 50% recovery. Concentrate is what we call the "waste water." Permeate is what we call the RO water. As you increase the recovery, contaminants in the feedwater become more and more likely to come out of solution and build up inside the membrane (as scale or fouling). On large commercial jobs where replacement membranes can get very expensive, we use computer models to determine the maximum recovery possible. Often we install water softeners to remove calcium and magnesium as they tend to come out of solution and clog the membrane with scale. On these commercial jobs we always start with a through lab analysis of the feedwater. With this detailed analysis and the modeling software we can tweak the RO recovery to maximize efficiency of water use. Now... let's switch over to the situation common in this hobby: the RO or RODI purchaser has not completed and doesn't want to pay for a water analysis. THIS is why the default suggestion for recovery is about 20% (that proverbial 4:1 you've heard of). Because we know nothing about your feedwater we can't in good faith recommend you start choking off the concentrate to increase the recovery - you can do that, but realize that the chances are high that you will prematurely toast your membrane.
Here's an example for you. There's a popular RO vendor in the hydroponics world. They tout systems with a seemingly magical 1:1 ratio of concentrate to permeate (i.e., a 50% recovery), without specifying water chemistry requirements for the feedwater. Well, you can imagine how that works out. We worked with a commercial customer who was going through expensive commercial membranes every 2 to 3 weeks and couldn't figure out why. We reconfigured his system to allow the proper amount of concentrate flow based upon his feedwater quality and now he's a happy camper with a reasonable membrane life.

It's the same situation with adding a second membrane in series while using a overly-restrictive flow restrictor... with absolutely no knowledge of the feedwater quality... and touting it as a water saving measure. Heck - why not just choke the concentrate off entirely and call it a 100% recovery RO!? If all you want to do is cut your concentrate flow, you don't need a second membrane - just install a tighter flow restrictor for $4. We actually do this in some cases - typically where there is no water hardness.

So to circle back... the concentrate to permeate ratio has nothing to do with the quality of the RODI system. It may however have quite a bit to do with the knowledge of the system builder.

Russ
 

Buckeye Hydro

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 17, 2013
Messages
865
Reaction score
495
Location
Ohio
"Save your concentrate in a barrel and use it to..."
Although this can be done in some limited circumstances, it's most often not practical, especially if you have a larger tank.
 

Buckeye Hydro

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 17, 2013
Messages
865
Reaction score
495
Location
Ohio
Setup a system that will give you approximately 80F incoming water at 80-90 psi. With sediment, and Carbon Block filtration ahead of that, your RO membrane should get you in the 1.4-1.7:1 Waste:RO ratio, then a final pass through the DI and you are gold!
Hopefully with what I posted above you'll see that there's a major consideration lacking in this approach. It's not advisable to choke off the waste water to that extent unless you first look at the feedwater water chemistry to make sure you'll get a reasonable life span out of the membrane(s). Are there situations where it can be done? Sure. Are those situations common? No.

Russ
 

GlassMunky

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 30, 2014
Messages
1,419
Reaction score
1,445
Location
Philly
"Save your concentrate in a barrel and use it to..."
Although this can be done in some limited circumstances, it's most often not practical, especially if you have a larger tank.
I guess this depends on what you consider “practical” as we all have different meanings there.

to me, having a 200G water tower on the side of my house for watering my decently sized garden is fully practical.
someone who lives in a townhome with a small/non-existent yard, not so much.
 

Buckeye Hydro

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 17, 2013
Messages
865
Reaction score
495
Location
Ohio
"You can get ~4' tall containers, one that holds cation resin and the other holds anion resin. Regulating the flow to a trickle can maximize contact with the resin and achieve 0 tds output. "
We just did something similar for a system for a large, nationally-known aquarium builder/installer for a custom 5,000 gallon marine tank in a house. You have to be careful however to size the tanks correctly. If the slow is too low you can have problems with channeling through the resin. The tank we use are available in any number of different sizes.

Russ
 

Buckeye Hydro

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 17, 2013
Messages
865
Reaction score
495
Location
Ohio
What flow restrictor do you want?
If you know little about your feedwater chemistry and want a reasonable membrane life, shoot for a 4:1 (20% recovery)

If you know you have soft water, or if you have a working water softener, you can probably use a much tighter flow restrictor - one that yields something like a 2:1 or maybe even a little tighter.

You may also water a different flow restrictor for summer and one for winter as your tap water temperature probably varies throughout the year.

Russ
 
OP
Dj City

Dj City

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 16, 2017
Messages
2,366
Reaction score
2,611
So...

I cleaned the container with 3 bottles of bleach that circulated for 2 days.
Drained and rinsed with fresh water circulated for 1 day.
Drained and filled again. Added 1 gallon of citric acid and circulated for 3 days.
Drained, rinsed and filled again with fresh water.
Had fresh water circulating for 2 days.
Drained and filled again with RO/DI. That water circulated for 3 days.
I have no smell, no residue, no hint of anything being in the water.

I purchased the RO/DI water saver and hooked it up to produce faster water with less waste.
I ran into a problem though. I guess I did not let enough water go through the unit before filling because the membrane was showing 43 before hitting the DI resin. It has gone down to 8 TDS but I burned through a freshly packed new DI cartridge in under 200 gallons. By the time the container was full, the RO/DI unit was reading 5 TDS product water to the container.

I pulled out my handheld TDS meeter and got 1 TDS in the container.

I'm thinking the water container is good. 1 TDS is not bad water but I'm going to put new DI resin and new sediment filter in and fill the whole thing again using the water in it now as a final rinse.

Anyone have any thoughts?
 
OP
Dj City

Dj City

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 16, 2017
Messages
2,366
Reaction score
2,611
Do you have a TDS meter on the membrane output? Use that to determine when you have a stabilized output TDS.
I do (see original post).
I figured the TDS would drop and it did. Just not quickly enough.
It was my 1st time running 2 membranes so I did not know what to expect.
Everything is fine now and the TDS after the membranes is 8 TDS. I'm getting great rejection now but I was not when I first ran it. I was told the TDS might be higher with the 2nd membrane so I thought the number I was seeing might be normal.
I was wrong.
 

Buckeye Hydro

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 17, 2013
Messages
865
Reaction score
495
Location
Ohio
So...

I cleaned the container with 3 bottles of bleach that circulated for 2 days.
Drained and rinsed with fresh water circulated for 1 day.
Drained and filled again. Added 1 gallon of citric acid and circulated for 3 days.
Drained, rinsed and filled again with fresh water.
Had fresh water circulating for 2 days.
Drained and filled again with RO/DI. That water circulated for 3 days.
I have no smell, no residue, no hint of anything being in the water.

I purchased the RO/DI water saver and hooked it up to produce faster water with less waste.
I ran into a problem though. I guess I did not let enough water go through the unit before filling because the membrane was showing 43 before hitting the DI resin. It has gone down to 8 TDS but I burned through a freshly packed new DI cartridge in under 200 gallons. By the time the container was full, the RO/DI unit was reading 5 TDS product water to the container.

I pulled out my handheld TDS meeter and got 1 TDS in the container.

I'm thinking the water container is good. 1 TDS is not bad water but I'm going to put new DI resin and new sediment filter in and fill the whole thing again using the water in it now as a final rinse.

Anyone have any thoughts?
If you are dead set on using one of those goofy "magic water savers," install a DI bypass valve if you are going to be standing there when the system kicks on. What is your feedwater water hardness? What is your feedwater TDS?

Russ
 

Cstar_BC

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 18, 2019
Messages
583
Reaction score
1,070
Location
Vancouver BC
Just to chime in - most people are correct and you should check your tap water and see what that looks like ?

I don’t run RODI but I live in an area with naturally hard ground water so I just decided to test my tap water . No major metal levels , no high phosphates . I don’t have excessive algae issues , I haven’t lost any inverts , and my tanks have thriving sps and lps
 

KStatefan

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 24, 2015
Messages
759
Reaction score
744
Location
MHK
I do (see original post).
I figured the TDS would drop and it did. Just not quickly enough.
It was my 1st time running 2 membranes so I did not know what to expect.
Everything is fine now and the TDS after the membranes is 8 TDS. I'm getting great rejection now but I was not when I first ran it. I was told the TDS might be higher with the 2nd membrane so I thought the number I was seeing might be normal.
I was wrong.

It should drop fairly quick using the di bypass valve all you have to get rid of is the water in the membrane housing on the permeate side.
 

Is your current reef tank the BEST reef aquarium you've ever had?

  • Yes

    Votes: 70 76.9%
  • No

    Votes: 14 15.4%
  • It's a tie

    Votes: 3 3.3%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 4 4.4%

Online statistics

Members online
2,087
Guests online
4,213
Total visitors
6,300
Top