RODI vs Berkey Ceramic Filter

Zach Mitchell

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Feb 23, 2018
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Can anyone tell me the difference between an RODI filter and a Black Berkey Ceramic Filter (Click on Extended Description for test results)? We are on municipal water and have used it without filtering for about 8 years, but we want to step up our game a little bit. We don't have huge tanks and average between 10-30 gallons of water change a week and have very limited space, so we believe that an RODI filter would be way over kill and we have no room for its setup. We aren't concerned about the price or flow rate on the Berkey filters as they are more set it and forget it.

Has anyone used one of these Ceramic filters instead of an RODI setup? Is there something we are missing that this doesn't filter?

Brad Miller

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Apr 29, 2018
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Dover, Pennsylvania
First off, these are for filtering drinking water not a reef tank.

They have no pumps, therefore it relies solely on static pressure of the upper water chamber fill height, which needs to be completely full at all times, because of this.

Says it removes “heavy metals”, but doesn’t list any specifics, I’m assuming they mean lead, Mercury ect. The same as any water filter in this category.

Production rate is said to be 26 gph with the biggest one they make that holds 8 filters and the unit is 30” tall.

Rodi will remove all minerals, metals, chlorine, chloramine and will take your total dissolved solids to zero.

I’ve never used these water filters, but it appears to me that these are nothing Moore than a $30 water filter set up you could purchase for under your sink, just repackaged to look cool.
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Sep 1, 2019
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Why start filtering if things have been ok on straight muni supply? I know RODI is the standard, but if you can get away with tap water and dechlor, you should celebrate!

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Sep 5, 2014
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Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
I’m not sure exactly what is inside of those filters. They are likely better then tap water, but not as good as ro/di.

If you use one, or raw tap water, let it run before collecting any so that the high copper from water sitting overnight in your own pipes has a chance to be flushed out.


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Mar 2, 2019
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These appear to be simple solid carbon block filters, with a layer of deceptive advertising added on top.

While these are quite expensive for what they are, they probably will remove chlorine/chloramine, and a some degree of heavy metals. However, the capacity of activated carbon for metal adsorption is a great deal lower than its capacity to remove organic elements from water, so there's a bit of a risk of copper breakthrough as Randy notes.

If you are keeping only saltwater fish, do regular water changes and your water source is relatively uncontaminated by copper, lead and other heavy metals, you should be OK. A reef tank with sensitive corals might be a bit more risky.

If you really don't have a lot of space, you can get an Aquatic Life RO Buddie. They are made as portable units to be installed at a sink when needed, then removed when not. The cartridge replacement is more expensive than standard units, but the initial purchase price is relatively low, and they are quite compact. If you decide to go this route, you will want the 4-stage unit - the 4th stage is mixed-bed deionization.

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