Surprise - making my own RO water

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Theulli

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Hi all,

So the LFS suddenly closed, and I had been getting my RO water from them. I am researching this but was hoping someone might be able to pipe in with some info while I'm at it. Basically I am needing to set up my own RO system, quickly, and I was wondering if anyone had input on:

(1) Is there an RO setup that I can run out of my bathroom or a garden hose faucet? I don't have the space to have a permanent setup, I would need something I can hook up to a faucet and then put away when I don't need it. It doesn't need to be super powered, I have two 20 gallon tanks. Any recommendations would be appreciated.

(2) What tests do you rely upon to validate that your RO water is actually high enough quality to use for your tank?

(3) How much waste water does the average RO system produce? For every gallon about how much am I going to be pouring down the drain?

Thanks!
 

SaltwaterGuruNeeded

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I believe most are 1:4 1, being the good water. I'm not sure of any ro units that aren't supposed to be permanent, as in not made to be taken with you alot. I personally haven't seen any. But I have a 5 stage rodi unit and I connected it to a quick connect/disconnect for my slop sink. When I need normal water I just disconnect it. It's literally so easy, it's like the fitting you use for an air compressor, it pops on and off and is water tight.
 

Woodyman

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Hey! So RO setups are a loaded topic, a bunch to get into if we wanted, but I'll answer your questions as straight forward as I can, and if you want more detail feel free to ask some more.

1) you can run most, RO systems using a sink hookup or garden hose hookup making them all portable if you wish. I simple 4 stage would suffice, but you can get as advanced as 7+ stages if you really care to. Portability here would vary based on your hose length, and of course how much you really want to move the system around, depending on the stages they can get heavy, even if you purge them and store/transport (relatively) empty.

2) most common are TDS meters, inline is preferred, but you can use a pen style as well, but I wouldn't rely on it 100%, it will get you to 'good enough' how comfortable you are with 'good enough' is your own personal preference. (I use inline, and if you really want to monitor your quality you could get a resistivity meter, but that's another story.)

3) I think the typical average is probably 1:3/1:4 (RO to waste), but with an additional membrane, and the depending on other parameters you could get closer to 1:1 or even as high as 1:6.

again, just a general answer to your questions there are plenty of factors that can play into each of these, especially number 1 and 3.
 

Woodyman

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I believe most are 1:4 1, being the good water. I'm not sure of any ro units that aren't supposed to be permanent, as in not made to be taken with you alot. I personally haven't seen any. But I have a 5 stage rodi unit and I connected it to a quick connect/disconnect for my slop sink. When I need normal water I just disconnect it. It's literally so easy, it's like the fitting you use for an air compressor, it pops on and off and is water tight.

I've seen a few people mount them to moving dollies using boards. Can be done if you really want to, but I agree generally easier to just mount to a wall. You can always store them in a closet and just move them out by hand and place them on the floor or a counter, but depending on how involved you make the system it could be a lot of equipment to move back and forth.

Another way to get a 'semi permanent' connection without taking up space on the sink or hard plumbing is to use an adapter on the sink, think garden hose splitter looks like an upside down 'Y" when placed on the sink. This way each side has its own on/off, so you can keep one for other use and one for the RO system without having to disconnect and reconnect anything when you want to use it.
 

Dolphins18

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RO buddie is cheap effective and does the job for small tanks. I used these while I was in a living situation where I had to hook and unhook often.
If hooking to a outside hose make sure water is not super hot as it sometimes gets really warm here in the summer.

Make sure to get the 4 stage not the 3 stage, I used 3 or 4 these total over a one year period and they worked great, TDS was around 0-5.
 
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Tamberav

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Hi all,

So the LFS suddenly closed, and I had been getting my RO water from them. I am researching this but was hoping someone might be able to pipe in with some info while I'm at it. Basically I am needing to set up my own RO system, quickly, and I was wondering if anyone had input on:

(1) Is there an RO setup that I can run out of my bathroom or a garden hose faucet? I don't have the space to have a permanent setup, I would need something I can hook up to a faucet and then put away when I don't need it. It doesn't need to be super powered, I have two 20 gallon tanks. Any recommendations would be appreciated.

(2) What tests do you rely upon to validate that your RO water is actually high enough quality to use for your tank?

(3) How much waste water does the average RO system produce? For every gallon about how much am I going to be pouring down the drain?

Thanks!
Yea you can hook up to faucet or garden hose with adapters

TDS meter, you preferably want RODI and not just RO.

It depends what system you buy, some are made to be lower waste but cost more. It will tell you the expected waste water.

Check out marine depot quick as they have a liquidation sale and the RODIs were 40 percent off.
 

Woodyman

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I believe most are 1:4 1, being the good water. I'm not sure of any ro units that aren't supposed to be permanent, as in not made to be taken with you alot. I personally haven't seen any. But I have a 5 stage rodi unit and I connected it to a quick connect/disconnect for my slop sink. When I need normal water I just disconnect it. It's literally so easy, it's like the fitting you use for an air compressor, it pops on and off and is water tight.

Yea you can hook up to faucet or garden hose with adapters

TDS meter, you preferably want RODI and not just RO.

It depends what system you buy, some are made to be lower waste but cost more. It will tell you the expected waste water.

Check out marine depot quick as they have a liquidation sale and the RODIs were 40 percent off.
You can pickup a marine depot unit fairly cheap at the moment, and if you want lower rejection ratings down the road you can always piece together upgrades such as booster pumps, a piggyback membrane, additional DI units, etc.
 
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Theulli

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Yea you can hook up to faucet or garden hose with adapters

TDS meter, you preferably want RODI and not just RO.

It depends what system you buy, some are made to be lower waste but cost more. It will tell you the expected waste water.

Check out marine depot quick as they have a liquidation sale and the RODIs were 40 percent off.
I looked at Marine Depot, my concern was with the BRS acquisition, if Marine Depot branded stuff is going to become unavailable. Or are membranes/filters standardized?
 

Woodyman

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I looked at Marine Depot, my concern was with the BRS acquisition, if Marine Depot branded stuff is going to become unavailable. Or are membranes/filters standardized?

Yes, you can swap in any other branded filter when the marine depot ones need replaced. Marine depot are standard 10in housings, so any 10x2.5 inch filter that's the standard size.
 

Woodyman

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Yes, you can swap in any other branded filter when the marine depot ones need replaced. Marine depot are standard 10in housings, so any 10x2.5 inch filter that's the standard size.
So all the sediment, carbon, and DI filters you can use any that are listed as 10"x2.5"
RO membranes are standard as well, you can use cheap ones with lower rejection ratings which will burn through your DI quicker, or pay more and get a higher rejection RO membrane, and your TDS into the DI will be lower saving you in DI costs. RO membranes are cheaper to replace than DI resin when you compare life expectancy, up front a better RO membrane will cost more, but they typically last 2/3 years so a 99% rejection vs a 96% rejection will add up to a significant amount more of DI resin used with the lower rated membrane.
 
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I looked at Marine Depot, my concern was with the BRS acquisition, if Marine Depot branded stuff is going to become unavailable. Or are membranes/filters standardized?
I’m curious to know how universal those are. They look very similar to the brs model
 

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I looked at Marine Depot, my concern was with the BRS acquisition, if Marine Depot branded stuff is going to become unavailable. Or are membranes/filters standardized?
I should mention the one important thing when swapping filters is with the GPD rating of the RO membrane you eventually replace your initial one with. If you get a membrane rated for a different GPD you will need to adjust the flow restrictor accordingly.
 
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Theulli

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Inline TDS meter, booster pump, water pressure meter, 1:1 waste water. Seems like a pretty good setup. I am on city water, is 4 stage going to be enough?
 

Woodyman

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I’m curious to know how universal those are. They look very similar to the brs model

Filter housings for general residential use are typically either 10x2.5 or 20x3(2.8), sometimes people also see the big blues, with are 10x4.5.

There are more sizes avaible, but generally speaking for residential use people one of those sizes, and most of the RO/DI units that people buy for salt water tanks are 10x2.5. It doesn't have to be that way/size, but generally speaking its the most common.
 

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Inline TDS meter, booster pump, water pressure meter, 1:1 waste water. Seems like a pretty good setup. I am on city water, is 4 stage going to be enough?

4 stages is a good starting point, city water does vary, do you know if your city uses chlorine or chloramine to treat the water? If chloramines are used you will want to either add another carbon prefilter, to help extend the life of your RO membrane.

Do you happen to know your incoming TDS currently or any other parameters about your water?
 

Woodyman

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Inline TDS meter, booster pump, water pressure meter, 1:1 waste water. Seems like a pretty good setup. I am on city water, is 4 stage going to be enough?
For the price and with what's included you can't beat this deal from Marine Depot if your looking to start making your own RO/DI water.
 
Reef Chasers Aquaculture
BRS

PICK the Most Tested & Least Tested Parameters of your Tank (Pick 2)

  • Calcium (most)

    Votes: 24 6.5%
  • Alkalinity (most)

    Votes: 262 71.4%
  • Magnesium (most)

    Votes: 3 0.8%
  • Phosphate (most)

    Votes: 24 6.5%
  • PH (most)

    Votes: 38 10.4%
  • Nitrate (most)

    Votes: 35 9.5%
  • Nitrite (most)

    Votes: 1 0.3%
  • Ammonia (most)

    Votes: 8 2.2%
  • (least) Calcium

    Votes: 6 1.6%
  • (least) Alkalinity

    Votes: 2 0.5%
  • (least) Magnesium

    Votes: 29 7.9%
  • (least) Phosphate

    Votes: 4 1.1%
  • (least) PH

    Votes: 13 3.5%
  • (least) Nitrate

    Votes: 3 0.8%
  • (least) Nitrite

    Votes: 110 30.0%
  • (least) Ammonia

    Votes: 152 41.4%
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