When to make your own water?

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I am on the fence as to make the investment in a RODI system and mixing my own saltwater. I have a 56 gal tank that I have been running for about a year and a half. I do weekly water changes of 5 gals during general maintenance. LFS is a 20 min drive. I have (2) 5 gal jugs that I go to the LFS every 2 weeks to get more. Price is $1.00 per/gal. Yes, if I have a major disaster and need to change more then 10 gals, I have an issue. I have gone to the store 2x a week when my nitrates were high and I needed to reduce them.
My question is when does having your own mixing/water station make sense. I know I will have the added cost of the waste water, that will add to my gray water septic tank and that I will have to make the water ahead of time if my RODI system has a small production output.
I do plan on the investment when I get a larger tank but do any of you think I should be looking at getting one sooner than later?
 

Ding2daDong

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Well it can save you in many ways besides just the price of the water. Think about your back and lugging that stuff around. Plus your time driving. Now if you really love going to the LFS and would go anyways then maybe you want to keep going and that works for you. Obviously you made this post so it's something you've been considering. I think it would be cost effective but more so in time and manual labor initially and later more so on the money savings. If you decide you don't like it and would prefer you go back you can always sell your RO/DI unit.

20mins to LFS, guess 45mph, so 15miles, 30 miles there and back. Takes you roughly 40 minutes drive time, 50 if you include store time. So that's 2600 mins and 1560 miles you drive each year to the LFS. Not including the couple hundred dollars in gas you spend or the $520 on saltwater each year. All rough estimates.

I think it's a no brainer. Get the RO/DI unit.

-Matthew
 
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Nanorock1970
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Well it can save you in many ways besides just the price of the water. Think about your back and lugging that stuff around. Plus your time driving. Now if you really love going to the LFS and would go anyways then maybe you want to keep going and that works for you. Obviously you made this post so it's something you've been considering. I think it would be cost effective but more so in time and manual labor initially and later more so on the money savings. If you decide you don't like it and would prefer you go back you can always sell your RO/DI unit.

20mins to LFS, guess 45mph, so 15miles, 30 miles there and back. Takes you roughly 40 minutes drive time, 50 if you include store time. So that's 2600 mins and 1560 miles you drive each year to the LFS. Not including the couple hundred dollars in gas you spend or the $520 on saltwater each year. All rough estimates.

I think it's a no brainer. Get the RO/DI unit.

-Matthew
LOL I would most likely save money also by not going inside the LFS....Always something appealing to take my money....
 

NS Mike D

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I use a simple portable unit that hooks up to a sink or washing machine connections for under $100 that I make 5 gals at a time. It's a 75 gpd unit that takes about an hour and 20 minutes to fill the 5g jug. My water isn't hard so the 4 stage unit suits my needs.

When I'm done I disconnect and put it away out of sight.

I've replaced the filters 3x in 5 years. They run $24 to $45 depending if you change the membrane.

I do buy the Imagitarium Pacific Ocean water from Petco when I don't have the time to make my own.

I keep telling myself I will upgrade but this has been a reliable lower budget solution for me
 
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Bryknicks

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I questioned myself the same way years ago. At the time I was living in an apartment building on the second floor. My ultimate deciding factor was not wanting to lug 15 gallons of water up the stairs every time I went to the LFS. Long story short, I pulled the trigger on a BRS unit and never looked back. The time savings along is well worth it as stated above. But financially it also works out much better especially if you are not making crazy amounts of water for a smaller tank, the filters won't need to be replaced as often. My advice- buy a unit NOW!
 

Brandon Smith

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For me it is more about peace of mind. I know what my TDS and don't have to worry about whether or not the filters are being changed when they need to be. Also, knowing whether or not your local water is treated with chlorine or chloramines will help so you have the proper carbon block as well.
 

Jwoott

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I was in this situation until last week when I pulled the trigger on getting an RO/DI. I was tired of lugging jugs of water up stairs to my apartment and with everything going on in the world it was nice to have peace of mind that I can make my own water if the lfs closes. Plus, my lfs is only open on weekends and Monday so I was always worried about what would happen if I needed water on a Wednesday or day they were closed. I say go for it!
 

Intense37754

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One other thing to consider is what salt mix they are using and what you want to use, what are the elements and the salinity they mix at. It might be lower or higher than what you want.
Then besides the space an RODI unit takes up you’ll also need to keep salt on hand and what to mix in.
We will get an rodi unit soon and continue buying salt from LFS and of course to shop around there at the same time. Tired of transporting jugs around!!
 
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neoender25

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At 10 gallons/week of new water at $1/gallon, the unit pays itself off in (unit price/10) weeks. Opportunity cost of time spent traveling and hauling water, and saved gas should more than make up for the cost of water used in your own home. The breakeven point to where you are saving money with an RODI system is around a year or less.
 

AllSignsPointToFish

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I've always made my own water. For one, it's never been convenient for me to tote around tens of gallons of water all the time. Second, I control the quality and quantity...plus, I have to handle it a lot less!
 

Halal Hotdog

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You live in Palm Bay Florida. Just drive to the water with your buckets and collect it.
I absolutely agree with this. If I lived near a viable source of seawater I would absolutely use that. There is always a chance for getting contaminants from runoff and parasites through this process, but have never really seen any people posting that. I did see a post of someone keeping impossible invertebrates alive, so I inquired on how he was doing it. Short answer, he was using natural seawater which provided all the phyto/zoo that those inverts needed.
 
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Nanorock1970
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One other thing to consider is what salt mix they are using and what you want to use, what are the elements and the salinity they mix at. It might be lower or higher than what you want.
Then besides the space an RODI unit takes up you’ll also need to keep salt on hand and what to mix in.
We will get an rodi unit soon and continue buying salt from LFS and of course to shop around there at the same time. Tired of transporting jugs around!!
So I do know they use Red Sea Coral Pro. I have not had any issues and my coralline algae keeps on growing. True, I do not know if they are at 0 TDS or how often they change their filters. I do know they are very reputable and that they are the store around here to go to for quality, good inventory of both fish, coral, and inverts (will order something if you ask) and knowledgeable. YES the big plus here is not going to the LFS and grabbing something I don't "need" right then and there....
 

nitrodude

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Ive said it before and I'll say it again-The best purchase out of all the gimmicks and toys I've bought relating to this hobby, Is my 1,000gpd rodi unit.
Get yourself a 75 or better yet atleast a 150gpd unit.
It will pay for itself vs getting water and you always have water on hand
 

slojim

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I have my own RODI. It is convenient. I guess. I don't regret it or contradict the advice above, but be realistic and don't forget the other costs and inconveniences - you'll need containers for your water, then new ones when you realize the first set are leaching phosphates, your resin and membranes do better when making batches of water instead of on-demand water, you need to put all that water somewhere, because if you run out, you might be 2 days from zero water to having enough for an emergency wc, and if you are typical of this forum, eventually, you'll rube goldberg the heck out of some mixing flow delivery bulkhead pvc pump uniseal triple-sensor tubing through the wall contraption. (ok, maybe that's just my view)
worst of all, some people have found creative ways to forget they are making water and overfilled containers, causing some water damage (I have mine in my garage - not worried)
That reminds me, - I need to order more resin. I wonder what else I'll add to my order "since I already have my credit card out"
 

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