When to make your own water?

Reefer Optima

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I will suggest if getting an RO/DI system spending the extra money to get a more efficient system 2:1 waste water ratio or 150/180/+ gpd systems. I like my Spectrapure but it is a cheaper model & produces a ton of waste water 3-4:1 waste water ratio so frequently emptying waste water buckets. I use them to water plants outside when possible. It is a 90 gpd unit and is slow.When I'm making water I tend to make a day out of it and make several batches of water for both my ATO water & mixing saltwater. I'm thinking of upgrading my system even though my system functions fine.

My local fish stores in Denver charge $0.25/gal for RO/DI Water & I have a few stores very close to my house. For convenience & times sake I sometimes get RO/DI from local shops & mix my own saltwater. One thing if you buy from a local store no matter how reputable the store is, ALWAYS test the water before using. I've had a couple of different shops and mix up saltwater/RO/DI & find sometimes their ro water will be 6-10 tds.
 
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good.reef

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Do you test your LFS water for TDS? I know a few LFS especially if its a chain or non speciality that do not often test their RODI water or change the filters often. I don't think I would ever trust someone else without verification with the safety of my corals and fish. At the very least I would buy bottled distilled water as those major companies have testing and operations in place to make sure their equipment and filtration is monitored.
 

mitch91175

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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?

Not even thinking about price of water, etc. I'd suggest starting out ASAP making your own water. Sure as others have already mentioned, you have total control over the quality of your water at that point. A RO/DI was the very first investment I made ions ago when I first got into the hobby (even when I started out with freshwater tanks).

Unfortunately all LFS are NOT created equally and I've seen some selling customers water with "BLACK" sediment filters. Even had to help out an LFS understand how to work their RO/DI unit. Something to understand about some LFS is that they are just hobbyists out to make money and some do not have basic understanding of maintaining an aquarium. Too many out there like that. Cash grabs.
 

Intense37754

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If they use Red Sea coral pro that’s awesome....but the instructions specifically say to use from .5 to 4 hrs after mixing. We use the black bucket in one of our tanks and it has worked very well for us.

I am impatiently waiting for BRS to stock the 5 or 6 stage with water saver. Ive tester our tds at 128 and BRS said due to our location nothing less than a 5 stage would
 

slojim

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I missed your question on brand experience. I went with air water ice. I'm very happy with it. I did get a dual stage model to be waste water conscious. I flush it before each use. Still on my my first resin bed with no tds, but I've probably made less than 400 gallons on it. Shipped fast, responsive to emails. No regrets.
Oh, i put it in the garage for these reasons. Easy tap in to water inlet to house for max inlet pressure, no concerns with low temperatures in coastal Texas, easy to divert waste water to water the yard or to buckets for other use, no concerns with overfilling. Easy spot to store water.
 

fishbulb

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I say invest in a unit and make it yourself. I used to live in San Diego and was about a 15 minute drive to filtered seawater source. They filtered through sand filters for use at Scripps institute of oceanography. They didn't mind if hobbyists helped themselves in reasonable quantities. Still, after a few months of lugging two 5 gallon containers up to the second floor apartment, I decided to make my own. I'll never lug water again now that I'm past 40. I now have a 50 gallon RODI reservoir and a 50g saltwater mixing container. I use a litermeter for water changes. When I run out of saltwater, I turn a valve to dump the 50 gallons of RODI into the seawater container and dump in an entire back of Instant Ocean. No measuring and no lifting. Save your back, get an RO unit.
 

Reefer Optima

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Do you test your LFS water for TDS? I know a few LFS especially if its a chain or non speciality that do not often test their RODI water or change the filters often. I don't think I would ever trust someone else without verification with the safety of my corals and fish. At the very least I would buy bottled distilled water as those major companies have testing and operations in place to make sure their equipment and filtration is monitored.
Yes I always check my water. I bought a cheap TDS meter & it's probably not super accurate but works for its intended purpose. And it only takes a few seconds. I feel like most of the local shops don't change their filters enough.

I use the Red Sea coral salt & make sure I use it the same day I mix it. The BRS video series on different salts was very helpful. One thing I suggest is go to the website of your city or county and look at their water quality report. Other companies may also do this but Spectrapure has specific RO/DI units for chloramine removal & other compounds & offer recommendations based on your specific water quality & end goal.
 
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Nanorock1970
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I missed your question on brand experience. I went with air water ice. I'm very happy with it. I did get a dual stage model to be waste water conscious. I flush it before each use. Still on my my first resin bed with no tds, but I've probably made less than 400 gallons on it. Shipped fast, responsive to emails. No regrets.
Oh, i put it in the garage for these reasons. Easy tap in to water inlet to house for max inlet pressure, no concerns with low temperatures in coastal Texas, easy to divert waste water to water the yard or to buckets for other use, no concerns with overfilling. Easy spot to store water.
The garage would be great at least to make the water. Not a good place to store it though as it gets very hot in there. I would need to chill the water before using it most likely 5 or so months out of the year. Location,,,,Maybe my laundry room, It is a utility room with my AC air handler, the hot water tank and my washer dryer. Water is accessible to tap off. I could use the AC condensate line to drain the waste outside instead of my septic, or use the emergency drain for the water heater....both go outside. I still have the issue of space to set up large mixing/storing containers oh and convincing the wife that she does not need that space in the laundry room....
 
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Nanorock1970
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Yes I always check my water. I bought a cheap TDS meter & it's probably not super accurate but works for its intended purpose. And it only takes a few seconds. I feel like most of the local shops don't change their filters enough.

I use the Red Sea coral salt & make sure I use it the same day I mix it. The BRS video series on different salts was very helpful. One thing I suggest is go to the website of your city or county and look at their water quality report. Other companies may also do this but Spectrapure has specific RO/DI units for chloramine removal & other compounds & offer recommendations based on your specific water quality & end goal.
So this is the report that my city has online. Does not seem very informative to me or at least not what I would look for in a report. I guess maybe the water is somewhat neutral since they RO the water. I am not so sure about the treatment after that as to what I get out of the tap. There is a phone number to someone to ge more info but I am not sure what I am asking for. I agree that it would be great to get an efficient RO/DI unit for my water quality but I'm not sure how many folks do that....
 
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Ewok1

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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?
Should’ve got it when you got the tank. Always make your own water because your lfs water is just not good. Get like aquatic life twist in 4 stage rodi system. If you want you can get two and hook up the waste water to the second rodi to save water and you’ll make water faster too. Buy good salt like red sea or two little fishy and get PH and TDS reader from Amazon. It’s pretty cheap if I remember correctly.
 

slojim

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most of the better RO/DI suppliers will have some info online regarding what you should be asking (for example, how the water is disinfected may have an impact on your pre-filter choices). I don't recall the details, but I do know I had some correspondence with the outfit I ordered from, then I sent an email asking my local utility for the missing info, and they got back to me pretty quickly. Sorry I don't recall the details, I am just saying it wasn't as complicated as it seems. Water utilities will generally only publish what the feds require, but they often have a lot more data available if you ask.
 

waterskiguy

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From my experience, I should have bought mine a lot sooner than I did. After installed, it made life so much easier.

If you’re planning on upgrading tanks, the time to do it would logically be before upgrading. It’s always nice to not have to lug 55 gallons + to fill the new tank (is some or will be bigger than your existing tank. I made 300 gallons for my new tank and it was easy as turning on the valve going into the unit.

Waste water shouldn’t be a concern. Why would it go into your septic? I use mine to water my trees and garden. You can always use it for other needs. There are a few threads on here that detail what people are using waste water for. We have some pretty creative folks in this hobby.
 

Waynerock

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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?
Holy cow dude that’s the exact situation as me. What pushed me over the edge was all this shortage crap and I could not find many gallons of distilled water for my ATO then last Thursday I had to rush to get the last 10 gallons of salt water at LFS before they closed for a week. I only do 6 gallon water change it’s not much but I like being consistent. My tank is a hair bigger than yours (65gal). I said screw it and got an aquatic life twist rodi and just an hour ago just got finished making my first 10 gallons of water!! It feels good to take care of something without having to rely on others. Pick one up and grab some salt like I did you won’t retreat it. I had to rig it onto a dolly and roll it out to the hose to make water cause I don’t have room and wife does not want to see it at the only good spot. Still totally worth it
 
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Victor_C3

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I would recommend you buy an RO/DI system just for the convenience factor alone. It removes having to complete the tedious chore of having to drive to procure your source water, which makes it more likely that you’ll do your water changes and stay on top of this maintenance task.

My passion for any hobby ebbs and flows. Periods of high interest and motivation come and go as well as periods of LRS (lazy reefer syndrome). I’m more likely to do the proper maintenance when I’m not feeling passionate about reefing if there are a minimal amount of steps involved.

Aside from that, having your own RO/DI system removes a variable you can’t control from your system. You know exactly the quality of the water you are producing if you own one.
 

Mark Bradley

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I have just bought a RO unit - awaiting the DI add on. Have always liked the visit to the LFS to collect pre made water - incredibly easy and creates the opportunity to speak to fellow hobbyists and look at new stock. Since the coronavirus it makes sense to do it myself - however, I do see it as a faff...big waste of water (although using it on garden), the need to heat it to a specific temperature to get the right level of salinity, having it turning over too etc.

I have experienced no issues whatsoever from doing it the pre made way so doing what I must but not overly happy . However, if that’s the biggest issue I have under the current circumstances I'll take it.
 

Roger D

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My setup has the rodi filters running into a 55 gal drum with a float valve so always have at least 55 gallons all the time. The one thing that most haven't figured is that with my filter it takes 3 gallons to get one clean gallon but my waters not to high and no sewer tax but my water bill was about $80 higher on the month I set up my 180 with a 55 gal sump.
 
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Nanorock1970
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Holy cow dude that’s the exact situation as me. What pushed me over the edge was all this shortage crap and I could not find many gallons of distilled water for my ATO then last Thursday I had to rush to get the last 10 gallons of salt water at LFS before they closed for a week. I only do 6 gallon water change it’s not much but I like being consistent. My tank is a hair bigger than yours (65gal). I said screw it and got an aquatic life twist rodi and just an hour ago just got finished making my first 10 gallons of water!! It feels good to take care of something without having to rely on others. Pick one up and grab some salt like I did you won’t retreat it. I had to rig it onto a dolly and roll it out to the hose to make water cause I don’t have room and wife does not want to see it at the only good spot. Still totally worth it
Hey that is a good idea. Maybe I can make a rolling mix station. Or at least something to put the RODI unit on with a bucket underneath for now till I get the big tank and need to upgrade the mixing station but I would have the RODI unit already.
I almost jumped on the RODI bandwagon this weekend cause LFS was talking about closing. Looking online, it looks like lots of folks went RODI at home because most of the good stuff was out of stock. I think I am still waiting a bit but definitely sooner then later now.

Oh and some good stuff. I would not have thought I needed a two stage just for the carbon. I have cloromine treated water, I found out from the answers you all have given and looking at my public water report. I still have to contact them for some other info but it is still a start.
 

Waynerock

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Hey that is a good idea. Maybe I can make a rolling mix station. Or at least something to put the RODI unit on with a bucket underneath for now till I get the big tank and need to upgrade the mixing station but I would have the RODI unit already.
I almost jumped on the RODI bandwagon this weekend cause LFS was talking about closing. Looking online, it looks like lots of folks went RODI at home because most of the good stuff was out of stock. I think I am still waiting a bit but definitely sooner then later now.

Oh and some good stuff. I would not have thought I needed a two stage just for the carbon. I have cloromine treated water, I found out from the answers you all have given and looking at my public water report. I still have to contact them for some other info but it is still a start.
Ugly as sin but gets the job done
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