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It has a very short lifespan and replacement cartridges get expensive real quick. Most people report 10-30 total gallons before its exhausted but it depends on your tap water quality too.
I wouldn't waste my money on it myself as the cost of the unit and a few replacements is in the ballpark of a lower end RO/DI unit.

If you get one make sure you get a handheld TDS meter too or you have no idea if its working or not.
 

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I really try to stay away from what I call the ebay quality RO/DI systems and would not recommend any of them. You can expect to pay right at $150 for a reef quality system with good filters, a name brand 75 GPD RO membrane, a full sized vertical refillable DI, an inline pressure gauge and a TDS meter, all of which you will want.

You want to stick with a manufacturer or vendor who has been around awhile and isn't going anywhere. Some I would suggest looking at are SpectraPure Water Purification Products , www.buckeyefieldsupply.com , Welcometo Purely H2O! - Home of Aquarium Water Filters, Reverse Osmosis, RO DI and more! , Melevsreef.com - Welcome! Aquarium Water | Reverse Osmosis | RODI Water | ReefKeeper Water | Products and answers for your water treatment needs. .

Spectrapure is having a Reef Customer Appreciation sale right now and their ProPlus system is $100 off. This makes it a real bargain compared to others in that price range.
SpectraPure Customer Appreciation SALE! 20% - 50% off
 

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So, conservatively speaking, if I'm a bad boy and only change 10 gallons of my 55 gallon every two weeks, that's 260 gallons/year, or roughly $260/year in distilled water from Groceryco. The unit costs $150, plus maybe another $50 in filter media.

It seems like it will pay for itself easily in less than a year.

Now if I only had $150 to blow on a RO unit. :)
 

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We have an lfs here who sells ro/di water for like $.50/g or less.

All my Fw and my 55g marine use untreated tap water with no water changes. The 55g marine has fish and soft type corals. But no luck with sps. so perhaps sps requires ro/di. But otherwise IMHO RO/DI is not needed.


And all tanks are maintained, balanced out, and stabilized with plant life. FW plants and marine macro algae.


my .02
 
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That's certainly a good point. I could try tap water. I'm on a well, so I don't have to worry about chlorine, but being on a well, I'm also going through a softener. I would have to get my water out of one of my spigots.
 

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I wouldn't use tap water, well or otherwise. Its risky at best since you have no control over its quality. Check your wate rwith a TDS meter, wells often have very high TDS which is not good for a reef system. RO units love water softeners since they do much of the work for them, kind of like pretreatment.
 

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We have an lfs here who sells ro/di water for like $.50/g or less.

All my Fw and my 55g marine use untreated tap water with no water changes. The 55g marine has fish and soft type corals. But no luck with sps. so perhaps sps requires ro/di. But otherwise IMHO RO/DI is not needed.


And all tanks are maintained, balanced out, and stabilized with plant life. FW plants and marine macro algae.


my .02

I'm very interested in what you say. It's not that I'm interested in duplicating your setup; It's more of a curiosity from a tank chemistry point of view.

My main question is this: You feed your fish with food I presume. And with that food you are bringing nitrogen into your tank in the form of proteins and whatnot. Unless that nitrogen leaves as a gas (such as nitrous oxide), it will always be in your tank, no? How do you stabilize total nitrogen?
 

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I'm very interested in what you say. It's not that I'm interested in duplicating your setup; It's more of a curiosity from a tank chemistry point of view.

My main question is this: You feed your fish with food I presume. And with that food you are bringing nitrogen into your tank in the form of proteins and whatnot. Unless that nitrogen leaves as a gas (such as nitrous oxide), it will always be in your tank, no? How do you stabilize total nitrogen?
Hopefully not nitrous oxide but n2.

and thanks for your interest.

Yes I add food and therefore nitrogen along with phosphates and a host of trace elements also.

What happens is the aerobic bacteria ammonia->nitrIte->nitrates cycle is completed with nitrates forming plant tissue in the macro algaes.

At that point nothing more needs to be done as all the food has been turned into fish/coral/ and plant tissue. In fact the plant tissue is eaten by some of the fish therefore the nitrates are recycled.

After some time the macros do get big enough I remove them. Which remove not only nitrates but also trace elements and heavy metals like copper the plants have bio accumulated. Some you will have to replace (calcium) and others you want out of the system anyway.

I suspect that if it were not for some tap water additives with things like zinc, you could even do sps corals by balancing out the tank with macro algaes. But that is pure specualtion on my part.

I have no doubt tap water from any city in the US can be used for marine and FW fish tanks with plant life and no water changes. I have done it already for years at several cities in the US since 1970.
 

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Wow, that's really great!

Right now I'm using a canister filter (Fluval 205).

So I wonder now, if I were already resigned to sink $150, perhaps rather than a RO/DI filter, I could instead build a DIY refugium w/some macro algae with the purpose of maybe not eliminating all water changes, but reducing the frequency of them. I'd also have the added benefit of having a refugium and presumably higher water quality.
 

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Wow, that's really great!

Right now I'm using a canister filter (Fluval 205).

So I wonder now, if I were already resigned to sink $150, perhaps rather than a RO/DI filter, I could instead build a DIY refugium w/some macro algae with the purpose of maybe not eliminating all water changes, but reducing the frequency of them. I'd also have the added benefit of having a refugium and presumably higher water quality.

I think for a fish tank and soft corals you would be fine.

Refugium should be at least 1/4-1/3 of display volume.
I would recommend plastic storage containers.

With a small container as the sump. that way the refugium can be at max water level and water level will vary in the smaller sump.

you can also build an overflow from pvc pipe for around $20 or so.

Or just do an in tank refugium which would just be an eggcrate partition.

my 02
 

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Don't go by one persons word ever. For the record I disagree strongly with beaslbobs recommendations to use tap water. He is by far in the minority when he recommends this. Without knowing your particular water conditions its impossible for anyone, myself included to recommend tap water. Even if you had a water quality report thats only a snapshot in time of what was sampled at that moment, and not always a true representation of your water quality. I supervised treatemnt plant operations and maintenance for 30 years before moving on to a major engineering firm where I do much the same and wuld never think of using tap water although I will drink it from the tap.
Most all of us use macroalgaes in our sumps and refugiums and they do a good job on certain things but not every thing, in fact few things. Many thigs in water are cumulative and no amount of algeas, bacteria or wate rchanges will ever remove them. You need to do much more research before going off half cocked and passing on a RO/DI system which is proven water quality device.
 

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Don't go by one persons word ever.
No worries there. I do like to here different theories, though. I'm not too interested in using tap water for my system, but I am interested in perhaps using some plants to help keep nitrate in check and reduce the amount of water changes.

If I could build an inexpensive refugium, that might be a fun project.
 

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I sectioned off one end of my sump as a refugium and feed it from the overflow. Chaetomorpha is a great macroalgae for nitrate export.
 

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i bought a kinetico ro system ran through a kinetico softner. i live in the country no problems. i have good water though no sulfur. No problems so far..
 
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