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Thread: Preparing for a Grow Rack -- Reverse Osmosis Units

  1. #1
    mcantrell's Avatar
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    Preparing for a Grow Rack -- Reverse Osmosis Units

    Didn't find anything in the Carnivorous Plant Articles section about Reverse Osmosis units nor anything with a quick search, so I thought I'd ask.

    As I prepare to install a plant rack and more plants, maybe even a mini-bog outside, I find myself running low on water. A local Fred Meyer has one of those RO Water Filter stations, but I do not drive and walking 5 gallons of water home is not a super appealing proposition. Bringing home water 1-2 gallons at a time is working out pretty well so far but with more plants, that is becoming a losing position.

    What I have actually been looking at lately is a Reverse Osmosis unit. However, as I currently live in an apartment, it would have to be a unit that I could connect to a tap source and not an under sink or garden hose unit.

    The one I was looking at first was the AquaWizard (No opinion as to the store, just a link to the product):
    http://www.momentum98.com/aquawizard.html

    It seems to be about what I need, with it hooking up to the tap directly and filtering water on out. The speed seems a bit on the low side, with it taking 90 minutes to make 1 gallon of water, but for my use, that would probably be plenty.

    I mentioned this on another forum and someone pointed out for the price of that system, I could purchase a "real" RO system. The one he said he owned was the following (again, I have no opinion on the store, just showing the product):
    http://www.purelyh2o.com/product.php...cat=249&page=1

    This one also has a faucet adapter, but is a 75 Gallons Per Day system. Now, the other system assumes you would need to replace the filter in 6 months, presumably this system would need the same -- but if I am not using it at anywhere near capacity (I cannot imagine needing more than 1-2 gallons a day, if that, depending on if I make a minibog or not -- a minibog will add to my water usage rather extensively), the filters would likely last me a good long while, correct?

    Another local friend who keeps tropical fish also suggested purchasing a RO filter system from a local tropical fish store, but I am unsure as to the effectiveness of one of those systems. Most of them that I saw through a quick glance are Ionization systems or other types of filtering, not RO.

    So, any advice for a slightly crazy newbie looking into moving beyond gallon jugs of water from the local WinCo? Perhaps I should buy a TDS system before making the plunge?

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    Frilleon's Avatar
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    I just went through these same issues when looking for a RO unit. I just did some basic research on RO units and then searched every where to find the best deal. In fact I just bought what I think is the best deal around. Here is where I bought it http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...fm?c=3578+4395 it is the Pure-Flo II RO Units 50 gpd 3-stage. They also had a very good RO unit selection guide and FAQ's. The most important thing you need to know is RO units with less filters, filters out less contaminants from the water. In fact the one I choose has both RO and DI. I too do not need 50 gallons a day so I assume just as you I will not need to replace filters every 6 months. This will have to be a trial and I will check with a TDS meter Every month or so to figure it out. It is also a little more portable then some of the others and can be hooked directly up to your faucet. Also I just bought a grow rack as well. First I bought one of the small racks with the plastic zip up cover. I returned it as I thought it was not very sturdy. I did find some people that have used them with success. It cost me like 80 dollars. I went to my local target and got some metal shelving for 25 dollars (it was also on sale, normally 30-40 dollars) that is much stronger (250 lbs. per shelf, 750 lbs. total). Anyway I hope this helps as all this was about 2-3 months of research for me!
    Grow List: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=116427
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    A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy? Albert Einstein

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    The aquawizard is very expensive for what you get.. you pay alot of the simplicity I guess. It is also quite small and I would guess it will take a long time to make a gallon of water. I could find no stats on it's rate.

    Some basics on RO systems. TFC (thin film composit) membranes give you very clean water but are susceptible to chlorines in the source water. So you MUST use a carbon prefilter to protect the membrane IF you are on treated water. It is also a good plan to have a sediment filter before the membrane 1micron is best.. the cheap ones go up to 5 or 10 micron. Ideally you have the carbon and the sediment prefilter seperate so you can just change the one that needs changing. Cheaper units combine the two into a single filter. If you have really clean paticulate free water though then a single 1 micron carbon block prefilter will work fine as it will not get clogged by suspended particles by the time the carbon has worn out.

    Ratings for water production are also done under optimum pressure and temperature. The higher the pressure and the warmer the source water the more RO water you get out. DO NOT count on geting anywhere near the listed production using household water temperature and pressure. You will be lucky if you get half the rated output. SO buy one that is considerably bigger than you think you will need. You won't find they cost that much more and you will be much happier not spending all day trying to fill your water jug. It will also give you lots of room to grow later and not have to buy another unit. Particularly since you are talking about a bog which will take ALOT of water.

    Post filtering for watering plants, drinking etc is utterly rediculous and a waste of money. The RO water is 98% pure or better. Unless you are running a reef aquarium or some sort of scientific lab there is no need to post filter with carbon or DI.

    Any decent hardware store will have brass adapters to fit your sink and the typical garden hose connector you get with most units so hooking to your sink should not be a problem with a little hunting around for the correct fittings.

    Invest in a good TDS meter so you can periodically check your water quality

    A good company will rate their carbon prefilter by how many gallons of TOTAL water can go through it. For example a 10,000 gallon carbon block. Will last however long it takes you put 10,000 gallons through it. You could replace it every 6 months or so but why if it takes you 12 to process 10,000gallons? It doesn't have to be exact... measure how many gallons of waste water for each gallong of RO water then just do an estimate on how many gallons of RO water you make each week and calculate it out.

    Example. You use 5 gallons of RO water a week and it takes 4 gallons of water to make 1 gallon of RO water. That equals 20 gallons/week through the carbon filter. 10,000/20 = 500 weeks before it needs to be changed!
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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    Zero's Avatar
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    look on ebay for a 100gpd with tank and everything you need for around $125. It pays for itself and is great for coffee and tea
    SK-8 OR DIE

    growlist

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    Hey Mcantrell... I bought a couple off of Ebay a while ago and I love them. I use one for my greenhouse and one for inside the house. I believe I bought the one that Av8tor (butch) recommended to me. Here is a thread you may find useful... in it are some ebay links you may want to check out (the listings are expired, but the vendors should still be around). Hope this helps:

    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...to+buy+RO+unit

    Daniel
    - Daniel

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    Look around some of the reef/marine aquarium forums and classifieds as well, as PetSmart recently had an online blunder, pricing one of the R/O units at $0.01 each, if I remember correctly. Plenty of people snagged the deal, buying several of them, and offering them up for sale at very low prices.

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    does the difference in pressure on the faucet vs the pipes matter much? It seems like the faucet would under preform or not even work with some filters.

    Another question... Is there a particular type that should be used to connect to something like a faucet or water hose? Could just any unit be used if an adapter is made out of stuff from the hardware store to connect to a water hose or faucet?

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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