Please help me choose RO unit

empireinc00

New member
hello, I'm thinking about getting an RO unit I tried to find info as much as I can on the internet but i'm still unclear of what to choose. I'm going to drsfostersmith tmrw to get other supplies and it's might be a good idea to get the RO unit right away. Choices are Coralife Pure flo II with ro pump 100gpd, a seachem Pinnacle+ Series RO Units 100 gpd. Are they good ?? or if you have any suggestion on other unit please do.

Another question, once the water has been filtered, can I add to the tank for top off right away or I have to add buffer and aerate first if so could you suggest what kind of buffer?. please help I'm very new to RO and I don't want to make a mistake.

Thank you very much.
 

AZDesertRat

In Memoriam
Neither of those is a good choice. I would suggest contacting some of the vendors and sponsors here on RC that deal in RO and RO/DI systems as their primary source of business. Unlike some who just dabble in RO these people really know what works and what doesn't for reef quality systems.
Contact all of them and ask questions then go with the one that makes you feel comfortable. Rest assured none of them will try to sell you anything you don't want or need.

www.buckeyefieldsupply.com
www.thefilterguys.biz
www.spectrapure.com
www.purelyh2o.com

Expect to spend about $150 for a good basic reef quality RO/DI system, $200 or just a little more for a very good one and about $350 for the very best thing on the market today.
 

docwells

Member
Check out air water and ice.

www.airwaterice.com

They make have quality units and you would be able to find a system to meet your need. I have a reefkeeper unit from them and it works great. I would look into the ro/di units if it fits into your budget. I don't know anything about the units you listed.

You can add directly to the tank for top off.
 

DarG

New member
Empire, when you think about it, the RO's and DI's are all pretty much made the same. Prefilters inside canister housings, and RO membrane inside a housing and usually a single housing for DI resin or a double DI unit. The main differences are not in the housings or the hose or the brackets that hold the housings and mount on the wall. The main exception is probably the units with horizontally mounted DI's instead of Vertical ... you want vertical and full size. So, what makes the initial differences are the prefilters and the membranes ... and whether they have full size, vertical DI units. So, if you pay 100 bucks on ebay or wherever for a 4 stage with dual DI, then you have to wonder what quality the prefilters and what type/quality membrane. If they come with crappy membrane and prefilters then you may as well spend the extra to get one with the quality ones. On top of that, going to one of the vendors that deals with these things specifically, you will get the service and support that you may need. So, point is that if you dont know what you are really getting in terms of the actual filters and RO membrane, it's probably wise not to buy the system.

A 4 stage RO with 2 stage DI is under $200 at The Filter Guys for example. You get a quality membrane, quality prefilters, the right/best type of DI system and quality DI resin and great customer service and support. I added a 2 stage DI to an old 3 stage RO system a while back and that cost $62 or so. I just replaced that ancient RO system with a new 4 stage from the same people for $124. So, a combination system from them should be under $200 or right near it with shipping. You also get those way cool John Guest fittings.
And, there are several good vendors like The Filter Guys to comparison shop with.
 

empireinc00

New member
thank you guys for the suggestion, I will definitely check into those. i'm more comfortable with spectrapure and the filter guy. The other question if you could help me answer.. exactly how do I treat the water after I filter it? Can I directly add it into the tank or I need to buffer it. Thank you.
 

DarG

New member
For marine aquariums, the sea salt mix will add anything to the RO?DI that it needs. The fresh water additions for top off just makes up for evaporation so adding the pure RO/DI water is perfectly fine. You are replacing exactly what the tank has lost ... it keeps the salt, just loses the fresh water.

Also, if you are used to mixing your salt in with tap water, you are in for a treat. The RO/DI is "empty" water and the salt will dissolve much better/quicker in it than in regular tap water.
 

AZDesertRat

In Memoriam
DarG's suggestions are not entirely accurate. There is a huge difference in the quality of components as well as filters. This is easily evidenced by physically picking up a good unit like a MaxCap and a cheap one off of e-bay. The weight difference is amazing! Cheap housings use thinner plastic mouldings therefore will not stand up to the test of time lie good ones, a surge in pressure and you are shopping for a new one. Just like anything else look for stickers and labels like UL, ANSI, NSF, CA, UPC etc. These approvals mean it is constructed using quality materials that have been tested and will last. You have to be careful though as the Chinese and Taiwanese copy trademarks and approvals just like they do Nike, Bolle, Rolex and others where they can make a quick buck.
Stick to known vendors that sell out of a brick and mortar building, and advertise in printed media if possible, these are the people that have been in business for years and can stand up to an inspection by the FTC or anyone else since they are legitimate.
 

DarG

New member
That's true AZ, I'm sure. But the bottom line is that if you used the same prefilters and membrane in a set-up with cheaper housings or less heavy duty brackets or using the old style, cheaper compression fittings or whatever, you would get the same results in terms of the quality of product water. Unless, of course, there was some mistake in manufacturing and the housings were not spec in terms of the filters properly seating or something of that matter. My point was that it is ultimately the filters that made the water and that a good deal on the surface wasnt such a good deal if the filters and membrane are of poor quality and don't purify the water like the better filters do. My point was that if you immediately have to upgrade the pre's and the membrane then you may as well spent the extra money for the known brand system in the first place.

BTW, a fellow hobbyist/friend bought a low priced bargain RO/DO not too long ago and the issue was definitely not the cansiter housings or the branckets or even the connectors which were John Guest. The unit was as well built and as heavy in weight as the new one that I just picked up. It was indeed the clearly cheaper and very likely less effective prefilters and the who knows what RO membrane. Thus the basis for my message to Empire. But what you stated AZ, is a good point and something to be wary of. Clearly it would be initial money poorly spent if the hardware had to be replaced prematurely because of poor quality materials.
 

dilligaf_biker69

New member
In my opinion this "Optima" is an excellent RO/DI...I have always had great success from the Dow filmtek RO element...and it also has a refillable DI...so lower on cost there too to get the DI in bulk. Also on another note the promise from Purley H2O "The final stage of this system is a 10 inch Deionization chamber that will give you that 0 TDS reading, Guaranteed! or your money back!"
Catie and Chip have lots of knowledge in water purification and have awesome customer service skills and have always gone above and beyond for many customers here on RC and locally, I have had some custom machines from them and they have always been right there to (honestly) answer any questions and have bent over backwards to make a system right , and or tailored it for me. Just my 2 cents worth. They also have a forum here in the sponsors forum and will answer questions there or will take your calls on a 888 number.

http://www.purelyh2o.com/product.php?productid=16134&cat=249&page=1
 
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