My newest buddy is plastic

greedygh0stOctober 10, 2012

So, I finally broke down and purchased a RO system. And I'm pretty happy about it.

I kept telling myself: No more new plants until you get an RO system. Better to have healthy plants than more plants.

And then after I placed another plant order I'd say: You could have totally bought an RO system for that money, dummy.

So, now it's here and "installed" and I did the trial run last night. And no, I didn't get my TDS meter to check the results, because I onnnnly had enough energy to put the laundry away and watch another episode of Revenge. And also because I am still trying to wrap my head around every number that gadget spits out. And what solution I'm supposed to use when.

(sigh) You know, I like science. But I really hate the part of science that involves gizmos and number crunching. That's why I can never give anyone advice about this kind of stuff. Because I do a bunch of research, reach a conclusion, and all knowledge that led to the decision promptly exits my brain. Like a temporary task force that has been disbanded.

Anyway, woo! Water +1!

How does everyone else feel about running a science lab as a hobby? Yea(YAY!) or Nay?

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penfold2(4b, MN)

Congratulations on the new purchase. You'll have to tell us the before and after numbers when you get around to it. The membrane I use has about a 98% rejection rate. As for running a science lab, I've been doing that for years. I used to keep reef aquariums, so I had an RO/DI filter, TDS meter, refractometer, phosphate colorimeter, and test kits for alkalinity, Ca, and Mg. The gadgets were part of the fun, but it got to be too much work. So I got rid of the tanks and fully invested in plants, which of course now takes up just as much time, if not more, than my aquariums ever did. And I'm still itching to set up another reef tank.

Anyways, I'm sure there are at least a few of us that use RO filters, so let us know if we can help in any way.


    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 2:21PM
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Hi GG,

I've had an RO water system for 25 years and I have no idea what you mean about numbers... My setup is in the basement, water comes into it, I get it out of a spigot at the kitchen sink. That's it. Maybe there are more sophisticated ones now... Mine goes through a three filter process making yucky Omaha water drinkable. My mother thinks Omaha water tastes "fine", but all I can taste is chlorine. Maybe my buds are sensitive... All I know is that my plants and I love it! YUM!

Denise in Omaha

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 3:51PM
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Sorry for my question but what is RO?

I am newbie :)

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 2:57AM
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Yeah, Paphia, and I'm still trying to get my head around S/H too! Come to think of it, they both have to do with water - so is there any relationship?

Love the intriguing thread title! :-O

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 9:49AM
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penfold2(4b, MN)

RO stands for reverse osmosis, a method of water filtration. As for the numbers that Denise asked about, it's a good idea to measure the TDS (total dissolved solids) of the incoming and outgoing water, and the water pressure in front of the membrane. These numbers tell you if the unit is working properly, and if any of the filters need to be replaced. If you install the unit properly, and replace your prefilters and membrane on a proper schedule, you may get by without checking any numbers, but I would still recommend a TDS meter. It's a quick and easy way to make sure your filter is actually doing its job.


    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 10:20AM
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@ Paphia

Reverse Osmosis is valuable with container plants because it prevents the buildup of harmful or surplus elements. And because you start with "blank slate" water, you can control plant nutrition more precisely.

@ Denise

lol I think Omaha water tastes just fine, too. You're lucky to have sensitive tastebuds. I have to use my brain to tell me to filter my water, since my tongue won't. :P

No, there are no digital reads on my RO system. It is super straightforward, like yours. I felt scared to get one because it seemed so complicated, but when I saw the thing, I was relieved it was so logical and down to earth.

As Chris says, I will just be taking measurements to see how my system is performing. Also, because it's interesting. The lower the TDS level, the more efficient your body or the plant is hydrated. It should be removing at least 80% TDS.

Then you can continue to use the TDS meter to measure the readout as you add your nutrients, so you can adjust and get the fertilized water exactly where you want it. Here is an article that lays it all out.


Hehe. Glad you appreciate it. I was trying to figure out how to trick people into clicking on a thread about RO units.

@ Chris

Thanks!! I will report back. I also switched to plants from aquariums for "less work," although what I was into was landscaped freshwater aquariums. Reefs are definitely more complex. I also discovered that getting too obsessive and creating too much work for myself had more to do with me than a particular hobby. ;)

I'm looking forward to getting more comfortable with all this. It's good to have you around, since you know what you're doing and your plants show it.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 10:35AM
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