One of the most important pieces of equipment to any saltwater aquarium is a RO Unit or Reverse Osmosis Unit. This piece of equipment greatly increases your chance for success. One of the main reasons why people leave the saltwater aquarium hobby is because their aquarium was overtaken by green hair algae.
Why Should I Use RODI Water?
Tap and well water contain impurities like Nitrate and Phosphate. These can lead to algae blooms and headaches down the road. Even if you have well water with no chemicals or chlorine, it will still have these impurities.
How Does a RO Unit Work?
A Reverse Osmosis Unit forces pressurized water through sediment and carbon filters and then through a Reverse Osmosis membrane. The Deionization stage occurs when water leaving the membrane passes over a special resin. The filters are placed in the RO Unit from largest to smallest, so the largest particles are removed from the water first. Running the water pressure at 60 PSI and an occasional membrane flush can greatly increase the life of most Reverse Osmosis filters. Depending on the amount of water you use and the cleanliness of your tap or well, most filters last six months and most membranes over one year. You can also automate your water top off with a Float Valve.
How Clean is RODI Water?
TDS or total dissolved solids, is one way to test water purity. It measures how much stuff is in your water. This includes copper, chlorine, phosphate, silicate, iron, zinc, lead and nitrate. Typical tap and well water has a TDS of 250-500ppm. After RO purification most Reverse Osmosis Units produce water with a TDS between 5 and 10ppm, and after RODI purification between 0 and 5ppm. As a result, algae has 25 to 50 times less nutrients that it can use to grow. A Reverse Osmosis Unit is one of the best investments and biggest keys to success in the saltwater aquarium hobby. Combined with proper filtration, this can dramatically reduce algae growth and decrease aquarium maintenance. This will also save you from hours of frustration and wasted money. Besides a filter, this is by far the most important piece of equipment for a saltwater reef tank.