We all know that reverse osmosis and deionized water is the right solution for reef tanks.
But how do you get the best RODI system for a reef tank?
How do you get the cheapest one?
Or even the easiest-to-use one?
Let’s find out.
Today you’ll find the top choice for a vast majority of reefers out there.
You’ll also find out what the other ones do and why they might be the right choice for you instead.
So let’s dive in to find out which one is the Best RODI System For Reef Tank.
The Best 4 Stages RODI System For Reel Tanks
The first system is the four-stage system.
Straight to the point, this is the number one seller.
Meaning the system that most of you actually pick up.
And that’s probably because it’s the most affordable option with four stages.
It’s the most portable as well.
If you live in a condo, or apartment or even have limited space in your house, it’s a great option because you can actually just go put it away under the sink.
Put it wherever you need to do it and then pull it out when you need it.
And it’s ready to go and you can put it away afterward.
So most portable and most affordable.
This four-stage stage RODI is an attractive entry point for those first-time reefers who are looking to do.
This RODI is 95% better than they were before with that balance of cost and effort.
It will create zero TDS water and it’s upgradable in the future which is why we call it an entry point.
You can add on down the road to make it the best RODI system for reef tank.
5 Stages RODI System
Our next up is the five-stage system.
This is the one that I recommend in a vast majority of cases, simply because it works better on a wider array of disinfectants that are put in municipal water supplies.
And even some of the chemicals may end up even in just your well water, particularly if you’re near agriculture.
So the only real difference between the five stages and over four is they added on another carbon block.
There are two of them here.
And they’re that universal carbon block, which actually pulls out a wider array, of contaminants heavier.
You can just see right through it.
It has more carbon than most carbon blocks out there.
And because of that, you don’t have to worry about whether you have chlorine or chloramines or any of that stuff in your water.
You don’t have to call it the city or test the water.
You just know that you’re covered in this case, regardless of what your city uses for disinfecting your water.
And that’s why the five-stage system is just actually probably the best value that covers the most cases and is just the easiest to use.
It can be your best RODI system for reef tank.
6 Stage RODI System
Next is the sixth stage is the least popular of what you guys are picking up.
But that’s probably because we don’t understand the value of the six stages.
Here it is.
If you have the tendency to be lazy about your filter changes specifically the DI resin, the sixth stage has you covered with the second stage of DI resin.
So when my first one’s depleted, I have a backup.
Yeah. So the way that this will work is it will get depleted from the top up, or the bottom up to the top, meaning it will change color.
So it’s really easy to see when the DI resin is getting depleted because it changes from a blue color to like golden Brown color.
And when it gets to the top you just swap out the resin.
However, what if you are not around or you are a little lazy about changing it out?
Well, now when it’s totally depleted it’s going to add some of those contaminants into your water bin, which you obviously don’t want.
That’s why the second stage is actually so valuable because you can let it deplete the whole way if you want it to.
Ideally, you would do a change-out just before it hits the end.
But what if you’re not around or you make a mistake?
Well with the second one, you know, you really don’t have to worry about it because you’re covered.
And then once it’s depleted go ahead and take out the depleted one, put the old one in the first spot and our brand new one in the second housing.
And you’re always covered.
You have redundancy and you really don’t have to pay that close attention to when the DI resin runs out.
Also with the six stages, you’re now getting some more fittings as well in the whole package, which is probably valuable to some people.
You’re a little bit more committed to your reef tank probably when you pick this up, you will understand.
And because of that, you might want to install it permanently.
So both the four and five-state systems come with the most common connections being a laundry hose or a garden hose attachment.
So, or a laundry faucet rather and you can screw right on your laundry tub and provide water to the system, but also for a common kitchen or bathroom sink.
There is a little adapter.
You can just shoot it right out from there, just change your aerator.
There are some even adapter rings that come with it.
Well, what if you want to permanently attach it like underneath your sink?
With the six-stage, you have a ball valve so I can turn it on and off.
You also have a little connection for the lines underneath the sink, so you can connect it permanently.
And you can also connect the drain of your waste line right into the trap under the sink.
So along with all the redundancy advantages of the two stages, you also get some more fittings to make that permanent connection as well.
7 Stages RODI System
Now we get to the seventh stage, which we call the pro series.
If you want to know you have the best RODI system for reef tank, the most efficient, the lowest cost filter changes, and that you just have this RODI question permanently solved.
This is it.
The big deal with the seven-stage pro is the three stages of DI resin here.
It’s not just the same type of resin run in redundancy.
It’s actually different types of resin for specific purposes in here running series to produce a better result.
One of the ways that it does that is it operates at a different pH in each canister which changes the form of some of the contaminants into forms that are actually easier to remove ammonia gas.
Silicone is a prime example but also it’s more efficient meaning that the entire canister is optimized for negatively or positively charged ions.
And it has a way higher capacity for those things now as well.
So you’re going to get more use out of it.
It saves a lot of money specifically for those of you that are looking for a solution for high CO2 in your water.
Changing out just the Anion resin will absolutely do that for you.
And again, it doesn’t visually you can just see when it’s time to change it out because it will get to the top.
And that last one is always that buffer here.
So it doesn’t really matter if one of them went just a little too far.
You’re going to change out these canisters much less frequently.
Probably do half the filter changes, and half the work.
The seven-stage pro really the end game for those who are going to be reefing for a long, long time.
If you may end the game you can still start with that four-stage system and just add on canisters as you go and grow into it.
Choosing the Best RODI System For Reef Tank
So that’s the breakdown of the different RODI stages but there are three other considerations.
That really does matter starting with the flow rate of your membrane or gallon-per-day rating.
There’s a 75-gallon-per-day option in a hundred-gallon-per-day option.
And the difference is the speed of water production versus DI consumption.
A good rule of thumb here is to think about how much water can it produce in about 12 hours.
And looking to do like a 30% water change on your system.
Let’s say that you’d like to come home and turn the thing on at night and do your water change in the morning.
And so in that case with the 75 gallons per day system, they’ll go up to about 120 gallons per day system.
Now, if you’re willing to wait for a little longer then, of course, you know, in 24 hours you’ll produce a 30% water change on multiple hundreds of gallons of the tank.
It’s just about speed, but there isn’t a perfect answer to that.
I would say that I recommend the 75-gallon per day membrane or systems over the hundred, hands down every time.
And the reason for that is the 25 gallons extra a day really doesn’t matter that much to me.
I’d wait a little longer if I needed to because that hundred-gallon-per-day membrane works faster, but not as well.
It’s only a couple percent extra contaminants are making it through.
And ultimately you’ll still be zero TDS water coming out of the DI resin but I’m going to burn my DI resin maybe twice as fast which makes it more expensive.
And I’m going to have to change out filters more often.
So unless that 25 gallons a day is really really important to you, the 75 gallons per day option is just a way, way, way better option.
Waste Water Ratio
The second consideration is the water saver options which double the flow rate.
So you add two 75-gallon per membrane together on the same unit.
You’re now making 150 gallons per day.
And if you add 200 gallons per day RO membranes to the same unit.
Now making 200 gallons per day.
So you’re making water faster and you’re actually reducing the wastewater.
I now have two membranes, both doing 75 in my case.
And I’ll get that 150 gallons a day, which means now I can produce that water half the time.
Or the system is more applicable to a much larger tank, but because I’m running in a series like that.
These systems do produce some amount of wastewater to produce that purified water.
But running them in series means I can actually cut that wastewater in half, which is not only a greener way to run the system.
But if you live in an area that has a lot of droughts or where the water’s really expensive, the water saver option not only will produce water twice as fast but it’ll be cheaper and like greener as well.
The third thing to consider is the plus options or the accessories that come on the plus RODI units.
The first thing is the TDS meter.
This thing will tell you if your unit is working.
So, what good is a RO unit?
If I can’t tell that it’s actually producing the ultra-pure water that I want?
TDS meter will keep track of that for you.
Eventually, everybody should get a TDS meter.
TDS is probably the number one most common add-on to any system right after that, though, pressure gauge.
So the plus systems come with a pressure gauge as well.
Pressure gauges not only will be able to help you troubleshoot your system if you have any problems, they’ll tell you it the filters are clogged,
If your home’s pressure went down, but the number one thing they perform affects the performance of the membrane is pressure.
So it’s also one of the ways to increase the performance of your system because you may have 50 PSI.
I mean, optimal but it actually the performance.
The flow rate and the rejection rates even go higher as you go up and up and up we have investigates a series based just on that.
The third thing you get with the plus is actually the flush kit here.
The flush kit will help flush off the little particles and stuff in the membrane.
The membrane should last like three years.
So if every time you produce some water, you open it up and flush off some of the particles it.
You’re probably going to get that three years out of the membrane before you have to replace it.
So all of the systems come in a standard model as well as when this has plus, and if you get the plus one.
You’ll get the pressure gauge the TDS meter and the flush kit installed already.
All right, so you can probably see why that five-stage water saver plus was our recommendation of that right?
A mix of features and costs and hits the widest array of probable features.
Best RODI system for reef tank.