Reverse osmosis unit
On this page I'll describe the reason why I've bought a reverse osmosis unit. On this page I'll also describe the reverse osmosis unit I own, such as the brand and my personal experience with it.
Why I've bought a reverse osmosis unit
The reason why I've bought a reverse osmosis unit is the hardness of the water that comes out of the waterworks by me. This water has a carbonate hardness of 8° dH, while my ideal value for this is an carbonate hardness of 4° dH. This because of the CO2 system I'll use in my aquarium (high carbonate hardness of the water demands more CO2). Before I bought the reverse osmosis unit, I bought osmosis water in the aquarium store, but because of the price of this I didn't decrease my carbonate hardness further than 6° dH. After some calculations about the price of a reverse osmosis I decided to buy one.
The calculated break-even-point (for my aquarium) of this investment was about three years. In this calculation I only used the price of the reverse osmosis unit and not the price of the water. This because the water price (in the Netherlands) is very low. Though there also were three benefits for a own reverse osmosis unit I didn't take care of in my calculation. The first benefit is that I now can decrease my carbonate hardness to 4° dH for the same price as before to 6° dH (over a period of three years). The other benefit is that I don't have to go as much to the store as before, which saves a lot of gasoline money in three years time. The last benefit which I didn't use for my calculation based on money is that a reverse osmosis also removes other unwanted substances from the water like nitrate, phosphate, copper and pesticides.
My own reverse osmosis unit
My own reverse osmosis unit is of the brand Aquatic Nature, type Ocean 60 S (see picture on the right). This unit is capable of producing 60 liters of osmosis water in 24 hours. My unit doesn't have a manometer as shown on the picture. This because a manometer increases the price of the unit and isn't really needed. This because the waterworks deliver a constant water pressure which can't be effected if the manometer shows it's to low and a higher water pressure only increases the efficiency of the unit.
This unit of Aquatic Nature has an efficiency of about 20 till 25 percent, which means that only 20 till 25 percent of the water becomes osmosis water and the rest is waste water. The instruction manual of the unit says that the fine filter of the unit has to be changed every three months. I myself haven't done this yet and don't think this has to be done after such a short period in my case. This because I'll only use the unit for a few hours a week (need 10 liters per week for my aquarium). I think that when this filter has to be changed it can be noticed by a decrease of the efficiency of the unit. If you periodically test the hardness of the osmosis water you probably measure a increase of the hardness which means the filter has to be changed.
A last point I'd like to mention is that the fitting of the unit needs the same tap as a washing machine. Because there wasn't such a tap left in my house my father has connect a other fitting on the unit which fits on a normal tap. Although this doesn't give any real problems I can't avoid the fitting of leaking a little bit (this doesn't effect the production of the water).
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