Reverse Osmosis: How to Speed Up Water Collection for Your Aquarium
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith

Has this ever happened to you?

You have researched the wonderful benefits of using reverse osmosis (RO) water, then decided to take the next step in ultimate water quality control by purchasing an RO unit. The excitement grows as the package arrives at your door. Upon opening the box, you find instructions that look very easy and you are off to the kitchen sink. The unit gets placed on the counter, the exhaust line in the sink, and the filtered water line into a bucket, most likely on the floor...

Within minutes, you notice the following negative aspects of your RO unit:

  • You "start 'er" up and quickly notice how slowly filtered water drips into the bucket.

  • The RO unit could be hooked up for days before you get enough water for a water change.

  • It is inconvenient to get water from your sink.

  • It is difficult to do chores at the counter.

  • The bucket fills and your floor is graced with pure, filtered water.

  • The excitement dims and the RO unit is relocated to the back of a closet.

A better way

A few, easy-to-get items can turn this inconvenient process into a breeze. The following set-up will automatically get you RO water, condition it, and pump it back into your aquarium with little effort from you!

  • First, choose a less popular faucet near a drain (utility rooms and basements work great).

  • The 5 ingredients you will need:

    • Float valve kit

    • New, heavy duty, plastic container with lid. It must not contain any metal that would come in contact with the water (a 55-gallon trash container works great).

    • Submersible pump, strong enough to push water from the container to the aquarium(s)

    • 200-watt aquarium heater and a floating thermometer

    • If you would like to be able to use all your faucets while the RO is running you will need to add a few extra items:

      • You can install a saddle valve for the intake (just like you would for an ice maker).

      • A drain saddle valve for the waste line

      • Extra RO tubing may also be needed

Assembly
  • Hook up the RO intake, then place the unit on the floor or on a shelf.

  • Wash out the new container with plain water and a clean cloth.

  • Assemble the shut-off valve and float switch as per the manufacturer's directions.

  • Attach the waste water line to the sink or drain. Then you are ready to make RO water.

  • Cover the container with the lid to protect it against contaminants. It will automatically shut off, so you can run it while you are sleeping or away.

The final steps

  • After enough water is gathered, set the submersible pump and heater into the container of water and plug them in. This will automatically mix water and bring it up to the same temperature as your aquarium.

  • Then, add a product like R/O Right to correctly remineralize the water for fresh water aquariums, or slowly add marine salt for saltwater aquariums.

  • When correct parameters are met, turn off the pump and heater and attach tubing to the pump.

  • Put the other end of the tubing in the aquarium to be filled, and turn on the pump.

  • Just turn the pump off when the correct water level is achieved and you are done.

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Reprinted from PetEducation.com.