Installing HMA/RO filters

Discussion in 'Hardware & DIY' started by mlgt, 19 Feb 2010.

  1. mlgt

    mlgt Member

    Messages:
    1,015
    Location:
    London
    I wanted to ask this question for sometime.

    Ive been looking at getting one installed, based on the price its around £150 or so.

    My question is how easy is it to install? and does HMA/RO filters work like a normal say water filter you would use in a kitchen?

    I was told for RO you need to have a canister or unit to store the water, whereas HMA acts like a water purifier and you can simply turn the tap on and it filters it.

    Also the other question is, if I was to move, how will this affect the removal of such equipment?

    Which is more beneficial? HMA or RO? I have discus, but keep them in normal treated tap water and in the long run I know its better for them to be in better water conditions.

    Please help me weigh up the pros & Cons of this.

    *If this thread is in the wrong section please feel free to move it moderators.
     
  2. jonnyjr

    jonnyjr Member

    Messages:
    114
    Both of them can be pirectly plumbed into your cold water supply, or attached on to the end of a conventional garden tap.

    To attach it directly to the copper pipe u need a saddle clamp:

    http://www.melevsreef.com/pics/rodi/pierced_kit.jpg

    This pierces the pipe and acts like a valve adjusting the pressure going through the 2 units. If you ever moved house you would just need to tighten the screw down and leave the clamp on the pipe.

    The second option lust screw on your outside tap

    http://images.nitrosell.com/product_ima ... nector.JPG

    They are very very easy to install. £150? You can buy a brand new 75GPD unit for £80 from RO-Man although their sight is having difficulties atm.

    Both of them can be added directly to the tank. RO-units are a much slower process that is why people have jerry cans to collect the water over a number of hours then add it all at once. HMA is a much quicker process.

    In terms of what is more beneficial it totally depends on how hard the water is in your area, Stenker discus and a lot of UK bred discus are fine in relatively hard water and will even breed in hard water but much reduced survival rate of the young. If you have discus form Asia or the wild they need a lot softer water and more exacting conditions.

    Even so using RO-unit has to be re mineralised with either salts or purified water. The best bet is to buy a TDS meter then you can mix the water up to the same amount roughly each time.

    Regards

    Jon
     
  3. mlgt

    mlgt Member

    Messages:
    1,015
    Location:
    London
    Hi Jon,
    I have discus from Chens discus which I only presume are more soft water, but acclimatised to the UK water somewhat.

    Instead of using HMA/RO I was simply going to use some peat to lower the rating of my water, but I do daily water changes of around 30% currently to encourage growth (im feeding beefheart and have a planted tank)

    The only issue I face is with each water change I am changing the parameters of the tank and thus currently dosing easycarbo, tpn+ and dry ferts.

    Next month I am going to add a FE Co2 system and know that its important to have an air pump whilst before and after lights come on.

    Im just trying to find a nice simple balance to the equation.

    I run a 180l semi planted tank with 6 juvenile discus, 20+ cardinals, 10 cories and 5 amano shrimps. Filtration is Internal Juwel system with external Eheim 2217 filter (upgraded to JBL 1500) and t8 lights which are on 9 hours a day.
     
  4. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    Bromley
    With london tap water I do not think the peat will have much effect, unless you are prepared to put in new peat daily.
    in my limited experience the water will just buffer the effects of the peat.
     
  5. mlgt

    mlgt Member

    Messages:
    1,015
    Location:
    London
    I guess the idea of putting in peat daily is a not an ideal situation to be in. So the answer is no. :)

    So the bottom line is to upgrade to HMA or RO I guess.
     
  6. jonnyjr

    jonnyjr Member

    Messages:
    114
    Yes under the circumstances I think it is your only option. HMA wont soften your water, it will just purify it, removing heavy metals, chlorine etc. The RO-Unit is what you are going to have to purchase, which can be found at a much reduced price on Ebay but watch what you are buying. I would get one new, as you know the membrane is intact then and you have new sediment filters. Try giving Mark at Devotedly discus a call as he uses only HMA and very successfully breeds his discus, he may have be able to shed some more light on your problem.

    Jon
     
  7. mlgt

    mlgt Member

    Messages:
    1,015
    Location:
    London
    Thanks for that. I will contact him for advice :)

    I guess RO is the way to go. The only thing I dislike is having to wait for the water to fill up in a storage space rather than just turning on the tap.

    With RO is it continuous? Can I not turn off the filtration when I am finished? Else I will be left with lots of RO Water.
     
  8. jonnyjr

    jonnyjr Member

    Messages:
    114
    It is like any other tap, just turn it off to stop it. 75GPD isn't that slow tbh, it all depends on your local water pressure. It would be a good idea to know the TDS of your local water, then you can go from thre. This can be obtained from writing to the local water board, asking sum one who had a TDS meter, or buying a TDS meter your self which will come in handy later on in life when mixing up your water.
     
  9. bazz

    bazz Member

    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    Lincoln
    hi migt,
    apologies for the poor photograph (the unit is under a kitchen cupboard), but just to give you an idea of whats happening.
    the water tap is an external kit from b&q (around 8 or £9.00, which comes with a variety fixings), is screwed straight on to my washing machine connector, and can be removed immediatlely. this tap can be switched on and off at will. two thin bore hoses exit the unit, one which is the osmosed water (to be collected) and the other is for the flush water (down the drain). the center unit is the membrane, the left is a charcoal prefilter (to remove chrlorine) and the right is a 5 micron sediment prefilter. the latter two as you can see have to occasionally be replaced to protect membrane, when they become depleted.
    one other thing worth mentioning, the black knob at the top of membrane is a flush valve which needs to be run for 15 minutes prior to and after use, or occasionally if the unit is constantly running.
    my tap water is very hard (limestone) and roughly has gh20, kh13 and a tds reading of 610 microsiemens, my ro water is 0gh, 0kh and less than 10ms. i mix this with the appropriate amount of run off water (because this been through the chlorine and sediment filter).
    instant, virtually pure water!
    hope this helps,
    cheers, bazz!

    sorry, forgot the photo!
    4373186562_4b72412daf.jpg
     
  10. mlgt

    mlgt Member

    Messages:
    1,015
    Location:
    London
    Thats a great indication of the size I will need to work with. Thank you.

    I think when I buy my new flat I will install an RO system anyways, Although I can buy RO water for around 10p per litre, over the time it takes to get to the fish shop etc it will add up.

    May I ask the costs involved to get this set up?
     
  11. jonnyjr

    jonnyjr Member

    Messages:
    114
  12. mlgt

    mlgt Member

    Messages:
    1,015
    Location:
    London
    Thanks for that, I did notice that but was thinking if I paid for an installation might be easier? I suppose its pretty easy to set up, but I need to do more reading on that matter.
     
  13. bazz

    bazz Member

    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    Lincoln
    hi migt,
    that unit is over 5 years old and still works fine, it produces 125 liters in 24 hours. if you look after them (flush, and renew the prefilters) they last years. it is long in the tooth though, and i have been researching buying a new one similar (same make) to what jonnyjr suggested, http://www.ro-man.com/ although the site is down at the moment, i think its about £85.00 for a 100 gallon a day unit. they do come in kit form, but it is a straight forward process to assemble them (akin to putting media into your filter) and is ready to attach to the tap!
    there's no way i could be bothered to fetch 200 liters of water each week even it was free, plus i live in a first floor flat!
    later,
    bazz!
     
  14. dkm

    dkm Member

    Messages:
    208
    RO-MAN website has been down along time. According to the marine bunch they are no longer trading. Just what I have been told / read. They are not sponsors of the marine forum any more so is a good indication that the brown stuff has hit the spinny thing.

    Have you seen this website. They have a good reputation for reverse osmosis and HMA gear. Just an alternative.

    http://www.osmotics.co.uk/reverse-osmos ... 46_80.html

    Regards

    Dave
     
  15. mlgt

    mlgt Member

    Messages:
    1,015
    Location:
    London
    Great, the beauty of this is that although the intial start up cost can put some people off. Its not that much of an issue.

    I mean people buy filters that cost the same money and I think it is an investment. the only thing I cannot predict is whether I will still be keeping discus fish for the duration of their life cycle which is over 10 years :)

    Howeve if they are easy to install and easy to un install then its not an issue.
     
  16. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    Bromley
    I agree. You can also sell the unit secondhand should you no longer need it.

    I am getting closer to buying one myself each day!
     
  17. chris1004

    chris1004 Member

    Messages:
    565
    Hi,

    I've been singing the praises of RO water for some time on here now and have been using 100% remineralised water for quite a few years without any issues. Yes its hassle, yes it has an inherrant cost involved and yes fish and plants can live in most tapwater happily. So why bother?

    Well some time back about a year ago I think there were a few threads on this forum where things got a little heated about that very subject. Two of the main advocates for not bothering with RO water are now (or at least were) using 100% remineralised water (Sam and James). If you can be bothered there is a lot of very good input in the following threads, best read in order as they were posted from Tom Barr, Clive, James, Sam and Ed to name just a few.

    http://ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=4797

    http://ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=4971

    http://ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=5106

    I have an RO-man 75gpd reverse osmosis filter setup with a mains water pressure of 20psi and a booster pump which increases the pressure to 80psi as and when required. This gives me two very distinct production rates which comes in very handy indeed.

    RO-man have ceased trading and its very difficult to get hold of the right size sediment filter, you have to have a 9 3/4" sediment filters to fit the RO-man canisters which are hard to track down. Because thier canisters screw down on a taper if you try to install a 9 7/8" sediment filter it won't seal properly as I found out to the cost of £25 worth of replacement parts when I tried to force one to fit. So be very carefull if you look at second hand ones on Ebay. All sediment filters are referred to as standard 10" sizes but they certainly are not all the same.

    Another thing to consider is that not all membranes are manufactured to the same quality and as with most things its usually a case of you get what you pay for, deals can be had if you shop around thouhgh.

    Installation is easy.

    Regards, Chris.
     
  18. bazz

    bazz Member

    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    Lincoln
    hi,
    just to add that inline prefilters can be bought and are pretty universal and cheap (around £6.00 or £7.00). the last time i replaced mine they came with a variety of fittings and were much larger than the originals, hence it being taped to the original brackets!
    as chris say's, its worth doing your research and buying a reasonably reputable make of membrane!
    cheers,
    bazz!
     
  19. mlgt

    mlgt Member

    Messages:
    1,015
    Location:
    London
    Lets flip a coin and see who gets it first ! lol !

    Since you are not far from me either we can make a deal LOL!
     
  20. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    Bromley
    I think t is gonna be close :p

    For sure :thumbup:
     

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