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water treatment


6 months ago I purchased a DI unit from a guy that was moving and couldn't 
take it with him.  I went from very hard water to water so pure, I am still 
trying to figure out how to get the right balance for the plants.  The 
Apistos I keep do very well with this water mixed with a little tap water.

I have no regrets.  The re-charging proceedure is not that difficult (only 
done it once), and I have run about 500 gallons since the last recharge.  
The measurements are still reading "Zero" on the hardness scale, and judging 
by the color change of the first cartrige, I have only done about 1/2 the 

I can also fill up a 30 gallon trash can in about 30 minutes, and I don't 
have to waste any water in the process.

I'm not sure how much these units are brand new, but at this point, after 
having tried alot of other things, this works best for me.  Even if I would 
have paid full price new.  Of course, I did it mainly for the fish...

Hope this helps!

Phil Eaton
Dallas, TX

Original message follows...

Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2000 10:00:42 -0500 (est)
From: "Roger S. Miller" <rgrmill at rt66_com>

Subject: water treatment


I long ago realized that my tap water caused problems for some of my
plants that I couldn't fix without walking into other problems.  So I need
to replace my supply.
A solar still has been my long-time favorite option, but the seasonal
variation in solar energy means that to get enough water during the winter
I have to have way more capacity then I need for the rest of the year,
plus I need to be able to store quite a lot of water as a hedge against
extended periods of sub-freezing weather.
RO filters are the most likely alternative, but living in a desert as I do
I find it hard to justify the waste water produced by an RO filter.  I
would also have to be able to produce and store about 50 gallons/week in
order to maintain my current water change schedule.
I'm not going to mess with DI because I don't want either the ongoing cost
of cartridge replacement or the hassle of recharging the cartridges.  Are
there other options?
I think initial costs will for an RO filter will probably be less than the
cost of a solar still.  I don't have personal experience with solar
stills, but I understand that they are essentially free of maintenance
costs.  I don't know as much about RO units; do filter cartridge
replacement costs amount to much?
Also, I don't have that many ideas about how to store the water.  In the
case of the solar still, my best idea was to bury a storage tank below the
still(s), with a pump in the tank to deliver the water into the house.
For the RO filter the seemingly obvious solution would be to put a storage
tank under the counter, but the under-counter space is already in use.
What are other people doing to store RO water?Roger Millerin Albuquerque
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