Understanding How Reverse Osmosis Aquariums Work

Understanding How Reverse Osmosis Aquariums Work

Aquariums make for an amazing home interior. You could stare at brightly colored fish, swimming endlessly, and never be bored. However, aquariums require a lot of surveillance. A simple rise of drop in the pH levels, nitrogen levels, and mineral levels can spell disaster for your fish whether freshwater or salt water. That’s why it’s important to closely monitor the water that comes into your aquarium.

The Dangers of Tap Water

Your tap water may have high levels of nitrate and phosphate which algae can feed on, encouraging brown algae to grow. It’s not very pleasant. Further, copper from water pipes may leech into the water and become a health hazard to your fish. That’s why it’s incredibly important to filter tap water that you plan to introduce to your aquarium. There are many ways to do this, but perhaps the most thorough way to remove the most impurities from tap water is with a reverse osmosis filter.

What is Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis is simply a filtration method. It uses a semi-permeable membrane that only small molecules can pass through. H2O molecules are minuscule and so they can pass through the membrane. Solvents and impurities, however, can’t go through the membrane. Depending on the type of membrane you use, you can remove up 99% of the dissolved solids in your tap water. This means that potentially dangerous solvents that may harm your fish or encourage algae growth are completely removed.  Here is a closer look at how this works.

Reverse osmosis filters work a little too well. A reverse osmosis filter removes almost everything from tap water. This includes minerals essential to your fish. For freshwater aquariums will need the reverse osmosis water to be treated with conditioners to re-mineralize the water and get the right pH level. Marine salt mixes that are used for saltwater aquariums already have these minerals, so you don’t need to do anything more after filtering your tap water.

Benefits of Reverse Osmosis Aquariums

Reverse osmosis filters require very little maintenance and only need to have their sediment pre-filter and carbon block replaced every year or so depending on the manufacturer’s instructions. Another benefit of reverse osmosis is that it can actually soften hard water.

Hard water contains high levels of minerals. The harder the water the more difficult it can be to change the pH and sustain those changes. Have you ever tried using pH conditioners to lower pH only to find levels going back to normal after a few days? That because of hard water. By removing those minerals, the hard water becomes soft and proper pH levels are easy to maintain.

Reverse osmosis filters are a great filtration method, and can even be paired with more traditional deionization (DI) filters to remove 99.9 percent of impurities. A reverse osmosis filter makes aquarium maintenance a bit easier and will ensure the happiness of your fish.