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Question on Hard Water


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  #1  
Old 03-14-2012, 12:40 PM
piperjim piperjim is offline
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Default Question on Hard Water

I am building several systems and I am using a three part nutrient solution. The problem I have is that I have hard water and I don't know how to adjust for a 250 EC before I even start adding anything. I don't want to buy distilled water for a 20 bato bucket system! How do I handle the hard water issue to know how much nutrient to use?

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Old 03-14-2012, 11:29 PM
fintuckyfarms fintuckyfarms is offline
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Well, I have really hard water also from our well. We have a soft water system then an RO system under the kitchen sink. That drops the PPM to around 35 with the PH steady around 6. The problem with the under the sink system is that it only puts out about 9 gallons a day and that is just not enough. I am going to build a filter system like Gpsfrontier did that should take care of the hard water issue. You can check out his design in his thread on building his greenhouse.
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Old 03-15-2012, 12:10 PM
piperjim piperjim is offline
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I checked out that thread! \
Holy cow! Nice greenhouse/system GPSFrontier!

I'm hoping that I can get a small Reverse Osmosis unit for my small rig in the house. The water in the house comes from deep municipal wells and is hard as can be. I have three systems that will be for the outside and I'm hoping that I won't have that hard water issue there.
In the summer I have irrigation water that is pumped to me from a canal system. That water originates from Lake Utah and that is snow melt.
It's not the cleanest, but it looks clear coming out of the hose, and I can filter it easy enough. I'm hoping that will work.
Thanks!!
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Old 03-15-2012, 01:21 PM
fintuckyfarms fintuckyfarms is offline
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Sounds like you have a solid plan, good luck! Gpsfrontier has tons of resources so he might have some other ideas, but he is really busy right now trying to get his green house up and running.
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:47 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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piperjim
They do make portable reverse osmosis systems. But the way they work is still the same. They will waist at least 3 times more water than you get from the system. That is, if you fill a 20 gallon reservoir with RO water, at least 60 gallons went down the drain. That is in a nutshell why I went with a custom built water filtration system. On a small scale RO is fine, but on a larger scale it defeats one of the reasons for growing hydroponically. That is using one tenth the water to grow the same amount of plants. You cant really make that claim when you dump three times the water used by the system/plants straight down the drain.

I don't know your water quality, and that's the first thing to figure out. But municipal water is generally treated for human consumption. That isn't to say it will be fine for your hydroponic plants. Especially when I cant say/know how it's treated. I also don't know if you have a water softener system, or per-filters in your water lines.

But here are a couple of articles on the importance of water quality:

Hydroponic H2O: Water Quality and Treatment
Water Wisdom For Hydroponics
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 03-19-2012 at 06:56 AM.
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:40 PM
piperjim piperjim is offline
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Thank you! This will help a lot. I don't mind filters but I didn't know you could filter out disolved solids.
I see your post on the four filter housings. Can you give me an idea of your source for the filters?
Thanks!

Last edited by piperjim; 03-22-2012 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:37 PM
fintuckyfarms fintuckyfarms is offline
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I believe he purchased everything from Home Depot. I was just there to see how much they cost to build my own. The cases cost about $19 each (so times 4), the filter cost from btwn $9 and $13 or you can upgrade to like $32 for the best filters. Its up to you which kind of connections and stand you want. I think I took some picts. Will post if I can find them.

found them....
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Last edited by fintuckyfarms; 03-23-2012 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:02 PM
piperjim piperjim is offline
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Wow, you folks are so helpful!
I will am building a NFS system and have already built a 11 bottle system and will probably put some herbs in it this weekend. I will be sure to post pics as they get finished.
Off to the Depot!!
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  #9  
Old 03-24-2012, 06:15 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Thanks fintuckyfarms,
Yes, that's exactly the same filter canisters I used. Right down to the same price, and including that little battery operated timer that's supposed to tell you when it's time to change the filter. Though I just throughout the timer thing. Since all it actually does is just lights up after a preset time period. But I saved the battery's for it, it came with good AAA batteries (energizer I think). The water quality you get out of it just depends on how many filters you use, as well as the kind you choose. In my case I am using 4 in series. The first one is the pre-filter to filter out sediment/particles that can clog the other filters. Then the next two are carbon filters to get a lot of the excess minerals/chemicals. The last one is a absolute 1 micron filter to get out any spores and/or that made it that far.

You can customize the system to take out as much as you want by just changing, or adding filters for specific elements. Charcoal filters attract many dissolved minerals and chemicals. Ion filters attract/trap specific dissolved mineral elements. A lot of carbon filters have ion exchange imbedded in them as already (in the more expensive ones anyway). Ion exchange looks like little plastic beads. There is a wide variety of filter cartridges available, and they fit the standard cartridge housings, so it's simple to swap them out.

P.S
fintuckyfarms already posted pictures of the cartridges and housings, but heck I took pictures of the ones I bought a while back, so I attached them for the heck of it too since I already have them. The one showing 0.5 micron is the one micron filter. Once you figure in the 0.5 tolerance too that makes 0.5+0.5=1, for an absolute one micron. Witch is necessary to catch spores
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:38 PM
jollygreenmidget jollygreenmidget is offline
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I work at the coal mines here in WY. I was wondering if you could crush up coal and substitute it for charcoal in the charcoal filters.
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Old 09-28-2012, 06:30 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Regular charcoal and activated charcoal aren't the same thing. If you tried to use regular charcoal as a filter, you would just wind up with awful tasting black water. Activated charcoal is porous like lava rock or a sponge. That gives it 100+ times more surface area, and that's where the contaminants get trapped. Activated charcoal wont decay and leach into the water either. If your looking for activated charcoal by itself, I saw some at Wal-mart yesterday. It was in the pet supply's with the aquarium pumps/filters. I haven't done any research on it to make sure it would be suitable as a replacement for drinking water filters. If you work in a coal mine, you may be able to find someone in the company that is familiar with activated charcoal. I'm not sure if it's a naturally forming product, or a process they use to create it, like kiln firing clay to make the porous expanded clay pellets we use as a growing media.
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Old 01-18-2016, 03:47 AM
Nanana12 Nanana12 is offline
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That gives it 100+ times more surface area, and that's where the contaminants get trapped.
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