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Then there is the school of thought to use 100% RO and add in exactly what your plants desire to be in the water. The advantage is you have a known source that will not vary season to season. You can establish a dosing regime and not have to worry if tap water is adding something untwards. The downside is the intial outlay for RO unit and the need to add in a few more items.

I go the 100% RO method.

Don't worry, I'm sure someone will chime in with mixing 50/50. Ahh the best of all worlds.
 

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100% RO is NOT expensive. The intial expense is the unit, and they last quite a long time. I know of one person heading into 7 years + using the same membrane. The other filters last for quite a while depending on your source water and the quality of the filters. For example. I am on a well, so that eleminated the need to remove chlorine so the carbon cartridge lasts for years. Before the carbon is a 10 micron filter then a 1 micron. The 10 micron has not needed changing in almost a year and thats the one that would go first. Cost to replace, about $5. The only other expense is the products to bring GH and KH to levels I desire. In almost ayear of 40gal a week changed I've almost used a full box of bakeing sode to get KH levels up, I think I paid $0.49 for that box. The substrate I used leaches Ca, so thats a non issue, and I need to dose Mg. $1.99 for a 5lb bag at Wal-Mart. 192g of Mg in 500ml water, dose 10ml a day,11.6 bottles of that mix in 5lb so $0.18 a bottle or $0.00036 a day. So all in all using RO add maybe $10 to may annual tank expense, not including the intial investment. Oh tank size is 120gal and I used MH lighting. Oh MY, RO and MH, its a FW Reef!!
 
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