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Butterfly

Nitrate filter for tap water

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So I’ve tried multiple different things for the nitrate issues I have. My tap water comes out at 25 ppm nitrate. Looking at the US map seems like a lot of us might have this issue. Oh, to live in a green area!

 

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I’ve tried algae scrubbers, anoxic filters, submerged plants, terrestrial planets (pothos), purigen, and matrix.

 

I’ve used nitrate selective resins in the tank which work great, but I really wanted something to filter the incoming water. I tried a DIY filter for the tap water using the loose resin (below) but didn’t get good contact time to filter the nitrates down to where I wanted. It’s also expensive (although I found at a deep discount!) and I didn’t want to foul it using it in the tank or in a dirty canister.

 

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I’m sure there’s something else I’ve tried that I just don’t remember.

 

This is what I finally found that works best for my situation. I bought a 4” x 10” nitrate specific filter to pre-filter my tapwater. This is how I built it for aquarium use.

 

First you need a Pentek big blue filter housing. Mine was $25 on Amazon. I got the one with 1 inch NPT connectors.

 

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I also bought a pair of 1 inch NPT to garden hose adapters.

 

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I use Rectoseal to make sure I have a good seal for the threads.

 

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The filter is this Intelifil brand. It is about $76. Not cheap, but fortunately rechargeable (they don’t tell you that, but it can be done... see below). It can run at up to 2 gpm which for me is just below full blast out of my faucet. This is compared to 0.5 gpm of most RO units.

 

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I connect my python faucet adapter to a short segment garden reel leader hose (female to female)

 

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Screw that into this filter and then plug my long garden hose that goes to the tank into the other end.

 

I use a lot of quick connects on my python so I also use these on the filter and hoses. When I’m storing the filter I bought a pair of hose caps to close it off.

 

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I use these nitrate test strips to test the water. I will even cut these in half to get more uses out of the bottle.

 

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How long this will filter the water of nitrate depends on the nitrate concentration of your water. The filter states it filters up to 12,000 ppm. I could not find out if this was PPM as nitrate–N, nitrate or nitrites as CaCO3. Anyway, I generally test the water after every 2-300 gallons. The nitrate concentration in my water does fluctuate.

 

When the filter is no longer significantly reducing the nitrate concentration I regenerate it using a 10% brine solution. This is a little over 4 pounds (4.2 to be exact) of salt in 5 gallons of water. I use water softener solar salt which is about $6 for 40 pounds.

 

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I mix up the brine and pump it through the filter using a small water pump (158 gph from Harbor Freight) set on its lowest setting aiming for 2gpm or less. I connect this pump to a piece of 1/2 inch hose to which I added a female garden hose adapter to connect to the filter.

 

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I actually use the pump to move the water to dissolve the salt too (because that is a lot of salt). After I run that through I will flush with another 5 gallons of fresh water. Then it’s ready for its next use!

 

In total this cost about $130 for everything, but I did have some of these pieces already. It is still cheaper than an RO unit and allows you to use your faucet rather than doing a slow RO water collection requiring storage.

 

You can also daisy chain these big blue filter units together if you want a carbon filter or something else in front of it.

 

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Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

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