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In this guide, we’ll be covering why it is important to filter tap water for Hydroponics. If you’re not familiar with this type of gardening, it’s a method of growing plants without soil. It’s a way to grow a variety of edible plants such as herbs, lettuce, and some fruits. Most hydroponics systems are indoors but many utilize the natural sunlight and have their garden outdoors.
The reason why it’s important to filter water for hydroponics is to get rid of contaminants that are present. These can range from chlorine, chloramines, lead, VOCs, just to name a few. In addition, keeping the water clean and debris-free reduces the risk of disease. When it comes to filtering water for hydroponics, you do have a few choices.
Reverse Osmosis (RO)
iFilters.com offers a variety of RO systems, it all depends if you’re a hobbyist or a professional. One RO system that is perfect for anyone starting out would be the iFilters 3-Stage Aquarium Reverse Osmosis System 100 GPD. This unit doesn’t require a storage tank, in fact, the product water can be directly connected to your irrigation system.
Stage 1) Sediment Cartridge: Incoming water passes through the Sediment Stage Cartridge removing sediment, rust particles as well as other particulate matter found in tap water.
Stage 2) Carbon Cartridge: Further removes remaining sediment while filtering, reducing, and neutralizing chlorine, chloramines, Odor, and many other impurities that affect fish health.
Stage 3) RO Membrane: The final main stage purifies water through the semipermeable thin film composite (TFC) membrane, removing over 95% of contaminants.
This item does not include or require a storage tank. This item is usually connected directly to an aquarium or a feed atmospheric water tank.
There are other RO options such as the traditional system that has a tank and can produce 50-100gpd of pure water. However, if you’re a professional grower and need a bigger RO system, then you might want to consider the commercial-grade systems that iFilters.com such as the PRO+RO, which is capable of 4000GPD.
Stage 1: High capacity 5 Micron pre-filter protects vital components like the solenoids, membranes, pumps, gauges, meters from silt, sand, and sediment. Replace every 6 to 12 months.
Stage 2: 2000 GPD 4"x40" Reverse Osmosis membrane separates the dissolved contaminants from water. Removes up to 99% of contaminants of any water treatment process.
Stage 3: 2000 GPD 4"x40" Reverse Osmosis membrane separates the dissolved contaminants from water. Removes up to 99% of contaminants of any water treatment process.
Whole House Filtration System
This type of filtration will allow a larger volume of water to be filtered at a higher flow rate. Whole house filtration systems can have single or multiple stages. Some that iFilters.com offers are as simple as a single-stage sediment filter such as the LWHSD. Then there’s the LWH-D, dual-stage sediment, and a premium Coconut Shell granular activated carbon. It’s designed to reduce and filters sediment, dirt, sand, silt, rust, scale particles, chlorine taste, and odor. It has a flow rate of 3 gallons per minute, which means it can easily fill or replenish the hydroponics system
But if you’re looking for something that has more output, the PRO-100-E would be the perfect system. It’s rated for 15gpm and has comprehensive filtration capabilities. This system is equipped with a filter set that includes a superior string-wound sediment filter, a special media blend CRK filter, and a premium coconut shell activated carbon block filter.
Designed to remove major water contaminants like heavy metals, chlorine, chloramines, rust, pesticides, dirt, sand, lead, iron, silt, turbidity, herbicides, industrial Solvents, pharmaceuticals, turbidity, odors, cloudiness, and controls and inhibits the growth of microorganism such as algae. Originally marketed as a whole house water filter, the PRO-100-E has been found to be useful for hydroponics, aquaponics, and for fish tanks/pond applications.
As mentioned above, filtering tap water that will be used in a hydroponics environment is definitely recommended to help get rid of contaminants in water. In addition to making sure that the water going in is clean, by filtering out all the bad stuff, gardeners can build their water profile based on the type of plants and what the needs might be. This means the nutrients that are added to the water won’t have a negative reaction to anything since contaminants have been removed.
One last thing before we close this out, whatever you do, DO NOT use soft water for your hydroponics system. The reason being, the soft water resin inside the tank goes through a process called ion-exchange. What this means is when water comes in with high mineral content, the resin will grab calcium and magnesium, hold onto it, then release sodium ions. By doing so, the water’s sodium levels are slightly elevated, which could harm plant life. But if you stick to filtered water from the devices mentioned above and you’ll have a pretty lush hydroponics garden.
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