Finally!! A Reverse Osmosis system

R/O unit

This weekend my dear husband finally got to deliver on his birthday promise to me (from May) and install my new R/O system (it’s been on backorder a long time). A lot of girls ask for diamonds and shiny things for their birthdays, but I wanted a Reverse Osmosis system for my 35th, lol. Well… it is a AquaLight system from Germany rated up to 285 liter per day – and it is beautiful!

It was a little tricky to install because naturally I wanted to put it in on the most complicated place in the apartment, a tight crawlspace between the wall and the washer and dryer stack in the bathroom. Not to be deterred he went at it with a hammer drill (the walls are tiled) and a whole collection of fittings to hook the thing up. A few hours, and a few meters of teflon tape later, we were in business! It filled my 25 liter jug in a little over 5 hours, I am quite pleased.

A lot of orchid growers use R/O water if they cannot get a hold of rain water. Regular tap water contain a lot of dissolved solids, like sodium, chloride, sulfates, calcium, bicarbonate, nitrates, phosphates, iron, and magnesium… yummy!… This stuff build up in the growing medium over time and eventually harm to the roots, especially those cultivated in semi/hydro. You can help minimize the build-up of these trace minerals by not letting the media dry out completely in between watering and by thoroughly rinsing through the medium every time you water, but it eventually will build up anyway.

If you want to give your little darling the very best, and I know you do, you can do what I did and install a R/O system. But, it takes a little adjusting. When you remove some of these things you also lose their buffering qualities, so I buffer the R/O water with some tap water to help stabilize the pH. I only do a 90:10 ratio (10% tap water) because I also use a fertilizer (developed by Michigan State University) specifically made for R/O or rain water. It has trace amounts of magnesium and calcium added back in and regulates the pH for optimal nutrient absorption. For you who like science as much as I do, the balance between the different components is 13-3-16-8Ca-2 Mg. Sweet!

Enough science talk for tonight. I’m going to watch the water drip…

By | 2017-10-13T11:26:10+02:00 August 23rd, 2009|Categories: A day in the life of...|Tags: , , |6 Comments

About the Author:

Karma is a digital nomad graphic artist and writer, orchid nerd and long-distance hiker from Gothenburg, Sweden. Former editor-in-chief for the Swedish Orchid Society magazine, published internationally and held lectures on orchid culture.


  1. Joan August 24, 2009 at 23:54 - Reply

    High fives for mechanically-inclined girls(i’m one too)! One of these systems are definitely on my wish list, to supplement my rain barrel. Have a good week Karma 🙂

    • Karma August 25, 2009 at 14:15 - Reply

      Thanks, and high fives back!! 🙂 Technology sure is great! Lucky you who have a rain barrel…

  2. Francis October 18, 2012 at 01:13 - Reply


    I am thinking about getting a similar system.
    Can you tell me about the maintenance of the filters? Do you have to replace them regurlary?

    Thank You.

    • Karma October 18, 2012 at 08:37 - Reply

      Hi Francis! I replace the coal and sediment filters once per year (cheap) and the membrane (expensive) should last 3-5 years or more depending on the source water, and how much water you take out. I have had my membrane for 4 years now, and instead of replacing it I got a fairly inexpensive meter that measures water quality going in and out, that way I will know when it is time to change the membrane. So, very low maintenance I think.

  3. Adam Waddy October 26, 2015 at 05:37 - Reply

    I really love this site. Help me a lot for me choosing the best Reverse Osmosis system. Thanks!

    • Karma October 26, 2015 at 08:12 - Reply

      Thanks Adam! Glad to be of service!

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