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FAQs on Kold-Steril Filtration

Related FAQs: RO/DI & Distilled Water 1, RO/DI & Distilled Water 2, RO/DI & Distilled Water 3, RO/DI & Distilled Water 4, RO/DI & Distilled Water 5, RO/DI & Distilled Water 6, Rationale, Selection, For Commercial/Large Output, RO Water Storage, RO Water TreatmentMaintenance/Repair, Deionizing Source Water Filtration, Kati-Ani DI Units, Water Make-up, Nitrates Silicate

Related Articles: Water Purification Using Reverse Osmosis, Water ChangesWater QualitySynthetic or Natural Seawater, Nitrates


Manufacturer's Link

Looking for Kold Ster-il replacement media    12/7/13
Hay y'all!  I have been using my large size Kold Ster-il unit for years and love it. I need replacement media for the three stage and the additional phosphate canister. I can find small replacement media, but not large.  The link I have, and that you have recommended in prior posts, 
http://www.poly-bio-marine.com/ now leads to Magnavore and a search on their site yields no hits for Kold Ster-il (no matter how I spell it). 
Thanks, Jeanne Warner
<Mmm, strange... I just tried finding them as well... I would contact Magnavore re or possibly Marine Depot for the media:
Bob Fenner>

Nitrates in Tapwater, removal methods  -- 07/17/10
Hello and Good Day To All WetWebMedia Staffers,
Number one today I would like to thank you all for the superlative source of information you folks provide for myself and my dear Malawian Cichlids. I mean that, WWM has helped me along the way to a happy and healthy tank more than I can convey. So, Thank You!
Here in a few weeks I will be moving to a new house and unfortunately, the water (according to Seachem test kit) contains around 40+ppm Nitrate,
<Mmm, please put the string: "U.S. federal limit on nitrates" in Google and read the first few references... this is too much>
Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, Ph of 7.6, and Gh and KH unknown as of yet. High Nitrate is my concern. The way I see it I have three options. Kati-Ani, RO, or KOLD ster-il.
<All three useful>
I am currently leaning heavily towards the KOLD ster-il unit because it has zero waste water, but am still open to other routes. However, I haven't been able to find sufficient evidence (forgive me if its already on WWM or polybiomarine.com, I did search) as to how well the KOLD ster-il handles Nitrate removal.
<By adsorption>
So, my questions are. Can anyone at WWM attest to the efficacy of the KOLD ster-il unit in reducing Nitrates in tap water?
<I can and will>
And, what would your personal preference/recommendations be in regards to a unit that can reduce the levels of NO3 to 5ppm or lower from my tap levels of 40+ppm NO3?
Thanks and Regards,
<I might use RO for your own potable (cooking, drinking uses), and try this for a while for your pet-fish uses as well. Bob Fenner> 

Question, Kold-Steril use   -- 7/14/10
I have a cold sterile 3 stage filter system that I only use once a month to do my water change. I don't have it bolted into the house so I just leave it...I have a valve on each end that I close when I'm done. Is this safe to do from month to month?
and before I use it again I run water through it for about 5 minutes. Is this something that could cause mold or bacteria problems?
<Not likely at all, no>
I emptied it once and dried it out - when I went to reuse it the water was rusty so replacing the filter cartridges every time is not economical. Any recommendations on what I can do.
<See Poly-Bio-Marine's site re: http://www.poly-bio-marine.com/
Thanks again for your help.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

H2O Purifiers 7/31/07 Good morning, <Good morning, Kim> I will be quick as I know you are inundated with emails! <Thank you.> I recently purchased a Kold-Steril unit to filter my tap water for use in my FOWLR tank. The reason is that I have been battling hair algae and came to realize that phosphate in my tap water is the culprit. I installed the Kold-Steril unit, including their alumina media. I ran 50+ gallons through at 1-2 gpm per instructions to "flush" the system. After all this, I am still testing phosphate in the water. Questions: 1. Do I need to flush more water, or is this typical and will not change? <I would increase the contact time, say 1/2 gallon per minute, and then see if you are still reading phosphates.> 2. I am willing to add a DI unit after the Kold-Steril if this will help, but I'm not sure if it will do anything for phosphate. I'm just fearful of throwing good money after bad. Your advice here is much appreciated. <Try increasing contact time first.> 3. Is all DI resin created equal? - ie - can you get any more life out of the resin by purchasing a better quality resin? If you recommend adding DI, is there a brand you prefer? <I believe the resin units available to aquarists are pretty much the same, no preference. Do read FAQ's re Kold-Steril from other queriers and our responses. Go here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/koldsterilfaqs.htm Regards, <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Kim PS......water is very expensive where I am, hence the avoidance of RO. <Mmm, where do you live?> Kold Steril Filter Reason for Aiptasia and Algae Growth   10/4/06 Thank you for your website and the vast amount of information.  The information has prevented me from making numerous errors. <Thanks and welcome> I have a 125 gallon reef tank and I switched from Reverse Osmosis water from the water store to the Kold Steril Filter using my city water.  I seem to have had an increase in Aiptasia and green algae growth over 6 months time. Do you think this is because of the minerals in the water that did not exist with RO water? <Mmm, interesting speculation... if only we could "go back" and set up a few replicate systems to test this hypothesis... Don't know> Should I add an RO system after the Kold Steril Filter to get rid of the algae and slow the spread of Aiptasia? <Mmmm, I definitely would not. The KS unit is very likely doing about all that can be to provide clean water. I would employ other means of pest anemone control. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm and the linked files above> I have one other question.  I have a Niger trigger in a different tank that is fish only.  The tank is 130 gallon high.  What if any other fish would be stable with the trigger?   I have had the trigger for 6 months and he does well.  I do not want to crowd him as he grows. <Please see WWM re Odonus niger and general Trigger Compatibility... Bob Fenner> Thanks for your help. Darrell Question about Deionized water   7/22/06 Hello there, I have been using deionized water in my reef for a while now. I use a conductivity meter to test the purity of the water. The drop in tester is made by Hannah and measures in microSiemens. When the filter is new the tester measures 0.03 microSiemens. <Great to be such a huge company that one can have standards changed to your corporate name eh?> I am able to get about 3 water changes( 1 a week) with the tester steadily reading higher and higher. My question is at what level of conductivity should  I replace the filter? <Mmm... a toughie... as this depends on what the actual make up of the conductivity is mostly... If these are largely "useful" ions... ones that you'd be adding with saltwater... no need to use the filter at all...> I have asked many people, but none of them are reef keepers. The filters get kind of expensive, but it makes better water than a Kent RO unit. I just want to know if I am changing the filters prematurely. Thanks WetWeb Crew...See ya <Good question, speculation... I would change out the membrane per the manufacturer's specifications for drinking water use... Bob Fenner>

Maintenance/Operation/Kold Steril System  - 2/15/2006 Hey folks. <Josh> I recently purchased a new Kold-steril unit by Poly-Bio-Marine per your recommendations on your site. I purchased this from a private seller. In doing some research I am finding that the replacement filters are back ordered everywhere. I cannot find them online at all.  In fact, I even called the company in Reading, PA (2 phone calls, 2 emails) in the last week with no response. <Going through the same frustration myself with another company...Ecosystem.>  Are they still in business? <Very much so.>I hate to think I spent this money and now I cant use this unit at all...I need a garden hose attachment before I can use it. I cant even find THAT anywhere. Mr. Fenner...any ideas? <Keep firing emails at them, all you can do...keep Googling for subject.> Thank you. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> J

Kold Ster-il   2/6/06 Do you guys have any information about a canister filter system called Kold Ster-il by Poly-Bio-Marine? They claim to provide RO quality water without waste water and at an alarming rate of 3.8 GPM. Is this a new time and money saving product? <That system has been around for over 15 years, nothing new.  Does save water by not producing waste water.  Why not go to their site and find info out.  www.poly-bio-marine.com  James (Salty Dog)> Deionization Options - 02/04/06  - 2/4/2006 Hello There, <<Hello>> Pretty amazing FAQ area you have there. <<The cumulative efforts of many good people.>> I will make this quick.  I have a small Kold Ster-il unit.  I am looking to add a DI unit after it.  However, none of the DI units I have come across have the 1 inch connection that would enable easy connectivity from the Kold Ster-il.  What do you suggest? <<Plastic or nylon adapters should be easy enough to find (Lowe's/Home Depot)>> Should I just purchase another ten-inch canister (clear), 3/4" and a DI media of some sort to put in there? <<A popular solution.  Most DI cartridges are designed just for this purpose.>> If (yes) which DI media do you suggest? <<I prefer the mixed-bed color-changing resins.  The non color-changing resins are a few dollars cheaper, and easy enough to use if you have a TDS meter to determine when they are exhausted.  You can also save a few bucks in the long-term by purchasing a refillable cartridge and using 'bulk' resin.>> I prefer this DI media to be as simple as possible for replacement if possible.  What do you think are my best options? <<Have a look at this site...lots of good options and good prices.   http://www.thefilterguys.biz/index.htm >> If (no) then what?  Maybe? - http://www.purewaterplanet.com/aspages/getproduct.asp?item=875 <<Pricey, but yes, another possibility.>> Does that media above need to be recharged or do I just replace the media when it turns color? <<Some can be recharged (can be a messy process) but many folks find it's not worth the hassle on small units such as these.>> I am not that savvy on DI and why there are chemicals for recharging if media like this exists. <<People with large Cation/Anion (Kati-Ani) units used as their sole source of water filtration do find it more economical to 'recharge' their resins.>> Please excuse my ignorance on the area of DI water purification. <<Easily remedied with more research/reading.>> I appreciate your time, help and advice. Kind regards, Stephen <<Welcome, EricR>>

Kold Ster-il, Phosphates & Replacement Media - 12/25/05 Dear Crew, <<Howdy>> Some time ago, one of your fans wrote to complain about phosphates in water that was processed by his Kold Ster-il unit.  My Salifert Phosphate Test Kit detected a similar problem and I subsequently received the following response from Poly-Bio-Marine last March: "Your Ortho phosphate test kit is most likely in error on the high side.  All food grade (NSF/US FDA) approved activated carbon have a slight total phosphate (Ortho+Hydrolyzable+Organic) throw of 50 part-per-billion (0.05mg/L) for the first 30-50 gallons."  Sure enough, the phosphate level of my Kold Ster-il outflow dropped to near-zero after a short period of use. <<I have read many carbons/carbon blocks are rinsed in phosphoric acid to "activate" them.>> I have been very satisfied with my Kold Ster-il unit but I am concerned with obtaining replacement media.  Do you know of any suppliers who currently have Kold Ster-il replacement media in stock? <<Mmm, does seem to be a shortage about...I couldn't find any anywhere either.  Probably best to contact the manufacturer directly and inquire re:  http://www.poly-bio-marine.com/orders.htm >> Thanks very much. Regards, Paul <<Cheers, EricR>>

Silica, Kold Ster-il, Alumina, DI & RO 3/7/05 Dear Sir or Madam, I'd like to solicit your recommendations for silica removal from tap water that contains 10 ppm of silica with a pH of 8.  <I guess my first question is "why is this a priority?". Excessive diatom growth can often be controlled with herbivorous snails and the snail fecal pellets make the nutrients better available for export via as skimmer. Starving the diatoms of silica (almost impossible) would likely leave other nutrients more available to other algae that may be more difficult to control.> The Kold Ster-il System I've installed does not appear to remove silica. According to the Salifert test kit, both my tap water and the outflow of the Kold system contain ~10 ppm of silica. Poly-Bio-Marine, the maker of the Kold Ster-il System recommends the addition of their activated alumina media plus a deionization (DI) stage.  <IMO, these steps would defeat the purpose of using the Kold Ster-il by removing all of the "good stuff" like calcium and carbonate.> I am reluctant to use alumina because I do not know of an affordable test kit that can verify the recommended potable water standard of less than 0.05 ppm of aluminum.  <Any such kit would probably be prohibitively expensive.> I am also reluctant to use rechargeable deionization media because silica must be removed by the anion stage at high pH. This is impossible because the anion stage usually follows the cation stage that lowers pH.  <A single stage DI unit will be a mixed bed unit, and will not solve this problem.> Is there any reason why the anion stage cannot come before the cation stage? Since the outflow of the Kold Ster-il System is ~8, the anion media should be more effective at removing silica at that pH. However, I do notice that deionization systems with an anion 1st stage use a mixed-bed 2nd stage instead of a cation 2nd stage. Why is that?  <The order of the stages has to do with the fact that one of the resins can be damaged by the high or low pH generated by the other. I suspect that the pH neutralizing effect of using a mixed bed when the anion bed is first helps ameliorate this problem.> Rather than use a non-rechargeable mixed-bed DI system, perhaps I should throw in the towel and obtain a reverse-osmosis system?  <If you are still convinced that you need to eliminate the silica, this may be your best bet. Several companies that market to the aquarium industry now market units especially designed to remove silica.> What should be the target silica level in water for use in hydrating marine salt and what technology should I use to reach that target?  <In my personal opinion, there is no reason to worry about silica, except in some exceptional cases. See here: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/jan2003/feature.htm  for a lot more info as well as to read about a guy who actually supplements silica!> I would appreciate your recommendations. Thanks very much. Regards, Paul.  <Hope this helps! AdamC>

Water Purification (5/2/04) Hi Steve,<Greetings> In answer to some of your questions. No, I am not medicating my display tank, only the QT. <Good> I have had my clownfish in the Qt for 7 days.  I put Epsom salts in and than Maracyn for 5 days.  He is eating, and appears to be healthy, but still has Popeye.  Should I remedicate with Maracyn, or try something different? <If he is eating and acting better, I'd just give it some more "tincture of time" for now.> How long does it usually take for it to go away? <Might take a couple of weeks.> Should I keep him in there indefinitely, unless it goes away. <If it does not go away, you may need to try something else. Take the opportunity to read more about Popeye.> My Banggai cardinal has been eating for the past couple of days, but only from my hand. He seems to see me coming near the tank, when it is time to be fed. He also comes near when I put my hand in the water.  Any ideas of what the problem may be? <Hard to be certain. It sounds like he may be getting better, so it ought to be OK to watch for a few days while making certain your water parameters are optimal.> What types of bacteria or diseases create vision problems? <Toxins and nutritional deficiencies come to mind. Bacterial infection is less likely. Sometimes parasites (including ich) can get on the eye.> You also asked about my well water.  You said "I trust you are treating it".  Well, no I am not. <I just accepted that well water is treated with some sort of chlorine or something. I've never lived in a place without municipal water.> What should I be treating it with? <Maybe that's not needed. I'm probably just paranoid, but I like my drinking water to be free of living micro-organisms. In Milwaukee in 1993, 400,000 people got diarrhea when Cryptosporidium got into the municipal water system. That certainly must have put a burden on the sewer system.> Until I decide on a system, I have been using distilled water. <Now that gets expensive quickly. You also need to buffer it before adding the salt. Search on "distilled water" on WM for info.> I was told it is not the best, but it may be better than my well water. Maybe, I should mix well with distilled.  What do you think I should do in the meantime, until I get The Kold Ster-il system, which I am leaning towards. <Test the well water for nitrates and phosphates. If you live in a rural farming area, these may be quite high from fertilizer. And then there's the pesticide residues... Did you know that there are measurable levels of Ciprofloxacin in several rivers in this country. Some have Prozac and all kinds of other meds too. There's a theory that estrogen-mimicking pesticide residues in drinking water are responsible for the recent increase in the incidence of hypospadias (a birth defect of the penis) in baby boys as well as a recent drop in the age of female puberty. No wonder so many people are filtering their water these days. I guess I'd better shut up before I scare you to death. Anyway, if your well water has nitrates & phosphates, I'd suggest you spring for the Kold-Ster-il ASAP. Can you buy RO water somewhere nearby in the meantime?>

RO/DI or Kold Ster-il 9/8/04 Thanks, Bob - <Anthony Calfo in his stead> I guess I'd also like your opinion as to the quality of water produced by the Kold Ster-il vs. the RO units, please. Dave Parker <hard to compare... apples and oranges really. Kold Ster-il produces highly filtered water... but does not demineralize like RO or DI. Some people have decent tap water with desirable mineral content... just in need of cleaning up some of the nasties (chlorine, phosphate, etc). For such situations... Kold Ster-il is excellent. But for worse source water (quality or variability of composition) or for aquarists that simply want better control over the water used/produced... then demineralizing and then buffering back up (with desirable elements of hardness) is the way to go vis a vis RO or DI. I personally favor DI as there is no waste water produced and the recharge chemicals are dirt cheap and be neutralized to inert so to speak. RO instead wastes a lot of water with even expensive units and the cartridges are an ongoing and considerable maintenance expense. Best regards, Anthony>

RO/DI or Kold Ster-il 9/8/04 Thanks, Anthony, <always welcome :)> If I understand, I can produce top-quality water, then using a Kold Ster-il followed by and add-on DI stage, and produce no waste water.  Is this correct? <hmmm... my apologies. I may not have been clear. The first thing you need to decide on is whether you need ultra pure (ala distilled) water from an RO or DI that you are willing to NEED to aerate and buffer before every use. This is the most work on your part, but produces the most reliable, clean water for evap top off or for salting for marine use. But it is dangerous to use raw untreated (unbuffered) DI or RO (or distilled) water. Yet... this is what many aquarists choose to do, myself included, to insure superb source water. Kold Ster-il units on the other hand do not demineralize water but leave in Calcium, Magnesium, etc. They are basically top shelf chemical filters that clean up the water quite a bit... but do not reduce the conductivity/hardness, etc. It is an outstanding prefilter for a DI... and if your tap water is not too bad... can stand alone without even needing a DI or RO. DO test your tap water to see how bad is bad first. Ultimately, the Kold Ster-il  + DI units an excellent choice in my opinion> thanks for bearing with me, Dave <no worries. Anthony>

RO/DI or Kold Ster-il II 9/8/04 Thanks again, Anthony, <cheers again> I always aerate and buffer with SeaChem Marine buffer before adding my salt - I happen to use Oceanic if it matters.  I understand about not using distilled or raw, RO/DI as top-off - heck I don't even do this for my goldfish tank.  I'm simply looking for a way to produce top-quality water for this process without wasting 4x what I produce, <ahhh... definitely DI then for you> and to be able to produce it more on-demand since no one is home during the day to watch the RO unit overflow my Rubbermaid cans. <no worries... you will have this with DI. But with either... there is always a simple float switch for your reservoir> I have a whole-house water softener, so that much waste water gets expensive, and I believe (correct me if I am wrong) that my water softener will take a lot of the calcium and magnesium, in particular, out, but leave some sodium (or in my case, potassium) in.   <yes... true. Salt softeners are NOT recommended for use with aquatic life. Long term problems with water quality> Do I need ultra pure?  Well, I get algae blooms like crazy using tap, that is why I started hauling RO from my LFS. So I guess I may not have been clear, either - I want to produce top-quality raw water, with as little waste as possible, and am in the practice of buffering and aerating and buffering already. To ask the question another way, what am I likely to leave in my water by using Softener -> Kold Ster-il -> DI stage vs. having an RO unit in the middle, and is this difference enough to cause problems down the road. <just use the Kold Ster-il & DI stages... never the salt softener> Appreciate the help and advice, Dave <best of luck, Anthony>

RO/DI or Kold Ster-il Hi, Gang and thanks for a great service!  I am setting up a new 120gal FOWLR, and am getting tired of hauling RO water from the LFS. <I hear you... my arms are a good inch longer from hauling water about all these years> I'm ready to put in a system myself.  However, I am scared by all of the waste water the typical RO/DI units produce, as water is not cheap here. <Mmm, I divert the "waste line water" to my pond outside, and in turn to the garden> I've heard about this Kold Ster-il unit, and that it does not produce wastewater.  Can you help me understand the difference in the processes, and perhaps suggest which might work best? <This unit uses filtrants that are not re-used... contactors... so all water that is filtered, passes through the unit is used. RO utilizes selective membranes capitalizing on ambient or increased pressure to "squeeze" water molecules and exclude solids (and their zones of hydration) and some other liquids, gasses from getting through the membrane... with their water periodically bypassed to waste> Either system would come after my water softener, and in this, I use potassium chloride rather than sodium chloride as the agent to wash/renew my resin bed.  Thank you for your input! Dave <The real (IMO of course) difference in practical terms are the upfront costs of the two types of units/technologies, versus the amounts of waste water generated... Both will produce high(er) quality water of use. If it bothers you to "throw away" so much RO waste water (a ration of 4-5 to 1 of usable is not uncommon) than I would go the contactor route. In all fairness though, do take a look at your water bill, see how much water is going for other uses... Bob Fenner>

Pre-Filtration & Marine Salts 1/12/05 Anthony, <cheers> I very much appreciate your reasoned response to my questions regarding mixed-bed versus rechargeable deionization.  You have sold me on the concept of minimizing waste.   <always welcome my friend... I do aim to be sensible/practical> I'd like to pose two follow-up questions: (1) Which prefiltration assembly do you recommend for rechargeable 2-column deionization systems such as the KATI/ANI?  The only one I can find is the SpectraPure FA-PRE-0.5M-20 but I hope that you can direct me to more affordable prefiltration systems. <many possibilities here ... depending on the quality of your source water running through it. But, if your tap water is nothing out of the ordinary (like iron-rich well water requiring an extra metal sponge, or silicate-rich water needing chemical media, etc.) then I say just go to your local Home Depot or DIY store and get a cheap drinking water pre-filter unit. Two canisters cost (well under) $50. First stage will be 1 to 5 micron floss... second stage is simply good quality carbon. If you are really handy, you can DIY home make canisters out of PVC for even less money. If you want to get fancy, have two floss pre-filters (12 micron and a 5 micron to follow)... and better still... have Poly-filters (Poly Bio Marine) after the carbon stage> (2) What brands of marine salts will complement the Kold Ster-il filtration system?  Since the Kold Ster-il system does not filter certain minerals (calcium, magnesium, strontium, barium) and buffering compounds (carbonates, bicarbonates, hydroxides) from my pH 8.1 tap water, which marine salts contain lower amounts of these minerals and compounds? Regards, Paul. <without spending a fortune... I'll say that Tropic Marin is presently the best you can buy. I will add though that I generally like Instant Ocean's QC and affordability in my region and use it more often. Anthony>

- Kold Steril Water Filters - Hello crew,  hope all are fine <I am well, thanks for asking.> Quick question anyone out there like or use the Kold Steril units on their reef tanks tired of wasting water and would also like to use for drinking water, and how many gallons  can I get before filter replacement. <I am familiar with, and have seen the Kold Steril water filtration units... do believe they use the PolyFilter pads as a filtration mechanism. I'm sure they work, and if you really are concerned about wasting water, then I suppose this might help although driving a car that gets over 30 MPG gallon would help more, if you know what I mean. As for exact performance expectations, I'd get in touch with the company that makes them. They would certainly have this data.> thanks as always       Rocky <Cheers, J -- >

Water filters Bob or Anthony: I want to know what your opinion is on Poly-Bio Marines KOLD STER-IL water filter. <outstanding> There sales pitch make it sound better than R-O units in many ways. <agreed> Will these units give me very good quality water? <some of the purest> Currently use Kati and Ani but recharging is a pain. <heehee... a deionizer is my strong preference for minimizing water waste actually> Any info or input would be much appreciated. Thank you very much: Pat <either produce very pure water. Best regards! Anthony>

Water Pre-Treatment... I'm trying to learn as much as possible about keeping a reef tank before I actually invest in one (or two...three...) and risk killing the fish/inverts, wasting money, and making my wife cranky. <Ya don't want to do that! Scott F. feeling for you today!> The biggest problem I foresee is the issue of initial tap water filtration.  The only real LFS in this area stinks (literally, on some days).  They do sell RO but walking by their tanks is a dismal experience and I don't/can't trust them to provide me with quality water when almost half of their fish are bobbing at the top of the tank, bloated, w/ eyes eaten out <shudder>. <Lovely imagery! Scott F. with you tonight, gagging at his keyboard...!> Determined to be as self-reliant as possible when it comes to handling my own water I set about searching for info on the Web and came across WWM.  After staring at different RO/DI units for the past week and trying to stave off the sensation of vertigo I get when considering all my options I came across the rofaqs.htm page in which you say, "This is a very good product", referring to the Kold Ster-il purifier by Poly-Bio Marine. From my (ignorant) perspective it looks great...says it can filter up to 5,000 gallon, leaves desirable minerals in the water, etc. <It really is an excellent product> Are there any gotcha's that I may not be aware of...? Or would this unit be all I need to turn my nasty tap water into something more suitable for sustaining marine life? <Well, it does leave minerals in the water, which is not a bad thing...There is no waste water produced with this system. The Kold Ster-il can be enhanced to extract phosphates and silicates by utilizing and additional filter media in the second stage of the unit. Use of RO/or DI is optional, and possibly unnecessary if you use the Kold Ster-il in this fashion> The official manufacture's website mentions using it in tandem w/ a RO filter.  Is this needed in most cases?  A big question I'd like answered is whether it produces "waste water" like RO units do (somewhat of a disqualifying factor for me...can't imagine what I'd do w/ all of it).  Could the water that comes out of it simply be added after 12hrs aeration/buffer/salt mix...or is there something else that would have to be done? <As mentioned above- you could augment the system with an RO unit- but, in all likelihood, the Kold Ster- il will do the job quite well...just prep the water liked you mentioned above, and you will be quite happy with it.> In the end I'm going to try to produce enough water for water changes/top off on a 80G Reef, 30G Planted FW, and 12 Mini/Nano Reef. I am guessing based on the condition of my FW tank that my phosphates are relatively high.  It would also seem, according to a cheap test kit and opaque water spots on my tank, that I have "liquid rock" on tap (Southern CA). Am I on the right path at all?...or am I completely buggered? Any info/guidance would be immensely appreciated, Jason M. Wood <Sounds like you're on the right track to me! Good luck with your set up! Regards, Scott F>

Purifying Water Bob, My wife and I are always amazed at your quick response and great advice. <I key quickly> As for your suggestion regarding a RO unit, our water in this area is very, very expensive. I understand that the RO unit wastes about 10 gallons for each 1 gallon of pure water. The wasted water is not good for drinking, cooking, or any other human consumption. Is this correct? <Good question... there are some units that are this profligate, but many produce a gallon of water by venting three or four to "waste"... and this water is fine for... irrigation, a fish pond... perhaps both... And this is not your only option. There is a fabulous "Kold-Steril" filter made by Poly-Bio-Marine (link on the www.WetWebMedia.com links page), that wastes no water at all... Do check your water bill... source water is very inexpensive (about $1.80 here in Southern California per hcf/hundred cubic feet, about 748 gallons, less than 2 and a half cents a gallon... compared with driving, buying and hauling bottled water? R.O. is a bargain.> If I cannot use a RO, any suggestions on what I should be testing for after running the Sodium thiosulfate treated water through the canister filter? <Whatever concerns you... Please try to understand my hesitation here... I don't know what's "in your water" that is problematical... If it's "excess" sanitizer, you may want to get/use a chloramine test kit for instance...> Again, we highly value your opinion and really want to get this right before moving on. Best regards, Michael and Lynn Rivera <Do keep investigating, chatting with your water district, fellow consumers... till you think/feel you know enough to decide... the vast majority of cases/circumstances are best dealt with by RO technology. Bob Fenner>

Re: Water Filtration You recommend the "fabulous "Kold-Steril" filter made by Poly-Bio-Marine" over standard RO filters? I need to order one this week and would like your suggestion. This filter will be used to mix salt water and for cooking/drinking. <Yes... given no further information on your source water content, cost. Bob Fenner> Thanks

Water purification and confusion Hello Bob. <Hello> I have been reading up on the Kold Ster-il purifier by Poly-Bio Marine. This seems to me to be a better way to go if one wants to purify their water. They claim up to 5000 gallons before media replacement is needed and it doesn't strip the water of minerals. It also has the benefit of being many more times faster than a RO/DI unit? They also claim it makes great drinking water. What say you? It sounds good to me? <This is a very good product> Confusion? In November and December issues of FAMA, the WaterMarc articles leave me with questions about skimming and Ich outbreaks. <These are badly written advert.s. Ignore them> If you have not read the articles I would like to ask if you would please do so. The two gentleman being interviewed say some pretty wild and to me at least, previously unheard of theories about skimming and Ich. I figured I would just ask Mr. Fishman himself and see what he says. <The company is a discredit to the industry. Bob Fenner> Zimmy

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