The best Water Filter for hydroponics
The water that you use in your hydroponics system can be the difference between a successful garden and one that fails. The number of minerals, contaminants, bacteria, and other particulates in the water will affect how well your plants grow.
A good way to ensure clean water is to install a filter on your irrigation system. In this article, we’ll look at what types of filters are available for hydroponics systems as well as some benefits to using them!
The best water filter for hydroponics is an RO (Reverse Osmosis) system.
- Hydro-Logic RO150 – The best RO system for hydroponics
- LiquaGen 4 Stage – The best RO Water System for hydroponics
- Hydro-Logic 1000-GPD – The best RO System for garden
- AQUATICLIFE Four Stage – The best Aquaponics Filtration Systems
- HQUA-TWS-12 Ultraviolet Water Purifier – Inline water Filter for garden
If you are looking for the best way to filter your hydroponics nutrient solution, look no further than getting a Reverse Osmosis (RO) system. This system will give you the highest quality of purified water.
A properly designed RO system with good pre-filtering allows just enough clean, pH adjusted water to go into your Hydroponic Grow Bed through a drip line for plants to utilize without wasting too much water.
- TOP Rated Water Filters for hydroponics – Reviews
- What is a Water Filter for hydroponics?
- Types of Filters Available on the Market Today
- How to Choose the best RO system water filter for hydroponics?
Although an RO system can be slightly more expensive than a top-notch filter, the benefits outweigh the costs and will allow for less maintenance and equipment issues in your hydroponics garden.
With that being said, it is important to know how much water pressure you have before purchasing all of your materials.
TOP Rated Water Filters for hydroponics – Reviews
The best RO system for hydroponics
|Hydro-Logic RO Filter System|
The best RO Water System for hydroponics
|LiquaGen 4 Stage Filtration System|
The best RO System for garden
|Hydro-Logic 1000-GPD system|
The best RO system for hydroponics
Hydro-Logic RO150 Reverse Osmosis Filter System
Hydro-Logic Stealth-RO150 Reverse Osmosis Filter System is an efficient way to process water for use in hydroponic gardening. Water purification systems are very important when growing plants indoors because tap water contains all sorts of chemicals. For the best results, use only clean, pure water with no contaminants at all.
Top benefits of Hydro-Logic RO150 Reverse Osmosis Filter System
- Provides water with no contaminants.
- Aids in the growth of plants indoors by using cleaner, purer water.
- Has a 3-stage RO unit and 1 RO membrane.
The Hydro-Logic Stealth-RO150 Reverse Osmosis Filter System works well no matter your level of experience as a gardener or hobbyist. It comes complete with everything you need to start using it right away—including clear instructions that tell you exactly how to set up and operate the system. You’ll have better luck getting great results if you follow these simple guidelines carefully!
- Has a 3-stage RO unit and 1 RO membrane.
- Produces 150 GPD of ultra-pure water.
- Comes with everything you need to start using right away.
- It produces 10 gallons per 24 hours.
If you need a system that can produce cleaner water and is easy to set up, then Hydro-Logic RO150 Reverse Osmosis Filter System may be the one for you.
This product has been shown to remove 98%+ of all contaminants in tap water without any issues so far. It also comes with everything you need to start using it right away, which makes this RO unit great for beginners as well as those who have experience gardening or running hydroponics systems before.
A few downsides include only producing 10 gallons per day and now the fitting on my pump blew out and flooded my room (which I would expect from an inexpensive plastic pump). If these disadvantages don’t bother you too much, however, then we highly recommend buying the Hydro-Logic RO150 Reverse Osmosis Filter System.
The best RO Water System for hydroponics
LiquaGen- 4 Stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System
A new playing field has been opened for the growing community. The market is flooded with products being released everyday, making it more confusing on what to choose and how to create a better growing environment.
LiquaGen- 4 Stage Hydroponics Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System comes out as a solution of this problem because of its innovation in water filtration technology, 100 gallons of pure water per day, allowing you to have healthier plants from seedling stage until harvest by giving a safer and cleaner environment for your seeds. You can now focus on doing other important things without worrying about your plant’s condition on what they consume.
Top benefits of LiquaGen Hydroponics Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System
- Increases growth rate by 30%.
- Increases crop yield by 20%.
- Increases plant root strength & quality.
- Decreases transplant shock.
- Cost efficient.
1st Stage: Sediment Block – High-Capacity Polypropylene Sediment Filter (Nominal 5 Micron Rating) -Removes dust, particles, and rust. Protects and extends the life of the reverse osmosis membrane and system.
2nd Stage: UDF Activated Charcoal Bulk of Carbon- Removes chlorine, organic chemicals, tastes & odors from tap water.
3rd Stage: Coconut Carbon- Takes out unpleasant chlorine, cloudiness, VOC’s & colors. The carbon water filter system will eliminate impurities & harmful minerals.
4th Stage: Reverse Osmosis Membrane- Removes harmful contaminants such as Mercury, Lead, Fluoride, Cyanide, etc. The heart of the unit, allowing for 100 gallons of water per day!
- Can be used with any hydroponics system.
- Very affordable and economical given the amount of water it produces on a daily basis.
- Easy to install and maintain.
- Produces pure water for your plants, reducing transplant shock by up to 50 percent- an important benefit when starting plants from seeds!
- No pressure gauge.
The LiquaGen- 4 Stage Hydroponics Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System is a great product for the price. You get 100 gallons of pure water per day, which can be used with any hydroponic system and it’s easy to install and maintain.
The only con we found was that there isn’t a pressure gauge on this RO filter; however, this shouldn’t stop you from buying because, given its low cost and benefits (particularly if your plants suffer from transplant shock), it would make sense to purchase one today!
The best RO System for garden
Hydro-Logic 1000-GPD RO1000 system
Hydro-Logic RO system is a high flow reverse osmosis system. Capable of producing 1,000 gallons per day. Includes two RO membranes (HL22045), one KDF/Carbon material filter (HL22043), and all required fittings.
Top benefits of Hydro-Logic RO system
- Five gallons per hour from 75 psi input.
- 1 carbon filter + two RO units in parallel.
- 2:1 waste to purified water ratio.
2:1 waste to pure water ratio Lowers the parts per million of total dissolved solids by 95 percent High-durability, high-flow polypropylene construction Provides the highest flow rates for today’s containers. 2 units are equal to one larger unit The flow restrictor must be removed for a pressure rating of 100 psi.
- Lowers the parts per million of total dissolved solids by 95 percent.
- Polyethylene tank with Linear Low Density Polyethylene Valve.
- Filtering capacity far exceeds that of typical systems.
Hydro-Logic is a powerful reverse osmosis system that produces 1,000 gallons per day. It includes two RO membranes (HL22045), one KDF/Carbon material filter (HL22043), and all required fittings.
If you’re interested in this product but are hesitating because of the cost, it might be worth considering how much time Hydro-Logic will save for your gardening or farming needs!
The best Aquaponics Filtration Systems
AQUATICLIFE Four Stage Reverse Osmosis Deionization Unit
AQUATICLIFE is used for producing up to 50 gallons of zero TDS water every 24 hours at an affordable price.
The unit comes with three different filters; Sediment, Carbon, and Membrane. It also contains a five-micron sediment filter cartridge that traps particulate matter like dirt, silt, and rust.
A carbon filter reduces chlorine by treating tap water prior to passing through the RO membrane. The RO membrane reduces impurities known as Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) from the water down to a ratio of 1 out of 10,000 of a micron. This water filter will reduce arsenic, lead, parasitic cysts, copper, and more.
Top benefits of AQUATICLIFE Reverse Osmosis Unit
- Aquatic life RO system is affordable.
- RO membrane.
- Sediment, Carbon and Membrane.
The 50-gallon unit does not produce 50 gallons of water/day, as most of the water you put in runs out as waste (1.4 to 3.6 ratio of good to bad water). It produces about 14 gallons per day. 36 gallons go down the drain.
- The RO Membrane will remove up to 98 percent of the TDS in water and the DI Mixed Bed Resin will remove the remaining TDS.
- 5 micron sediment filter cartridge traps particulate matter like dirt, silt, and rust with will affect the taste and appearance of the water.
- Carbon reduces chlorine by treating tap water prior to passing through the RO membrane.
- Doesn’t produce 50 gallons of water in 24 hours.
The AQUATICLIFE Aquatic Life RO Buddie Plus DI Four-Stage Reverse Osmosis Deionization Unit is a great choice for anyone who needs to filter water on the go. It offers affordable pricing, three filters, and will remove up to 98% of TDS from your water supply.
The 50-gallon unit produces 14 gallons per day and has a 1.4 to 3.6 ratio of good to bad water. With this reverse osmosis system by Aquatic Life, you can produce clean and healthy drinking water straight from any tap.
The best Inline water Filter for garden
HQUA-TWS-12 Ultraviolet Water Purifier Sterilizer Filter
HQUA-TWS-12 Ultraviolet Water Purifier Sterilizer Filter is advanced technology equipment that has been designed to deliver superior water purification and filtration for residential, commercial, and industrial use. It uses the power of ultraviolet (UV) light over a range of germicidal wavelengths to kill harmful bacteria and contaminants in drinking water.
Tap water passes through the UV chamber of the unit and comes out sterilized, safe and healthy! A stainless steel housing protects internal components from accidental damage by handling or vandalism.
Top benefits of Ultraviolet Water Purifier Sterilizer Filter
- HQUA-TWS-12 Ultraviolet Water Filter is FDA certified.
- Ultraviolet Water Filter features an adjustable timer to ensure continuous operation during peak periods of need – this ensures that the filter will be available when you need it most!
- This system features a heavy duty tin plated steel casing with anti corrosion technology to protect against rusting, scaling and sediment build up.
This water purification system has been designed for residential, commercial, and industrial use. It uses the power of ultraviolet (UV) light over a range of germicidal wavelengths to kill harmful bacteria and contaminants in drinking water.
- 12 Gallons Per Minute.
- 9000 hours Life of UV bulb.
- Disinfect 99.99% bacteria and viruses.
Sterilizes, not filters.
It’s advanced technology equipment designed for residential, commercial, and industrial use, including both the input and output lines on one end of the unit which saves space.
What is a Water Filter for hydroponics?
A water filter for hydroponics is a device that withdraws the dirty irrigation water from your system and passes it through a filtration process. It’s good practice to have an intake screen attached to the pump in order to catch any large particles or debris before they can cause damage or clog up your system’s tubing.
How does a water filter work?
There are several different types of filters on the market today, but all serve slightly different purposes when purifying dirty hydroponic system water. A sand filter uses coarseness within the sand granule itself as well as pressurized air bubbles which capture contaminants in its pores, then traps them until you flush out each tank periodically with a clean nutrient-rich solution. This type of filter is very good at removing minerals and metals from the water, but not so great with bacteria.
It’s best to use a filter that has more than one filtration stage in order to get as much bad stuff out of your hydroponic system as possible! A multi-stage sediment filter will first remove large particles such as sand and grit before passing through several stages containing different materials like activated charcoal or foam media designed specifically for catching organic materials, chlorine compounds (organic contaminants), heavy metals like iron and lead, petroleum hydrocarbons (diesel fuel), ammonia nitrogen (fertilizer runoff) and nitrites/nitrates (fish tank contamination).
Benefits of Using a Water Filter
The benefits of having clean irrigation water for your hydroponics system are many. The most obvious is that dirty water will block the flow of nutrients to your plants, which means they can’t take in what they need for healthy growth. If this happens over time it could result in a nutrient lockout, or a condition where there are too few minerals available within the soil/substrate and plant roots cannot absorb them anymore!
Another big benefit of using a filtration device on your hydroponic irrigation system is that you won’t have to change out all of your growing media as frequently if at all because removing contaminants from the water results in a greatly reduced mineral build-up within the substrate itself. A clean tank also makes it easier to monitor pH levels (acidity) which fluctuate more than normal when there are high levels of mineral contaminants in the water.
Types of Filters Available on the Market Today
There are several different types and sizes to choose from depending on your budget and growing system size:
What is reverse osmosis?
Reverse Osmosis (RO) is the process of removing ions, molecules, and larger particles from a fluid by using a semi-permeable membrane to create a pressure gradient between two fluids of differing concentrations. In RO membranes, the simplest form of which is basically just a sheet of plastic with microscopic holes in it, water can pass through freely but large salt ions and other undesirable compounds cannot.
A typical reverse osmosis Membrane has 10,000 holes per square inch and will allow only water molecules—and small amounts yet still significant amounts of some dissolved salts, sugar, bacteria, and viruses—to pass through while rejecting 95% of the contaminants.
These filters can be used for both hydroponics and aquaponics because the filtering process takes place completely outside of your system! It consists of a long tube (either round or square) with ribs on it. Water is pumped through this pre-filter, then released into the bottom end where it gets pulled up by suction created by water flowing out from above. The dirty water carries contaminants down to the lower section while the clean solution rises back up into the top chamber leaving most dissolved minerals behind.
A multi-stage filter
This type uses several different types of filtration media in order to catch as many bad guys as possible before they ever reach your plants. A good one will use an initial sediment prefilter cartridge containing coarse material designed to remove dirt, sand, and other large particles. Then it will have a carbon filter for removing chlorine compounds (organic contaminants), heavy metals like iron & lead, petroleum hydrocarbons (diesel fuel), ammonia nitrogen (fertilizer runoff), and nitrites/nitrates
These use a fine sand material that is “charged” with an electrical charge (through plates submerged in each tank) that pulls particles out through electrostatic attraction into itself, then traps them inside its pores. This type of filter will remove larger particulates like dirt, rust, silt, etc but won’t do much for removing smaller organic materials such as bacteria or algae. It’s also not very effective at filtering out dissolved minerals like calcium & magnesium, which means you’ll need another stage afterward if this is a concern for you.
Ultraviolet light Filters
These use ultra-violet (UV) light in order to kill bacteria and algae before the water enters your system. They work like a sterilizer but are not very effective at filtering out larger particles or dissolved minerals.
These use a chemical reaction between the water and an iron compound (usually in pellet form) to remove dissolved mineral contaminants like calcium & magnesium. Iron filters are usually used for well water or other hard, untreated sources.
Cost and Installation
You can expect to pay around $600+ or more from most manufacturers if you want a good quality water filter/filtration system! This will usually include installation costs as well, but some companies may not cover certain types of irrigation systems so be sure to check with them before buying anything.
There are also several different size options available depending on your hydroponic growing setup, but this range anywhere between $200-$300 at minimum. Lastly, it’s important to note that most water filtration systems will only last around five years before the filters need replacing which can be costly in itself, so you may want to consider how much it’ll cost in total overtime when making your purchasing decision.
How to Choose the best RO system water filter for hydroponics?
The best RO system water filter for hydroponics is the one that removes the most impurities, while still maintaining a pH level of around 6.5-6.8 in the purified water so your plants can absorb it easily.
You will need a few key components to building your RO system: pre-filtering, storage tank, Reverse Osmosis membrane/filter, tubing, and fittings, valves, or other adjustable flow control devices, and a final stage of activated carbon filter for taste/odor removal.
To get started on building your own RO unit you will need to do some research into each component from the easy-to-use units that come fully equipped with all of their plumbing connections to DIY units where you have to source all of the components yourself.
How to build your own RO water filter system?
For those who want to create their own DIY unit, one recommended way is to use a sch. 40 PVC pipe for your r/o feedwater inlet and then into a 4″ or 5″ plastic storage tank. This will work well with most garden sizes that are under 1000-2000 gallons per day (gpd) because you can easily access the tank every few months to empty out your accumulation of TDS (Total Dissolved Solids). A good rule of thumb for this is every 6 months empty 1/3rd of it out, replacing with fresh r/o treated water. From there it goes into the pre-filter (optional to use), then the RO membrane, and lastly through an activated carbon filter to get rid of any tastes or odors. If you want to go bigger than this setup will work for you, just remember that the water pressure needs to be between 40-60 psi due to the high output of r/o units.
How much does it cost?
RO system water filters can vary widely in price depending on how many gallons per day (gpd) they will purify. Many people start out with a small unit under 1000 gpd which could cost around $300 dollars, while larger units over 5,000 gpd could range from $800-$2000. There are also some homemade DIY units in between these ranges in capacity, so there is sure to be one right for you.
The biggest cost factor will be the membrane/filter which can run upwards of $200 depending on how good it is at filtering out all of the minerals. If you are depending on your pre-filtering to do that job, then you can pick up an RO unit for as low as $150 dollars. The other connections and tubing shouldn’t be more than a few hundred dollars once you have decided on your overall size.
What size should I get?
If you’re only using this for personal use with a small Hydroponic Grow Bed system or if money isn’t an issue then it’s easy to say that round numbers are easier to deal with, so something around 2,000 gallons per day (gpd) will be good for a family of 4.
How do I choose the right membrane/filter?
In order to remove more TDS from your water, you have to have the right-sized membrane that is rated for that capacity pressure. Installing a membrane with too high or low of a rating can cause issues such as higher salt concentration being leftover in your purified water due to inadequate pre-filtration and/or lower pressure on your unit . A rule of thumb is if you have an RO system under 1,000 gpd then 4″ diameter membranes are best since they will be less likely to clog up compared to 5″ ones. If it’s bigger than 2,500 gpd, a 5″ membrane is your best bet.
What about water pressure?
It’s important to make sure that the total system of pre-filtration, RO membrane, and post-carbon filters will meet or exceed those pressures required by the manufacturer. It may require some research into which units have more pressure rating on their components, as some units can accommodate 45 psi filtering while others are only able to maintain 40 psi. With each increase of 10 psi, it doubles your output capacity so going from 40-50 is a 50% increased capacity, and going from 50 – 60 is another 33%.
Fitting recommendations: standard PVC fittings with one side being threaded. Using “weldless” connections makes installation for most DIY projects because you can simply screw the fittings onto the pipes without having to use any test clamps or other connections. Any good hardware store should have these types of valves for sale which you can then attach your hoses to.
What’s the best option?
The 15 cubic foot Reverse Osmosis water system by Hydrotech is capable of producing 2,000 gpd for under $1000 dollars. It uses a 5″ membrane and comes with everything needed to hook it up including pre-filters, RO membrane, carbon filters, tubing, and even post-carbon DI resin which you’ll need if you want to turn your water into drinking quality H20. This unit does require a chlorine feeder in order to strip out that contaminant before using the DI resin. One downside is that it uses a four-port valve, so if you only have one faucet to attach it too then you’ll need to change out your existing faucet to one with 3 ports.
If I can’t afford a complete system at first, should I go DIY?
Yes and no. If you’re the type who could put together an Ikea table without any help from YouTube tutorials, then by all means build something yourself for cheap! However, there are things to be wary of when assembling a unit because not getting parts rated properly or sizing them incorrectly can cause leaks, or even worse – explosions.
Although building an RO system water filter could save you hundreds on buying a manufactured kit at full price, it’s important to understand that many of the parts are only rated for a certain amount of pressure. If you’re not careful when installing your fittings, then you could end up with leaks due to overtightening. So now what? Exercise caution, or pay someone else to do it.
What about my old pre-filters and RO membranes?
If they have been used properly without any sort of damage done throughout their lifespan, they can be cleaned out using an industrial-strength cleaner such as Protec AquaClean which has also been demonstrated on carpeting by removing vomit stains.
The idea behind this is that these chemicals will dissolve almost anything organic which includes things like algae, sedimentary buildup, and/or salt deposits. After cleaning, the filters can be rinsed in water and allowed to air dry. If you decide that you don’t want to reinstall them then they may still have value as a “backup unit” or even with someone who is just starting out.
What about my post-carbon filters?
The easiest thing is to simply replace them when replacing your pre-filters since most of the time these two components go hand in hand. However, if they are beyond simple maintenance and need replacement it’s important to make sure that you get the right size for your system so they will work properly.
Carbon used in a RODI filter is similar to activated charcoal which has pores on its surface helping remove contaminants from water passing through it. The bigger the pores, the more contaminants can be captured at a time. In order to determine the “size” you’ll need, you need to know how many gallons per day your system produces.
A 5″ membrane has a rating of 207 gpd, so if my unit is producing 250 gpd then I would want a piece rated for an output of between 200-300 gpd. If it were instead producing 1,000 gpd you might have to use something rated for between 500 – 750 gpd since that’s where that range lies on the chart shown above.
Will these types of water purification devices work with hydroponic growing setups?
Yes! As long as you’re using a clean source of natural mineral-free water (like reverse osmosis) then any type of filter device listed above should work perfectly fine on your system. However, if there is anything else added into the mix like fertilizers or other additives, each different model would require slight modifications and specific settings/parameters to get the best results.
Are these types of filters expensive?
Yes! Even a mid-quality water filtration system will cost you at least $150 from most manufacturers, and that doesn’t include installation costs which can be anywhere from an additional few hundred dollars so it’s definitely not cheap by any means. Fortunately, prices have come down quite a bit in recent years but if time is money for your business then this may not be the best option for you.
How often do these need maintenance or replacement parts?
Most water purification systems require some type of regular maintenance such as changing out one or more filter cartridges every month (like activated carbon), while others like sand media-based models only need to be changed out every few months or so. In addition, some models will require a UV bulb replacement at least once per year which can cost around $60-$100 depending on the manufacturer and model in question.
What happens if I don’t use any type of water filtration system?
You’ll need to remember that there are certain impurities/contaminants found in regular tap water that you simply cannot see with your naked eye, but they do have an impact on how well hydroponics systems work overtime when using this source for nutrient delivery. While it’s not recommended by most manufacturers, many growers choose to run their irrigation lines through a simple sediment filter before entering into things like drip emitters & air stones. This is not recommended by most companies because it can reduce the amount of oxygen in your nutrient solution over time, but for small home growing systems, this may be a workable option.
What about water filters that use UV light?
These types of filtration devices are great at sterilizing your irrigation system to ensure there are no biological contaminants entering into your hydroponics reservoir which could lead to root rot or other plant diseases. However they don’t do much for filtering out dissolved solids or impurities, so if you’re using well water then this type won’t help with mineral deposit build-up within your substrate.
With over 100-meter head pressure and up to 60 gallons per day filter rating this water purifier is one of the best options available on the market. It can also be used for marine, reptile, and small-scale aquaponics setups. If your budget is tight you will appreciate this filter because it is more affordable than similar options on the market.