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Best reverse osmosis system for growing: 5 picks for hydroponics

Reverse osmosis water is best for any serious gardener. The main advantage is that it allows you to control the nutrient that flow to your plants. If you use reverse osmosis water, you should be capable of taking care of the needs of a variety of plants. The reverse osmosis system greatly reduces the total dissolved contaminants.

With that said, we feel the best reverse osmosis system for growing is the Hydro-Logic RO system.

It is a popular choice for gardeners who have a variety of plants. Using RO water helps you to easily control the fertilizers and nutrients you add, giving you nearly total control over pH and TDS.

Best RO Systems for hydroponics

1. Hydro-logic RO 31035 for Hydroponics

It is a super reverse osmosis systems removing up to 99% of contaminants in water. It leads in the industry due to its high efficiency. You can choose between 2:1 or 1:1 waste to the product ratio. It is suitable for hydroponics and gardening. The filter for the hydroponics and gardening can last up to 10 years.

The modern RO models are more efficient producing 50% more filtrate unlike the previous models. It involves 4-stage membranes, auto shut off feature and a pressure gauge.


  • Highly efficient
  • Removes at least 98% of contaminants in water
  • Gives you options to chose either 1:1 or 2:1 product water ratios
  • best for hydroponics and gardening


  • Doesn’t come with upgraded carbon filter
  • No parts for hydro logic well

Hydro-Logic HL31035 Stealth 150 GPD RO150 Reverse Osmosis Filter, White
  • Removes 98%+ of all contaminants in tap water
  • Includes your choice of both 1:1 and 2:1 waste to product...
  • The #1 selling filter in gardening and Hydroponics for 10+...

2. Aquatic life 3-stage RO System

It is a highly affordable product equipped with a 3-stage water filter reverse osmosis systems which cleans the water to remove harmful substances including heavy metals and total dissolved solids.

The clear color changing cartridge makes it easy for you to change the reverse osmosis water filter. The DI resin is refillable and it comes in a clear housing for you to easily monitor when replacement is needed.

The easy connections allow easy fixing and removal of cartridges. The system uses thin composite membrane which works with the carbon and sediment filter to effectively remove the harmful substances including heavy metals and dissolved solids.


  • Sediment and carbon cartridges are easy to replace
  • The faucet adapter makes it easy to connect to standard hose thread.
  • The membrane housing accepts standard membrane
  • The setup takes a small space
  • Easy to install
  • No leaks at all
  • The mount is great


  • The carbon membrane requires replacement frequently.

Aquatic Life RO Buddie Three Stage Reverse Osmosis, 100-Gallon
  • Add-On Drinking Water Kit with 2.8 Gallon Tank available,...
  • Sediment and Carbon cartridges are up-front and easy to...
  • Membrane Housing accepts standard 11 3/4 IN membrane filters

3. Home Master TMAFC Artesian

The Home Master TMAFC works well with high pressure water for water containing high level of contaminants. The product from the process can have bland taste. This happens because the water is slightly acidic since all the dissolved minerals have been removed.

After purification, it goes through remineralization to add the essential minerals you need. It also raises the water PH so that it is more alkaline hence giving it a fresher taste.

Like other RO systems, it wastes water to yield clean water. The amount of waste water varies depending on the water pressure.  The waste is about 4 gallons for gallon of purified water it produces. The modular filter design makes it easy to change the filters and it is highly efficient in the filtration process with a ratio of 4:1.


  • Restores natural calcium and magnesium removed during the process
  • Exceptional filtration
  • Quick and easy to remove
  • Durable
  • Easy to maintain and upgrade
  • Clean and great tasting water


  • The faucet fixture leaks

Home Master TMAFC Artesian Full Contact Undersink Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System,White
  • Purity You Need with the Minerals You Want - restores...
  • Exceptional Purification - removes up to 98-percent of...
  • Filter element and the filter housing are all-in-one modular...

4. APEC Top Tier Ultra Safe RO System

The APEC Top Tier System ranks high as one of the best water filtration industry due to its efficiency in removal of contaminants and disease-causing micro-organism from your water. It also removes mineral imbalance from your water.

It applies technology which removes 99% of the contaminants. It filters out chlorine, heavy metals, fluoride, lead and disease-causing micro-organisms.

The systems come with WQA certifications guaranteeing durable, noise free system which gives pure product. To ensure the filtered water doesn’t get contaminated after filtration, the system comes with a lead-free faucet.


  • Removes mineral imbalance
  • Noise free filtration system
  • It applies healthy and safe technology
  • The RO system comes with lead free Chrome faucet
  • Requires low maintenance
  • Removes dust, rust and particles contaminants up to 99 percent
  • Long lasting with guarantee for quality product
  • Equipped with carbon filters that remove pharmaceutical drugs
  • No electricity needed for the system to work


  • Works best for water with some pressure

APEC Water Systems ROES-50 Essence Series Top Tier 5-Stage Certified Ultra Safe Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System
  • Supreme quality - designed, engineered, and assembled in USA...
  • Only technology to remove up to 99% of contaminants such as...
  • WQA Certified System. Premium long-lasting filters used to...

5. iSpring RCC7 RO System

The iSpring RCC7 is a small reverse osmosis water filtration system that use 5-stage filtration process. Its small size makes it fit your kitchen counter cabinet easily. Despite the poor written instructions, the system is easy to install. The filters in the iSpring RCC7 offer protection against contamination from your water source.

The first filter is housed in a transparent membrane making it easy to identify when you need to make a replacement. The facet is made of brass and brushed with nickel finish making it ideal for most kitchens.


  • Efficient reverse osmosis system
  • Easy installation
  • Gives quality and healthy water
  • The transparent housing let’s you see its time to change


  • Poor instructions manual
  • The filters need to be changed often depending with the source of water

iSpring RCC7 High Capacity Under Sink 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Drinking Filtration System and Ultimate Water Softener, 75 GPD, Brushed Nickel Faucet, NSF Certified
  • This system is certified to NSF/ANSI 58. High Capacity...
  • Experience clean, safe, good-tasting water every time you...
  • Easy, do-it-yourself installation, typically in a couple of...

RO Systems for hydroponics: Buying Guide

There are several factors that make a great reverse osmosis filtration system. To draw a conclusion on the best filtration system and how it works, it is important to consider some factors including acidity and pH levels, capacity, remineralization and maintenance. Here is a discussion pertaining these factors.


It refers to the place where water is stored after filtration.  The tank is most useful when there is no time to wait for filtration or you have no water.

Noting that the water contains no chlorine, it doesn’t prevent the water from getting infected with bacteria while in the tank. It is advisable you have the tank bleached at least twice every year to disinfect it.


One thing you notice with water from the RO systems is change of taste. The change of taste comes from the filtration of water through the RO membrane where dissolved minerals are removed. As the water pushes through the membrane, most of its components are lost and its pH value gets lower.

As a result, the water becomes more acidic hence changing its taste.

Therefore, if you don’t like the water with mineral deficits, you can purchase a unit equipped with alkaline re-mineralizer which adds the beneficial minerals you need to the water. Hence, the filtered water will taste like bottled water.


Once you install the water filtration system and it starts running properly, there are few things you will need to do to keep the system running. One of them includes replacement of filters. Depending with the source of water, the interval varies to either shorter or longer.

On average, most filters go for about six months. However, some of the systems are equipped with durable filters that need replacement only once per year. As a requirement, the filters placed before the RO membrane should be changed once for every 6-12 months.

The RO membrane needs replacement every 2-3 years although some models can last up to four years without requiring any replacement. The filters coming after the RO membrane are also durable but they need replacement once every year. Some of the systems are equipped with transparent filter cases allowing you to monitor and notice its time to change the filters.

Other models have a LED light notification alerting you when to change them. Although the systems vary, most of them are easy to change. You don’t need any tool to change the filter system in most instances.

No matter the water filtration system you choose, you will only need some few minutes every six months to do the replacement. It will consistently give clean drinking water for your household.

Acidity and pH

The reverse osmosis system works with water from nearly all water sources with varying pH levels. However, most public water supplies contain neutral water with a pH range of 6.5 to 8.5. Generally, the reverse osmosis system will make the water more acidic by lowering the pH of incoming water.

Due to the low pH, you might find unfamiliar taste with your water since a significant portion of minerals have been removed. In case you don’t like the taste of the water, you can get remineralization system which changes the taste of the water and adds the minerals you are looking for.

What is not removed by reverse osmosis?

Reverse osmosis systems give a reputable filtration process that give high quality water by employing modern technology in water purification. While reverse osmosis systems have a great reputation due to its ability to reduce a significant portion of impurities, including dissolved salts, calcium, mercury,lead, asbestos, cysts and iron, it doesn’t remove some of the dissolved pesticides, solvents and volatile organic chemicals including:

  1. Metals and ions such as radon and chlorine
  2. Organic chemicals including benzene, carbon tetrachloride and toluene.
  3. Pesticides including 1,2,3- trichlorobenzene and atrazine.


The RO filter system is one that offers most advanced means of getting clean drinking water in your household. Technological advancements results to higher efficiency and quality levels. The osmosis system produces quality water similar equivalent to the bottled water.

The reverse osmosis water filters are easy to install, use and they are capable of removing up to 99% of contaminants in water. Although the initial cost is high, they are durable. They can produce great quality water for a duration of 10-15 years while other models can last even more.

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