FAQ #18: Can I use TDS as an indicator for when to change my RO/DI filters? | 52 FAQ
This week we are answering RMLLLLL's question from Week 34: “What do you guys think about testing for TDS in the RO water and changing the filters based on TDS only?"
The quickest answer is that not all of the RO filter change intervals can be accurately determined solely by TDS. Filters like your sediment and carbon block pre-filters for example won't really affect TDS, and RO membranes have such an extended lifespan that continually monitoring them every time you make water is frankly a little overkill.
The one exception to this rule however is DeIonization resin. Our DI resin is a mixed bed resin which means it contains cation and anion resins – each with their own distinct charge whether it be positive or negative. Contaminants that often show up as TDS are reduced as they bond to the surface of the resin. As the resin is depleted, the TDS will rise in tandem with a handy color change of the resin alerting you that it's time to replace the media.
So follow along as we answer today's question, provide some helpful insight, and help make reefing just bit more fun and easy for you and your tank.
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