Aquatic Life RO Buddie Reverse Osmosis Systems Review

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Fish have been kept as domesticated pets for a very long time. They’re super popular and many once-wild breeds have developed new traits and looks just from being raised for household entertainment across numerous generations.

All fish, however, can be traced back to lakes, oceans, and larger water areas than your aquarium. These larger water areas neutralize bacteria and provide currents to keep a fish’s environment fresh. Aquariums need their water changed frequently, and the type of water you use also matters.

This is where the Aquatic Life RO Buddie Reverse Osmosis System lends a hand.

While many people use protein skimmers to keep their water clean, others opt to include reverse osmosis systems . There are several of these devices available, and reverse osmosis systems are even used to make water better for humans!

best protein skimmer

It’s no surprise that there are several companies marketing their system as the best protein skimmer. The problem is, every aquarium needs something different – which means there’s no singular best protein skimmer out there.

This Aquatic Life RO Buddie Reverse Osmosis System review will help you decide if it’s the right choice – or if you should keep shopping.

Aquatic Life RO Buddie Reverse Osmosis System: The Details


  • Weight: 1 pounds shipped
  • Dimensions: 2 inch by 4 inch footprint, 13.8 inches tall
  • Capacity: 50 Gallons Per Day (100 GPD model available)
  • Type of Skimmer: Reverse osmosis system with sediment and carbon cartridges
  • Warranty: 1 year


Reverse Osmosis System Overview

Reverse osmosis systems work by pushing the water through a very fine mesh. This filters out waste because the waste particles are larger than the water particles.

It focuses on the smallest and most difficult to filter chemicals, which is why reverse osmosis can also be referred to as “hyperfiltration.”

This device is also useful for human drinking water! The Aquatic Life RO Buddie has a drinking water addition that can be bought separately to make the cleaned water acceptable for human consumption.

Aquatic Life RO Buddie Reverse Osmosis Systems Overview

This Aquatic Life protein skimmer system is made of plastic, which guides the water through the different cartridges, separating it into waste water and clean water.

The system can make 50 gallons of clean water per day, though it does depend on how much waste the tap already has and therefore how much it has to filter out.

The sediment and carbon cartridges are replaceable, and there is a faucet adapter included that allows you to use a plain garden hose for the input water.


Also included are a membrane wrench, which allows you to tighten the plastic top for the membrane, and mounting brackets, which let you mount the osmosis system on a cabinet or other surface.

Aquatic Life RO Buddie Reverse Osmosis System Review

The Positives

Substantially Reduces the Harmful Chemicals of Tap Water

The best thing about the Aquatic Life protein skimmer is that it’s great at bringing down the PPM and TDS of whatever water you put through it.

Tap water is, of course, unsafe for fish, and the Aquatic Life protein skimmer reduces the PPM of tap water to around 5 in most cases. This filters out chlorine, salt, and other bad things.


There is an add-on, bought separately, that can even make the water safe for human consumption if you’re not using it very frequently for your aquarium.

It’s still important to test the water every so often to make sure the filter is still working well, but even at its highest capacity, it’s great at its job.

Easy-to-Replace Cartridges                                                                               

The cartridges are, of course, the most important part of the osmosis system.

They’re the things that clean the water and remove the waste, and, because of the sheer amount of waste they remove, they do get dirty and less effective over time.

The Aquatic Life protein skimmer makes replacing cartridges easy; the top twists off, and you’re able to put a new membrane in, as well as new carbon and sediment cartridges.

The deionization cartridge even changes colour when it’s time to put a new one in, making it easy to tell when you need to replace it.


While you’ll have to find an exterior space for your filtration system, you won’t need too big of a space.

The Aquatic Life RO Buddie is designed to be small to reduce its footprint and make it easier to store in tight spaces, or in cupboards and cabinets.

You won’t need to rearrange your room or tank too much to add this system to your aquarium.


Good for New Aquarium Owners

The Aquatic Life protein skimmer is a great start for people who have just gotten an aquarium and need a way to filter their tap water well.

It’s very inexpensive, but still holds up with the best of them, and the osmosis process is one of the simplest ways to keep your aquarium clean.

At 50 gallons per day, it’s more than enough for the smaller aquariums people frequently get when they’re just starting out.

Long Cartridge Lifespan

As mentioned, the RO Buddie Reverse Osmosis System runs on cartridges that cleans your unfiltered water.

What’s great is these cartridges last a very long time. While they’ll need to be changed, you wont have to change them too often as each filter cartridge has a lifespan of 1500 gallons or six months.

This saves both time and money while making your life just a wee bit easier by making less trips to your local store.


All the above positives really don’t matter if your RO Buddie is a lemon upon arrival. Thankfully, Aquatic Life has included a 1-year warranty to ease any troubled minds.

If you find any faults, Aquatic Life will cover any manufacturing or craftsmanship errors up to 12 months after purchase at no additional costs. This includes any cracks or defects on the system.

Be sure to take proper care of your system as Aquatic Life won’t cover any damages caused by improper use.


Since the Aquatic Life Reverse Osmosis System is an external unit, it makes it easy to use on multiple tanks, aquariums and ponds.

If you have an aquarium inside, and a pond outside, purchasing one unit will be able to do double duty for both.

This saves the cost of purchasing multiple systems and it’s size makes it easy to move between mounts or aquariums.

Here’s a video showing what the Aquatic Life Reverse Osmosis System looks like outside of the box and mounted.

The Negatives

Does Not Come with Tubing

This Aquatic Life protein skimmer uses 1/4 inch tubing, but unfortunately, it does not come with that tubing.

This extra is of course easy to find online or at your local pet store; however, it can be frustrating if you’re not aware of that when first buying the skimmer.

The tubing is used to connect the skimmer to the water supply, and then to make sure the clean water and the waste water go to different containers.

Cartridge Replacement is More Expensive Than You May Expect

The Aquatic Life protein skimmer is very inexpensive, which makes it easily accessible for beginners.

Unfortunately, the cost to replace the cartridges tend to be almost as much as the cost to buy this system; the price you pay for the Aquatic Life protein skimmer is made up of mostly the cartridges, with inexpensive plastic to make sure it filters correctly.

The cartridges are not mind-blowingly expensive, but it’s definitely important to realize that with the Aquatic Life protein skimmer, you’re mostly paying for the cartridges, and when it comes time to replace them, you’ll have to pay about that much for them again – we’re thankful they last a long time!

Used Entirely Outside the Aquarium                                        

While many protein skimmers work by filtering the water already present in the tank, this reverse osmosis system is a separate machine altogether which works to clean your water before it’s added to the aquarium.

Feel free to think of it as a preparation tool rather than a maintenance tool, designed to give your fish the best water possible – not be their cleaning lady.

You’ll have to transport the water from your tank, to the system, and then back again anytime water changes are necessary.

That can occasionally be a good thing, as it means you won’t have another machine mounted on your aquarium, but it does require some physical effort from you.

Extra Cleaning for New Yorkers

While the idea of the RO Buddie is to clean your water, those living in the Big Apple will have to do a little extra work to make sure their water is pristine.

New York’s large city has higher city water sediment than others, making a pre-filtration a requirement.

Your Aquatic Life RO Buddie will still work in the city that never sleeps, it will just take an extra step.

Overall Verdict

If you’re a beginner with a relatively small aquarium, this can definitely be the best water skimmer for you.

It can be kept in an out-of-the-way place, it’s inexpensive, and it produces very clean water that can be then used for changes or for when you originally fill the tank.

Also, there isn’t a lot of waste water produced, meaning there’s no worry of increasing your water bill by throwing out old and pouring in new.

With some of the drawbacks, however, if you’re a more experienced aquarium owner or one that has a larger aquarium, it’s wise to find a different option.

In both cases, it’s a reverse osmosis system that doesn’t mess around and just gets the job done. It’s hard to beat the price and simplicity of the Aquatic Life RO Buddie Reverse Osmosis System.

Where to Buy the Aquatic Life RO Buddie Reverse Osmosis System

Having clean water for your aquatic pets is of the utmost importance for a healthy life inside their tank.

The performance of the Aquatic Life RO Buddie Reverse Osmosis System shows that it will definitely make sure your fish are swimming happily.

This product has become increasingly popular and is available in-store and online (checking specialty aquatic shops or pet stores is always easiest).

To start, check out the following online retailers.

Of course, it’s also available on Amazon.

Aquatic Life RO Buddie Reverse Osmosis System

That’s it for our Aquatic Life RO Buddie Reverse Osmosis System Review. Tempted to give it a try?

Aquatic Life RO Buddie Reverse Osmosis System Rated
  • Quality of Filtration
  • Build Quality
  • Ease of Use
  • Value for Money
  • Durability

FCG Verdict

This may very well be the best filtration system for small to medium tanks.

The Aquatic Life RO Buddie Reverse Osmosis System is an inexpensive unit that performs and holds up to high quality standards.

Whether you’re a beginner or professional, this unit will not disappoint.

>>> Check current price on Amazon.

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