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Old 04-13-2006, 02:53 PM   #1
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Using Bottle Water for Top Offs

I thought I had read on here that using bottled water (drinking water) will add phosphates and/or other bad minerals to your tank. Can anyone refresh my memory? Thanks.

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Old 04-13-2006, 03:33 PM   #2
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For 6 years I added only distilled water to my tank. I now have a RO/DI unit. I only used Food Lion Distilled which every time I checked for phosphates it was at 0. But I have heard not to use spring water or drinking water as it does contain heavy metal particles that can foul up your tank. I `ve even heard dont use distilled but I never had a problem even though I only used 1 brand.

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Old 04-13-2006, 04:10 PM   #3
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bottled drinking water has been sterilized, but that doesn't mean its free of minerals, phosphates or nitrates.
YOu need distilled or RO/DI water ideally for topoffs, and the RO/DI filters need to still be in good working order, as old membranes won't strip all the nasties out.

minerals don't evaporate. if you top off with hard, mineralized water, you run the risk of building up very high hardness levels in the tank water, which could adversely affect the life inside the tank (corals inverts and fish...the bacteria and live rock will be ok).

Now, having said that, there are a lot of people who use dechlor'd tap water for top off. If you don't have terribly hard water, and are certain it's nitrate and phosphate free, top offs with tap water is a viable option. This can help add alkalinity, calcium, magnesium and other trace elements back into the water, reducing your need to use supplements to accomplish the same thing.

Some will definitely argue tap should never be used. However its hard to agree 100% knowing that SW aquarists have kept fish and corals alive for decades before the advent of highly filtered water being available to the home hobbyist for reasonable prices.
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Old 04-13-2006, 05:13 PM   #4
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i have used bottled water (usually distilled) in the past also (got an ro/di). just check the label to make sure it was filtered with ro/di. you can use your test kits, too, to make sure..... i tested from most major brands in fl (u save, winn dixie, pulix, even walmart, which is the cheapest) and didnt have any prolems........
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Old 04-13-2006, 09:17 PM   #5
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I amusing Distilled bottled water too until I get a RO/DI unit. I have used Walmart, Winn Dixie & Food Lion.
Kimberly in NE Florida
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