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Old 10-16-2003, 01:51 PM   #1
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Tap Water vs. Spring/Distilled Water

I am confused about the best type of water to use for water changes. I do small (10%) water changes twice a week on my 29 gallon. I've always used tap water, with a water conditioner to remove the chloramine. No problems yet, but changing water always makes me nervous. I probably shouldn't change what works, but I want to do what is best for the fishies!

I've read that distilled water is missing certain minerals that the fish need, but I also have read on these posts that some people use spring or distilled water. Since chlorine and chloramine is toxic I'd rather avoid it altogether. I've also read that for small water changes like mine, a water conditioner is not necessary because fish can handle a low dose of chloramine. 8O Help!

Any thoughts on what the safest water is?

Thanks!
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Old 10-16-2003, 01:53 PM   #2
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Tap water + water conditioner is fine. Some people let their water sit a day before changing it though.
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Old 10-16-2003, 02:12 PM   #3
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They can handle a small amount but why make them. I do 20% once a week and that works well for me. If you have a nitate test kit use that to help determine your change schedule. Ive recently polled everyone and the majority would change when it hits 20ppm nitrates. Also unless you have well water or lots of heavy metals and such in your city water tap can be fine.
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Old 10-16-2003, 02:52 PM   #4
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Lots of water conditioners actually pull out heavy metals as well (which is good if you have old pipes in your house or apartment).

Letting the water sit will allow chlorine to evaporate out...but unfortunately not chloramine.

I'm a big fan of using tap water. It's the easiest way to ensure your water is of consistent quality for each change, IMHO.
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Old 10-16-2003, 03:22 PM   #5
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I use tap water. I condition it, and then let it sit in a bucket for at least a day. That's what my lfs said to do.
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Old 10-16-2003, 04:26 PM   #6
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Tigerlilly - I think what you are doing already is great! No reason to make a change imho.
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Old 10-16-2003, 04:37 PM   #7
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I agree mostly with what everyone said...if it ain't broke don't fix it. However, (I always have a however )I am conviced by process of elimination (no pun intended) that my tap water was killing my fish, so I switched to store bought ro water (almost like distilled, not as pure). I have additives that I put into the water to replace the missing nutrients. So far I have had no more deaths after the switch.

I seem to be the exception when it comes to fresh water, but you will find most salt water hobbyists use ro water in their tanks, because of contaminants in tap water.
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Old 10-17-2003, 12:00 PM   #8
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Here's my 2 cents:

Call the water company and ask them what the phosphate and nitrate content is in the water. If it is really low, then don't worry. My problem was that I have high phosphates in my tap water. I got an RO/DI unit, because I have SW, but before that I used a small plastic airfilter with a phosphate pad tucked inside. I put this in my change bucket and let it sit with an air pump overnight. This way it oxegenates the water and removes the phosphate and heavy metals.

But again... If it ain't broke... I did this because my water turned green. I had a phosphate problem. You seem to be doing fine and I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 10-17-2003, 12:02 PM   #9
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Here's my 2 cents:

Call the water company and ask them what the phosphate and nitrate content is in the water. If it is really low, then don't worry. My problem was that I have high phosphates in my tap water. I got an RO/DI unit, because I have SW, but before that I used a small plastic airfilter with a phosphate pad tucked inside. I put this in my change bucket and let it sit with an air pump overnight. This way it oxegenates the water and removes the phosphate and heavy metals.

But again... If it ain't broke... I did this because my water turned green. I had a phosphate problem. You seem to be doing fine and I wouldn't worry about it.
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