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Old 02-17-2007, 01:56 PM   #1
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distilled Water

i dont use it but i have a question about distilled water. i seen on many post here that alot of people use distilled water from there local supermarket. when i had my 55g up and running i had to buy distilled water to keep it running. lol too much money for the other stuff. but i ran into a problem with using distilled. and it got very frustrating. i could not keep my dkh up. it always fell after i added buffers to boost it up. it would rise to about 8-11dkh and then fall in 24 hrs. inwitch my PH was affected and fall to about 7.2-7.4 a very light green on my PH water test kit. and we all know that makes fish stress out the rise and fall of PH.
so i suffered through that for about a year trying to figure out how i could fix the problem. i cant tell u how many books i got and questions i asked. finally i had some one tell me. distilled water dont have all the electrolights that say spring water has. that helps hold the water to a certain dkh. he told me switch to a natural spring water. and see how that goes. it did help some but still could not keep my PH at 8.0-8.2
i might be way off here. but its what i went through. and to this day i still have never figure out my problem. so i buy the water in a box stuff off line or at my not so local fish store. its Great stuff i love it.
but if i could get some help with the distilled water i might start a 5 or 10g up and try it on that to see how it works again.
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Old 02-17-2007, 11:36 PM   #2
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I can only speak from experience. I used distilled water for 7 yrs with no negative results. PH and alkalinity were fine. Tank was fine. Last two yrs I got a RO/DI unit. IMO The distilled water did not make the difference but the weekly PWC`s kept my tank buffered where it needs to be. I`m just a stickler for PWC`s. They have met my needs and never had to use additives. I know there are some salt mixes that are not giving certain requirements but you should at least test to see if you need it and test to maintain it. I hope all goes well.
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Old 02-17-2007, 11:49 PM   #3
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what kinda salt u use? i think i used that corallife suff then i changed to ocean somthing. i cant remember. because i think someone told me coral life wasnt so hot. lol
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Old 02-18-2007, 12:49 AM   #4
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I use oceanic salt. It has done better IMO than past salts I have used.
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Old 02-18-2007, 12:17 PM   #5
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I think Mike has a good point. How often/how much of PWCs did you do?
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Old 02-18-2007, 01:56 PM   #6
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in a 55g i did about 5-10g every week. i did not have alot of LR at the tme. so i tryed to keep it as clean as possible. also i remmer not leting my new salt water not sitting over night. i just mixed it and pour it in. that back when i was a noob. lol would that have made a difference?
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Old 02-19-2007, 04:51 PM   #7
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The thing about needing the correct electrolytes in your fresh water is bunk - at least for saltwater tanks. RO/DI water has no electrolytes in the water, and I *think* this is probably what the salt manufacturers assume folks are using. That's one of the whole points of using a salt mix - so you can put the "right" stuff back into the water.
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Old 02-20-2007, 11:12 AM   #8
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Agree with the rest. I also have used distilled water in the past without issues. Thing to remember is that like ro/di distilled is going to be lower in ph (more acidic, very little to no kh) then tap and the salt mix may not have enough kh buffers to get your ph/kh at the right level.

The "SW in a box" is the most expensive way to do pwc IMO and once you get a better understanding of how to chemically balance your tank using proper test kits I'd go back to using salt mix. Also Ebay has RO/DI filters for around $100 so you can make your own pure water which is cheaper then buying it.

A couple of articles to help explain it all.

What is Alkalinity?, Calcium in the Aquarium., & Solving Calcium and Alkalinity Problems.

A Simplified Guide to the Relationship Between
Calcium, Alkalinity, Magnesium and pH


Reef Chemistry Calculator
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