Does anyone use 100% distilled or RO
water for their FW
aquarium? Due to some weird fishless cycle happenings (short background info below if interested), I was using spring water to finish my cycle. The brand I was using only sells in 5 gal
jugs and I''m having a hard time lugging them up the stairs. Also not knowing how much minerals, etc are in different brands of spring water I want to be more consistent. I'm going to purchase an RO
unit at some point but for now I'm going to switch over to distilled water. I bought RO
Rite powder to reconstitute the water with minerals, etc. I'm getting fish this week so I want to change the tank over to the mineralized distilled water today so I can monitor it for a few days and make sure PH stays stable.
So, how do you prep the water? I have an 18 gal
bucket. I was going to put the distilled water in, heat it and aerate it (how long? the PH out of the jug is 6; I aerated 1 gallon last night and after a couple of hours PH rose to 6.4 where it's stayed for 12 hours now). Then mix the RO
Rite in (any thoughts on how much? I know the bottle has mixing info, but any tips would be great).
Also: when I do water changes (probably 50% per week), how do I measure the powder to get the levels the same as the tank water? I'm guessing it's just trial and error at first?
Any tips, info, etc would be extremely helpful.
Background info of why I'm using distilled water if anyone is interested, but not directly relevent:
short: I tried fishless cycling two different tanks and had no or very little movement in both after 4-7 weeks. After the first tank failed I broke it down, returned it, threw everything away in case a contaminant or something got into the tank without my knowledge, and started fresh with a 20 gal
aquarium (new filters, decor, etc). After adding two seeded filter pads and sponges, ammonia was dropping very slowly and no other movement at all. The only thing I hadn't changed from the first tank to the next was my water source (was using tap water). I changed over to spring water, added another seeded filter and my tank fully cycled in three weeks (nitrites spiked then dropped, nitrates climbed, ammonia fell to 0 after each redose). So, I'm sticking with not using the tap water!