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Old 08-23-2008, 06:11 PM   #1
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Distilled or Spring?

My sister whom has nothing but saltwater tanks.. keeps telling me to use Distilled. I was under the impression that distilled in a freshwater tank was a nono... The spring water that i came to use has the perfect water in it.. 0 ammonia 0 nitrates 0 nitrites and a ph of 6.5.. so which should i use for my pwc?
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Old 08-23-2008, 06:15 PM   #2
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Lots of people like to use distilled, but it's really not necessary, and I don't know there are any real benefits to it in a freshwater tank.

Saltwater is a different story.
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Old 08-23-2008, 06:17 PM   #3
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well my tap water is bad.. i mean .. 4ppm ammonia out of the fauset bad lol thats why im fighting this ammonia problem right now
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Old 08-23-2008, 06:22 PM   #4
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Are you sure it's ammonia? more likely it's chloramines.

Capture some water and use a dechlor on it, then test it and see what you get.
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Old 08-23-2008, 06:46 PM   #5
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From the other thread I just replied to I figured that you had high ammonia from your faucet. You said "spring water" in that thread so it's not chloramines if that's the case. At any rate, I still recommend using Prime to neutralize the ammonia.

Not sure why distilled water would be a "no-no" in FW setups. It's basically pure water as is RO/DI water but goes through a different process to get there. I wouldn't use JUST distilled water/RO/DI water in my tanks. The fish/plants/snails/inverts need minerals that are in the water to survive and have a healthy bone structure/shell/exoskeleton. If you use just purified water you will want to add something like Kent RO Right which puts minerals back into the water.
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Old 08-23-2008, 07:27 PM   #6
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I find it odd that you have spring water (assuming it's unfiltered unless you mean bottled 'spring water' which is filtered) and have 0 nitrates. Unless you're in the high back country somewhere there must be nitrates in there I would guess.

I use bottled/filtered water for my FW, RO/DI for my SW. I run GFO to whack down the phosphates and heavies.
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Old 08-23-2008, 08:19 PM   #7
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Spring water is much better than distilled, because natural spring water still has all of the trace elements that both the fish and (even moreso) plants need. Whereas distilled water is stripped of all of those micronutrients & trace elements.
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Old 08-23-2008, 09:08 PM   #8
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This is bottled spring water from walmart/brookshires.. its all coming from arizona. lol How about a pwc with both waters?
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Old 08-27-2008, 05:52 PM   #9
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I used 6 gallons of treated spring water and 2 gallons of treated tap water and my stats hardly ever get iffy.
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Old 08-27-2008, 06:28 PM   #10
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Not sure why distilled water would be a "no-no" in FW setups. ...
In addition to lack of minerals for your inverts, etc. Pure water also has no buffering capacity and is prone to pH crashes in FW setup.

In SW the buffers are in the salt mix and salties use pure water so stuff in the mix water won't mess up the precise ion concentrations in the mix.

If you use RO or distilled water in FW, you'd need to add in some buffer (say cc in the filter, other buffering salts, or just mix in some of your tap water <assuming it is not too bad>.)
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Old 08-28-2008, 10:25 AM   #11
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I agree with jsoong about mixing the RO or distilled water with tap water. Before I started my planted tanks with pressurized CO2, I mixed RO water and tap water in a 50-50 ratio. That way you're getting the benefits of the RO water if your tap is high in ammonia or just has a very high pH, but you're also retaining some of the buffers/minerals present in the tap water.
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