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Old 08-01-2011, 05:04 PM   #1 
Nolacrazygrl
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Distilled water

Please read whole post before jumping on the "Oh noez don't use distilled water, it's horrible!" bandwagon...

I have done research on the net regarding using distilled water and I'm even more confused now.

I have found opinions ranging from "distilled is fine, I use it" all the way to "omg the fish is going to die a horrible death if you do" type of answers for this water. These opinions seem to come from average people all the way up to some type of aquarium site.

I've had my betta in distilled for at least 2 months now and first let me say this: he's fine as far as appearance, eating, activity, etc. He's not acting lethargic or breathing heavy. His appearance is great, no ragged fins or anything of the sort...etc., etc.

I've read that plants nor the fish can survive in this water, and either I have "superman" for a fish with 2 types of "superman" plants (that have to be trimmed every 2 weeks) or bettas are much hardier than what people think.

My tap is way too hard leaving a nasty residue on anything it touches and I'd rather add to the distilled if possible instead of being a scientist when it comes to my horrible tap water that is going to make my tank look not so pretty. I tried a slow swap to spring water and it caused a major spike in acidity among other things...pH was the most alarming for me though as the spike was off the chart (literally) when I did that so I've switch back slowly and it's close to 7 again.

It seems distilled is missing possible minerals the fish needs. Is there a way to put those back into the water without causing a major problem? What exact minerals are missing? I've also read that it's a matter of simply adding aquarium salt to the water. How true is this?

Last edited by Nolacrazygrl; 08-01-2011 at 05:07 PM.
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Old 08-01-2011, 05:22 PM   #2 
Punki
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I used bottled spring, not as good as tap but much better then distilled. Not sure hwy you had an issue with spring D; Maybe a different brand would work better? D;
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:03 PM   #3 
Nolacrazygrl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Punki View Post
I used bottled spring, not as good as tap but much better then distilled. Not sure hwy you had an issue with spring D; Maybe a different brand would work better? D;
I know that because distilled water has nothing in it, that any minor chemical change can affect the pH but as much as the acidity spiked, it made me a bit nervous to continue to switch over.
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:15 PM   #4 
Jirothebetta
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...You could test the acidity of the bottle spring water, I know different brands have different Ph. Kentwood is very acidic for instance...perfect for chiclids, but not necessarily betas and guppies....
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:16 PM   #5 
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Distilled water can be too pure and lack the needed minerals, trace, electrolytes and oxygen all needed for proper osmotic function that can cause problems with the fish’ ability to move fluids in and out of their bodies and in the long term resist disease, lacks buffers for a stable pH.

What is your source water- pH, KH/GH
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:18 PM   #6 
copperarabian
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I used distilled water for years because I thought tap water was deadly for fish over long term use, even with conditioner XD Now that I'm using tap water I love how conveniant it is.
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:23 PM   #7 
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*removed my rant, not in the mood*

Anyways, I have no knowledge on distilled water, as I was told not to use it. So, I didn't. We have hard city water, it's white from the tap, I still use it and my fish are fine. We let ours sit for 24h. :)

Really odd that your levels spike when switching to bottled.
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:26 PM   #8 
Nolacrazygrl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
Distilled water can be too pure and lack the needed minerals, trace, electrolytes and oxygen all needed for proper osmotic function that can cause problems with the fish’ ability to move fluids in and out of their bodies and in the long term resist disease, lacks buffers for a stable pH.

What is your source water- pH, KH/GH
I assume by source, you mean tap? I haven't tested the tap water because by looking at my shower head and other faucets, the amount of deposits are not something I want to deal with in my tank.

Since my tank has a pump, there is movement providing oxygen although I read bettas don't require all that much oxygen.

What I'm looking for is possibly what elements and/or minerals that are missing from the distilled water that causes these issues. I keep reading about them missing but nothing stating exactly what is missing.
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:25 PM   #9 
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Hard water deposits (which I'm assuming is what you're seeing) are not going to show up in your tank unless you don't do necessary water changes. I have very hard water and never get build up.

Anyways a better option to distilled water would be revers osmosis water, you can buy this at walmart I believe and some fish stores offer it. This water lacks the hardness but has the necessary minerals added back in.
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Old 08-01-2011, 11:50 PM   #10 
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I agree with all that is posted. It truly is lacking, and unless the water is very, very bad, it really isnt needed.

In future, try not to start threads out in a confrontational way. We're not going to jump on you. At least no one worth listening to, anyway.

Assuming we all would or that's the type of reply you'd receive may well net you the very response you do not want.


If you ask for reasons, rather than just if its okay, you're going to get better, more educated replies. That's all that's needed.

If, say, you were leaving 10 male bettas in a single 2 gallon tank, we'd certainly have something to say, but as far as this stuff goes, we're really not all that bad. Have faith and get to know us before getting defensive. We're pretty good people :)
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