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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to study abroad soon, so my boyfriend's family will look after my betta in his 5 gal tank while I am gone. We will move the tank to their house. The question is about the source of water to use.... they do not drink the well water out where they live because it has a lot of mineral content. Also because, when asked, a city water official shrugged and said "It's probably safe"... not exactly comforting! However I am wondering about their filtered drinking water that they get from Aqua Falls - I don't think it's distilled, but I worry if it's been filtered too much to where there wouldn't be enough oxygen or minerals for the fish. Please share your experiences with water sources, it would be helpful.
 

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It's a well? If so then there are no official testings on it since wells are typically privately owned. Did you ask the official about the whole area or just that house in particular? He could give you the typical hardness, pH, and alkalinity of the area though most likely but it still varies greatly. For me, my well pumps out pH at 5.0 and practically no mineral content but occasionally we get a burst of iron after a bit of a drought, I have no buffers in the well either so I have to treat my water before it goes in the tank.

But what I was getting at was, if they could tell you the basics of the water like the pH, General Hardness (GH), and Alkalinity then we could help you figure something out. Having a lot of minerals in the water generally leads me to believe that you might be going to an area with harder water, that's not typically bad for fish. Betta's are typically softwater fish but because they've been so domesticated, they can tolerate nearly any kind of water condition. The only issue would be if you had a Crowntail, sometimes their fins tend to curl in harder water. This is only an observation by many but not a tested scientific fact.

So if you can possibly get the basics then we can go from there.

Other options are limited to what's available around you. If you have a good fish store they might be able to provide you with RO (reverse Osmosis) water which is essentially only H20 and nothing else so you will have to fortify it yourself with chemicals (I use SeaChem's Replenish for my water), but that takes more money as well.

Bottled water is iffy, stay clear from Distilled and Sparkling water. Spring water is a hit or miss. They all have varying pH's which are available online that you can look up but some still have chlorine in them and other unknown elements so you'll want to be careful. I would only use this in a pinch and always use dechlorinator/water conditioner in it! I recommend SeaChem Prime if you don't already have it! 1-2 drops per gallon and you're golden! ^_^
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, she had her well privately tested by an official because some work was done on it and she wanted to know if it was safe to drink. People don't seem to drink the well water in the area because it's given some family members kidney stones, so I wondered if it may be too high a mineral content for a fish to live in.

I could test the pH and alkalinity of her tap water and the filtered delivered water and go from there. Currently the tank is a little alkaline at 8.0 because we have a lot of lime in our area, and at home I use the tap water from the city.
I added another Indian Almond Leaf to try to gradually bring it down to under 8.0 if possible, although Omicron (the betta) seems fine with it as long as it's stable.
I knew to avoid distilled water because the oxygen has been removed, and fish need oxygen... lol. I have a ton of SeaChem Prime and use it every water change to condition all the water. Thanks for your quick reply.
 

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8.0 is just fine for a Betta :) Because it is alkaline, it keeps your pH stable so I wouldn't tamper with it. Mine fluctuates all over the place because it's so low and I have no buffering capacity in it.

Are you sure it was the water? Typically one get's kidney stones from NOT drinking enough water. I've done quick searches and nothing leads me to hard water causing kidney stones. Of course, I'm no doctor.
 

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Most "distilled" water available commercially is RO (reverse osmosis) water. All the minerals have been removed, not the oxygen (which can be added back in by simple aeration, like a bubble wand). But Betta don't need added oxygen. They are equipped with a special organ which processes oxygen directly from the atmosphere.
 
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