Questions about distilled water
Tropical Fish

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources » Freshwater Fish and Aquariums » Beginner Freshwater Aquarium » Questions about distilled water

Questions about distilled water

This is a discussion on Questions about distilled water within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I'm starting up a 2.5g tank this week. I had planned on using distilled water for the tank as my tap water is relatively ...

Check out these freshwater fish profiles
Penguin Tetra
Penguin Tetra
Spotted Headstander
Spotted Headstander
Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools vBmenu Seperating Image Search this Thread vBmenu Seperating Image
Questions about distilled water
Old 01-25-2011, 12:00 PM   #1
 
Questions about distilled water

I'm starting up a 2.5g tank this week. I had planned on using distilled water for the tank as my tap water is relatively hard and alkaline. So I did some googling to make sure distilled water could be used and am getting nervous about using distilled water. From what I understand it should not be used because of it's lack of stability. Having a very low kH. Is this something I can use if I combine distilled water with my tap water in an effort to lower the high attributes of my tap? Or am I setting myself up for disaster?
Aqua Jon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2011, 12:08 PM   #2
 
redchigh's Avatar
 
You could use 50/50, but you should be able to find mineral water or spring water for about the same price... It should work fine.
redchigh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2011, 01:13 PM   #3
 
never thought of using mineral or spring water. Great solution redchigh! Any way to determine the pH and such of either of those types of waters? I could buy a few small ones and do my own tests.
Aqua Jon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2011, 07:27 PM   #4
 
Byron's Avatar
 
Depending upon the initial hardness of your tap water, adding any "pure" water will be much the same. If the aim is to reduce the hardness and lower the pH, the diluting water must be comparable to distilled water or rainwater or RO (reverse osmosis) water. Rainwater tends to be fairly acidic and soft, and distilled and RO water would be very soft (contains no minerals) and probably neutral to slightly acidic.

Knowing your tap water hardness numbers (GH and KH) and then knowing where you want the tank to be in terms of hardness and pH. The tap water pH is of less importance because pH is normally tied to the hardness with tap water, and the lower the KH and GH the more the pH will lower in the aquarium due to naturally biological processes.

Mineral water or Spring water may likely contain "mineral" which rather defeats the purpose of what you are doing, unless your tap water is very hard.

If you provide the hardness (and pH) of your tap water, and what you want in the tank, we can offer suggestions on mixing.

Byron.
Byron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2011, 07:48 PM   #5
 
lorax84's Avatar
 
I mix my tap water about 50/50 with RO/Distilled water for all my softwater fish tanks. The PH says pretty consistently around 7.0-7.2. My water out of the tap is around 7.8-8.0.

I also know of people using 100% RO/Distilled and them adding something like "Stable" to it to keep the PH stable in the tank. I cannot vouch for the effectiveness of these products.
lorax84 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to lorax84 For This Useful Post:
Aqua Jon (01-27-2011)
Old 01-26-2011, 01:03 AM   #6
 
Ideally I want to establish an environment suited for plants going into the tank. These plants will be: Hemianthus callitrichoides (Dwarf Baby Tears), Eleocharis acicularis (Dwf. Hairgrass), Sagitaria subulata (Dwf. Sagitaria), lobelia cardinalis, and a small chance that cryptocoryne parva will join them. With these plants considered, a pH value around 7.0 would my best hope. Being no more than 7.4 and no less than 6.5. Consequentially the hardness value would be 8 or below in relation to pH.

In fact my water is very similar lorax84's. Tap water is near 8.0 but I cannot get an accurate results for hardness (testing liquid is old).

Tank info: 2.5 gallons with 13 watts of fluorescent above. Heater is static @ 78 F. No filter. Pea gravel substrate on the bottom layered with approximately a half inch of sand on top. Jungle root tabs spaced throughout substrate for nutrients.

Last edited by Aqua Jon; 01-26-2011 at 01:08 AM..
Aqua Jon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2011, 01:08 PM   #7
 
Byron's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Jon View Post
Ideally I want to establish an environment suited for plants going into the tank. These plants will be: Hemianthus callitrichoides (Dwarf Baby Tears), Eleocharis acicularis (Dwf. Hairgrass), Sagitaria subulata (Dwf. Sagitaria), lobelia cardinalis, and a small chance that cryptocoryne parva will join them. With these plants considered, a pH value around 7.0 would my best hope. Being no more than 7.4 and no less than 6.5. Consequentially the hardness value would be 8 or below in relation to pH.

In fact my water is very similar lorax84's. Tap water is near 8.0 but I cannot get an accurate results for hardness (testing liquid is old).

Tank info: 2.5 gallons with 13 watts of fluorescent above. Heater is static @ 78 F. No filter. Pea gravel substrate on the bottom layered with approximately a half inch of sand on top. Jungle root tabs spaced throughout substrate for nutrients.
Can you get the hardness for the tap water from your water people? Many have websites, but should be able to answer you regardless; what's in the water is public info.

This would help us to know what to expect, and fiddling with water chemistry in an aquarium is risky business unless it is carefully planned from the pertinent data. If you used distilled or RO water, you would have no hardness and the pH would lower fairly rapidly. Mixing with tap water will keep it balanced and buffered, but first we need the numbers.
Byron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2011, 06:46 PM   #8
 
I looked it up online as you said Byron. The verdict is pH=7.9 average. Hardness CaCO3 or Calcium Carbonate is 380ppm on average. Hardness total (grains/gal) is 16 on average.

I have prepared 1.5 gallons of tap, treated, that is to be mixed with 1.5 gallons of distilled water. The water has not been mixed yet, I want to get this right. But I am prepared for a 50/50 solution.

Plants just arrived today, I figure I have at most 24 hours since they arrived a day early. No fauna are going to be introduced.

Last edited by Aqua Jon; 01-26-2011 at 06:52 PM..
Aqua Jon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2011, 07:54 PM   #9
 
Byron's Avatar
 
That is fairly hard as I suspected it would be. I would set up the tank without fish, test the hardness and pH--remember, hardness is actually more important because it can affect the fish internally and it also somewhat decides the pH--and see what transpires. Adding some fish if it is stable will further test things as the biology will acidify the water but to the extent determined by the resulting hardness.
Byron is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Byron For This Useful Post:
Aqua Jon (01-27-2011)
Reply

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Can I use distilled water? brancasterr Freshwater and Tropical Fish 4 12-07-2010 06:50 PM
water question deoinized water vs distilled water jaysix79 Saltwater Fish 13 02-08-2010 01:42 AM
Distilled Water ThalesthePearsei Coral and Reef Creatures 13 03-15-2009 12:19 AM
Using Distilled Water?? aunt kymmie Beginner Freshwater Aquarium 2 06-05-2008 11:03 AM
Distilled water vs RO/DI vs tap FDStation152 Freshwater Aquarium Equipment 3 01-25-2007 08:06 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:04 PM.