Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by neptune, Jan 16, 2004.
Please provide reasoning.
this was supposed to be a poll and apparently I did not do it right.
But my question is RO/DI vs. Distilled Pure Water
Most people keeping octos use RO/DI water. But the book Water Chemistry for the Marine Aquarium by John H. Tullock says that distilled water is just fine to use, but more expensive than RO/DI water.
When I read this, I began buying 1 gallon containers of distilled water for my topoff water, and it made my life a lot easier!! (no more pouring from 5-gallon containers for topoff) I use a fair amount of topoff because I have a fan blowing on the sump. It seems to have worked just fine.
Distilled water is so stripped of everything, I'm surprised that it's advisable for use in an octo tank. You would not use distilled water in a reef tank (yes, I know we're not talking reefs). My reef-based mind keeps getting jolted by you ceph people.
Is distilled ok for octos because you don't want any type of mineral in the water?
adding the salt puts in all the minerals you need,
what do you use for you reef tank?
I personally use distilled water and add the minerals I want, and dont have to guess what to remove or what I am adding.
Colin--I see what you're saying. But, as you know, there are other things in sea water other than salt. Plus, the salt you buy for your tank has been purified, so-to-speak. It is not simply evaporated sea water. I use r/o water, which is not as stripped as distilled. Distilled is so pure, many nutritionists recommend spring water or standard filtered water instead. Either way, I don't think this is a major issue. Just curious.
Why would you not want to use pure water? Even spring water has minerals and goes through osmosis to get out of the ground?
BTW - thanks this is just the dype of debate I wanted to get going. There are a lot of good opinions on the issue I think.
With spring water, the minerals are not removed (possible biological contaminants are not either, though). Some of the aforementioned minerals are rare, difficult to replace, etc. Plus, we aren't advanced enough to know which are truly helpful, and which are not. In all, it's perfectly natural.
With distilled water, you are left with absolutely pure H20. That's it. No added minerals, etc. It is all lost. That's fine if you are ironing a shirt, but in a reef tank, you always want the mineral content to be strong, for the corals and other similar creatures. They absorb the beneficial elements that are difficult to add otherwise. The "mineral/vitamin" additives on the market are a joke, needless to say.
With R/O water, you maintain a strong mineral component (but lose a considerable amount), and eliminate much of the biological pollution in most city water. Buying spring water is obviously much more expensive than using R/O in-home. Personally, I'd prefer to use spring water exclusively.
Just my two-cents. Let the debate rage!
Keep it coming!
But even for a reef tank would it really matter if just for top offs?
Also doesnt most salt you put in have more than just the salt, eg. extra minerals?
Anyway though corals arent advised in an octotank because they might sting your ceph. Still this is an interesting topic.
There are some minerals included in aquarium salt (coralife, instant ocean, etc), but it still isn't equivalent to sea water. In other words, it does not replace the essential elements in the ocean's water. It matters in a reef tank because the more you top-off, the more you are stripping the water, rather than replacing minerals, despite at a slow rate. The minerals are absorbed by clams, corals, shrimp, etc, and if you continually top-off with distilled, you're not replacing anything. Eventually, the water quality erodes. This is not to say the r/o water replaces all minerals--it doesn't. It just doesn't remove every mineral like distilled does.
A couple of questions:
Doesn't the mineral content of spring water vary greatly, depending on the source? Couldn't you have too much of some minerals by using spring water?
As for RO/DI containing minerals - the remaining minerals might not be the ones absorbed from the salt water. The compostion of the water could change slightly if a lot of top off were used, couldn't it?
The essential elements in ocean water most likely are not coming out of your tap water. Regardless of what type of water you use, are you not adding any chems, trace elements,, kalkwasser, etc. to your reef? I never look to water as my sole source of nutrition for my corals. I would prefer to have a blank slate to start with.
yes mam and yes again. Different locations have different minerals, bacteria, parasites present in all bodies of similar water all over the globe.
I have distilled and (spring water for me, its not good enought for the tanks ) delivered to my house at a pretty cheap price $5.oo for 5 gallons. I realize at a certain point I definitely have bought more than one RO/DI filtration unit, but what could the filtration be missing and leaving in my tanks?
Having a reef system I can sort of understand where you are coming from Crevalle, but I don't want to roll the dice, if I can control it. Perhaps RO/DI spring water would be a closer shot that I would personally pursue. Maybe overkill, but how much filtration is enough in any tank?
I think all the points are valid but just stick to what works... the advised safest way to make water for cephs is either RO water or distilled water and a good brand of salt...
I use Tropic Marin for example and can count 69 elements that are listed on the label... so that's not just salt
"The essential elements in ocean water most likely are not coming out of your tap water. Regardless of what type of water you use, are you not adding any chems, trace elements,, kalkwasser, etc. to your reef? I never look to water as my sole source of nutrition for my corals." -Neptune
Neptune, I never said tap water replaces minerals found in ocean water. Neither does spring, distilled, etc. I just don't want all the minerals taken out (i.e. distilled). It's a very common practice amongst reefers. The only thing I add to my reef is kalk and iodine (both are absorbed rapidly by many things). Nothing else. I measure alkalinity/ph once per week. Of course water isn't the sole source of nutrition for your corals--food is. Not sure what you meant by that.
Nancy--great point. Spring water from different areas has different concentrations of minerals, absolutely. If you use spring water, you need to find a brand you trust, after doing water tests (copper, etc).
Colin--I agree. Whatever works. As John Madden coined, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
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