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Old 06-11-2008, 10:50 PM   #1
bb0029
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Distilled water safe?


I know it is better then tap water and all that good stuff but I was wondering if I should treat the distilled water like I would tap water. I am going to start showing my tank a little more love so I want to make the right decision. I don;t have the money for a R/O or anything like that so I was wondering if that stuff was safe. Thanks
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:52 PM   #2
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Distilled water is safe - depending on how large your tank is an RO/DI unit will most likely be cheaper in the long run though
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:56 PM   #3
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Distilled water is safe - depending on how large your tank is an RO/DI unit will most likely be cheaper in the long run though

Ok cool, I will have to look into one of those units but until then I will stick with the jug water.



Off Topic a bit.
BTW: Anybody know where you can find a unit that you can plumb into your home plumbing? I am in the process of putting in a pond in the back yard. The pond is about 1200 gallons.
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bb0029 View Post
I know it is better then tap water and all that good stuff but I was wondering if I should treat the distilled water like I would tap water. I am going to start showing my tank a little more love so I want to make the right decision. I don;t have the money for a R/O or anything like that so I was wondering if that stuff was safe. Thanks
I used distilled water for a while. Don't "treat" it, there is nothing in it to treat. It won't take long buying distilled water to pay for an RO/DI unit though. I was paying 72 cents a gallon at Walmart for it. Roughly 250 gallons of water at that price will pay for a good RO/DI unit.
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:04 PM   #5
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Before I got my own ro unit, I bought water from the ro unit at the grocery store. It was only a quarter a couple of years ago. It may be .30 or .35 now.
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:21 PM   #6
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Get a RO/DI nunit, for what you'll pay for someone else to do this, you can get a unit for yourself and be sure of the quality.

See http://www.airwaterice.com/product/1...r_100_GPD.html

sells around $190 USD
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:27 PM   #7
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Distille is OK .It has 0 TDS
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Old 06-13-2008, 09:52 AM   #8
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OK, did my first water change last night. It was about 15%-20%. Proably closer to 15%. I used the distilled water and I also changed the carbon filter in the filter. I did not check the water last night because I thought it would be a good idea to let it circulate over night before checking the levels having changed the water and replacing the filter.

I called my wife and asked her to check the specific gravity and she said it dipped down to 1.014. She also said I had a dead snail or dying snail. Will the critters be OK until I get home this afternoon and do I need to drain some more water and make another batch of saltwater to raise it up? I bought like 50 gallons of distilled water last night so I got a ton of it left. I am just afraid if I do another partial water change all that new tank bacteria will take a dump and I will have to start over.

I have a single clown fish and he seems to be doing fine according to my wife.

thanks in advance. if I have to run home I will cause I don't want to kill any critters!
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Old 06-13-2008, 10:00 AM   #9
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That is really pretty low,.. most people run at 1.025,.. You did mix salt with the new water before putting it in the tank right?

In this case I would make an attempt to do something right away,.. can you have your wife start mixing up some salt water so it's ready when you get home?

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Old 06-13-2008, 10:01 AM   #10
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Oh,.. One other thing,... Don't raise it up too fast. Rapid salinity changes are really hard on inverts (hermet crabs, snails, shrimp) and can kill them.

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Old 06-13-2008, 10:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
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That is really pretty low,.. most people run at 1.025,.. You did mix salt with the new water before putting it in the tank right?

In this case I would make an attempt to do something right away,.. can you have your wife start mixing up some salt water so it's ready when you get home?

Whiskey

Well the night before last it was at 1.022 and some change but I did not think that the water change would make that big of a difference. The tank is at 76 deg when she tested it so i know from the past the reading is pretty accurate.

Ill have her mix some stuff up and have it ready to go. Thanks for the info.
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Old 06-13-2008, 10:17 AM   #12
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Well the night before last it was at 1.022 and some change but I did not think that the water change would make that big of a difference. The tank is at 76 deg when she tested it so i know from the past the reading is pretty accurate.

Ill have her mix some stuff up and have it ready to go. Thanks for the info.
When you do a water change you need to do it with the new water being salt water (Pre-mixed with salt water 24 hours before the change). Your top-off's are just regular Distalled water though because salt does not evaporate.

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Old 06-13-2008, 11:20 AM   #13
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1.022 SG @ 76oF=~ 30 PPT salts, and that is on the low side of NSW (which is 35 PPT or SG of 1.026 @80oF), a SG of 1.014 is ~ 19 PPT @ 80oF, and as a dilution end value represents about a 36% decrease n salinity, are you sure the salt was in your water change??? If so, with that big a percentage change, I would be very suspect of your measurement device, and consider getting a refractometer to measure your salinity from this point forward. I am more concerned that the water change was probably made without salt, as the reaction of your inverts reflects this (a sudden change in the osmolarity of the water column resulting in specimen losses).

When making a seawater change of the tank water, you'll need to mix the distilled water or RO/DI with your salt mix (always add the salt to the water when mixing up ASW) and use a powerhead to mix it a minimum of 4 to 6 hours depending on the brand, and use a heater in the ASW that you've made to bring it up to tank temp if you're making a large (>10%) water change. You only use plain water (distilled or RO/DI to remove trace elements and mineral content) to replace your evaporative losses that occur each day and to mix your Artificial SeaWater. When the water evaporates from the tank, it evaporates as pure water and leaves the salt content behind. This gradually drives up the concentration of the salt in the remaining water (now with less volume) so that the salinity and specific gravity (SG) of the remaining solution both climb. To maintain the salinity at a constant value (to Keep the salt concentration consistent), we must add a volume of pure water equal to the amount that has evaporated. We can do this if we know the original volume of the total system. In sump systems, we mark the original level in the sump of the entire system while all return pumps are running then "top-off" with fresh water (pure distilled or RO/DI) on a periodic basis to bring the water level in the sump back up to that level. The longer the interval is between top-offs, the wider the swing in salinity will be. The ideal means of topping-off is to have an electric float switch that turns on a pump in a Fresh Water (FW) reservoir whenever the level in the sump drops below our predetermined "full" level at 35 PPT salinity. This keeps salinity at a nearly constant value throughout the day by adding small amounts of top-off water all day long. In systems that do not have sumps, it is just a matter of putting a tape mark on the side of the tank and keeping the level there by small additions of pure water during the day. Many different means and mechanisms of doing both types of systems, including some auto-top-off device for tank-only systems as well, those listed here are just two of many.

I am relatively sure that the water change occurred without any salt as the numbers for a dilution of this magnitude work out for the results you now have. This is an easy-to-make mistake, but unfortunately for you, one that can end up being quite costly in terms of loss of specimen life. As a precaution, before performing ANY water changes, it would be smart to do both a salinity and a water temp check to make sure you're close to both parameters. pH is not usually an issue with ASW changes that have been circulated for 4 to 6 hours, as the buffer establishes a normal pH for the water column, and the tank itself will have a well-developed pH and buffer-buffer system based on how long the photoperiod has been on: both solutions will find a gradual median during the day anyway as pCO2 comes to an average value (pCO2 drives the actual pH of the solution, buffer content tends to keep it from making too wide a swing too rapidly during the day).


Sorry to hear about this, but think of it as a learning experience, and use your new-found experience to prevent similar mistakes when you have many years and dollars invested in your system in the future...


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Old 06-13-2008, 05:45 PM   #14
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.....I am relatively sure that the water change occurred without any salt as the numbers for a dilution of this magnitude work out for the results you now have. ...
Yea it was a stupid mistake. I added salt but for some reason I used 1/8 cup scoops instead of the 1/4 cup. I went to get the bucket and saw the measure cup in it and sure enough it was the wrong one. Thanks for all the great info, it is much appreciated.

I have slowly been adding water over the last 3 hours and it is up to 1.019. I am going to give it about 20 minutes and check it again. I lost 1 crab and a snail but the other crabs had no problem eating them and in fact they were feasting over thier dead comrads.
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Old 06-13-2008, 06:58 PM   #15
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Just checked it again and it is at 1.022.

I think I am going to leave it alone for the night or check it about 11 or so and see how its going.
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