Can Filtered Drinking Water Be Used in Fish Aquariums?

Can Filtered Drinking Water Be Used in a Fish Aquarium?

Definitely! Filtered drinking water can safely be used in freshwater, marine, and reef aquarium systems. For a freshwater aquarium setup, It will save you from having to add dechlorination drops to the water, it also ensures other heavy metals have been removed from the water before you add it to the tank.

However, some filters like RO Water Filters remove all the minerals, leaving no Total Dissolved Solids (TDS). Because of this, you should look to add back some of the lost good minerals to the water in order for your fish to live. The easiest way to do this is to make sure you are using a water filter that has a remineralizing stage, such as the Home Master TMHP Hydroperfection

We will cover why you need to do this a little later, But in short, the reason for this is just like humans, fish need a certain level of minerals to survive, and their natural habitat would be quite high in dissolved minerals.

If you are using a saltwater aquarium setup, starting with pure filtered water makes it a lot easier to get the right salt balance before adding it to the tank because you know exactly how much sea salt to add per gallon.

Which is Better for a Fish Tank, Filtered Drinking Water or Distilled Water?

Often people get confused by the terms filtered water, and distilled water. And although similar they are actually quite different.

A water distiller removes impurities by boiling the water and condensing the vapor. Essentially distilled water is made by a process that mimics natural events of evaporation, condensation, and precipitation (rain).

Filtered drinking water is typically produced by an activated carbon filter or other similar devices to remove particulate matter, bacteria, and chemicals like chlorine.

Either Filtered drinking water or distilled water can be used in fish tanks. Clean pollutant-free water is the best way to ensure that your fish will stay healthy and happy.

Most people choose to use filtered water purely because of convenience. Distilling water is a very slow process so distilling enough water at home to fill an entire fish tank, even a small one, would take days. Meaning the only viable option is to buy gallons of distilled water.

In contrast, a plumbed-in water filter will produce gallons of water per hour, I connect a small silicone hose direct to the outlet and fil direct from the faucet, no mess, and no heavy containers of water to carry.

Why Should You Use Filtered Drinking Water in an Aquarium?

Fish absorb water through their gills and the gills filter oxygen directly into the fish’s bloodstream. The water from your tap will contain a whole bunch of chemicals that are “safe” for humans to drink, but they will kill most fish.

Using filtered drinking water in an aquarium will reduce the amount of chlorine and chloramines to undetectable levels, making it safe for your fish.

Fish should not be exposed to chlorine in their water. In addition to removing the chlorine, filtering the water with a filter also removes any other substances that may harm the fish, removing harmful chemicals, bacteria, microplastics, and other non-biological pollutants from the water. Fresh clean water will increase the lifespan of fish in an aquarium.

Using filtered water also helps keep a low ph in aquariums.

Can You use Spring Water in an Aquarium?

Yes, you can use bottled spring water to fill or top up an aquarium. Because spring water is usually just purified water that is rich in minerals. So if you notice your fish’s water getting a bit low and you have a bottle of spring water handy, absolutely go ahead and top up the tank with it. But don’t go out and buy spring water just for this purpose, unless you really love your fish and want them to swim in nothing but the best crystal clear waters from a spring high up in the mountains of Fiji.

What are the Different Types of Filtered Water Suitable for Aquariums?

Reverse Osmosis Systems Suitable for Aquariums

Reverse Osmosis is the best purification method for making the water extremely clean and pure. Contaminants such as fluoride, chlorine, chloramines, nitrates, phosphates, and heavy metals are removed from tap water by reverse osmosis.q

This means that all RO water filters are perfectly safe to use with your fish aquarium.

Carbon Block Filters

If you don’t have the budget for an RO system you could also use a carbon filter system that removes chlorine and Flouride. It will really come down to your budget, are you wanting to spend only a few dollars, then you could even get by using a Brita Filter, or even a Big Berky Filter these are a good option if you are only topping up your tank due to small amounts of evaporation.

Drinking-Water Filters not Suitable for Aquariums

Filters that you absolutely should never use are the type that are promoted as “Energized water” Or “Alkalizing water filters” such as Kangen filters. Alkaline water may (or may not) have health benefits for humans when they drink it. But if you use alkaline water in your fish tank you will likely kill your fish.

Why do Fish Need Mineralized Water in their Aquariums?

Fish need minerals in their diet to thrive, however unlike air and land-based animals, fish can absorb minerals from the water they live in. Keeping some minerals in your fish tank water will allow the animals to thrive and live healthy lives.

If you think about it in nature the water fish live in has been filtered through sand and rocks, flowed down streams and picked up many minerals along the way, so using water rich in good minerals is going to be similar to the natural environment of the fish.

It is recommended that you use distilled or filtered water for your fish tank. Then you can add measured amounts of essential minerals to the water, this will ensure that your water is stable and regulated. Of course, if you use a filter that has a remineralizing stage it will do all the hard work for you.

Topping Up Your Aquarium with Pure 99.99% TDS Free Water is Best

If your aquarium suffers from a lot of natural evaporation then you should be using either distilled or filtered water to top up. Because as water evaporates it leaves behind dissolved minerals and dissolved fish waste. Minerals and salts will quickly build up in your aquarium if you regularly top up the tank with unfiltered water.

It is also a good idea to remove 50% of the water every time you top up your fish’s water too this will help avoid toxic nasties building up in the water.

Are There any Disadvantages of Using Distilled or Filtered Water in a fish Aquarium?

There are not really any disadvantages to using filtered water to fill or top up your fish tanks. The only real downside is the cost. If you are going to buy distilled water the cost adds up over time and you are also wasting a lot of plastic bottles, which is not good for the environment.

The downside to using filtered water is if you do not already have an RO filter installed you will need to purchase one, and they can cost upwards of a few hundred dollars, plus you will need to replace the filters periodically too.

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