Can we use distilled water to top off? Is it safe? Can we use for water changes?

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by Dlaria, 7 Aug 2011.

  1. Dlaria

    Dlaria

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    Can we use distilled water to top off? Is it safe? Can we use for water changes, if we add salt as needed?
     
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  3. Bluemotion

    Bluemotion

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    I would not recomend the use of of distilled water, most
    distillation units use copper
    pipes. So unless you know that no copper pipes were used in the distalation process then do not use it. Copper is very toxic for marine animals.
     
    Last edited: 7 Aug 2011
  4. Dlaria

    Dlaria Thread Starter

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    Thanks, guess I'll have to keep driving across town to the LFS. Can I use tap if I treat it and let it sit a couple of days?
     
  5. Bluemotion

    Bluemotion

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    If you are able to get a RO filter then that would be the best option. One never knows what is in the tap water which you are recieving. You can get it tested, usually tap water contains substances that you do not want in your tank, eg copper and iron and other things like nitrites, nitrates and phosphates ect. Even when you get the water tested and all seems good you still do not have any controal when things at the water plant go wrong and mess up the water chemestry. As I said RO water would be better. I buy it from a store near me for 80c a liter.
     
  6. Dlaria

    Dlaria Thread Starter

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    Oh! We have a massive RO system at work! I'll just bring some home now and then!
     
  7. Tony

    Tony

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    Why dont you buy one for yourself at home?
     
  8. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Is it one for human consumption. Does it have the fifth chamber on it that replaces some chemicals. If yes, not a good idea.
     
  9. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Riaan, do you know if anyone has actually tested what is put back? If it is calcium and magnesium, as would be the case when the "element" of the last stage contain dolomite, or just a good quality activated carbon, then it would actually be beneficial... I don't know, and to be safe I have also been doing as you're recommending (bypassing the last stage), but would be interested to know if this is REALLY necessary.

    Hennie
     
  10. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    I also do not know. maybe @The Waterboy - Marco ?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  11. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    I would have thought that by now the clever people making these units would have though of providing a dual purpose unit. One where there is a outlet before the last chamber that replaces some minerals. For the tanks RO water. And another human outlet, going into the storage container for household use. What is the change needed on a household unit, just an extra T piece and valve before last chamber. Should not be that difficult to do it.
     
  12. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    It's not... that is what I've done with my "kitchen" RO unit, which also slowly fills a 200 litre "standby" container in the garage for possible use in my tank. That does not, however, answer the question on whether the "minerals" added by that last stage is in fact good or bad for our tanks :whistling:

    Hennie
     
  13. Relborg

    Relborg

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    Isn't distilled water the same as boiled water?
    If so how can that be bad for our tanks?

    just asking
     
  14. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    distilled water is made by boiling water and collecting the is collect (via condensation). If done correctly, this will remove almost all impurites.
     
  15. Dlaria

    Dlaria Thread Starter

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    Wonder if I can get a bottle of distilled and have the lfs test it. Do they have kits for testing copper, etc?
     
  16. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Copper is deadly to our tank inhabitants at levels FAR below that which can be detected by your average LFS. Also, even if the level of the distilled water is far below the toxic level, copper can build up over time (it does not evaporate...) until it reaches a toxic level - then one day your corals just start doing badly and you won't even know why...

    I would not take that chance.

    Hennie
     
  17. Dlaria

    Dlaria Thread Starter

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    If I ended up getting copper in there, how do you get it out? (Just tested tank and got 0, but I don't want to kill my tank down the road.)
     
  18. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    There is a chemical product that can bind with copper to remove it, but I cannot remember the name at the moment - perhaps someone else can help out...

    One of the problems with copper is that it binds with our live rock and/or sand, and it can remain bound (i.e. not toxic) for years, only to be released back into the water if the pH drops.

    I once helped a fellow reefer to purge his live rock from copper by placing the rock into pure RO water, with some vinegar added. This of course killed off all the life on/in the live rock, but after some repeat treatments (5 times, at one week per treatment, if I remember correctly) the copper still bound in the rock was diluted to such an extent that we could not detect it any more (at a pH of around 4), after which we declared the rock to be safe. He then re-cycled his tank, and ran it for some years before selling everything to a fellow MASA member, who (to my knowledge) has been running the same tank and rock for 3-4 years since, without any problems.

    Hennie
     
    Last edited: 7 Aug 2011
  19. Dlaria

    Dlaria Thread Starter

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    I'm just going to have to be careful and not get it in there in the first place.
     
  20. Louis Scheepers

    Louis Scheepers

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    According to my RO instruction book, the fifth stage is (spelling as in book...) :

    "In-line granular active carbon post Filter = This continue for removal of
    taste and oder".


    Although my 5th stage is bypassed for the marine part of my water, I don't think it will be an issue!
     
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