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Rainwater?
08-17-2012, 12:45 PM,
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writer811 Offline
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Rainwater?
My sister has this idea in her head that she's going to start using rainwater for her aquarium fish. Her reasoning is that it will be cleaner even than distilled water (Something about the plastic leaking chemicals into the water or something). Now, I don't know what kind of bacteria or whatever is in the air but is this a good idea? My sister's logic seems sound but there is always something, some factor, that gets overlooked.
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08-20-2012, 01:10 PM, (This post was last modified: 08-20-2012, 01:11 PM by Ram.)
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Ram Offline
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RE: Rainwater?
I wouldn't use rain water for aquarium. There will always be pollution in the air and the rain brings it down. In most areas, the rainwater is not cleaner than tap water in my opinion.

There is no point using distilled water either, unless she is running a saltwater aquarium or if she has the equipment to make distilled water at home. With distilled water, there is no water buffer to speak of because all the minerals had been taken out. Any change in the water can crash the PH instantly. So if you use distilled water for aquarium, you must use a water buffer product such as Seachem Equilibrium to add minerals to the water before using for aquarium.

For freshwater aquariums, the easiest way is just to use tap water with a regular aquarium water conditioner such as SeaChem Prime to get rid of chlorine.
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08-23-2012, 05:14 AM,
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writer811 Offline
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RE: Rainwater?
Thank you, Ram. That's all fine insight. I have a question for you, though. You're familiar with African clawed frogs, correct? We've been using distilled water for mine since we got him (We're approaching around three years that we've had him). Is that harming him in any way? I imagine he gets all the minerals he needs from his food but since he spends his entire life in the water, I could be wrong.
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08-24-2012, 12:58 AM,
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RE: Rainwater?
I am not familiar with African frogs since I have never owned one.

I could only guess that water PH change will not affect frogs as much as it would to a fish.

As for no mineral in the distill water, my primary concern is the crash of PH. Fish too can get minerals from fish food.
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08-24-2012, 11:41 AM,
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dashboardc33 Offline
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RE: Rainwater?
Although I am not an expert on fish, I wouldn't use rainwater in an aquarium. Rainwater has all sorts of pollution in it when it falls from the clouds. If she is concerned with BPA leaching into the water from the plastic of the distilled water, perhaps she could filter her tap water. Tap water isn't the best for fish, but maybe it is better after it is filtered.
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08-25-2012, 05:58 AM, (This post was last modified: 08-25-2012, 05:58 AM by Ram.)
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RE: Rainwater?
(08-24-2012, 11:41 AM)dashboardc33 Wrote: Although I am not an expert on fish, I wouldn't use rainwater in an aquarium. Rainwater has all sorts of pollution in it when it falls from the clouds. If she is concerned with BPA leaching into the water from the plastic of the distilled water, perhaps she could filter her tap water. Tap water isn't the best for fish, but maybe it is better after it is filtered.

Sorry, your comment about tap water is totally wrong.

Tap water is perfectly fine for aquarium use.

Tap water is cleaner than river and lake water. It does not need to be filtered. The only problem with tap water is the added chlorine during processing at the water plants can actually kill the fish and beneficial bacteria in the filter system. It is easy to fix. All we need is to use an aquarium water conditioner to get rid of chlorine in the tap water and then it's all set. A few drops in a bucket of tap water can make it ready for fish.

The only other rare case about problematic tap water is when it has excessive nitrate or ammonia in it, which doesn't happen often so I call it "rare case". Such problems can't be solved by "filtering". Since nitrate and ammonia are dissolved in the water.
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08-27-2012, 10:30 AM,
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writer811 Offline
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RE: Rainwater?
Just out of curiousity, Ram, is there any way to treat water with high levels of ammonia or nitrate and make it safe for aquarium fish? Perhaps a special kind of conditioner like the one used to treat water with high chlorine (Conditioning is different from filtering, correct?)?
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