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Can You Put Bottled Water in a Fish Tank?

Scott Winfield
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by Scott Winfield

Find out if you can use bottled water in a fish tank. The pros, cons, and important things to know if you decide to do so.

Healthy fish swim in fish tanks where the water quality is optimal to promote overall health. Yes, you can use bottled water in a fish tank, but do so with caution. Plus, there are a few things that you should know about fish tank water quality before you do this.

Is Bottled Water Safe For Fish?

Is Bottled Water Safe For Fish
Is Bottled Water Safe For Fish?

Yes, bottled water is safe for the fish in an aquarium. There are some important facts you should know before you add any bottled water to your tank if you want to keep your tank’s inhabitants healthy.

Water parameters are crucial to the care and overall health of the fish that swim in your living room aquarium. Depending on the tank you keep, parameters will fall within a specific range of values.

The basic parameters to be tested are pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. You should always test your tank and any water you want to add to it before doing so.

You don’t want to shock your fish with fluctuating parameters.

Testing the parameters of your tank is also the easiest thing you can do to make sure your tank thrives. Test kits for these parameters are at a fish or pet store or online.

Another thing to be aware of is the nitrogen cycle, which establishes good bacteria in the tank to help it stay clean. It can also be a fish killer if ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate levels creep too high within a tank.

This is another reason to make sure you know how to test for parameters to keep your water quality high. Water quality is the key to having healthy fish in your tank.

When you start to keep fish, you must research the type of fish you’re raising, optimum tank conditions for each species, and what you need to do to keep your tank happy and thriving.

Types of Bottled Water

There are three types of bottled water, purified, filtered, and spring water. Each water type leads to different results in your tank.

You should also test the water before simply pouring it into a tank.

Distilled water can also be used and is often a safer choice. Using bottled water can get expensive, though.

You should only use bottled water in a fish tank in an emergency due to the tendency for parameters to be different for every bottle.

Can You Use Purified Water in a Fish Tank?

Yes, and purified water is recommended by expert aquarists. Using water purified through an RO/DI filter is almost always the type of filtered water suggested for use.

RO/DI stands for reverse osmosis/deionized water. This water travels through an RO filter and then through a DI system before use.

Deionization will filter out most contaminants and the reverse osmosis process forces water through a semipermeable membrane to remove any contaminants left.

This type of filter system is often chosen for fish tank keeping due to its ease of use and simple maintenance. It also will remove a large percentage of the water’s contaminants.

The Cost can be a deterrent to RO/DI water. It requires a specialty filter installation and there is maintenance involved. The type of system can get expensive, though there are a few that are on the cheaper side.

Another alternative to purchasing a filter is to find out if there is a local fish store or pet store in your area where RO or RO/DI water is sold. It may seem like a hassle, but usually, this water is the best you can get.

Can You Put Tap Water in a Fish Tank?

Can You Put Tap Water in a Fish Tank
Can You Put Tap Water in a Fish Tank?

You can put tap water into a fish tank, but certain considerations need to be taken before you do. Its ease of access and seemingly endless flow can make this a good choice for most.

Testing the Water

The quality of tap water is going to vary from place to place. You should always check your tap water’s parameters to understand what is going into your fish tank.

Always test the fish tank before you add water to it as well. This is for the health of the fish as you want to avoid shocking them, which may lead to fish loss at the worst and an unbalanced tank at best.

Always Treat Water

Another important thing to understand about using tap water is that it must be treated before going into the tank. And considering that it will affect fish health, make sure to follow the instructions on whatever products you choose carefully.

You will need to dechlorinate the tap water. Chlorine is added to prevent bacterial growth, but this will kill the good bacteria that need to be in your tanks so make sure that this is a priority.

Any place selling fish should have a product to do this readily available, and the employees working there can assist you in learning how to treat your water. If you choose to buy online, there are plenty of resources on the internet that can help.

What Kind of Water is Best for a Fish Tank?

This will depend on the type of fish tank you choose to keep. Generally, purified or filtered water is recommended for a tank.

And by this, we mean RO/DI purified and filtered. If this is the route you choose, always take the time to add back the minerals that were stripped by the filter.

This is especially important in a saltwater reef tank as the coral will not grow without trace minerals present.

Most people with fish tanks do not have anything quite as elaborate as a saltwater reef tank, and for the average at-home aquarist, tap water may be the best choice for them.

With many factors in its favor, tap water can be the way to go. It is readily available, has a killer price point, and it is easy to use, as long as it is treated and tested.

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Scott Winfield
Scott Winfield
My name is Scott Winfield and researching and writing about water filters and other strategies to purify water has become my full time passion in recent years. I'm glad that you found our site and you can look forward to authoritative and well researched content here to help you get the best in water.
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