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Michael M asked in PetsFish · 1 decade ago

55 gallon saltwater set up, Is unchlorinated tap water okay?

I just set up a 55 gal saltwater tank with 50 lbs of live rock and sand and crushed coral bottom. I added the salt to unchlorinated tap water, as it said on the bag, and then heard that this is not okay. Someone told me I have to used distilled water. Any suggestions?

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    You can absolutely use dechlorinated tap water. Many saltwater hobbyists do this for FOWLR tanks and see no health or appearance issues resulting.

    If, however, you are entertaining the notion of getting in corals or if you find that despite carefully planning and stocking you have algae related issues, you may wish to consider ROdI or just dI water.

    Since somebody out there is rather enamored with the thumbs down button for my recent posts, CP Brightwell has the following to say about reverse osmosis filtration in his book, MARINE CHEMISTRY.

    -----"Reverse osmosis (RO), also known as hyper filtration (HF), is the process of forcing source water through a semi-permeable membrane (essentially, a tightly wound sheet of material with very tiny perforations), removing dissolved and particulate substances that are physically larger than the diameter of the pours and/or are electrochemically rejected by the membrance material."

    He goes on to describe the benefits of particular interest to reef hobbyists including the removal of silica and, when used in conjunction with pre-filter cartridges, large particulate substances (such as oxidized metals), pesticides, dissolved organic material, and chlorine.

    Anywho, what this means for reef keepers is that, when well maintained with membranes that are changed on appropriate basis when the TDS (total dissolved solids) creep up in the output water, greatly cuts back on both the things that feed nuisance algaes and compounds that are detrimental to coral health.

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  • 4 years ago

    Get a book on saltwater aquariums. Not just for setting up but to use as a reference when things go wrong. I have three saltwater tanks. The one that does the best has a refugium (overflow filtration tank) and a uv filter. Get the sand in and the water straight (ph balance, salinity) before adding live rock. Let the tank run with good water, the rocks, and sand for at least a month before you start adding fish and corals. The last tank we got was a 55 gallon which is bigger than the other two and we didn't consider that when giving it time to mature and put stuff in too soon. We are still fighting an algae problem 10 months later. Also make sure you buy decent light fixtures and bulbs. The one thing to always remember is that you can't fix water quality with chemicals like you can with freshwater so it's best to have good quality saltwater going for a while before you introduce living things. Also a book can help you make a decision about what fish/corals to get and what not to mix together. Some fish will destroy your coral and some fish do best when paired with other fish or corals. Saltwater aquariums are an expensive hobby you will kill things and it needs more attention than a freshwater tank.

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  • Ghapy
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Distilled water means starting with the purest source possible and is the best option as long as you add everything the fish and water needs to be healthy and stable - not just salt.

    But millions of people use treated tap water without a problem, and is by no means 'not ok'. It's actually is closer to what we want in the end then distilled water is before the additions.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Deepnds on the quality of your tap water.

    If the tap water has high nitrate, phosphate and other elements then you will end up with contaminated seawater.

    If your tap water is fairly pure then it will generally be OK.

    Distilled or RO filtered water will give you the best possible seawater as it's pure and you mix in the exact chemicals needed to make sea water.

    Best that you test your tap water and decide if it's safe to use.


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  • jopa
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    55 gallon is expensive enough to justify buying a reverse osmosis machine at minimum. tap water will lead to head aches too easily. avoid distilled water if you ever want to keep inverts (which includes coral) because commercially distilled water is collected in copper containers and copper kills marine inverts

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