The Preparation of Water for Aquariums

The Preparation of Water for Aquariums

We are often are asked about the preparation of water added to aquariums. Here is a quick primer:

How pure does the water need to be? The water you add to your aquarium needs to be pure. Very pure. Pure water has the following parameters: Ammonia = 0.0 Nitrate = 0.0 Phosphate = 0.0...

We are often are asked about the preparation of water added to aquariums. Here is a quick primer:

How pure does the water need to be?
The water you add to your aquarium needs to be pure. Very pure. Pure water has the following parameters:

• Ammonia = 0.0

• Nitrite = 0.0

• Nitrate = 0.0

• Phosphate = 0.0

What type of water should you obtain for your aquarium?

RO/DI Water 
Ideally, you will RO/DI water. We recommend using a filtration system like the Wayde King Water Filtration System (available at HomeDepot and other retailers). RO/DI water can also be purchased from local fish stores from companies like AquaticLife, BRS and Nutri•SeaWater (as seen on the TV show “TANKED”). For a reef aquarium make sure you have an RO/DI unit.



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Tap Water

Although tap water is not ideal, many people use tap water for their aquariums. Just remember, tap water has either chlorine or chloramines. Chlorine will air out if you leave you replacement water in a bucket, but chloramines will NOT air out. Tap water can also have phosphates and heavy metals that may be harmful to your sealife so we recommend not using tap water at all if possible.

TIPS FOR ADDING WATER

Water for Top Off
RO/DI Systems will remove most of the minerals in your water. If you’re just replenishing water lost to evaporation then untreated RO/DI water is perfect or the Wayde King Water Filtration Systems (as the minerals do not evaporate).

Saltwater for Filling a Tank or Water Changes

Most salt mixes used for filling tanks or for water changes are formulated for RO/DI water. You may want to test your freshly mixed salt water and add ATM’s Trust The Shark Akla-haul Marine, buffer and calcium as needed before adding to the tank. 

Freshwater for Filling a Tank or Water Changes

RO & RO/DI water for freshwater aquariums should be treated with some type of buffer before adding it to the tank. For general use, ATM’s Trust The Shark Alka-Haul Freshwater or Kent RO Right works well. For specialty tanks, we suggest looking at the offerings from Seachem and Brightwell, such as Seachem Disc Buffer, Seachem Brackish Salt, Seachem Cichlid Lake Salt and Brightwell Florin Delta KH+.

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