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Discussion Starter #1
I have always been loyal to Seachem Prime for all my top off water. Recently realized I have been using it incorrectly for years...I would dose my tanks immediately after doing a water change. Problem is that Prime eats up metals so my iron dosing was probably very inefficient. Up until recently I have had really good tap water, moved to Florida and you can forget about it. I started using distilled water from Walmart and it worked fine, used it for a year until I noticed a shrimp in my pico tank go crazy when I did top offs. It finally hit me that distilled water is acidic, so I switched over to Walmart spring water which has a much higher pH. It comes from a crystal spring within FL so I am getting some natural trace elements, it is processed with a micron filter, a UV light and ozone. Is there any need to continue using Prime if I am only using spring water? Only thing is I do run my water for a long time on top offs before doing a water change due to my heavy plant load and light feeding practices, so the only thing I really have to watch is my TDS...which I will be honest, I dont. I only keep enough clean up crew to break even with the growth rate of algae so that I do not have to feed them regularly, and I am strict with proper fish feeding. I use Purigen as well, so cosmetically there is no reason to change the water either. When I vac every 6-8 weeks it lowers the TDS a bit I would assume.
 

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Distilled water is slightly acidic from dissolved CO2, but it has no buffering capacity (i.e., KH=0). Adding distilled water to your tank will have no effect on pH.

I'd be willing to bet that the bottled spring water from Walmart is identical to your tap water--it may actually be your tap water that has been filtered and ozonated, with no guarantee of dechlorination (and at a much higher price). I would use your tap water and a dechlorinator.
 

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Don’t use ozone treated water unless you let it set out for few hours in a open bucket stirring it a few times. It’s ozone concentration can be very, very high. Also don’t add anything to water till after it’s set out and equalized, ozone will oxidize anything anything you dump in water.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited by Moderator)
Distilled water is slightly acidic from dissolved CO2, but it has no buffering capacity (i.e., KH=0). Adding distilled water to your tank will have no effect on pH.

I'd be willing to bet that the bottled spring water from Walmart is identical to your tap water--it may actually be your tap water that has been filtered and ozonated, with no guarantee of dechlorination (and at a much higher price). I would use your tap water and a dechlorinator.
Well they have different sources, what you are referring to is labeled as "purified drinking water" where "spring water" comes directly from an identified spring. I have tested the water from Walmart and distilled pH comes in between 5-6. The spring water pH is 7.4-7.6 so that is a big difference in acidity.

Don’t use ozone treated water unless you let it set out for few hours in a open bucket stirring it a few times. It’s ozone concentration can be very, very high. Also don’t add anything to water till after it’s set out and equalized, ozone will oxidize anything anything you dump in water.
Interesting, now I am not sure what I should do to be honest. The tap water is extremely hard I have tried testing it and the API tube literally never changed color, I think I stopped at 20 drops. The spring water is around 80ppm GH and 30ppm KH, where tap water is 250+ppm GH and 50-75ppm KH. I will admit the KH is too low for me so I would love the tap waters KH...but the way I run my tanks so long between water changes may be an issue if I continue to top it off with tap water.

While we are on this subject I was actually just at the biggest fish store in Tampa FL talking to the guys there about raising my KH without disturbing other parimeters. You would think there would be a product on the shelf like liquid calcium or something, but Seachem Alkaline Buffer also raises the pH so I would have to start with distilled water. Then I would be looking at needing a trace element supplement, and possibly Reef Builder KH alkalinity buffer. We discussed crushed coral but that would take way too long to dissolve at a higher pH.
 

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Interesting, now I am not sure what I should do to be honest. The tap water is extremely hard I have tried testing it and the API tube literally never changed color, I think I stopped at 20 drops. The spring water is around 80ppm GH and 30ppm KH, where tap water is 250+ppm GH and 50-75ppm KH. I will admit the KH is too low for me so I would love the tap waters KH...but the way I run my tanks so long between water changes may be an issue if I continue to top it off with tap water.
I think your API test kit is off, as the city of Tampa reported November 2019 tap water hardness at 187 mg/l (=10.9 GH). https://www.tampagov.net/metrics/water/total-hardness
 

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Originally Posted by Mark Fisher View Post
Distilled water is slightly acidic from dissolved CO2, but it has no buffering capacity (i.e., KH=0). Adding distilled water to your tank will have no effect on pH.

I'd be willing to bet that the bottled spring water from Walmart is identical to your tap water--it may actually be your tap water that has been filtered and ozonated, with no guarantee of dechlorination (and at a much higher price). I would use your tap water and a dechlorinator.


Well they have different sources, what you are referring to is labeled as "purified drinking water" where "spring water" comes directly from an identified spring. I have tested the water from Walmart and distilled pH comes in between 5-6. The spring water pH is 7.4-7.6 so that is a big difference in acidity.
In the USA there is not law regarding bottled water labels. Labs have found some bottled water in the US labeled spring water was actually filtered tap or well water.. Americans doing 8.6 billion gallons of bottled water a year.America must be covered in springs! Not likely. The logical answer is that most bottled water is simply filtered well or tap water. Just this year a lawsuit was filed against Nestle the owner of Portland Spring water was sued. Apparently the spring is nothing more than a well owned by Nestle:



Apparently there only named "Portland Spring" in the US it is in main and it dried up 50 years ago. The FDA dose regulate bottled water but they are mainly concerned about safety. Not the claimed source of theater.

Problem is that Prime eats up metals so my iron dosing was probably very inefficient.
You are asking it affected your iron without any proof that it did. Furthermore Prime doesn't acually remove anything from the water. It binds with Chlorinde to make a harmless chloride salt. I binds with ammonia to make a harmless ammonia salt. Both remain in the water and are still available for plants. Also you are also assuming ozone will have no effect on the minerals in your bottled water.

Many people on this site use prime and some even test for iron in there tanks.If prime had a bad effect on iron someone should have noticed by now in there testing. However we do know that high PH can cause problems with iron DTPA and iron EDTA. Also Iron gluconate can be strongly impacted by bacterial consumption of the gluconate molecule so it does require more frequent dosing than the EDTA and EDTA versions. I wouldn't worry about your iron unless you see deficiency symptoms of it.

I would recommend you try slowly reducing he Prime dose and look for evidence of harm. If you see such evidence return to the normal dose. If everything looks good keep reducing it until you get to zero.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
In the USA there is not law regarding bottled water labels. Labs have found some bottled water in the US labeled spring water was actually filtered tap or well water.. Americans doing 8.6 billion gallons of bottled water a year.America must be covered in springs! Not likely. The logical answer is that most bottled water is simply filtered well or tap water. Just this year a lawsuit was filed against Nestle the owner of Portland Spring water was sued. Apparently the spring is nothing more than a well owned by Nestle:



Apparently there only named "Portland Spring" in the US it is in main and it dried up 50 years ago. The FDA dose regulate bottled water but they are mainly concerned about safety. Not the claimed source of theater.



You are asking it affected your iron without any proof that it did. Furthermore Prime doesn't acually remove anything from the water. It binds with Chlorinde to make a harmless chloride salt. I binds with ammonia to make a harmless ammonia salt. Both remain in the water and are still available for plants. Also you are also assuming ozone will have no effect on the minerals in your bottled water.

Many people on this site use prime and some even test for iron in there tanks.If prime had a bad effect on iron someone should have noticed by now in there testing. However we do know that high PH can cause problems with iron DTPA and iron EDTA. Also Iron gluconate can be strongly impacted by bacterial consumption of the gluconate molecule so it does require more frequent dosing than the EDTA and EDTA versions. I wouldn't worry about your iron unless you see deficiency symptoms of it.

I would recommend you try slowly reducing he Prime dose and look for evidence of harm. If you see such evidence return to the normal dose. If everything looks good keep reducing it until you get to zero.
Poland Spring you mean? In Maine? I lived an hour away, and then moved to FL which is full of springs. There are so many springs in FL that I swim in some, crystal clear water sometimes with a blue tint. I have personally been to a dozen springs of different sizes within an hour of each other since moving to FL. Probably more likely to get true spring water down here.

I am not saying Prime removes iron, I am saying it locks it up rendering it unusable to plants. Pretty sure iron will still show up on a test, but that does not mean it is available to the plants. What signs should I look for when reducing Prime dosage?
 

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What signs should I look for when reducing Prime dosage?
My guess would be distressed fish and or dying fish. Or any change in the aquarium that doesn't look good.

Poland Spring you mean? In Maine? I lived an hour away, and then moved to FL which is full of springs. There are so many springs in FL that I swim in some, crystal clear water sometimes with a blue tint. I have personally been to a dozen springs of different sizes within an hour of each other since moving to FL. Probably more likely to get true spring water down here.
The text I read stated Portland spring in Maine. Yes there are a lot of springs in florida. The state is basically one big chunk of Limestone. The abandont rain the state receives either flows into the ocean or works its way into cave which are typically flooded. The springs in the state are frequently interconnected by these caves and the excess water works it way into the springs. Much of the tap water in the state comes form this reservoir of water.

I would guess that the tap water would be very close to the spring water with the exception of a PH adjustment to prevent water pipe corrosion and chlorine to sterilize the water. But I don't live there. Although you could do a lab test to actually see what the difference is between tap and spring water.
 

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One big thing that lots of people forget is the difference between "spring water" and the normal everyday water pumped from underground. Until the treatment is done, there is only slight difference and that is true only if the spring water is pulled off a surface place which lets contaminants like leaves and bird dropping, snails and fish change the water a bit. So it gets down to what definition is used for what "spring water " really means. To me, it is not really spring water in most bottled water as it comes from the local treatment plant or a well which taps the underground water, perhaps just before it comes to the surface. If you go to Ocala, etc. and look at true springwater with all the trash, fish, frogs, and critters living in it, you might decide that the water forty feet down is better! At least then there are no manatee or people swimming in it!
Spring water is great- at least in the minds of people who buy and sell it! Otherwise it may be full of trash if we really look closer.
Spring water is only ground water which comes to the surface by itself and at that point it becomes river water as soon as it runs away!
 

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your tap water that has been filtered and ozonated, with no guarantee of dechlorination (and at a much higher price).
Most all filtered and ozonated water is dechlorinated prior to bottling.
Activated carbon and/or sodium metabisulfide is used as a chlorine scavenger prior to RO.
For municipalities with chloramine the amount of activated carbon is heightened to more than 1 cu.ft. per 1 GPM.
Dechlorination is done prior to RO, if not membranes are ruined and are a costly investment if not used to their full potential.


Don’t use ozone treated water unless you let it set out for few hours in a open bucket stirring it a few times. It’s ozone concentration can be very, very high. Also don’t add anything to water till after it’s set out and equalized, ozone will oxidize anything anything you dump in water.
Bottled water that is ozonated cannot be put to market unless ozone has been depleted.
In truth this is a 6 hour time period before 200-400ppm of ozone shows a return of zero.
State laws prevent distribution until a 48 hour time period has been achieved.
This also allows for microbial testing that only takes 24 hours.
Thus going to market is rendered safe!
This does not even touch on the fact of liquid nitrogen injection to "stiffen" the bottles.


In the USA there is not law regarding bottled water labels.

The logical answer is that most bottled water is simply filtered well or tap water.
There are laws, federal and state regulated.
Permits must be paid for to the state to be distributed too.
The more states one ships to the more fees are required.
This does not mean they are always followed.
When not followed fines may be imposed.

Filtered well and tap water yes, large scale RO does not come @ a cheap price.
Military contracts come with even higher demands regarding THM & bromate levels.

Don't ask why I know all of this! >:)>:)>:)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I would guess that the tap water would be very close to the spring water with the exception of a PH adjustment to prevent water pipe corrosion and chlorine to sterilize the water. But I don't live there. Although you could do a lab test to actually see what the difference is between tap and spring water.
The only test I have done is GH/KH and there is definitely a big difference between bottled spring water and tap. It is well known here you do not drink the tap water, 90% of FL does not drink tap water it has a lot of sulfur in it too in some areas. The fact that the spring water is sold by Walmart and bottled locally makes me think its actual spring water....I do not think Walmart would put themselves in a position to be sued. For KH reasons I may start using distilled water with trace additives and an alkaline buffer.

One big thing that lots of people forget is the difference between "spring water" and the normal everyday water pumped from underground. Until the treatment is done, there is only slight difference and that is true only if the spring water is pulled off a surface place which lets contaminants like leaves and bird dropping, snails and fish change the water a bit. So it gets down to what definition is used for what "spring water " really means. To me, it is not really spring water in most bottled water as it comes from the local treatment plant or a well which taps the underground water, perhaps just before it comes to the surface. If you go to Ocala, etc. and look at true springwater with all the trash, fish, frogs, and critters living in it, you might decide that the water forty feet down is better! At least then there are no manatee or people swimming in it!
Spring water is great- at least in the minds of people who buy and sell it! Otherwise it may be full of trash if we really look closer.
Spring water is only ground water which comes to the surface by itself and at that point it becomes river water as soon as it runs away!
I agree, I would not drink the water from springs that accumulate in ponds but in my mind its the source before it gets there. Even if it needs to be processed at least your getting the elements and traces in it that may not exist in tap. Lots of studies have been done on water, including water memory, so at the very least the water tapped off "spring wells" at least had a chance to go through the earths natural processes rather than just drinking someones reclaimed sewage water that the local treatment center has processed. Its a skeptical topic but a lot of light is shining on the topic lately. Checkout some of Dr. Masaru Emoto's studies!
 

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I fully agree that there are things in "spring water" that may not be true of surface water as where the water comes from and where it is collected does make a difference as well as how it may be treated before delivered. What I do not agree with is the idea that spring water is always good water! The big difference is how the water comes to the surface, whether due to different layers in the earth making it come up or if it is pumped up. But eht more important factor would seem to be what it runs through before it comes up. Springs in Florida may run through lots of limestone, just as springs in Florida or Missouri do because all three are setting on large layers of limestone, but there will be a difference in all of the spring water found in each place due to all the trace elements found in differing quantities in each place. Spring water is often thought of as pure but if we look, there are also springs in the same places I mention which are totally unsafe to drink. Spring water can be anything from the super alkaline stuff which has to be fenced off to keep cattle from drinking it to the water in West St. Louis county which is radioactive and unsafe to drink. South Central Illinois has water that has so much coal and iron that one has a struggle to treat it to a level which is safe to drink and that water does come to the surface in places, so that it is spring water. There are springs along the Missouri/ Arkansas border which are too close to abandoned plants which treated wood with creosote and were listed on the "superfund" sites for cleanup decades ago. We still monitor the sites but there has been no move to clean the sites and springs in the area are fenced off to keep people from contact with the water.
So I find it is folly to just go with spring water as better water if we don't do some study on what that water really is, not just whether it comes to the surface by itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
@ PlantedRich - Side question....are you Big Rich from Ohio fish rescue? Back to the spring water, I totally agree with everything you said. Granted the source is safe beneath the surface my preference would be tapped so it is not contaminated while surfacing. I am just "assuming" that is how the majority of bottled spring water is obtained sold in stores, but that is quite ignorant of me. To keep things more consistent I am really leaning on the idea of going back to distilled water, can anyone suggest products to raise the pH of distilled water and add KH? Trace recommendations? The thing I do not understand at the moment is how KH buffer works or when it is needed? If it was needed that means I need 3 different products for distilled water, trace, buffer, and pH/KH product(s). Funny you mention superfund projects....I used to live near one where the "underground river" was contaminated from the old industries in Gardner MA. They elected to keep it underground during recent building projects rather than expose anything dangerous.
 

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@ PlantedRich - Side question....are you Big Rich from Ohio fish rescue? Back to the spring water, I totally agree with everything you said. Granted the source is safe beneath the surface my preference would be tapped so it is not contaminated while surfacing. I am just "assuming" that is how the majority of bottled spring water is obtained sold in stores, but that is quite ignorant of me. To keep things more consistent I am really leaning on the idea of going back to distilled water, can anyone suggest products to raise the pH of distilled water and add KH? Trace recommendations? The thing I do not understand at the moment is how KH buffer works or when it is needed? If it was needed that means I need 3 different products for distilled water, trace, buffer, and pH/KH product(s). Funny you mention superfund projects....I used to live near one where the "underground river" was contaminated from the old industries in Gardner MA. They elected to keep it underground during recent building projects rather than expose anything dangerous.
Not that Rich!
I'm also not too up on how to add PH/KH as I have always been on the other end of things and closer to too much than too little. Rather than fight my water, I lean toward adapting what I stock to the normal water from the tap. One solution that is cheap and easy is baking soda but I'm not into how much, etc. I'll let others chip in on that.

Superfund is another one of those political footballs that come and go. We know that there are lots of bad stuff around and there are some that have got lots of attention. I forget the name of the big one in the East. Possibly "Love Canal"? The one which got more of my attention was dioxin as it was made in the part of Southwest Missouri where I worked and then a contractor used to oil containing dioxin to pave roads in a number of towns. Times Beach, Mo. was so contaminated that they bought out the town, tore it down, hauled dirt away and cleaned to a certain level and then made a park out of the land. Theory is that if you don't spend too much time there, get too much dirt on you, etc., you "probably" won't be killed! The dirt was burned in big units to destroy the dioxin.
We have been making progress, though as the Ohio River doesn't catch fire and burn now!
 

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Superfund is another one of those political footballs that come and go. We know that there are lots of bad stuff around and there are some that have got lots of attention. I forget the name of the big one in the East. Possibly "Love Canal"? The one which got more of my attention was dioxin as it was made in the part of Southwest Missouri where I worked and then a contractor used to oil containing dioxin to pave roads in a number of towns. Times Beach, Mo. was so contaminated that they bought out the town, tore it down, hauled dirt away and cleaned to a certain level and then made a park out of the land. Theory is that if you don't spend too much time there, get too much dirt on you, etc., you "probably" won't be killed! The dirt was burned in big units to destroy the dioxin.
We have been making progress, though as the Ohio River doesn't catch fire and burn now!
I had a girlfriend that lived not far from Love Canal, in Niagara Falls. I moved there with her for about 6 months, what a dump!

Originally I am from North Central Massachusetts, and I hear stories about the rivers of Fitchburg and Leominster back in the day. There were some major paper companies in the area that used to dye paper in mass quantities. The rivers used to be the same color as the paper they were dying on any given day, so the cities were very "colorful" back in the day...I can't imagine seeing a sight like that these days unless you are in China.
 
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