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  1. #1
    Tropicok
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    Default Water: Distilled vs purified vs everything else

    The supermarket was out of distilled water so I bought a gallon of purified water. What is the difference between the two? And would water from one of the store-bought filtered refrigerator water jugs be as good as distilled?

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    100+ Post Member 1beataway's Avatar
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    Default re: Water: Distilled vs purified vs everything else

    I was under the impression that distilled wasn't the best to use. Am I wrong? I was told spring water was good. I have no idea about purified.

  3. #3
    Kurt
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    Default re: Water: Distilled vs purified vs everything else

    Distilled water is good for misting because it leaves no mineral deposits on the sides of an enclosure. However, thats all its good for. It should not be used for your frog's main water source. Its just to clean.

    I can only guess that purified water is just filtered water. Not 100% sure, its just a guess. Dechlorinated tap water is just fine.

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    100+ Post Member 1beataway's Avatar
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    Default re: Water: Distilled vs purified vs everything else

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt View Post
    Distilled water is good for misting because it leaves no mineral deposits on the sides of an enclosure.
    Is this true?! Kurt, you might be my new hero!

  6. #5
    Kurt
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    Default re: Water: Distilled vs purified vs everything else

    Its true. Nothing but distilled goes into my spray bottle.

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    100+ Post Member 1beataway's Avatar
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    Default re: Water: Distilled vs purified vs everything else

    Do you have any idea how hard I scrub the sides of my tank each time I clean? And it still looks dirty! This is good to know. Of course, with the WTF's, the glass gets very dirty regardless. But this will help!

    Can I call you Achilles?

  9. #7
    guilletto
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    Default Re: Water: Distilled vs purified vs everything else

    But if frogs drink from the rain drops, distilled water is not good . Am i Wrong?
    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt View Post
    Distilled water is good for misting because it leaves no mineral deposits on the sides of an enclosure. However, thats all its good for. It should not be used for your frog's main water source. Its just to clean.

    I can only guess that purified water is just filtered water. Not 100% sure, its just a guess. Dechlorinated tap water is just fine.

  10. #8
    paul3col
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    Default Re: Water: Distilled vs purified vs everything else

    I'm using mineral water and he seems ok but spring would be a the ideal choice.

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    Moderator Mentat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Water: Distilled vs purified vs everything else

    See some confusion here on thread due to all the commercial names on human's bottled water and de-chlorinators/conditioners so will try to resume. Please be aware that water names might mean different things across nation lines.

    Water

    Tap - de-clorinate and use for bath water or water section. Chloramines (present treatment at water plants) are more stable and will not leave water by aerating for 48 hours like with plain chlorine!

    Boiled Tap - same as tap with little to no oxygen. Still need to de-chlorinate.

    Filtered (bottled or home filter) - depends on filter medium (some are carbon based others are mineral based). Similar to tap and should be de-chlorinate the same way. Some minerals might be removed by filtration.

    Mineral - water filtered by mineral medium (see filtered).

    Distilled - use only for spraying enclosure (leaves no spots on glass). Do not use for frog bath!

    Reverse Osmosis (RO) - leave this for saltwater tanks, do not use on frogs bath!

    De-ionized water - de-mineralized water, do not use on frogs bath!

    Other processes like micro-filtration, ultraviolet oxidation, electrodialysis, etc.; do not use on frogs!

    Water Treatments

    De-chlorinators remove chlorine and not more. Conditioners can add capability to remove heavy metals and even Nitrates from water. Some conditioners have chemical additives to interact with a fish slime coat. Recommend stay with de-chorinators or conditioners that do not add anything to your frog bath.

    I've used Seachem's Prime in the past and now use Seachem's Vitro (saltwater line) "Alpha" because it's more concentrated and cheaper in the long run (also removes Ammonia and detoxifies Nitrites & Nitrate from tap which are present at my location). Any product labeled as safe for frogs is probably good!

    There are new products in market labeled as all natural de-chlorinators based in vitamin C . I bought one online (SuperBac All Natural Dechlorinator) and tried it with my fish. The cichlids were very stressed after a normal 25% water change. Did some analysis and the product was removing chlorine, but something was not right and I do not mess around with my pets. Contacted manufacturer by email and described my experience; but the lab technicians never answered. So I dumped the whole 16 ounces down the toilet. After my experience can't recommend those vitamin C based products. Good luck !
    Remember to take care of the enclosure and it will take care of your frog !​

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    Founder John's Avatar
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    Default re: Water: Distilled vs purified vs everything else

    A guide to the various waters:

    Distilled Water is water that has been boiled to evaporation (steam) and then condensed back into water. This process is usually carried out a few times (evaporate and condense and then evaporate and condense again). By evaporating the water you leave any impurities (100% of salts, heavy metals, other nasties) behind and what you end up with is 100% H2O. This is the purest water you can acquire. Distilled water is good for misting terrariums because it won't leave a mark on the glass when it evaporates (the marks left on the glass by other waters are caused by dissolved salts, which are not present in distilled water). If you want to use distilled water in aquariums or frog water bowls, etc, you need to replace the lost minerals in it by using a salts mix (such as Holtfreter's - an exact recipe for a mixture of a few mineral salts) or by using a commercial product like R/O-rite or Electro-rite, both intended for Reverse Osmosis water but equally suitable for distilled water.

    Reverse Osmosis Water (R/O) is not as pure as distilled water but pretty close - reverse osmosis basically filters out anything dissolved in the water. People buy reverse osmosis systems at aquarium stores so they can make up water with precise water chemistry for applications like salt water aquariums or dart frog enclosures. Distilled water is equally good but obviously it's not as easy to distil your own water on a useful scale. If you plan to use R/O water in an aquarium or a water bowl then make use of a product like R/O-rite or Electro-rite to replace the lost salts necessary for normal water chemistry.

    "Purified Water" is usually water that has been filtered by various different methods, or even distilled, and had minerals added for taste (your taste, not for animals). There's not much to recommend using it instead of tap water that has been treated with a water conditioner, because while tap water will have extra things in it, "purified water" will be lacking in normal dissolved salts that animals need. I take a very dim view of "purified water" - think Dasani and other products - because it seems like an excuse to charge a lot of money for a bottle of filtered tap water.

    Spring Water - depending on where you live this can mean different things. In Europe there are strict purity standards on what you can and can't call a Spring Water. I'm not sure how it works in the US and elsewhere. Spring water is usually water drawn from an aquifer (natural collection of water in the ground, often mind boggling in volume).

    Mineral Water - again I'm not sure if the same standard applies outside of Europe, but mineral water is similar to spring water except that it meets much higher purity standards. True mineral waters are rare in modern times due to all of the pollution in the atmosphere that goes into ground water when there is rain and snow.

    Tap Water - what comes out of your tap really depends on where you live in the world and what your local municipality adds to the water. Tap water in most countries is treated to reduce bacterial content (and other nasties), often pH adjusted (making it less acidic usually, though sometimes less alkaline/basic) and various salts are added to it (usually for pH adjustment). Aluminium sulfate is another salt added to water to remove particles, which improves water clarity (who likes drinking brown water?). Chlorine, a caustic gas, is added to water to kill nasties and also remains in the water for a day or two, thus keeping it "safe" until it comes out of your tap. Chlorine in water will kill fish and can kill tadpoles. You can get rid of it by leaving tap water in a bucket for 24-48 hours. However if your municipality also adds ammonia to the water, the ammonia interacts with the chlorine to create chloramines - combinations of chlorine and ammonia that don't dissipate from water left in our bucket for a day or two. You may be able to find out from your municipality if they use ammonia. Many municipalites also add fluoride to water because it strengthens tooth enamel. Aside from all of the things I've mentioned in tap water so far, tap water also picks up metals (copper, lead, iron, etc) from running through pipes. Therefore, if you wish to use tap water, purchase a water conditioning product intended for aquariums, such as Tetra Aquasafe or Amquel. These remove chlorine, ammonia/ammonium and chloramines from water, as well as rendering any dissolved metals inert. The tap water is then safe to use with your amphibians.

    Well Water - this source of water usually has a lot of extra dissolved salts and metals in it, and unless you have your well water tested regularly, it's best to stay away from it due to the often very high pH and metal content.

    Dionized Water - Deionization is a completely different process to Reverse Osmosis and requires different equipment. It removes salts from water and relies on their ionic nature for their removal. It leaves behind any species that are not ionic in nature, including organic molecules and even bacteria.

    So now you know.
    Last edited by John; January 10th, 2010 at 03:53 AM. Reason: Added Dionized Water
    Founder of Frogforum.net (2008) and Caudata.org (2001)

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  14. #11
    100+ Post Member 1beataway's Avatar
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    Default Re: Water: Distilled vs purified vs everything else

    That was great. Thanks, John.

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    Default Re: Water: Distilled vs purified vs everything else

    Just to add a snippet to John's post-

    In the US and Canada it is required by law that water sold as spring water state the source spring (or springs) on the label. Additionally they are to disclose any additives.

    Just recently, on a whim I stuck a few samples of various spring waters into a batch of boiler water samples (as we have a pretty extensive chemical analysis done at a lab). The results were rather shocking as better than half of the Big Name US brands tested positive for both chloramine and bromide!
    Watching FrogTV because it is better when someone else has to maintain the enclosure!

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    100+ Post Member Tom Highum's Avatar
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    Default Re: Water: Distilled vs purified vs everything else

    Hmm ouch did you try that with anything else?

  18. #14
    Firestar72
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    Default Re: Water: Distilled vs purified vs everything else

    Quote Originally Posted by SludgeMunkey View Post
    Just to add a snippet to John's post-

    In the US and Canada it is required by law that water sold as spring water state the source spring (or springs) on the label. Additionally they are to disclose any additives.

    Just recently, on a whim I stuck a few samples of various spring waters into a batch of boiler water samples (as we have a pretty extensive chemical analysis done at a lab). The results were rather shocking as better than half of the Big Name US brands tested positive for both chloramine and bromide!
    Oh no. I used about two gallon so far of spring water from Walgreens. I hope it will be ok. But just to be on the safe side I am also going to use my bottle of water treatment.

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    Default Re: Water: Distilled vs purified vs everything else

    Quote Originally Posted by Firestar72 View Post
    Oh no. I used about two gallon so far of spring water from Walgreens. I hope it will be ok. But just to be on the safe side I am also going to use my bottle of water treatment.
    I'm sure they'll be fine. It's probably just trace amounts.
    Founder of Frogforum.net (2008) and Caudata.org (2001)

  20. #16
    tadpole
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    Default Re: Water: Distilled vs purified vs everything else

    no one has mentioned filtered water. i use a brita filter to run my tap water through. it says it removes copper mercury cadmium chlorine zinc. i also use rainwater from my roof when available. i am keeping acf's and budgetts in tupperware, and do complete daily water changes, about a quart per container. if i use a substrate, i prefer long fibered sphagnum moss, which can be removed in a clump, sorted through for any apparent feces, then put in a collander and rinsed thoroughly with hot water, or microwaved after rinsing.

  21. #17
    Founder John's Avatar
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    Default Re: Water: Distilled vs purified vs everything else

    Quote Originally Posted by abeloneto View Post
    I’m drinking tap water and so do the whole family – our children as well.
    It should be okay – so “they” say…
    Why shouldn't it be good for fogs then?
    What is suitable for you is not necessarily suitable for a frog. In the case of tap water, most untreated tap water will, at the very least, have a deleterious effect on a frog. In the case of tadpoles and aquatic frogs, it will more than likely kill them in short order due to poisoning by the chlorine (and if present, chloramines). Then there are heavy metals and other nasties that need to be taken into account. Human beings are not amphibians, and therefore do not have the same requirements.

    Quote Originally Posted by dkk08 View Post
    Hi guys, I hope you folks don't mind me using some of the posts here especially the one by Dr. John Claire on the differences in water, as I'm a Mod a Vivarium section on a Singapore Forum and thought all these information would be extremely useful? Thanks!
    You may use this information if you provide a prominent link to the original information in the translated copy and you state clearly that the information comes from another source. Thank you for asking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grunta View Post
    Hi guys, I have access to an unlimited supply of spring water bottles from my work.
    The side of the bottle reads the following mg/L
    Calcium 0.7
    Magnesium 1.4
    Sodium 10.0
    Chloride 13.0
    Potassium 0.9

    Would this be suitable for my frogs or would I need to treat it first?
    It should be fine for most purposes, but bear in mind that for certain tasks some additional changes must be made to the water - e.g. for raising the tadpoles of terrestrial dart frogs.

    Quote Originally Posted by tadpole View Post
    no one has mentioned filtered water. i use a brita filter to run my tap water through. it says it removes copper mercury cadmium chlorine zinc. i also use rainwater from my roof when available. i am keeping acf's and budgetts in tupperware, and do complete daily water changes, about a quart per container. if i use a substrate, i prefer long fibered sphagnum moss, which can be removed in a clump, sorted through for any apparent feces, then put in a collander and rinsed thoroughly with hot water, or microwaved after rinsing.
    Water filters are designed with humans in mind. They render water very suitable for drinking. However, without an analysis of what's coming out of them (and it really would need to be over a period of time in order to establish their consistency), I would not recommend them. My primary concern is consistency, and carbon-based filters require religious replacement due to the possibility of the carbon releasing much of what it has adsorbed/absorbed after it has become saturated.

    Large "home size" carbon filters for municipal water are a safer bet, but again you need to keep up with changing them as they wear out. These filter systems superficially resemble a large reverse osmosis setup.
    Founder of Frogforum.net (2008) and Caudata.org (2001)

  22. #18
    tadpole
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    Default Re: Water: Distilled vs purified vs everything else

    [without an analysis of what's coming out of them (and it really would need to be over a period of time in order to establish their consistency), I would not recommend them. My primary concern is consistency, and carbon-based filters require religious replacement due to the possibility of the carbon releasing much of what it has adsorbed/absorbed after it has become saturated]

    good point, however, brita is the most trusted home water filter, brita has tested it as you suggested, and i replace religiously it at recommended intervals (there is a timer on the pitcher).i am sure they know what they are talking about with their replacement guidelines, as consumer groups would nail them if otherwise. they don't need any negative publicity, lawsuits, etc.

    as to their replacement schedule, i am sure it is very overly cautious for same reasons stated above, but more importantly, they make a recurring fee every time you replace one of their $8 filters. i would wager it could go 10 times longer than the suggested replacement schedule, but don't try it, this is my drinking water. the one thing they don't list as being removed is lead, however our local water utility had a big publicity problem with lead being found in drinking water and supplied all residents with this very filter as the corrective measure.

    i used to use one of those carbon blocks hooked directly to the tap and changed a 55 gal gold fish tank with no problems. that filter was rated for an incredible # of gallons of water, and the fish were fine. i believe the worst thing that can happen if replacement schedule is not adhered to is bacterial contamination, as they start to grow in the filter media.

  23. #19
    Founder John's Avatar
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    Default Re: Water: Distilled vs purified vs everything else

    With all due respect, Brita tests its products for human consumption, not for amphibians running around in it. In all likelihood it is fine for most amphibian purposes. However, I do not use water sources for sensitive amphibians like dart frogs unless I can guarantee consistent water chemistry. That's why I always start from distilled and add chemicals to it myself.

    It simply isn't possible to guarantee consistent water quality using a small filtration system like a Brita. I don't speak from an amateur or advanced amateur point of view - I speak as a Ph.D. chemist whose research for almost a decade was concerned with water soluble substances, pollutants, and their removal.
    Founder of Frogforum.net (2008) and Caudata.org (2001)

  24. #20
    Rae
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    Default Re: Water: Distilled vs purified vs everything else

    Quote Originally Posted by John View Post
    A guide to the various waters:

    Distilled Water is water that has been boiled to evaporation (steam) and then condensed back into water. This process is usually carried out a few times (evaporate and condense and then evaporate and condense again). By evaporating the water you leave any impurities (100% of salts, heavy metals, other nasties) behind and what you end up with is 100% H2O. This is the purest water you can acquire. Distilled water is good for misting terrariums because it won't leave a mark on the glass when it evaporates (the marks left on the glass by other waters are caused by dissolved salts, which are not present in distilled water). If you want to use distilled water in aquariums or frog water bowls, etc, you need to replace the lost minerals in it by using a salts mix (such as Holtfreter's - an exact recipe for a mixture of a few mineral salts) or by using a commercial product like R/O-rite or Electro-rite, both intended for Reverse Osmosis water but equally suitable for distilled water.

    Reverse Osmosis Water (R/O) is not as pure as distilled water but pretty close - reverse osmosis basically filters out anything dissolved in the water. People buy reverse osmosis systems at aquarium stores so they can make up water with precise water chemistry for applications like salt water aquariums or dart frog enclosures. Distilled water is equally good but obviously it's not as easy to distil your own water on a useful scale. If you plan to use R/O water in an aquarium or a water bowl then make use of a product like R/O-rite or Electro-rite to replace the lost salts necessary for normal water chemistry.

    "Purified Water" is usually water that has been filtered by various different methods, or even distilled, and had minerals added for taste (your taste, not for animals). There's not much to recommend using it instead of tap water that has been treated with a water conditioner, because while tap water will have extra things in it, "purified water" will be lacking in normal dissolved salts that animals need. I take a very dim view of "purified water" - think Dasani and other products - because it seems like an excuse to charge a lot of money for a bottle of filtered tap water.

    Spring Water - depending on where you live this can mean different things. In Europe there are strict purity standards on what you can and can't call a Spring Water. I'm not sure how it works in the US and elsewhere. Spring water is usually water drawn from an aquifer (natural collection of water in the ground, often mind boggling in volume).

    Mineral Water - again I'm not sure if the same standard applies outside of Europe, but mineral water is similar to spring water except that it meets much higher purity standards. True mineral waters are rare in modern times due to all of the pollution in the atmosphere that goes into ground water when there is rain and snow.

    Tap Water - what comes out of your tap really depends on where you live in the world and what your local municipality adds to the water. Tap water in most countries is treated to reduce bacterial content (and other nasties), often pH adjusted (making it less acidic usually, though sometimes less alkaline/basic) and various salts are added to it (usually for pH adjustment). Aluminium sulfate is another salt added to water to remove particles, which improves water clarity (who likes drinking brown water?). Chlorine, a caustic gas, is added to water to kill nasties and also remains in the water for a day or two, thus keeping it "safe" until it comes out of your tap. Chlorine in water will kill fish and can kill tadpoles. You can get rid of it by leaving tap water in a bucket for 24-48 hours. However if your municipality also adds ammonia to the water, the ammonia interacts with the chlorine to create chloramines - combinations of chlorine and ammonia that don't dissipate from water left in our bucket for a day or two. You may be able to find out from your municipality if they use ammonia. Many municipalites also add fluoride to water because it strengthens tooth enamel. Aside from all of the things I've mentioned in tap water so far, tap water also picks up metals (copper, lead, iron, etc) from running through pipes. Therefore, if you wish to use tap water, purchase a water conditioning product intended for aquariums, such as Tetra Aquasafe or Amquel. These remove chlorine, ammonia/ammonium and chloramines from water, as well as rendering any dissolved metals inert. The tap water is then safe to use with your amphibians.

    Well Water - this source of water usually has a lot of extra dissolved salts and metals in it, and unless you have your well water tested regularly, it's best to stay away from it due to the often very high pH and metal content.

    Dionized Water - Deionization is a completely different process to Reverse Osmosis and requires different equipment. It removes salts from water and relies on their ionic nature for their removal. It leaves behind any species that are not ionic in nature, including organic molecules and even bacteria.

    So now you know.

    I just realized I've asked a dozen questions in this forum but never about water. For Frodo we have been using rain water. we have a large pail that fills up when in rains and ive been using it for misting and his water bowl. Frodo was wild caught so I thought it be the best and most natural!

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