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  #1  
Old 05-05-2010, 08:21 AM
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Default Is Distilled Water Bad?

Hey all,

I have had my tank up and running about 9 months now and for the past week i have been having a horrible bloom of greenish/brown algae. It looks like diatom bacteria to be honest. I don't know where it is coming from or what it is feeding from because i have checked my phosphates and nitrates daily and have no issues PH is normal and my skimmer has not been overworking at all. I dont think i overfeed.

My only thought is the last couple weeks i have done my water changes with distilled water instead of the normal DI. Is there a chance i am adding a ton of silica to the tank with distilled? My corals and fish are all healthy and everything else seems to be fine.

I am just lost on this, it is making my tank look horrible! Thanks
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  #2  
Old 05-05-2010, 08:31 AM
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simply, yes. post some parameters and it may be a combination of things. but distilled is a very crude process of prepping water for a reef.
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay13 View Post
simply, yes. post some parameters and it may be a combination of things. but distilled is a very crude process of prepping water for a reef.
sorry have to disagree with u on that one. distilled is fine to use. i ran my reef for over a year on distilled water without problems.
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by reefone View Post
sorry have to disagree with u on that one. distilled is fine to use. i ran my reef for over a year on distilled water without problems.
disagreeing is ok in my book. but the proof is in the pudding as they say. the op stated no problems until switching from DI to distilled. right there it is, pretty much an open and shut case, unless there are other changes we don't know about. this is coming from someone who uses tap water with no problems so i am in no way saying it won't work. but with all the common filtration methods (DI,RO, RO/DI and distilled) distilled is by far the crudest. everytime i hear about folks using it i think about the good ol' boys back in the hills making wiskey during that crazy dry period here in the states. LOL
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:52 AM
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You have to know and trust your source. Both of the previous posts are correct even though they disagree.

There are many methods of distilation. I've had good results with Meijer Brand 2.5 gallon jugs of water.
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by John View Post
You have to know and trust your source. Both of the previous posts are correct even though they disagree.

There are many methods of distilation. I've had good results with Meijer Brand 2.5 gallon jugs of water.
exactly, funny.... the meijer jugs of distilled gave you no problems, years ago i used their distilled out of their machine. found out it was tap, and bad tap at that. they never changed their filters. goes to show regardless of the source you have to test to make sure it is "pure".
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
You have to know and trust your source. Both of the previous posts are correct even though they disagree.

There are many methods of distilation. I've had good results with Meijer Brand 2.5 gallon jugs of water.

That is the exact jugs i have been using. I think i will use choice's water from now on. My parameters that i took on Sunday before my weekly water change. Everything in my tank is doing fine i just have this horrible bacteria/algae problem. I can take pic tonight. it looks like cyanobacteria . i had a huge bloom of it during my initial cycle but i haven't seen it since

Salinity -1.025
Temp - 78F
PH 8.1
Alkalinity - 11
NH3 - 0
Nitrate - 0
Phosphate - 0-.25
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:11 AM
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Perhaps the water from the machine wasn't really distilled, maybe it was sterilized with UV. I don't see how a machine that small can distill the amount of water that goes through it, nor can it hold that much.

I am not a fan of those help yourself water stations. 9 out of 10 times... no matter where you go the water quality from one of those is going to be bad.

Your phosphates look too high.

did you grab the jug that said "minerals added"
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:12 AM
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The water I got out of Kroger's machine (1st time getting it) said Reverse Osmoisis right on it. So I'm guessing thats ok?
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bibs4353 View Post
That is the exact jugs i have been using. I think i will use choice's water from now on. My parameters that i took on Sunday before my weekly water change. Everything in my tank is doing fine i just have this horrible bacteria/algae problem. I can take pic tonight. it looks like cyanobacteria . i had a huge bloom of it during my initial cycle but i haven't seen it since

Salinity -1.025
Temp - 78F
PH 8.1
Alkalinity - 11
NH3 - 0
Nitrate - 0
Phosphate - 0-.25

i had the same thing happen to me when i used meijer distilled water. my phosphates shot all the way up to 3!! i will never use any distilled water again. i will stick to straight RO/DI water. it has now been a month and i only used it 1 time for a 5 gallon water change in my 30g tank and i am still dealing with the algae. i started vodka dosing to bring the phosphates and nitrates down in my tank because the distilled water was so horrible. it read 3 on a tds meter as well for those wondering. after a month i just now have it under control and that is with vodka dosing assisting.
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocho Cinco View Post
The water I got out of Kroger's machine (1st time getting it) said Reverse Osmoisis right on it. So I'm guessing thats ok?
take a sample to your lfs and have them phosphate test it and read it under a tds meter before using it. if it comes back bad dont use it. simple way to determine. like all other places they rarely change their membranes but 1 time per year and most never go through dionization so after about a month of straight membrane use you now have bad water again.
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:24 AM
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Well i guess newbie lesson learned!

i honestly felt my phosphates were ok considering i did this before a water change but i guess i will monitor that more closely.

For now should i lower my light peroid? i am doing about 8.5 hours and have mostly leathers with a frogspawn LPS

i will keep up my water changes with only RO/DI. Thank you guys. ***** that i am having company this weekend and my tank looks like crap haha
  #13  
Old 05-05-2010, 09:25 AM
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chemi-clean it up lol. yea lower your lights and if you think it is cyano then vaccum as much out as possible each day.
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Old 05-05-2010, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay13 View Post
exactly, funny.... the meijer jugs of distilled gave you no problems, years ago i used their distilled out of their machine. found out it was tap, and bad tap at that. they never changed their filters. goes to show regardless of the source you have to test to make sure it is "pure".
distilled out of a machine?

sure it wasn't filtered?

i always though it took large vat like containers to distill.
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Old 05-05-2010, 04:31 PM
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If you want the easy answer... Distilled water in general is MORE pure than RO/DI. The reason most places and even labs use DI is cost. DI and all its associated filters are still more cost effective than paying for all that heat to boil water. Distilled water is still prefered in applications that require extremely pure water such as batteries or other extremely sensitive chemical reactions. In some cases you even double distill it.
you are probably getting more contaminants from the Jug used to store the water than what the initial quality of the water was before it went into a plastic jug. Who knows what went into that jug with all the different recycled plastic waste streams.
If someone offered me a jug of DI vs a jug of distilled. take the distilled.
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