Distilled, R/O water? What's the best Water to use ?

All H2O issues. Reverse Osmosis (RO), Distilled, Rainwater, Tadpole tea, ect
thunderbyte

Final verdict?

Postby thunderbyte » Sun Nov 19, 2006 11:10 pm

This is my first post here, so I will introduce myself first. My name is Len and I own and operate a hobby shop in north west PA. A couple christmas's ago we stocked a product called "Planet Frog". It seamed like a neat idea. We sold a few but people complained their tadpoles would arrive ok, but either didn't turn into frogs or died. We pulled these from our shelves since the success rate wasn't good. We only sold a few and I wouldn't recommend these from a business or frog friendly point of view.

We sent in the card from one we kept, and left the tadpoles in their habitat at our store. We purchased tadpole food from the local pet store. It took a long while, but they ended up growing legs. We changed 1/2 the water on occasion as the directions stated. Once they became frogs, it was obvious they needed more room. My wife purchased a small tank, rock/cave shelter, fake plants and lamp on a timer for them to have a larger, but still temporary home. They have been doing well here for a few months. Their diet is crickets that have been dusted.

I have just finished my vivarium, and will be adding my two leopard frogs soon. I built the vivarium with them in mind. It has a nice pond area with no fast moving water. There is a waterfall, but it empties into a reservoir underneath which leads to their pond. It is 18 x 18 x 24, the Exo-Terra extra large high model. This should be fine for them now since they are still small. Once they get larger I will probably give them to my local pet shop. I will then rearrange the vivarium to better house darts.

My goal is to get a couple PDF's, but only after I feel comfortable with these leopards. I know these are a different breed and have unique requirements, but I think the next few months will allow me to learn a lot about frogs and my vivarium before jumping into these little darts. I tend to research stuff to death.

Ok, now to my question. What should I use for water? We definitely have fluoride and chlorine in our city tap water, and lots of local industry makes me think rain water would be a bad idea as well. I am thinking distilled water with an additive. Im asking because after reading all the posts in this thread, Im still not sure. My local pet shop doesn't do much with exotic animals, so I would rather here it from people that deal with frogs on a regular basis. Is there a final answer on the water? No tadpoles, just my frogs, some plants and a mister.

Thanks for any help,
Len

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Postby mack » Tue Nov 21, 2006 6:20 am

Hi Len and Lauren,

I'd like to first welcome you to the board and your new addiction. Next, I will say that in my opinion, there is no "final answer" for almost any frogging issue, so here's my opinion on Water. Hopefully others will chime in.

If you just want one vivarium with Dart Frogs, bottled spring water should work just fine for you. You may choose to mist the tank with distilled so as to avoid hard water spots on the glass. The issue gets a bit trickier when you go through too much water to buy. I use Reverse Osmois or R/O Water, which is then"rebuilt" or has a liquid chemical called "R.O Right" that adds some important things back into it.

Something I've realised since this post first came up is that 'r/o right' only addresses general hardness, not carbonate hardness. Fixing the general hardness will prevent the r/o water from being so aggressive, however, water with very low KH (carbonate hardness) is prone to radical shifts in PH (acidity). has anyone else looked into this ? I'm now building my water to a KH of >2. this keeps PH in the 6-7 range, mostly.

The last thing I'll mention is the re-use of your vivarium for Dart Frogs after other frogs have lived in it. You seem very conscientious, so you should search this site for the word "quarantine" and read some of what pops up. You'll make up your own mind what to do with this information, but i just wanted to give you the heads-up on this issue.

Best of luck,

Mack

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Postby nhbirdsnest » Fri Nov 24, 2006 8:29 pm

I don't feel confident using bottled spring water because like Rich said, you don't always know the quality or contents of what you are getting. I've debated collecting rain water but to be honest don't want to spend the rest of my life with buckets all over my yard and figure someday i'd tire of it anyway. I know my tap water has chlorine but i let it sit around for a day or so before using it to mist. Is that fine enough or is there a better option?

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Postby Cindy Dicken » Fri Nov 24, 2006 10:49 pm

We use bottled springwater (Ozarka) to raise tadpoles in.
We use RO or distilled in our misting system.
We use treated tap water to top off the water features. We treat our tap water with Prime, it will remove chlorine as well as chloramine.
I think if you took a sample of rain water and had it analyzed it would scare the hell out of you.
For those that are curious about rainwater, you might find this link of interest.
http://nadp.sws.uiuc.edu/

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Re: Distilled water safe ? What's the best Water to use ?

Postby Philsuma » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:38 pm

Very good thread on Water.

I use regular Pennsyltucky "liquid rock" tap water that sits out, uncovered for a day or so, and I feel the tadpoles benefit greatly from the minerals and hardness of the water.

I use distilled water for some misting - hand and automatic, so as not to leave those unsightly hard water deposits on the Vivarium glass ect.

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Re: Distilled, R/O water? What's the best Water to use ?

Postby Philsuma » Sun May 08, 2011 5:33 pm

Distilled water, used on Frog Eggs will most likely kill them. Read the posts above ^^^

I use regular "aged" tap water and sometimes grocery shelf "spring water" for all my non obligates / pulled eggs.

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Re: Distilled, R/O water? What's the best Water to use ?

Postby cablemandan » Sat May 28, 2011 12:33 pm

Interesting, I didn't see this post before, possibly because it was recently bumped. I have been using distilled for misting in QT as well as the Viv for the last 3 weeks, so not a long term thing. My tap water is not suitable, due to chemicals, hardness, some heavy metals. We filter everything so I won't give my frogs something I wont even drink.

Help!! I dont want to be killing my frogs with distilled water, so is it more tads/eggs that are affected by it or froglets, then adults frogs? I read everything above but am still a bit confused, treat the water out of the tap, use addatives to filtered water. What is the best water to use and how is it best used ?
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Re: Distilled, R/O water? What's the best Water to use ?

Postby Philsuma » Sat May 28, 2011 2:00 pm

cablemandan wrote:Interesting I didn't see this post before, possibly because it was recently bumped. So I have been using distilled for misting in qt as well as the viv. this has been for the last 3 weeks, so not a long term thing. my tap water is not suitable, due to chemicals, hardness, some heavy metals. We filter everything so I can't give my frogs something I wont drink.

Help!! I don't want to be killing my frogs with distilled water, so is it more tads/eggs that are affected by it or froglets, then adults frogs? I read everything above but am still a bit confused, treat the water out of the tap, use additives to filtered water.. what is the best way


IMO:

Distilled water is fine for misting and plant spraying. You just don't want to use it for eggs or tadpoles all by itself. Many people apply commercially available aquarium additives to RO or distilled water. RO and Distilled water is very "pure" and as such, will seek to "pull in" elements and this results in leaching needed chemicals ect from your frog egg or tadpole - depriving it and often causing death.

A simplistic "safe" answer to new hobbyists, is grocery store bottled "Spring Water" for almost everything. If you are comfortable using a good quality human grade water filter for your tap water - then that's about the same level of precaution in my book.

Once you are in the hobby for a while you may embark on a quest to have a friend who works at a water laboratory, test and recommend water for you, but until then....the quick, easy and safest method (if you are scared of your Tap water) is to use the grocery store spring water.

There is NO expert opinion on water or anything else in the Dart Frog hobby. There are no "expert hobbyists" here either IMO, so you can't rely on anyone to say: "The water you should use is ___ ". Just take some time and read the Water subforum here. There are at least 4 other threads that I see / know of that also have good information on your questions above. Above all, don't ever be afraid to post.....questions, or anything else. We are here to help.

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Re: Distilled, R/O water? What's the best Water to use ?

Postby cablemandan » Sat May 28, 2011 3:24 pm

Ok thanks for the quick reply Phil.. I have the same ABG mix in my QT as I do my habitat, so hopefully that helps with the leching, they are cruising right along I see nothing to indicate there is a problem, but this thread kinda worried me. They got fat little bellies and are always hunting/feeding on springs and are getting really outgoing about coming forward when I feed, so everything looks great to this point. But if I was slowly killing them with distilled water I would feel like and arse and would probably never attempt keeping them again :\
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Re: Distilled, R/O water? What's the best Water to use ?

Postby Philsuma » Sat May 28, 2011 4:04 pm

cablemandan wrote:Ok thanks for the quick reply Phil.. I have the same abg mix in my qt as I do my habitat, so hopefully that helps with the leching, they are cruising right along I see nothing to indicate there is a problem, but this thread kinda worried me. They got fat little bellies and are always hunting/feeding on springs and are getting really outgoing about coming forward when I feed, so everything looks great to this point. But if I was slowly killing them with distilled water I would feel like and arse and would probably never attempt keeping them again :\


No worries.

Let me try to explain it another way....

Distilled water or RO water is only BAD when the Dart Frogs eggs or Tadpoles are bathed in it, or forced to swim in it and nothing else. When you add "RO Right" - product or Tannins, tadpole tea or blackwater extract, then you are balancing out the harshness / pureness of the water by adding elements, chemicals ect that the water so desperately wants and needs.

Distilled or RO water that is sprayed in a viv will drip off of all the leaves, frog poop on the glass, bark, soil, clay ect ect - everything in the viv and that will "make it safe" as well.

You just don't want the equivalent of your frog in nothing but a plain deli cup - unable to go places, surrounded by RO or Distilled water.

Does that make sense ?

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Re: Distilled, R/O water? What's the best Water to use ?

Postby cablemandan » Sat May 28, 2011 5:38 pm

Makes perfect sense now going back and looking at some of the other posts also. I have been concerned because I had the problem I originally thought I would have. Some plants not looking so healthy. Since it was said 'the frogs fertilize my viv' I didnt worry about it, but some of the plants were looking a bit stale, getting brown leaves and such, obvious malnutrition. But they seem to be doing better now that I threw a second dose of spring culture and some FF's just to give some nutrient. I just was getting very worried after reading this string thinking it was bad for my frogs as well.

On a side note telling a newb to QT frogs and also telling them the frogs will fertilize the viv for the 30-45 days is a little confusing. I asked about that with my original post because I was a little concerned about it. Plants don't want to wait til QT is done to eat.. if that makes sense.

I do feel better now, better than this morning when I stumbled upon this post and thought I was killing my froglets with water. HOW CAN IT BE? They are strong and healthy 'looking' .... til next month when I find out the distilled water is sucking them dry *DOH*

Thanks for setting my mind at ease ;)
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Re: Distilled, R/O water? What's the best Water to use ?

Postby Philsuma » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:24 am

Many Distillation processes as well as Reverse Osmosis (RO), produce basically the same thing - very pure water, but use different techniques to produce it. Distilled water is a little more “pure” than RO. The Hobby concern is that this water is TOO pure, being stripped of all dissolved solids, which could cause problems with osmoregulation (the organisms ability to regulate water content). This is much more of a concern for the eggs and tadpoles though, as they cannot escape being placed in this water. Distilled and RO water are fine for misting a viv, but not suitable for eggs or tadpoles unless altered by added other substances.

"Spring water" is usually just tap water that has been filtered with activated carbon, and sometimes sterilized with UV. This removes organics and heavy metals (and pathogens with UV) but does not remove the majority of dissolved solids, which is why it is the recommended water type for our hobby purposes.

Distilled Water
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Distilled water is water that has many of its impurities removed through distillation. Distillation involves boiling the water and then condensing the steam into a clean container.

Applications:
In chemical and biological laboratories, as well as industry, cheaper alternatives such as de-ionized water are preferred over distilled water. However, if these alternatives are not sufficiently pure, distilled water is used. Where exceptionally high purity water is required, double distilled water is used.

Some people use distilled water for household aquariums because it lacks the chemicals found in tap water supplies. It is important to supplement distilled water when using it for fish keeping; it is too pure to sustain proper chemistry to support an aquarium ecosystem.

Drinking distilled water:
Bottled distilled water can usually be found in supermarkets or pharmacies.
Municipal water supplies almost always contain trace components at levels, which are regulated to be safe for consumption. Some other components such as trace levels of aluminum may result from the treatment process (see water purification). Some components, such as fluoride and other ions, are not removed through conventional water treatment; however, distillation can eliminate some of these impurities.

Health concerns:
The drinking of distilled water has been both advocated and discouraged for health reasons. The lack of naturally occurring minerals in distilled water has raised some concerns. The Journal of General Internal Medicine published a study on the mineral contents of different waters available in the US. The study concluded:
Drinking water sources available to North Americans may contain high levels of Ca2+, Mg2+, and Na+ and may provide clinically important portions of the recommended dietary intake of these minerals.
It is often observed that consumption of "hard" water, or water that has some minerals, is associated with beneficial cardiovascular effects. As noted in the American Journal of Epidemiology, consumption of hard drinking water is negatively correlated with atherosclerotic heart disease. Since distilled water is free of minerals, it will not have these potential benefits.

Because distilled water lacks fluoride, the drinking of distilled water may increase the risk of tooth decay due to a lack of this element. Of course, fluoride can still be applied to the teeth alone with toothpaste and fluoride therapy, but topical application of fluoride will not help pre-eruptive, developing teeth incorporate fluoride into the structure of the tooth, making it more resistant to erosion.

If you try to raise a tadpole in a clean vessel with only pure water – Distilled or R.O, you are asking for trouble.

Rainwater happens to be a major input of nitrogen into natural ecosystems. Even areas with very good air quality can have toxic levels (to a tadpole) of nitrogen in the rainwater. This doesn't even consider heavy metals etc. from pollution. It's useful to remember that rainwater that collects in pools and streams in nature has already trickled over, and/or percolated through, substrates containing nutrient hungry microbes and plant roots and therefore gets filtered very quickly in nature.

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Re: Distilled, R/O water? What's the best Water to use ?

Postby J Teezy » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:47 pm

I used distilled and RO/DI water for my mistking system. Once the water enters the viv its no longer pure because as soon as it hits something it picks up stuff. This is recommended water for misters as it doesn't clog the heads as easy and doesn't spot your glass.

When i make FF cultures i use bottled water


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