Last Updated: 11/6/06
This table shows the various types of water that are available for use for aquariums, ponds, and drinking (animals and people).
Visit my page on water for more information.
When I refer to water being tested, I am referring to knowing the pH, hardness, and alkalinity and finding that those values are fine for the animals that one is keeping. When I refer to complete testing, that also includes testing for various organic and inorganic contaminants/toxins as well as bacteria. Dechlorination refers to the removal of any chlorine or chloramines added by the water companies by the use of a dechlorinator (sodium thiosulfate is most common). Dechlorinators may also be called water conditioners.
Contact me if you have any additions or corrections for this table.
|Attribute||Tap/City Water||Well Water||Spring Water||Bottled (Unlabled Tap Source) Water||Distilled Water||Mineral Water||Reverse Osmosis Water||Carbonated/Seltzer Water||Rain Water|
|Useable for Aquariums||Yes, if tested and dechlorinated||Yes, if tested||Yes, if tested||Yes, if tested and possibly dechlorinated||Never by itself, may be mixed with other water||No||Not usually by itself, may be mixed with other water||No||Sometimes, if tested, usually mixed with other water|
|Useable for Ponds||Yes, if tested and dechlorinated||Yes, if tested||Not economically feasible||Not economically feasible||No||No||No||No||Nature will add some for you!|
|Potable (animals and people can drink it)||Yes, if tested, better to filter with carbon to remove chlorine||Yes, if tested||Yes||Yes||No||Humans only||No||Humans only||Not ideal but okay in most cases|
|Other Uses||Cleaning, many others||Cleaning, many others||N/A||N/A||Sterile cleaning, growing out certain crustaceans like triops||N/A||N/A||N/A||Watering plants|
|pH Tendencies||Varies, usually buffered to pH 7 to 8||Varies, some wells are about pH 6 to 7, others are 8 to 9||Usually 6 to 7||Varies, usually buffered to pH 7 to 8||Unstable, technically pH near 7 but a stable reading cannot be made||Perhaps 8-10||May be unstable, perhaps pH 6 to 7||Acidic, pH 2 to 5 depending on carbonation level||Varies, tends to run acidic, pH 5 to 7|
|Hardness Tendencies (more hard = more minerals and ions)||Various on location, often moderate to high hardness||Various on location, some wells are very soft, others are very hard||Low||Various based on source||None||High||Low (nearly none)||Varies||Low|
|Alkalinity/pH Stability||Moderate||Varies from low to high based on the area||Low||Moderate||Very Low||High||Low||Low (once aerated to remove the carbon dioxide, it is more stable)||Low|
|Chlorination Level||High||None||None||Moderate to High||None||Usually None||None||Usually None||None|
|Fluorination Level||High||None||None||Low to Moderate (it may dissipate, not stable)||None||Usually None||None||Usually None||None|
|Carbonation Level||Low||Low||None||None||None||Usually None||None||High||None|
|Oxygen Level (aerate water!)||Moderate||Low to Moderate||Moderate||Moderate||Low||Low||Low||Very Low||Low|
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