All living things depend on their habitats for survival. As humans, we depend on our habitats for oxygen, water, and food. Wild animals also depend on their habitats for the same things.
Pet fish, like humans and wild animals, depend on their habitats (fish tanks) for oxygen, food, and water. As a pet fish owner, you are supposed to supply your fish with sufficient oxygen, quality fish pet food, and the right water with the right parameters for survival.
It is easy to supply your fish with oxygen as you simply need to buy and install a quality air pump. It is also easy to supply your fish with quality food as you simply need to find and buy quality food for your fish online.
However, water with the right parameters or conditions for survival is not so easy to supply to your fish. There is nowhere to buy such water. You need to make it yourself. The recommended water to use in a fish tank is tap water. While tap water is easy to find, you need to make it have the right parameters for the safety and survival of your fish. You can do this easily by adding some water conditioner to it.
While tap water is recommended for fish tanks, there are other types of waters such as spring water, rainwater, distilled water, and osmosis water that people use to alter or change the parameters of tap water in their tanks.
In this post, I will tell you everything you need to know about spring water including whether it is safe and how it is used by aquarists.
First of All, What is Spring Water?
Spring water is water that comes from an underground source/ spring. Springs are usually outlets for underground rivers, lakes, and water reservoirs. Some are tiny, they just trickle water, while others are big enough to create rivers and lakes.
In many places around the world, water authorities draw water from springs and treat it before supplying it to towns and cities as tap water. Springs are also frequently used for farming and industrial purposes.
Many water companies draw water from springs, treat it and then bottle it as spring drinking water. While spring drinking water is usually suitable for drinking by humans, it is not very suitable for fish to live in as you will see later in this post.
Is Spring Water Safe to Use in A Fish Tank?
The fact that spring water is from a spring may make it sound like the freshest water on earth. However, while springs are usually good sources of water for human consumption, they are not very good sources of water for fish tanks. From this statement, I am sure you can tell where I am going with this. In case you cannot, let me make it clear – spring water is not very safe to use in a fish tank. This is because of three key reasons.
First, spring water often varies in composition. For instance, one brand of spring water may have a certain pH and concentration of a specific trace mineral such as iron, while another may have a totally different pH and concentration of the same mineral.
So if you use one brand of spring water today and then buy and use another brand because of the unavailability of the first brand at some point in the future, you will most likely negatively affect your fish. This is because fish do not like fluctuations in water parameters; they like a stable environment. An unstable environment can make them sick.
Second, some spring water brands usually add additives or chemicals to their products that can be lethal to fish. For example, to kill micro-organisms, some spring water brands use either chlorine or chloramine. While these chemicals are used in concentrations that are totally harmless to human beings, the concentrations are usually strong enough to negatively affect fish. So do not let the clarity of spring water brand you have bought fool you into thinking it is safe for fish.
Lastly, spring water is much more expensive than tap water. As stated earlier, tap water is the recommended water for fish tanks. Using tap water is much cheaper than buying and using spring water. This is especially true because you will need to do multiple water changes every month. Now imagine buying bottles upon bottles of spring water for the many water changes you need to do. The cost will obviously be much more expensive than fetching water from your kitchen tap.
From the points above, it should be clear to you that it is not very safe and affordable/ practical to use spring water in a fish tank.
How Aquarists Use Spring Water
Despite not being very safe, some experienced aquarists use spring water in their aquariums.
It is up to you to make sure your fish friend is happy and healthy. To do this you need to provide them with a home, sufficient oxygen, and sufficient food as explained earlier. You also need to provide them with quality water with the right parameters. This is very important. For if you add water with the wrong parameters into your fish tank, your fish could die.
Since it is your responsibility to ensure your fish get quality water, you should constantly monitor the quality of the water in your aquarium. You should do this even if you normally add very clean and conditioned tap water to your aquarium. This is because water parameters/ conditions frequently change because of things such as fish excretion.
If when monitoring the quality of water in your tank you notice high water hardness, you should add some spring water to lower the hardness. If you notice high pH, you can also add some spring water to lower the pH. These are the only two ways you should use spring water in your tank. You should not use it as the main water for your tank. Let the main water be the recommended water – tap water.
And before using spring water to lower the hardness of the water in your tank or to lower the pH of the water in your tank, you should test it to ascertain its pH, GH, kH, and trace minerals content. You should also make sure the spring water you want to use does not have any additives, dyes, flavors, or chemicals.
Spring Water in Aquariums FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Is Spring Water Okay for Hardy Fish?
No, it is not. Spring water is not very safe for hardy fish or non-hardy fish. This is because it usually has varying compositions of pH and chemicals. It also usually has additives and chemicals that are not suitable for fish.
Is It Okay to Collect Spring Water Myself and add it To My Fish Tank?
If you live near a spring, you may be very tempted to go and fetch the water and use it in your tank. However, this is a temptation you should resist. Because the water you will fetch will probably contain pathogens, micro-organisms, and chemicals that will negatively affect your fish. So the answer to this question is no, it is not okay.
What Do Aquarists Use Spring Water For?
Aquarists use spring water to lower pH and to lower water hardness.
What is the Best Spring Water Brand to Use in My Fish Tank?
There is no best spring water brand for fish tanks. You should accept this and use treated tap water in your fish tank. This is because using spring water in your fish tank is expensive, impractical, and can negatively affect your fish.
By now I am sure you understand that the best or recommended water for fish tanks is tap water but it needs to be treated to make it have the right parameters for aquarium fish. Spring water can be used in fish tanks but not as the primary source of water. It can only be used to reduce water hardness and to reduce water pH.