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Is It Okay to Add Bottled Water to an Aquarium?

Should You Use Bottled Water in Fish Tanks San Diego, CA

Bottled water is an industry that has taken over the world, and the United States is where this market is the most active. Water that comes from bottles sold at a supermarket is perfectly fine for human consumption, and it can be one of the various sources of water for your aquarium, but only if it’s adequately treated. However, for the most part, there are no good reasons for fish keepers to use bottled water unless the municipal water is of suspect quality.

The Best Water for Fish Tanks

Established H2O that has completed the nitrogen cycle and been enriched with beneficial Nitrobacter colonies will always be the best solution for freshwater ecosystems. In the case of reef tanks and freshwater planted aquariums, the best water is reverse osmosis or deionized water. For freshwater non-planted and saltwater fish-only tanks, dechlorinated municipal water will do.

Bottled Water Is Freshwater

Water that people drink from bottles is very similar to tap water in the sense that it isn’t brackish or saltwater. Moreover, it has been treated with chlorine or chloramine to remove dangerous bacteria and other pathogens. Based on this, once you treat bottled water with an aquarium conditioner, it should be fine to use in a freshwater tank. It should be noted we’re talking about bottled water that doesn’t have additives that are only fine for human consumption. But always ask about the source and if it’s been dechlorinated or not—never assume! Never use mineral, carbonated, flavored, or vitamin water.

Bottled Water for Saltwater Aquariums

As for saltwater and reef tanks, the only bottled water that can be treated would have to have gone through the reverse osmosis process. In the U.S., there are about a dozen major water bottlers that complete this process, and some of them add a few minerals for taste and enhanced nutrition. It could be argued that bottled water that tests fine for pH and other levels could be treated for saltwater tanks, but the cost of doing so wouldn’t make sense. You would be better off purchasing treated and established saltwater from an aquarium supplier.

The Bottom Line of Bottled Water for Aquariums

One aspect of bottled water that certainly makes it attractive for the aquarium hobby is that it’s generally devoid of contaminants. However, you still need to test, condition, and treat bottled H2O for tanks, thus making it very expensive. Fish keepers are better off with treated tap water for freshwater tanks. In the case of saltwater habitats, aquarium shop water cannot be beat for initial setup, and you can use reverse osmosis or DI water for the best quality!

In addition to properly treating the water you add to your aquarium, you’ll also need several supplies to maintain the tank and keep its inhabitants happy and healthy. Whether you need an aquarium temperature controller, a protein skimmer, filtration, reverse osmosis products, or any other aquarium supply, Aquatic Warehouse has got you covered. Stop by our store in Kearny Mesa, order what you need from our website, or give us a call today at 858-467-9297.


Contact Information

  • Address: 5466 Complex Street Suite 204
    San Diego, CA 92123
  • Phone: (858) 467-9297
  • Email: sales@aquaticwarehouse.com
  • Working Days/Hours: Mon - Fri / 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
    Saturday / 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Sunday / 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM


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