Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Let's dive into water...

Each day we get calls from our customers about our EcoAquariums, seeking advice, getting a question answered, or just to chat. (We love those) The calls are important to us because it allows us to help our customers, and to put a voice behind our products.

It seems that the most common questions we get revolve around the subject of water. Why can't I just use tap water? What is the difference between the types of bottled water available? Why only bottled spring water?

We recommend Bottled Spring Water as the eau de choix for our EcoAquariums. We prefer it to insure that the living gravel stays living. The brown gravel at the bottom of each of our EcoAquariums has been cultured in spring water and infused with anaerobic bacteria. It serves as the bio-digesting filter of waste products in the water and is the most underrated part of the ecosystem. Without living gravel, EcoAquariums are simply containers with water, plants, frogs, & gravel, but with it, a balanced ecosystem can be sustained. Using Bottled Spring Water exclusively, you can count on having the most natural water available, free of additives & chemicals.

Why not Tap Water? It's because of Chlorine. Most tap water has chlorine in it. City water supplies generally put 1 part per million of chlorine in its water to kill water borne bacteria. That's good for you & I to drink, but bad for the bacteria in living gravel...very bad. And filtering tap water won't do no good since you cannot be sure to get all the chlorine out. No tap water in EcoAquariums please.

On a side note, someone suggested using tap water and then conditioning the water with Chlorine "Fixers"... the chemical treatments sold in pet stores in aquariums. Again, we do not recommend Tap Water ever... the reason being that by using bottled spring water, you do not have chlorine to begin with, so there's nothing to treat. Spring water is as natural as bottled water can be, free of anything added except natural minerals and salts. You simply have no need to add chemicals (and hope you have added the right amounts). The objective is to have a EcoAquarium with the most natural internal environment possible. Unless you absolutely know what is in the water coming from your tap, you cannot be absolutely sure.

The real head-scratcher is what is the difference in all the different types of bottled water available.

To answer, let's go to the "font" of information...the Internet...

All bottled water sold in the United States (whether imported or domestic) must meet all of the same regulations.

Artesian Water\Artesian Well Water: Bottled water from a well that taps a confined aquifer (a water-bearing underground layer of rock or sand) in which the water level stands at some height above the top of the aquifer.

Drinking Water: Drinking water is another name for bottled water. Accordingly, drinking water is water that is sold for human consumption in sanitary containers and contains no added sweeteners or chemical additives (other than flavors, extracts or essences). It must be calorie-free and sugar-free. Flavors, extracts or essences may be added to drinking water, but they must comprise less than one-percent-by-weight of the final product or the product will be considered a soft drink. Drinking water may be sodium-free or contain very low amounts of sodium.

Mineral Water: Bottled water containing not less than 250 parts per million total dissolved solids may be labeled as mineral water. Mineral water is distinguished from other types of bottled water by its constant level and relative proportions of mineral and trace elements at the point of emergence from the source. No minerals can be added to this product.

Purified Water: Water that has been produced by distillation, deionization, reverse osmosis or other suitable processes and that meets the definition of purified water in the United States Pharmacopoeia may be labeled as purified bottled water. Other suitable product names for bottled water treated by one of the above processes may include "distilled water" if it is produced by distillation, "deionized water" if the water is produced by deionization, or "reverse osmosis water" if the process used is reverse osmosis. Alternatively "_____________ drinking water" can be used with the blank being filled in with one of the terms defined in this paragraph (e.g. "purified drinking water" or "distilled drinking water").

Sparkling Water: Water that after treatment and possible replacement with carbon dioxide contains the same amount of carbon dioxide that it had at emergence from the source. (An important note: soda water, seltzer water and tonic water are not considered bottled waters. They are regulated separately, may contain sugar and calories, and are considered soft drinks.)

Spring Water: Bottled water derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the surface of the earth. Spring water must be collected only at the spring or through a bore hole tapping the underground formation finding the spring. Spring water collected with the use of an external force must be from the same underground stratum as the spring and must have all the physical properties, before treatment, and be of the same composition and quality as the water that flows naturally to the surface of the earth.

Well Water: Bottled water from a hole bored, drilled or otherwise constructed in the ground which taps the water of an aquifer.

SOURCE: International Bottled Water Association (IBWA)
That's a pretty definitive description of all the different types of bottled water available, and if you have made it this far into the article, you can consider yourself an expert on bottled water trivia...The bottom line is this, to keep your EcoAquarium healthy, always use Bottled Spring Water. Count on it being the purest, most natural water you can buy, and you can be sure you have water free from harmful chemicals that can effect the ecosystem.
All this article writing has made me thirsty, I wonder why?

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