- Can I Use Brita Filtered Water For My Fish Tank?
- Chemicals In Tap Water
- Understanding Brita Filters
- Implications for Aquarium Plants
- Alternative Water Sources
- Closing Thoughts On Can You Use Brita For A Fish Tank
A question I’ve seen on several internet forums is:
Can I Use Brita Filtered Water For My Fish Tank?
Yes, you can use Brita filtered water in an aquarium, but it’s probably not the best option overall.
It will be a lot of messing about and will cost you a ton of money to buy replacement cartridges.
The standard cartridges for a Brita pitcher will filter approximately 40 gallons of water.
Brita water filters primarily use an activated carbon block filter, which serves to reduce the presence of chlorine, metals, and other harmful particles, to make tap water healthier and taste better.
But, they also remove a lot of the beneficial minerals that fish need and don’t remove all contaminants that are harmful to fish. You’d only end up having to remineralize the water afterward.
The only real benefit of using Brita filtered water in your fish tank is that the activated carbon in your aquarium filter will last a little longer.
If you want the most pure filtered water, you could look at installing a RO (Reverse Osmosis) machine at the main water entry point of your home.
Chemicals In Tap Water
Tap water often contains chlorine, chloramine, heavy metals, and other chemical contaminants that can be harmful to fish.
Chlorine is added to tap water as a disinfectant, and it can be toxic to fish. In addition to chlorine, water treatment facilities sometimes use chloramine, a mix of chlorine and ammonia.
Chloramine is more stable and longer-lasting than chlorine, making it effective in preventing the growth of harmful organisms in the water.
When people swallow water that contains chloramine, the chlorine, and ammonia are neutralized by the digestive system before they reach the bloodstream. But, fish, and other marine life, don’t just swallow water —they breathe it.
When the water contains chloramines, these substances enter directly into the fish’s bloodstream and chemically bind to iron in the red blood cells, which makes it difficult for those cells to carry oxygen. Eventually, fish may “suffocate” from lack of oxygen.
Heavy metals like lead, copper, and zinc can also be found in tap water, depending on the pipes and plumbing systems. These metals can cause various health issues for fish, affecting their growth, reproduction, and immune systems.
Other impurities like pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and industrial chemicals can make their way into the water supply and harm your fish.
Using Brita filtered water for your fish tank may seem like a step in the right direction because it can help reduce the amount of chlorine, heavy metals, and other contaminants.
But, they do not remove all traces of these chemicals completely.
Understanding Brita Filters
Brita filters use coconut-based activated carbon with ion exchange resin which effectively traps and removes impurities as the water passes through it.
With this process, the filtered water gains improvements in taste and odor, as it becomes free of chlorine and other chemicals.
While the carbon block filter in Brita filters is designed to remove impurities, it’s not specifically intended for fish tanks, and as a result, there may still be some contaminants remaining in the water that can be harmful to your fish.
Additionally, Brita filters do not remove chloramine, a compound used in some municipalities to disinfect tap water, which is toxic to fish.
You need to add a dechlorinator before adding tap water to your fish tank if your tap water contains chloramine or chlorine. Seachem Prime is my go-to product for this purpose.
Implications for Aquarium Plants
If you use Brita-filtered water in a planted tank, be aware it removes a lot of the essential nutrients that your plants need so they may quickly die off, which in turn will release ammonia into the water and risk screwing up your nitrogen cycle.
To prevent this, you can add aquarium supplements such as Seachem’s Equilibrium to replace the beneficial minerals.
Alternative Water Sources
If you’re looking for other water sources for your fish tank, there are a few options available.
Reverse Osmosis (RO)
If you go down this route, the iSpring RCC7 5-stage reverse osmosis filtration system comes highly recommended.
Reverse osmosis water is an excellent choice, offering a high level of purity. It is created through a process that removes most contaminants, including minerals, bacteria, and chemicals. The result is water close to being pure H2O.
Many aquarium owners prefer RO water as it provides an excellent starting point for creating the ideal water conditions for their fish.
Just remember you will need to remineralize the water in your aquarium.
Distilled water is another option, as it is created by boiling water and collecting the steam. This process removes impurities and contaminants, leaving behind pure water.
But again, it lacks minerals essential for fish health, so you’ll have to remineralize the water before adding it to your fish tank.
And, it’s eye-wateringly (no pun intended) expensive!!
Water Treatment Products
Some of these products either neutralize harmful substances, such as chlorine and chloramine or detoxify heavy metals present in tap water, while others put essential minerals back into the water.
Remember that using a combination of water sources or treatment methods may be required to achieve the ideal water conditions.
Seachem Prime removes chlorine, and chloramine, from tap water and detoxifies ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates. This makes the water safe for fish and other aquatic animals to live in.
Seachem Equilibrium helps to maintain a natural balance of minerals in a freshwater aquarium. Using Seachem Equilibrium can help to prevent mineral deficiencies in fish and plants, and promote healthy growth and overall well-being.
Seachem Alkaline Buffer
Seachem Alkaline Buffer raises and maintains the pH of freshwater aquariums. It is designed to specifically target and increase the alkalinity of the water, which is important for certain species of fish and plants that require a high pH.
Seachem Acid Buffer
Seachem Acid Buffer works the exact opposite of alkaline buffer by lowering and maintaining the pH of freshwater aquariums. It is designed to decrease the alkalinity of the water, which is important for certain species of fish and plants that require a low pH.
Closing Thoughts On Can You Use Brita For A Fish Tank
Brita filters can provide improved water quality for human consumption, but they are not the ideal solution for your fish tank water.
You still have to ensure that any water used in your aquarium is dechlorinated and properly balanced to provide a safe and healthy environment for your fish.
I’m a huge believer in the old adage; If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
I’ve always used good old tap water along with the water treatment products mentioned in this post and my fish have always been fine.
Check out the Aquarium Health section for more guides just like this one.