Can you use distilled water for the fish tank?

This blog will discuss “can you use distilled water for the fish tank?” we will also discuss the best ways to add distilled water, whether it is safe for your fish, and whether you balance distilled water with minerals before use.

Can you use distilled water for the fish tank?

Yes, you can use distilled water for the fish tank, but it is unsafe for your aquarium or fish tank. Distilled water contains no minerals or vitamins and is isoelectric for various chemical reactions in the fish body.

Distilled water is devoid of essential minerals and nutrients. It offers a balanced environment for your fish with the option to add minerals, salts, and other nutrients to make it habitable for your fish.

How to use distilled water for a fish tank?

Distilled water can be used in the fish tank and is healthy. You can use distilled water in the following way:

  • Add ½ cup of distilled or fresh water to a 1-gallon fish tank. 
  • then you can either add minerals and salts to it
  • another way to use distilled water is that you can fill your fish tank with it 
  • add minerals and salts according to the recommendations that fish needs to survive in water. 
  • Make sure you don’t add too much or too little salt because this might cause their death.

When you are to add water to eth fish tank follow the following steps to ensure a smooth and stress free water addition to the fish.

Choose the right water

When you are to add distilled water to the fish tank you should check these four main parameters, alkalinity, pH, nitrates, and phosphate.

Use a clean container.

Before adding distilled water to the fish tank, you should consider using a clean container with no soap. The container should be thoroughly rinsed before use, and there should be no contamination in it.

Slowly pour water into the tank.

You can add water to the fish tank even when the fish is in the tank. While adding water you should be careful not to agitate the fish.  Pour slowly and carefully without causing any stress to the fish. 

Test the water.

Before adding water you should test the water for its pH, nitrates, phosphates and other minerals. This last step will ensure that the levels of water addition doesn’t harm the fish.

What are the benefits of using distilled water?

Using distilled water comes with certain benefits. Its purity offers a great option to make recombination as you desire. The following are the benefits of distilled water offers:

  • Distilled water is free from any bacteria, virus and harmful minerals or heavy metals. 
  • There is no need to make any special treatments to remove chlorines and chloramines, which can harm fish and kill beneficial bacterial colonies that are suitable to fish.
  • The pH of the distilled water is neutral and thus can be made lower alkaline for fish survival.
  • Distilled water is relatively inexpensive.

What are the disadvantages of using distilled water in a fish tank?

Where distilled water can offer certain benefits, it doesn’t come without certain demerits that can harm the fish in your fish tank. The following are the disadvantages of distilled water:

  • It lacks minerals and nutrients that are beneficial in the biological processes of the fish. 
  • Distilled water lacks minerals that protect against sudden pH changes in the fish environment and thus acts as a buffer to avoid these changes.
  • Adding your fish to the distilled water can cause the fish to lose the necessary minerals leading to the death of the fish in some cases and leaving them mineral deficient. 

Is using distilled water safe for your fish tank?

The safe limit of distilled water depends on the use of the distilled water. If you are using distilled water alone and are not adding minerals to it, it can be harmful because it can lead to mineral deficiency in your fish.

If you use distilled water with fresh or pond water or add an amount in the fish water, it will nourish them, proving beneficial to the survival of fish.

You can also use distilled water after remineralization before adding fish to the fish tank. This way, you will have certain salts and minerals acting as buffers to help support the fish survival.

Should you balance or remineralize distilled water before use?

If you are using the distilled water solely in the fish tank, then you better remineralize it before adding fish to your fish tank or aquarium, and you need to take special care of your water before adding fish. 


In this blog we answered “can you use distilled water in the fish tank?” we also discussed the best way to add distilled water, whether it is safe for your fish and whether you  should balance before using distilled water.


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