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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This discussion is going on in another thread and it is over the risk of distilled or reverse osmosis (RO) versus other types of water. Given the frequency of this discussion I thought I should put up some information on why x water is fine, even though so and so said elsewhere it wasn't.


The original question asked from http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/tree-frogs/70263-pond-frogs-ignore-water.html#post614752

I was wondering why you didn't mention the distilled water Ed. I would love to read any online links you might have. I have always thought distilled water as one of the ultimate "no, no's" in frogkeeping, if I can avoid these damn water stains, let me know! JVK

From http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/tree-frogs/70263-pond-frogs-ignore-water.html#post614856

If we look at the history of the issue, it started with several articles discussing ion loss to severely hypotonic solutions primarily by tiger salamander larvae which were summed up in Amphibian Medicine and Captive Husbandry (2001, Kreiger Press) with the recommendation to not use distilled or RO water with animals as it causes the loss of some ions into the solution (calcium) through the osmoregulation. The more recent data came out in as series of experiments in Ecological and Enviromental Physiology of Amphibians (2009, Oxford Press). In those the studies were run for a longer period and it demonstrated that yes those ions were lost to the solution but the amphibians also were able to actively reabsorb those ions back from solution. The loss is basically energetic unless the amphibian has something compromising the ability to osmoregulate such as septecimias or chytridmycosis. So as long as the amphibian is healthy it is in reality fine to use and you can get away from those calcium stains.

If we step back and look at it clinically, technically tap water or filtered water or even pond or stream water is also significantly hypoosmotic in potential to the amphibians as the osmolarity of amphibian plasma is much higher than that of those water sources. The impact is the same, the amphibian loses ions to the water and reabsorbs them. Somewhere on forum I think have some of the data on amphibian ringers compared to pedialyte and why pedialyte shouldn't be used in cases of suspected hypocalcemia.

In animals with compromised abilities to osmoregulate, amphibian ringers is suggested for a number of reason as it reduces stress on the system of the amphibian and in cases of extreme water retention, under the care of a vet, hyperosmotic amphibians ringers are suggested.

In cases like the above, where the water is coming into contact with a variety of materials the water is als still going to be hypotonic with respect to the amphibian but is going to have picked up stuff from the enclosure which is going to go into solution.

Does that help? Sorry it isn't on the web for free.

Ed

From http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/tree-frogs/70263-pond-frogs-ignore-water-2.html#post614934

Just so people have a better understanding of the whole issue about distilled, RO, tap and so forth..
The way solutions that may be important in osmoregulation are compared is through osmolarity which can be referenced here (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osmolarity) (to prevent a lengthy tedious explanation).
The different types of water used to care for amphibians (RO, DI, tap and even high content mineral waters) have a osmolarity that typically runs from 0 (for RO, DI) up to 28 mOsm/kg (for high content mineral waters) (see www.osmolality.com/pdf/Rave%20Drugs.doc). This is then compared to amphibian ringers which has a rating of 229 mOsm/kg (Amphibian Medicine and Captive Husbandry, 2001 Krieger’s Press), which is considered to be isotonic for the purposes of osmoregulation with amphibian body chemistries.
As can be seen by the values for water in the paragraph above, regardless of the type of water used, ions will be lost into solution. The degree of loss is going to be of the same scale regardless of the type used as the osmolarity is very similar to one another. The frogs will actively scavenge ions back out of the water (or if the substrate contains mobile calcium and other ions and is moist) from the substrate. This discussion is assuming healthy amphibians and not ill or otherwise compromised ones.

There is a lot of hype about distilled and RO water that has been continually perpetuated on the internet for a number of years, and I’m sure will continue for quite a long time into the future.

Some other discussions were held in this thread Dying frog, help please!

Ed
Reconstituted RO or DI is still going to be less than 28 mOsm/kg unless you get crazy with the dosing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
To sum it all up, RO and DI are fine to use for many of the applications in the enclosures, including but not limited to misting, refilling water bowls or pools and so forth.

Ed
 

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Sticking my nose in here, but I thought I would add a side opinion. I use nothing but distilled for my thumbnail tads. As a chemist who spent 10 years working on water related chemistry and the chemistry of ions, it's an educated decision. I still don't understand why folks would use anything else for tads that live in tiny aerial pools that are flushed regularly by rain in the wild. Tadpole tea is for ground dwelling tads folks.
 

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I mist with Distilled, fill and flush broms with RO, and use an 80/20 RO/Aged tap in my water feature. I'm guessing our vivariums are quickly leaching all kinds of ions from the wood, plants, hydroton, leaves, etc back into any water that the actual assumed deliterious effects of RO/Dostilled use wouldn't ever be realized anyway.

Great post Ed.

JohnC

I agree. Rainwater is essentially distilled water and is what fills broms naturally in the wild. Now I'm not quite up to speed on raising thumbs but the only thing I can see is if the volume of water that the tads are raised in is much greater than a typical brom axil, perhaps that large about of super clean water could pull more ions out of the tad before an equillibrium is reached. Then again, as Ed says the tads probably actively uptake ions and as long as they are healthy there is probably no worry.
 

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Ed thanks for the info. For all else thank you also. I want the best for my frogs so I figured I'd see what works for everyone. I have tons more reading to do now . Once agian thanks guys
 

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Ed, don't get a swelled head...but I hope you can see just how important your contributions are. It does not appear to me that the "others" in this field either care or want to participate in informing or educating "us" to better husbandry of our frogs....thanks for your imput...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
so getting a RO/DI unit would be ok to use for all the water in the tank ?
What did the summary in the second post in the thread say?

Some comments

Ed
 

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I have been using distilled for a month now with my new dart frogs as I was told by my vet and the distributor that was what to use if I cannot get ahold of R/O water, then read in a book I just bought about distilled being deadly. So to be 100% clear, its perfectly fine for me to be only using distilled? I don't mean to get repetitive, I'm just new and paranoid. Also, I was wondering, is it really necessary for leucs to have a water dish? I was initially told no, but I see a lot of discussion about having water dishes on the boards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have been using distilled for a month now with my new dart frogs as I was told by my vet and the distributor that was what to use if I cannot get ahold of R/O water, then read in a book I just bought about distilled being deadly. So to be 100% clear, its perfectly fine for me to be only using distilled? I don't mean to get repetitive, I'm just new and paranoid. Also, I was wondering, is it really necessary for leucs to have a water dish? I was initially told no, but I see a lot of discussion about having water dishes on the boards.
The first and second posts should answer your question as to safety. As for needing a water bowl, they don't need a water bowl unless you are giving them an option to deposit tadpoles.

Some comments

Ed
 

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I have been using distilled for a month now with my new dart frogs as I was told by my vet and the distributor that was what to use if I cannot get ahold of R/O water, then read in a book I just bought about distilled being deadly. So to be 100% clear, its perfectly fine for me to be only using distilled? I don't mean to get repetitive, I'm just new and paranoid. Also, I was wondering, is it really necessary for leucs to have a water dish? I was initially told no, but I see a lot of discussion about having water dishes on the boards.
I use nothing but distilled water and have never had problems but out of cost concerns over time im looking at RO as an alternative, if you are brewing some beer in your basement and perfected a distillery that pumps out 10g a week than let me know lol otherwise Im moving to RO vs DI at $20+ a month! still cheap so no hurries lol
 

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To sum it all up, RO and DI are fine to use for many of the applications in the enclosures, including but not limited to misting, refilling water bowls or pools and so forth.

Ed
To sum it all up, RO and DI are fine to use for many of the applications in the enclosures, including but not limited to misting, refilling water bowls or pools and so forth.

Ed
Good Day, have you read any articles related to the uses of the liquid from water changes in fresh water fish tanks in regards to frog care? What’s your opinion on the topic?
 

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Good Day, have you read any articles related to the uses of the liquid from water changes in fresh water fish tanks in regards to frog care? What’s your opinion on the topic?
Don't do it. Pathogens can be transmitted between fish and frogs, and frogs are sensitive to nitrogenous waste compounds that are the very reason water changes are made in a fish tank. Fish tank water is waste water.
 

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OK, so here is a hypothetical question: I live in an area where we get 4+ meters of rain per year. Can I collect rainwater and use it instead of distilled or RO or whatever?
 

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Not typically recommended. That rain falls through some pretty nasty stuff even if the catch is clean. Less risk to use filtration options that you can control. The amount of rainfall that you get doesn't really matter.

Mark
 

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Thanks for the reply. I live in a pretty remote area where distilled and RO water are essentially unavailable, but rainwater is not! As far as rain water bringing down airborne pollutants, it's non-issue out here - there is no industry for a hundred miles around us (I'm on the west coast of Vancouver Island, regional population <5k and essentially zero pollution). I had a thought that I could divert rainwater into a large barrel, let it settle, and then simply filter it through a Brita or something and use it to mist. Is your objection based on airborne particulate?
 

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Distance from sources doesn't matter much at all. Here in the upper midwest of the USA, we get smoke from California and dust from Africa every few years. Non particulate pollution such as sulfur dioxide is known to travel over 1000 miles.

Most of these sources are periodic, so you could use collected rainwater for months or years and then catch a batch of smoke from burning vinyl siding in California, or from industrial pollution that reaches your location following a shift in weather patterns (becoming more common, I read) and lose all your animals.

One benefit to RO, especially RO that you produce yourself, is for troubleshooting future problems -- whatever issue comes up (frog death, plant issues, microfauna crash, algae growth) if you know the quality of your water you can eliminate that as a possible cause for the trouble and move forward identifying the true cause. Running one's own RO filter, changing the filters on schedule and having an inexpensive TDS meter to monitor the membrane, is well worth the peace of mind, IME.
 

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Ok, I see and understand the logic and possible eventualities. Would this make the rainwater they are exposed to in the wild potentially deadly as well?

I too live in a remote area, at 69 degrees north and have never heard of polluted rainwater occurring here. It also contains micronutrients from what I understand?
Learn new things here every day for sure, but in this instance I am willing to take the risk.
 
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