Alpha particles Question

  1. Algae Eater

    Algae Eater Well Known Member Member

    My tap water has Alpha particles (uranium) in it. Does anybody know if Alpha particles are harmful to fish? If so, I was planning on using distilled water (it's cheaper than spring water), unless there is a reason why I shouldn't? Thanks!
  2. Meenu

    Meenu Fishlore VIP Member

    Okay, I don't know the answer to this. I have tried to research the answer on google for you and am not finding anything. I just didn't want you to think we ignored your question.

    I use softened water and RO water, so I'm not sure about distilled.

    I know water conditioners will remove heavy metals, but I'm just not seeing anything about alpha particles.

    Someone recently mentioned that he is a chemist. I am almost positive it is Hitchhiker. Maybe you could PM him and get his opinion on the uranium thing?
  3. Amanda

    Amanda Fishlore VIP Member

    Well, I can't imagine it's too good to drink that water...
  4. jdhef

    jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    I think that distilled water isn't an ideal choice, since it has all of the trace elements stripped out of it. I believe if you do use distilled water you actually need to add them back in.
  5. HitchHiker

    HitchHiker Valued Member Member

    :D Thank you Meenu, but I am not a chemist, but my brother-in-law will be next year. The company that I work for treats hazardous waste water and we are able recover 98%+ of the water either for reuse or release. That is my back ground on water subjects. Anyway the distilled water should be fine as it is just boiled off water that is then condensed and bottled. Spring water is water that is usually water that has been filtered and bottled leaving the minerals behind (the flavor of the water). Also because it "came" from a spring they are able to charge more for it.
  6. jgon_

    jgon_ Well Known Member Member

    I wouldn't worry much about it. Alpha particles are heavy and slow. They have very little penetration power. A sheet of paper is thick enough to absorb alpha particles even. Say you were to run your water through a fine mesh filter, or cheese cloth, before adding it to your tank that should be fine.

    Actually, I'm curious. Alpha particles are the most dangerous form of radiation but only if they are inhaled or ingested. What precautions are to taking to make your water drinking safe? Because if you're doing anything to make it safe for you, should be safe for you fish.
  7. OP
    Algae Eater

    Algae Eater Well Known Member Member

    The Alpha particles are exceeding the limit allowed by the local water plant but is still within the safety range for drinking. It’s a big enough problem that the facility is installing new equipment to take care of it, though, but it won’t be done for a while.

    My LFS wasn’t sure about the Alpha particles but if I wanted to be extra cautious, use spring water rather than distilled because it has trace elements in it whereas distilled water does not, like jdhef said.

    I think I’ll try straining the tap water with a cheesecloth, as jgon suggested, then let it sit over night to evaporate the chlorine, then maybe use a conditioner just to be sure. Or use spring water.

    Thanks everybody for your help!