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New To Treating Tap Water. Please Help!

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by mrstwalker, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. mrstwalker

    mrstwalker Member

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    Hi everyone! It has been such a long time since I have posted! Anyway, I have a question for anyone that can help! 
     
    I have been blessed to live in an area that only uses well water. And because of this, I have never had to buy the water treatments. I just put the water in the tank and let it cycle. Also on the plus side, where I live now with the well water, it is practically already cycled (water paraments nearly perfect) ! So that has been a HUGE plus in my fish keeping hobby.(Don't worry, I DO cycle my tanks completely & purify with carbon cartridges.) However, life is always changing so I am moving in a few months to a place that more than likely I will have the city tap water. This will be the first time in my life(literally -- my dad was in the hobby when I was born and passed the hobby on to me! :) ) that I will have to use water treatment for my tanks (I will have 55,20, and 10 gallon setups).
     
    How do I go about using these water treatments?
    What are the best brands?
    What is your experience with using water treatments?
    How do I cycle my tank after using water treatments? 
    Any other advice?!
     
    Thanks everyone! Have a great day!!
     
  2. LyraGuppi

    LyraGuppi Member

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    Now, I recommend testing your new tap for Nitrates, as some taps have them naturally.
     
  3. NickAu

    NickAu Member

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    I use a syringe and draw up the right amount like you would medicine, Then I empty the syringe into the drum that I am about to put tap water in, I always add the water treatments into the drum before adding the water all the stuff mixes better. Then I stick a heater into the drum along with a power head pump and leave it all until the water temp in the bucket is the same as in the tank.
    I use Seachem Prime.
     
    Same here I even make sure to have the exact amount of water. I change 120 Litres of water each time.
     
    Because I also do the big 400 lt tank at the same time I do a 120 litre water change = 3 milliliters of prime( I got the concentrated stuff ), Normally I premix in the 150 litre drum and take water for my betta tank.
     
  4. essjay

    essjay Member

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    If by cycling you mean how long do you have to wait for the treatment to work - it works instantly, you don't have to wait.
     
     
     
     
    From other things you said in your first post, I wonder if you use the term cycling to mean something different from what we usually mean.
     
     
    Cycling means growing bacteria in the filter and on other surfaces in the tank, it doesn't mean waiting while something mixes in.
     
  5. mrstwalker

    mrstwalker Member

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    Cycling means growing bacteria in the filter and on other surfaces in the tank, it doesn't mean waiting while something mixes in.
     


    Yes, I know :) The water here is nearly 0ppm. I of course also have had to wait for the bacteria to grow for it to cycle. :) Thanks you for the advice!
    Same here I even make sure to have the exact amount of water. I change 120 Litres of water each time.
     
    Because I also do the big 400 lt tank at the same time I do a 120 litre water change = 3 milliliters of prime( I got the concentrated stuff ), Normally I premix in the 150 litre drum and take water for my betta tank.
     


     
     
    Thank you for the advice!!!!
     
  6. Ch4rlie

    Ch4rlie Unlicensed Moderating Moderator
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    I wrote a nice post and I deleted it [​IMG] ugh
     
    Gonna do a shorter version of what i wrote! :rolleyes:
     
    I use Seachem Prime        [sharedmedia=core:attachments:75833]
     
    Simply put, in my opinion, this has proven to be a tried and tested dechlorinator that works.
     
    It works out cheaper to use Prime as the dosage for treating water is very low compared to other brands.
    For example, a 10 litre bucket only requires 0.25ml of Prime. (using a  1ml syringe works perfectly for small dosages like this).
    Another brand I used to have actually required about 2.5ml for 10 litres, over 10x the amount of Prime, so you work out why Prime lasts much longer.
     
    Though have to mention, if using the bucket water change method, you only need to add corect dosages to each bucket of water, but if using a python hose system (direct hose to/from tap) then you treat for the whole volume of tank water, not just the replacement water.
     
    Lastly, using any dechlorinator should not affect any fishless cycles.
     
    DO read the instructions for whichever brand of dechlorinator you use, some brands you must use exact dosages as usually overdosing dechlorintor is never really good news or being extra 'safe' for your tank stocking!
     
  7. mrstwalker

    mrstwalker Member

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    Thanks for your advice!
     
  8. fluttermoth

    fluttermoth The current Mrs Treguard ;)
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    You should only dose for the whole tank if you're using Prime. A couple of members here had serious issues, including dead fish, dosing for the whole tank's volume with other dechlorinators.
     
  9. Ch4rlie

    Ch4rlie Unlicensed Moderating Moderator
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    Ah, of course, I should have added that is for Prime, I thought I did actually but obviously not.
     
    Fluttermoth is indeed quite correct in this statement and I too have heard horror stories from others about overdosing using other brands of dechlorinators, dose not happen often but it does happen.
     
    Therefore always best to err on the side of caution and read instructions carefully on the bottle, whichever brand you decide to go with. If in doubt, ask for advice.
     
  10. Byron

    Byron Member

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    My approach is a bit different when it comes to water conditioners.
     
    First, find out what is in your tap water, so you will know what you need to deal with.  Most conditioners will detoxify chlorine.  Most now also include chloramine.  If you tap water has chloramine added, you will have to ensure the conditioner you select deals with both.  Beyond this, I do not advise treating for non-existant problems.
     
    Also, stay away from conditioners that add stuff like aloe-vera...these can be detrimental to fish long-term, with no benefits.
     
    You only need use the amount of conditioner for the volume of replacement water.  There is no benefit to dosing more, as you are wasting it (and it is not cheap), plus you are increasing the TDS which can affect fish.  This applies to Prime too...I have dealt with Seachem on this, and there is no benefit to using more than the replacement water.
     
    Byron.
     
  11. fluttermoth

    fluttermoth The current Mrs Treguard ;)
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    I agree there is no point overdosing dechlorinators.

    In fact, it's possible not to use a dechlorinator at all, for changes of less than 50% or so (obviously, that's only chlorine we're talking about here; if your supply has high levels of things like copper, a good dechlorinator that neutralises that would be essential).

    You can even use the chlorine in tap water as a mild anti bacterial/fungicide medication, by using untreated tap water for a large water change; if you have a fish that's scraped itself, or had its fins nipped and you want to prevent any secondary infections setting in. I used to do it often with my old oscar, who used to scrape his head throwing his decor around.

    The level of chlorine in a 50% water change is not high enough to cause issues with either fish or filter bacteria.
     
  12. Byron

    Byron Member

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    I agree with fluttermoth's logic, but as I see the OP is in the USA, I would caution her about chlorine.  Levels of chlorine in tap water in North America can be extremely high.  In the UK, this is not the case, according to what aquarists have told me on other sites.  Some days (most in fact) I can smell it when I turn the tap on.
     
    Also, many areas in NA now use chloramine as even high chlorine has not been effective.  The several cases of life-threatening bacteria in water supplies (people have been killed) in more than one locale in NA have led to this.
     
    I have twice forgot the dechlorinator when refilling a tank.  Long before it was filled, I noticed the fish all hanging at the surface at the far end, and I knew immediately what I'd forgotten.  A squirt of dechlor near the fish saved them.  But it illustrates just how much chlorine is used over here.  Back in the 1980's it was different; I never used dechlorinator and never had issues.  Times have changed.
     
    Byron.
     
  13. TwoTankAmin

    TwoTankAmin Member

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    Three observations-
     
    First, dechlors these days normally contain ammonia detoxifiers. These can affect ammonia test results. What happens is after a day or say Prime breaks down and then you get an ammonia reading that is not accurate. They advise testing soon after adding it or else waiting for 24 hours or so to insure good results. Their test for NH3 (the ammonia form that is the most toxic) will read through dechlorinators but then you will only see the NH3 and not the NH4 (ammonium), Together they make total ammonia which is what most hobby kits read.
     
    Second, dechlorinators are reducing agents. That means they reduce oxygen. Other things we use in tanks may also be reducing agents, Flourish Excel is an example, Dosing them together would magnify the effect. Overdosing dechlors may cause problems when other things in a tank have lowered oxygen levels some. Since every thank has its own parameters, one man's overdosed Dechlor is harmless while for another it can be deadly. Better safe than sorry, so always follow the directions.
     
    Third, ammonia detoxifiers will slow a cycle. Overdosing them will really slow a cycle. Do not overdose these (or dechlor with them) when cycling a tank. The bacteria don't care if they get some extra ammonia from chloramine breaking down in a tank. Of course when there are fish in the tank, it is s different story.
     
    Like you, I have well water and never use dechlor. I do have a bottle on hand for neutralizing chlorine bleach when I need to use it for something. I also use it when I go to fish events where I may need to use local water. Because I don't care about cost for my minimal use, I have always used Kordon's Amquel.
     
  14. skink_boy

    skink_boy Mostly New Member

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    If you live in America zoo mess reptisafe will do the trick if your in Austrailla get vita pet water agent all of which have insructions on the back(sorry if you don't live in those countries)
     
  15. NickAu

    NickAu Member

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    Novice question here that will help me and may be of use to others.
     
     
    What about Fluoride, I know it is added so some water supply’s?  There is a big debate where I live, As they are planing to add it to the water.
     

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