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Can I Use Less Water Conditioner For My Water Changes?

Discussion in 'Tropical Discussion' started by Doomchibi, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. Doomchibi

    Doomchibi Member

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    Recently I tested my relatively new 29g brackish aquarium's water, and it turns out my nitrites and nitrates are both very high.
     
    My tank's water is reading as: 7.8 PH, about 180 KH, 0 chlorine, Nitrites I think around 7 or 8, the color is brighter than my chart so it may be higher, and about 65 for nitrates. I do not know what my hardness is as the color doesn't come out right, though I am pretty sure that is because of the salt in my water.  I had to use strips as they are all I have on hand at the moment. I tested my tank for ammonia as well and found none.
     
    I had tested my water a few days before and everything was fine, so it happened very quickly. I thought my tank was fully cycled but I must have been wrong. I was not doing water changes as often as I have heard recommended, so I started doing 10% changes daily and was planning on eventually getting to where I could do 25% twice a week, unless someone thinks I should do more / larger changes. I read you should be using dechlorinator in your entire tank when you change water, and not just in what you replace. This seems excessive if I am changing water daily- I have gone through nearly an entire bottle in a matter of a week. Would it be acceptable to use water conditioner in the water I replace, and not the entire tank? When I do water changes, I have always used water from my tap, though we have well water and from what I understand it is much better than town water.
     
    The water from my tap reads as: PH - 6.5, KH about 20, 0 chlorine, GH 75, 0 Nitrites and for some reason around 10 for Nitrates. 
     
    What I have been doing recently is replacing 3 gallons in my tank and then treating the entire tank with dechlorinator.. Every day, so 15 ml of water conditioner. (I  have been using Aqueon but when this bottle is out I will try to get Seachem prime because I have heard better things about it) I also have been adding Api Quick Start thinking maybe it would help but it probably isn't doing much. Should I stop adding it?
     
    Since this nitrite / nitrate spike has occured, should I be doing larger water changes? 25%, or more? Do I do them back to back or on different days? 
     
    I am thinking since the fish I have in my tank is sensitive to water quality, (violet goby) I should be doing larger water changes.
     
    Thank you for your help!
     
  2. Lillefishy

    Lillefishy Member

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    You don't need to treat the whole tank every time you do a water change.
    I use a bucket when I do mine & just work out how much dechlor per bucket of water
     
  3. fluttermoth

    fluttermoth The current Mrs Treguard ;)
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    There are two basic methods of dechlorinating.
     
    You can either use just the amount of dechlorinator for each bucket, and dechlorinate it, in the bucket, before it goes into the tank, or
     
    you can add enough dechlor for the whole tank, to the tank, before you start refilling.
     
    The first method is best (and most economical on dechlorinator!) if you're using buckets to empty and refill; this is also the best method for small or newly cycled tanks.
     
    The second method is best for large, mature tanks, where it's easier to refill with a hose or python-type system.
     
    If you have very high nitrite levels, you want ot be doing much larger than 10% water changes; you want to be reducing that as soon as you can, or it will cause health problems for your fish. It's perfectly safe to do very large water changes (and by 'large', I mean 75 or 80%) or back to back ones, as long as your new water is temperature matched and dechlorinated.
     
  4. KirkyArcher

    KirkyArcher Member

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    I'd recommend you dose for water volume replaced regardless of refilling method until you start using the Seachem Prime then dose for full tank volume when using that.
     
    Seachem make several dechlorinating products "Prime" and "Safe" (basically the same product but one in powder form and the liquid respectively)
    they also market ChloroGuard. (a regular but concentrated dechlorinator ) Only when using Prime & Safe  do the make any mention of dosing for a full tank, with ChloroGuard you dose for quantity of water being replaced
     
    "Prime" instructions:- Use 1 capful (5 mL) for each 200 L (50 gallons*) of new water. This removes approximately 1 mg/L ammonia, 4 mg/L chloramine, or 5 mg/L chlorine. For smaller doses, please note each cap thread is approx. 1 mL. May be added to aquarium directly, but better if added to new water first. If adding directly to aquarium, base dose on aquarium volume. Sulfur odor is normal. For exceptionally high chloramine concentrations, a double dose may be used safely. To detoxify nitrite in an emergency, up to 5 times normal dose may be used. If temperature is > 30 °C (86 °F) and chlorine or ammonia levels are low, use a half dose.
     
    "ChloroGuard" instructions:-  Use 2 drops for every 1–4 L (1 qt - 1 gallon*). ADVANCED: 1 drop added to 2 L (2 qt*) will remove 4 mg/L chlorine. Alternatively you may employ the following formula for a variety of chlorine and water levels: (CV)/8=d (for volume in liters) or (CV)/2=d (for volume in gallons*). C=chlorine concentration in mg/L, V=the volume of water being treated and d=the number of drops of ChlorGuard™ to use. For example, to remove 4 mg/L of chlorine in 2 L you would use (4*2)/8=1 drop.
     
  5. star4

    star4 Member

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    read the instructions on your dechlorinator and follow them. I stupidly a few weeks back treated the whole tank and I fill with a hose and ended up with some deaths. Please follow instructions rather than advice :)
     
  6. KirkyArcher

    KirkyArcher Member

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    Yeah! it would seem that someone got hold of the Seachem Prime instructions, and it's spread like wildfire that this is the way you dose all water conditioners [​IMG] 
    It's a very different product with very different ingredients  that reacts differently with existing aquarium water than almost every other dechlorinator on the market .
     
  7. Doomchibi

    Doomchibi Member

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    Okay, thank you all for the help.  I was getting irritated because I had never been doing my water changes with that much water conditioner before, and it was getting to the point where my water was foaming at the filter from it. I'll look more into seachem prime and if it still seems worth going through so much of it, i'll switch over to it like I was planning to. 
     
  8. daizeUK

    daizeUK Fish Botherer

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    Interesting - I did not know this. I've always heard to dose for the full tank as well (but I use Prime anyway).
     
  9. KirkyArcher

    KirkyArcher Member

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    Yup! I can't find any regular dechlorinator who's instructions state dose for the entire tank volume, so far it's only Seachem "Prime" and "Safe"
    But based solely on these Seachem products people are blindly and irresponsibly advising aquarium keepers to ignore the instructions on the side of their chosen bottles of dechlorinator/water conditioner [​IMG]
     
  10. fluttermoth

    fluttermoth The current Mrs Treguard ;)
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    I'm really sorry people have had problems using the whole tank volume method of dechlorinating.

    I was told in good faith, by a well respected fishkeeper (on this forum, I believe) that it was safe; not just with Prime, but other conditioners as well, and have been using that method myself for around three yeas with no issues.

    I won't recommend it anymore if it's causing fish deaths in some circumstances. Not worth the risk [​IMG] 

    Sorry for your losses, Star [​IMG]
     

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