How do you treat your tap water - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-06-2015, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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How do you treat your tap water

Hi,

I wonder how you treat you tap water.

I usually put 5 gallon tap water into a bucket, treat it with Aqueon Water Conditioned (dosing for the 5 gallons) and then let it sit for 24h hours with an airstone running thru the night.

Now after some research in Prime etc. I found that those water conditioner 'detoxify' ammonia & nitrite for a limited amount of time (usually enough time for the BB to convert those to nitrates), but since I let it sit for 24h I now wonder if it would be better to first let the water sit for 24h with the airstone and then treat it right before putting it into the tank?

what is your routine?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-06-2015, 07:28 PM
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Tap water here in the states contains Chlorine and some cities use Chloramines because it lasts longer in the water.

Seachem Prime detoxifies water of chlorine chlorimines and some heavy metals.

When I do a water change I remove 50% of the water. I fill the tank back up using a hose I add the recommended dose of Seachem Prime before adding water. I add another dose after the tank is full. I have chlorimines in my water which are harder to remove so I double dose.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-06-2015, 08:49 PM
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5g bucket, use glass tank thermometer to get at tank temp then dose Seachem prime.

Due to photobuckets new bs cost for use of images on forums I have deleted all photobucket accounts. I apologize if you enjoyed or found my photos helpful.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-06-2015, 09:40 PM
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Treating water gets way more worry than it requires. While it is recommended to add enough treatment to do the volume of water you are treating, exactly how and when it is done is not a big thing to worry about. If you are treating 5 gallon in a bucket, add the amount for five gallons but if you are adding five gallons to a 55 gallon tank, it is recommended to treat for 55 gallons. The reason for this is the way the chemicals have to find each other.
I think of it this way. If you were looking for somebody at a party and had a limit to how long to look you might find them easily in a party of 5 people but if you went to look in a party of fifty people, you might need more helpers to find them in the time allowed.
You want the treatment to find the chlorine in the specified time.
It works quickly once found so whether you do the search now and wait 24 hours or do it later is no difference. Chlorine and chloramine are both the same chlorine but the latter is tied to a tiny amount of ammonia and since it is designed so that it lasts longer, there is less required to do the job. One of the reasons for chloramine use is that it doesn't react as well with things like the metal pipe, so it takes less to keep the nasties safe for our drinking. Using chlorine , it may dissipate in shorter time and so they have to add far more than when using chloramine. The chlorine is the same, just more there when not using chloramine. Since chlorine does dissipate so quickly when exposed to air, there was no need for water treatments before chloramines came along. It was pretty standard to just let the water stand in a reserve for the chlorine to gas off. If you treat the water ahead of time, it might be easy to test how long it takes for the chlorine to gas off and you could stop using the treatment. Most water supplies are not so loaded with heavy metals that they need treatment.
I use a store brand and add it to a reserve water barrel as I fill the barrel. I wish I could still just let it stand but we do have chloramines here and it would not work as they may take weeks to dissipate.
Chlorine is simple, chloramine, not so simple. The ammonia in chloramine is not enough to worry about.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-06-2015, 09:48 PM
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Hello Mr...

The best water conditioner I've used is Seachem's "Safe". It's a powder. A quarter teaspoon treats 5 gallons of tap water. No ageing is needed. I treat the water and I can put it directly into the tank. I typically make the new water a bit warmer than what's left in the tank after I remove 60 percent or so. The flush of pure, treated tap water that's a bit warmer is all the females that are close to dropping their fry need to do their thing.

B

"Fear not my child, just change the tank water."
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-06-2015, 10:09 PM
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I just use the API stuff my LFS uses because they'll fill my bottles for half price. I match the water temp within a few degrees with the tub faucet and then fill my 5 gallon buckets, dumping a little bit more than the recommended dose in as they fill up. Then I pump the water right into the tank, no problem. As I understand it, aging water is really just an old school way to get around using water conditioners altogether as the chlorine will dissipate out of solution as a gas. Using water treatment and aging seems like overkill.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-06-2015, 10:11 PM
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As long as you're using tap water, there's no need to let it sit unless you've got really sensitive fauna, and that's mostly regarding very large temperature differences. My advice is fill a bucket in the tub and dump it in straightaway, then treat with Prime for the entire tank volume and walk away. While I understand wanting to be cautious, it sounds like you're putting too much thought into this.

My routine, with larger water changes, is to hook up a hose to the bathroom sink, run it to the tanks, and let it run. I turn up the hot water a bit to minimize temperature difference, but it's an unnecessary step IMO. While I wait for one to fill, I treat with Prime for the whole tank. Then I use the shutoff valve I have installed at the end of the hose and move the hose to the next tank. The hose has a faucet adapter at one end and a PVC "U-turn" at the other end to hang over the edge of a tank, with a "T" and two HOB intake plastic mesh screens at the ends of the T to spread out the flow. I use the same hose to drain to the tub, btw.

*Edit* I edited the super-high-resolution photo to be a little clearer and add the shutoff valve and PVC faucet piece that keeps the hose from kinking.
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Last edited by kevmo911; 12-07-2015 at 12:16 AM. Reason: modified the pretty pic
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-06-2015, 10:22 PM
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I think I'm going to start using a hose, the buckets are getting heavy lol

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-06-2015, 10:23 PM
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If there is some other reason to let the water sit for 24 hours, do that. It does not matter when you add the dechlor.

Reasons to wait:
1) If there is air dissolved in the water it can become bubbles in the fishes' gills and elsewhere and can kill the fish. My tap water is like this in the winter, when the water is cold. I run a mix of hot and cold water until the water in the barrel is the right temp, or just a degree or two warmer, then I run a pump for half an hour minimum to off gas whatever air is in the water.

2) If you are keeping fish in room temperature tanks, and want to use only the cold water tap. Aerating it or not, but letting it sit in the room overnight will bring it to room temperature.

3) If you are doing some other treatment such as adding minerals, or peat moss it may take time for the minerals to dissolve, or the peat moss to work. I would circulate the water overnight with a nylon stocking of peat moss for soft water fish.

No matter what reason I had for letting the water sit, I would always add the dechlor when I filled the can. Then there is no questioning if I had added it or not.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-06-2015, 11:49 PM
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I usually don't.... If I'm doing a 1/3 water change or less I don't use dechlor. Been doing it like that for ten-ish years. No negative repercussions as far I can see. Plants and fish all super healthy. I'm not saying it's the best way, but somehow it has worked for me.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-07-2015, 02:21 AM
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Many years and tanks ago, I happened to be talking to a guy who formulated one of the popular water conditioners of the day, and he swore up and down to me that dechlorination was effectively instantaneous and that there was no reason not to put the dechlorinator in the tank and turn on the hose. I hesitatingly tried it, and have never looked back. I just try to avoid more than a 5 - 7 degree temperature swing. We do have relatively high levels of chloramines, but I've never had a problem with it on a freshwater tank, including with inverts, discus, etc. I'm not saying that everybody should do this, just mentioning that it's worked for me for 25 - 30 years and counting, and I'm never going back to lugging buckets :-)
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-07-2015, 08:46 PM
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I have a private well. Water comes from a limestone aquifer. Mother Nature treats it by filtering through an underground limestone shelf. Water comes out pretty hard, but no treatments needed. I still let it sit for a day when it comes out of the well, as there are lots of micro bubbles and gasses in the water.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-07-2015, 08:49 PM
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I just kinda squirt some at the bottom of my 2 gallon bucket and fill it up with cool water. Adjusting hot and cold as i see fit. As soon as the bucket is filled, i pour it slowly into my tank using my hand to diffuse the water.

Bump: By squirting some, i mean Seachem prime.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-08-2015, 09:31 PM
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On the morning of the water change day I fill a few buckets with tap water and let it sit all day with a bubbler; just before using it I add boiled water to get the correct temp, pour in Prime, let it sit a bit more, then in the tank it goes.

I used a different method in the beginning: just put temp matched water from the tap into the bucket, added Prime and poured it into the tank, but we have very gassy water and that caused plenty of BBA. That's why I'm letting the water sit in a bucket all day.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-08-2015, 11:43 PM
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I use prime on the big changes. 10% change I don't do anything...(at least on my larger tanks)

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