Used tank water safe for birdbaths ??? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-10-2014, 04:20 AM Thread Starter
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Used tank water safe for birdbaths ???

We don't seem to be getting much rain so far this year so my rain barrel is empty which is the reason I'm asking about used tank water. So is it safe to reuse my aquarium water in my birdbath/fountain? I dose modified EI low 1x/week .. some Phosphate & Potassium, GH booster & Plantex CSM+B, no KN03. Also dose Glut day before water change but it should be gone by the next day.

I have 2 -75 gal & 1-18 gal that get 50% weekly water change. Usually one 75 gal has nitrates around 40ppm day before water change. Others aren't that high.

My fountain/birdbath is probably about 3-4gal. I usually add 2 gal in early afternoon because the birds have splashed it all out. And usually have to top it off early evening with another 1-2 gal. Just before sunset the birds line up to the take their baths. I need a bigger birdbath!

I did find something about Nitrate levels: Nitrate in public water supplies threaten human health if levels exceed 10 mg/l of nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) OR 45ppm nitrate (NO3). " from this source: http://www.caryinstitute.org/sites/d...en_reading.pdf . Not sure of effect of 45ppm NO3 on birds but if less than that is ok for humans, should be safe for birds, right. ??

Just not sure about the rest of the ferts I use. Figured I'd ask here hoping someone knows before spending days researching it.
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-10-2014, 04:26 AM
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I wouldn't.

I know that many of the products we use to dechlorinate the water are not safe for human consumption, I would suspect they may cause issues for birds as well.





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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-10-2014, 04:36 AM Thread Starter
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I forgot about the declor .. I use Seachem Safe for that. Will add to my list to check on.
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-10-2014, 05:23 AM
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Its fine! Seriously every time I change my water my mother wants some for the birdbaths they like it more than tap water! We have been doing this for 2 years and all the birds are loving the aquarium water it must have tiny food sources in it or something they might just like the clean filtered water.
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-10-2014, 05:50 AM
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First thing I can think to search is what aquarium products are safe to use in outdoor ponds.
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-10-2014, 06:01 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by anubis View Post
Its fine! Seriously every time I change my water my mother wants some for the birdbaths they like it more than tap water! We have been doing this for 2 years and all the birds are loving the aquarium water it must have tiny food sources in it or something they might just like the clean filtered water.
Ok that's very good to know! Do you also dose ferts?

I'll probably start using some in the gardens since we're not getting any rain but I want to take care of my feathered friends too. I think they've come to depend on food, water & shelter at my house.

@Kat12 .. thanks. Will include that in my searches. I usually find Seachem Safe under "Ponds" when shopping for it ... but not listed that way on Seachem's site.
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-10-2014, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by anubis View Post
Its fine! Seriously every time I change my water my mother wants some for the birdbaths they like it more than tap water! We have been doing this for 2 years and all the birds are loving the aquarium water it must have tiny food sources in it or something they might just like the clean filtered water.

just because they love it does not mean it is safe for them. my dogs love chocolate, does that mean i should give it to them?

without doing the research you can't say yes it is safe because the birds love it. unless you monitor the birds for days, sample their poo, and all that other gross stuff, you don't know. wild animals don't show illness because if they look weak to predators, it increases the likely hood that they will be eaten.

You don't know what happens to those birds when they leave your yard.

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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-10-2014, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquatic Delight View Post
just because they love it does not mean it is safe for them. my dogs love chocolate, does that mean i should give it to them?

without doing the research you can't say yes it is safe because the birds love it. unless you monitor the birds for days, sample their poo, and all that other gross stuff, you don't know. wild animals don't show illness because if they look weak to predators, it increases the likely hood that they will be eaten.

You don't know what happens to those birds when they leave your yard.
Stop worrying they are fine if they were not fine the same birds would not come back everyday. If your worried about some tank water in a birdbath then maybe you should think about everything in the food you consume and the air you breath the earth you stand on the tap water you drink. Its just common sense not to feed a dog chocolate. A bird will know if the water is bad that's why they don't drink out of my pool and always drink and play in the pond and birdbath i dose my pond heavily with ferts as well. About every month we get a huge black and grey crane (my father calls him bert) that steals goldies from the pond the birds love the pond and like to dive in and grab snails from the bottom they also have a thing for sitting under the water fall.

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Originally Posted by sowNreap View Post
Ok that's very good to know! Do you also dose ferts?

I'll probably start using some in the gardens since we're not getting any rain but I want to take care of my feathered friends too. I think they've come to depend on food, water & shelter at my house.

@Kat12 .. thanks. Will include that in my searches. I usually find Seachem Safe under "Ponds" when shopping for it ... but not listed that way on Seachem's site.
Yes i do dose ferts Your garden will love the aquarium water more than your fish do haha aquarium water is great for the garden.

Last edited by anubis; 05-10-2014 at 02:26 PM. Reason: added the second quote
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-10-2014, 03:23 PM
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I've been doing it for years.
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-10-2014, 03:45 PM
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Stop worrying they are fine if they were not fine the same birds would not come back everyday. If your worried about some tank water in a birdbath then maybe you should think about everything in the food you consume and the air you breath the earth you stand on the tap water you drink. Its just common sense not to feed a dog chocolate. A bird will know if the water is bad that's why they don't drink out of my pool and always drink and play in the pond and birdbath i dose my pond heavily with ferts as well. About every month we get a huge black and grey crane (my father calls him bert) that steals goldies from the pond the birds love the pond and like to dive in and grab snails from the bottom they also have a thing for sitting under the water fall.

oh trust me i am very aware of the crap in my food, i've been on that wagon for almost 10 years. your right it is common sense that we don't feed a dog chocolate.but the dog doesn't know that, it smells something it wants to eat and it eats it. same way with the birds. cholorine gives off a smell that the birds can pick up on, but we can not smell the difference between water with prime, and water without.

my whole point is that you don't know how it will effect the birds. you don't know how it effects their digestion or their blood. maybe its fine now, but if you continue to expose to the chemical they could develop cancer, or something else....you mentioned our food so i will assume you know about how prolonged exposure to the various chemicals in our food cause various dieseses like ADD, and cancer.

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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-10-2014, 04:37 PM
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If it's unhealthy for birds, why is it ok for fish? You dose all these chemicals in your tank with fish and it doesn't affect them? Are we giving our tank inhabitants cancer? Are we purposely killing our fish?
In nature, an animal will not drink from polluted water. "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink" the saying came about because animals won't drink from water that isn't "right".
Put your tank water in your birdbath. If there is something wrong with it the birds won't use it. Your pets wouldn't drink it.
It's ok to be cautious about chemicals, but common sense needs to be used. If what we use in our tanks is bad for wildlife, then why do we use it? Why do we think it's ok for the animals that live "IN" it, but not for the ones that may drink it? Think about it.


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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-10-2014, 04:43 PM
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Look at what used tank water does for growing plants (aquaponics). Should we not eat those plants because they've been exposed to tank water treated with prime? Nonsense. I'll take those any day over commercially grown crops. And I'm sure all kinds of wildlife stop to drink from outdoor aquaponics systems (and nibble on the food if they can!)

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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-10-2014, 07:35 PM
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Not to belittle the question because I do appreciate your effort to not kill birds, but maybe a closer look at nature would help. Stop by any farm and you will begin to see how little hazard it is to use the tank water in bird baths. If your bird bath begins to get any worse than the normal stock tank--- you got a problem!
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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-10-2014, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by sadchevy View Post
If it's unhealthy for birds, why is it ok for fish? You dose all these chemicals in your tank with fish and it doesn't affect them? Are we giving our tank inhabitants cancer? Are we purposely killing our fish?
In nature, an animal will not drink from polluted water. "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink" the saying came about because animals won't drink from water that isn't "right".
Put your tank water in your birdbath. If there is something wrong with it the birds won't use it. Your pets wouldn't drink it.
It's ok to be cautious about chemicals, but common sense needs to be used. If what we use in our tanks is bad for wildlife, then why do we use it? Why do we think it's ok for the animals that live "IN" it, but not for the ones that may drink it? Think about it.
the whole purpose for my comment was that you can not be certain that just because something is willing to eat, or drink something does not make it safe for it to eat.....i will point to turtles who have been known to eat ballons floating in the ocean. Or my cat that i just put down because he ate a piece of plastic that got stuck in his bladder.

or you can look at all the chemicals that are used for things that rage from a fire retardent, to making plastics that are mysteriously edible and can be found in our food....

to assume that something is safe without doing your due dilligence is wrong.



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Look at what used tank water does for growing plants (aquaponics). Should we not eat those plants because they've been exposed to tank water treated with prime? Nonsense. I'll take those any day over commercially grown crops. And I'm sure all kinds of wildlife stop to drink from outdoor aquaponics systems (and nibble on the food if they can!)
why then is it that recycled water can not be used as potable water?

but more towards my point is that plants will not absorb things that it does not need to grow, unless it is bound to what it does need to grow. as far as i understand prime it does not bind to anything other than ammonia, or cholorine.

but whatever everyone just wants to assume that it is safe so go ahead and assume.

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 05-16-2014 at 04:38 AM. Reason: No need to be rude
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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-10-2014, 11:30 PM
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It should be fine. I would aerate it for a day before setting it out.

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