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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
Please don't flame me for this question, I'm honestly just curious. I have a low tech 20 gal planted tank that I just set up this week, and I'm planning on doing weekly or every other week water changes until I add fish (probably after the holidays, want to give the plants a chance to get established so that I can do a silent cycle). Once the fish go in I'll be using seachem prime or filtered water at water changes (waiting for the filter to get installed still), but until then, do I need to treat the water when it goes in? I realize that it will have chlorine in it, but that should technically gas out in a day or so? I haven't gotten a straight answer from my water company if they use chloramine at all, intermittently, or consistently, but from what I understand, chloramine = chlorine + ammonia so while it's bad for the fish, it may not be quite as bad for the plants?

I can also set out like 4 gallons of water to aerate for a day or two before a water change, but we don't really have room for me to leave more than one bucket of water out like that. Plus, I have a curious toddler who happens to love playing in water.... :D

It's not the end of the world for me to use prime at water changes until I add the fish, but I also figure, unless it's strictly necessary I'm interested in maybe just letting the water aerate instead? Even if I have to mix in a little more from the tap to do a full 25% w/c?

let me know what you think!
 

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I think your plants won't be directly harmed, but untreated water will prevent the bacteria in your tank from developing, which you need to process waste and generally keep your tank in balance. There are places you can get away with cutting corners, but unless you know your water doesn't have chloramine skipping Prime isn't worth it.
 

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some plants are not great with chlorinated tap water in my experience but usually it's not a big problem. For me, some mosses, glosso, and UG did not like untreated tap water. UG to me, makes sense since it has similar growth to other carnivorous plants which cannot tolerate chlorinated tap water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your responses! I am hoping we will get the under-sink filter installed soon, that is supposed to remove chlorine and decrease the TDS a little bit as well. It's not an RO filter, and it's not a softener, from what I understand it's a carbon and resin filter with cartridges that are replaced every 500gal or so. I'm going to test the water coming out of it after it is installed and see what it's like and then either buy the gallon size prime or go with that water.

To be honest, I'm OK with the chlorine keeping bacterial blooms etc down for the next bit as long as the plants are not going to die on me. We're going to be so busy over the holidays that this tank is going to get zero attention, and if the chlorine stems a crazy algae bloom from developing until January rolls around I'm ok with that.
 
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