expert opinion on un-conditioned water.. - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-26-2012, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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expert opinion on un-conditioned water..

Hey all,

So it has just come up in a thread that I do not treat my water change water with any kind of conditioner, like prime for example.

I was told by some fish keepers that these products aren't necessary if you run your water the day before a change and then let it sit at room temp. for a day or so, at least 24 hours.

I was led to believe that the chlorine and other unwanted chemicals would escape into the air during this period.

This is what I have been doing for the last couple of months, and have had no problem, but would like some serious hobbyists experienced opinions on this matter..

thanks in advance

Simon

Peace always..

If you worry you die, and if you don't worry you still die..... so why worry?
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post #2 of 12 Old 04-26-2012, 05:45 PM
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That method works fine as long as you dont have chloramine in your water. Chlorine willl "gas out" chloramine will not. If you've been doing that for a couple months then it's safe to say you dont have chloramine.

The other slight risk is that some places have larger amounts of trace heavy metals which can cause damage to the fish in the long term. Many conditioners neutralize these. I would suggest looking for a report from the water company.

I would still recommend a bottle of prime handy in the event of an ammonia spike or if you have to do an emergency water change for whatever reason.
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-26-2012, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ladayen View Post
That method works fine as long as you dont have chloramine in your water. Chlorine willl "gas out" chloramine will not. If you've been doing that for a couple months then it's safe to say you dont have chloramine.

The other slight risk is that some places have larger amounts of trace heavy metals which can cause damage to the fish in the long term. Many conditioners neutralize these. I would suggest looking for a report from the water company.

I would still recommend a bottle of prime handy in the event of an ammonia spike or if you have to do an emergency water change for whatever reason.
yeah I am going to pick some up this weekend, like I said it would be nice if I needed to add some water quickly!

I have seen the water reports for my area but haven't got a clue how to read it.... perhaps I could provide a link here and someone more knowledgeable could read it and translate for me?
http://www.cambridge-water.co.uk/upl.../Coton2010.pdf

if you could let me know what the hell all that means that would be great!!!

Peace always..

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post #4 of 12 Old 04-26-2012, 08:24 PM
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There are some substances listed on that chart that I have never heard of. The often-mentioned adage that if it is safe for humans to drink it is fine for fish doesn't really hold up.

I had this discussion a few years back on a UK group and the consensus then was that most water supplies in the UK go light on chlorine, unlike North America. Chloramine is becoming more common in NA and as ladayen said this is another matter again.

Simon, you might want to talk with other aquarists in your area. If they have no issues, and you have no issues, not using a conditioner, fine.

But i fell into this trap once, many years ago, when I lived in Victoria, BC which then used very little chlorine. None of us used conditioners. Then one summer, the chlorine was increased due to a bacteria in the reservoir, and none of us knew. Many dead fish after the weekly water change that time. I decided it wasn't worth the risk.

But I only use, or suggest using, a conditioner that only targets what needs targeting in your water. I will not use Prime myself because i do not want more chemicals messing with the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. I have plants for this.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #5 of 12 Old 04-26-2012, 09:19 PM
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But I only use, or suggest using, a conditioner that only targets what needs targeting in your water. I will not use Prime myself because i do not want more chemicals messing with the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. I have plants for this.

Byron.
Sorry to jump in here, but if you don't use prime what would you recommend using to get rid of this high chlorine tap water here in the states?
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-26-2012, 09:51 PM
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many on that list are pesticides and herbicides, some VOCs and chlorinated solvents along with the metals, bacteriologicals, radioativity, and inorganics
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post #7 of 12 Old 04-27-2012, 07:29 AM
Unless you have a private well, it's uncertain what might be added to a municipal water supply at any time. So I'd have to agree that a water conditioner is an effective, inexpensive safety net.

Admittedly, I'm not a chemist but it would seem that the fact that Prime detoxifies ammonia, nitrites and nitrates along with most heavy metals for 24-48 hours doesn't seem like such a bad thing. This gives the tank biology time to assimilate these negative elements while protecting the fish...and the fact that it only does so for such a short period suggests that it breaks down and becomes relatively inert.

The guiding rule here I think is to use any chemical concoction with extreme care to ensure it's only used when necessary and never over dosed. I don't care who says "may be safely over dosed"! (which I think is just code to sell the notion of how safe the product is.)

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post #8 of 12 Old 04-27-2012, 07:58 AM
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I love the smell of Prime in the morning! - had to be said..(Quote from the movie Apocalypse Now changed slightly)

Agree that on any given day you have no idea what is being put into water supply lines, The necessity for water changes is something we all have to go through and as such it is beneficial to add some sort of dechlorinator. Now one could argue that with a well planted tank taking up a lot of ammonia, nitrites etc, the use of such chemicals could be stopped or less frequent.

Overall though the benefit in my opinion outweighs not using any and if used following the manufactures recommendation then is safe.

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post #9 of 12 Old 04-27-2012, 08:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone, I think I am going to get at least something to remove chlorine/chloramine if not prime. I will use it scarcely, and not after dosing my flourish, as I was informed in another thread that it stops flourish from working...
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post #10 of 12 Old 04-27-2012, 09:49 AM
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[quote=Tazman;1060936]I love the smell of Prime in the morning! - had to be said..(Quote from the movie Apocalypse Now changed slightly)

Ha ha ha
I never get used to the smell - I'll bet that napalm smells better.

Animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.
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