Originally Posted by arscott82
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?
My response to this will also address a couple of issues raised in the subsequent posts of other members.
All of the dechlorinator water conditioners on the market will handle chlorine. And I recall Mikaila saying she just uses straight sodium thiosulphate [if I have the chemical name correct], it is the main ingredient in most if not all of these, and cheaper in bulk. So if only chlorine is present, or might be, almost any conditioner will work in this respect. [I used Big Al's for a time (as long as the jug lasted me) but no more as it clouds the water the day following every water change, just a bit of a haze but it varies the more you use.]
Next substance targeted is usually chloramine, and most--but not all--will deal with this. Then comes heavy metals, many detoxify these. And this is where the liquid plant fertilizer issues comes in. Conditioners that detoxify heavy metals work for 24-36 hours, so waiting a day after the water change to dose the fertilizers may be advisable; Seachem recommended this, I can't say if it is significant or not, but as waiting a day does no harm, I do so.
Some conditioners then target ammonia, but unless you have ammonia in the source water, i see no benefit of this in a planted tank. Most of these detoxify ammonia by changing it to ammonium, which the plants will readily take up, so no real harm. But here again, it is one more chemical interaction that is un-necessary [I'll come back to this].
Targeting nitrite and nitrate also is pointless unless these are in the source water. And in planted tanks plants will take up these too. I know the capacity is perhaps limited, but I think a good stand of plants will probably handle most any amount of any of these can may be present. Plus there will be some nitrifying bacteria even in planted tanks.
The reason I do not like non-essential chemicals is the same reason I do not believe in adding substances to an aquarium unless absolutely essential, be they medications, salt, water treatments, fertilizers, so-called miracle substances that "prevent" water changes being necessary and whatever. All of these add TDS (total dissolved solids) and these do affect fish, some more than others. If it is essential, then the benefit outweighs the downside. But it makes no sense to me to dump chemical after chemical into the water in which the fish is forced to live.