09-05-2008, 03:21 PM
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Jay, you are VERY wrong. I assume by "hose" you are using something like a Python, which aerates the water thereby removing the chlorine, which is why you aren't having any problems. Tap water in the United States is required to have at *least* 0.2 ppm of chlorine, which is LETHAL TO FISH.
Chlorine is an irritant which burns the fish's gills as they breath. Not fun. Also, chlorine bonds with organic material in the tank to form trihalomethanes, which are carcinogenic (ei causes cancer). Also, chlorine is a disinfectant, which means it can destroy your biological filtration.
Water conditioner is designed to remove not just chlorine (which can also be removed through aeration), but also chloramines and heavy metals (which cannot be).
Chloramine is a more stable alternative to chlorine which many utilities are using now. It is chlorine bonded with ammonia, and cannot be removed through aging or aeration of the water. It is more dangerous than chlorine, because it doesn't burn the gills, but is absorbed into the bloodstream and causes major organ damage.