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Water Changes

This is a discussion on Water Changes within the Freshwater Aquarium Equipment forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for their opinions and advice. It helps alot :)...

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Old 04-21-2013, 07:49 PM   #11
 
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Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for their opinions and advice. It helps alot :)
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Last edited by pinkdiamond96; 04-21-2013 at 07:51 PM.. Reason: made a mistake
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:04 PM   #12
 
I agree that adding dechlor before filling is the safest way to do a water change. However I rarely bother with any type of conditioner, but that is just me. Only for very young fry really. Even doing 50% or more straight from tap while running the filter I have never had a problem. My rainbows always spawn the most the morning after a water change. Typical levels of chlorine found in tap water are very very low. I have tried testing it before and it was well under 1ppm for my location. My current tap has chloramines and 0.25 ppm ammonia. Tanks also have loads of organics which will bind up chlorine/chloramines very fast. They really don't pose much risk to filter bacteria unless the utility does a flush of the pipes which typically happens in spring with all the run off. Also bacteria does live in tap water, quite a few are very commonly found that are not harmful and thus are no concern and also do live quite happily in chlorinated tap water.

I use a hose for changing water. I find the vacuum adapters very wasteful since you have to run the tap while draining which should not been needed. I drain water to my bath tub and fill by unscrewing the showerhead then screwing on a hose with the correct adapter. Showers are usually easier then sinks IMO and also give more water pressure. The typical tubing they use to make pythons has a 1/2" inner diameter and outer doesn't really matter. You can buy 100% vinyl tubing this size for about 30 cents a foot at some hardware/home improvement stores. Some is prepackaged and some is sold buy the foot. They also sell most all adapters you will need for cheap. I have two 30ft+ hoses with adapters that were very cheap. Then I bought a medium sized gravel vac and just stuck the vac end on the hose. One thing to watch out for is any gavel vac with a built in check valve/ one way valve as you won't be able to refill through it.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:16 PM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikaila31 View Post
I use a hose for changing water. I find the vacuum adapters very wasteful since you have to run the tap while draining which should not been needed.
Yes, it is very wasteful of water if you want to get the water change done in a timely manner.

Once the siphon starts, you don't NEED to keep the water running... it'll just take a while if you don't. I use a pump to drain the tanks - significantly faster, without wasting water. Also, allows me to drain one tank while filling another with the python.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:58 PM   #14
 
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Yes, it is very wasteful of water if you want to get the water change done in a timely manner.

Once the siphon starts, you don't NEED to keep the water running... it'll just take a while if you don't. I use a pump to drain the tanks - significantly faster, without wasting water. Also, allows me to drain one tank while filling another with the python.
I use gravity and a bath tub, it goes a whole lot faster draining water to a much lower point vs a waste high sink. I unfortunately have too much debris coming through the hose to use a pump. Depending on the tank I may plug the bath tub. Especially for shrimp tanks, then I siphon everything and retrieve any slow shrimp from the tub, tho most are fast enough to avoid a siphon. Sometimes there is a thrill seeking fish even lol. I can drain and fill at the same time too but prefer to do one tank at a time unless I am rushed for time.

At my current location, where I have been for 6 months, I have really high pH out of tap. About 8.5 and my tanks may sit as low as 7.0 due to CO2 injection. So annoyingly I have to fill a 33 gallon trash can I have in a closet then it sits usually around 24 hours and pH will drop to 7.8 then I pump this into the tanks. I miss being able to fill straight from tap.

Here is thread for my basic water change hose. It could be made fancier with a T ball valve for draining without disconnecting it or using a separate hose. Depends how many tanks you are dealing with.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:05 AM   #15
 
Caution

Just a heads up to new fish keepers. Some experienced fish keepers may not do water changes at all, advocate not using conditioner properly or not using conditioner at all.
But beware that not using conditioner properly may be risky!
As I think Byron pointed out, some municipalities use more chlorine/chloramine than others, sometimes rates increase dramatically under certain circumstances (broken pipe repairs) or times of the year. Some folks have water that isn't even chlorinated at all.
Some folks have just let water sit out and/or agitated because chlorine readily dissipates, however chloramine does not and more and more municipalities have switched (or are switching) to chloramine because it's more effective.

When in doubt, using a conditioner properly by following the manufacturers directions better ensures your fish will not suffer.
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Last edited by AbbeysDad; 04-29-2013 at 08:12 AM..
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:51 PM   #16
 
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Thanks for the warning, AD!

While some more experienced fish-keepers may choose, based on a more in-depth understanding of how their specific tanks run, to do things in a way that is not *as* common, it is VERY important for us all to keep in mind those who may have only just started learning about tanks and who may also happen upon this thread. I really appreciate you taking the time to post a bit of information aimed at those who may not know, so that they may proceed with caution. It would be devastating if someone were to accidentally bring harm to their fish because of a lack of understanding. . .

Last edited by Chesh; 04-22-2013 at 07:10 PM.. Reason: fun and education.
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:15 PM   #17
 
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Just out of curiosity, you say some companies add more chlorine/chloamine to the water than others, which could easily be true. Is there a way to find out if there is 'excess' in ones tap? And would someone just add extra water conditioner to remove it? What 'limit' does a water conditioner have (obviously a certain amount dechlorinates a set amount of gallons, but does it rely on a certain 'average' amount of chlorine in the water? If that makes sense.)

I ask because sometimes my tap smells very strongly of chlorine (think pool scent), and other times it's completely odorless.
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:21 PM   #18
 
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It will be in your city's water report.
Most cities average at about 2ppm of chlorine I think.. And Prime I believe is designed to handle up to 4ppm of chlorine per the dosing instructions (other brands may be different though), I know Mikaila will be able correct me there if I'm wrong but that's just off my memory.
I know my city has 2.3ppm of chlorine. Also I do think it may change seasonally or randomly, as stuff like E. coli breakouts do happen here in the waters around here in the summer cause I don't really wanna know why, which may cause water plants to put in more chlorine.
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:32 PM   #19
 
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There probably are guidelines/regulations in the USA and Canada to limit the amount of chlorine, though I've never looked for them. I have never read of any water conditioner not handling the chlorine in tap water, whatever the level.

I too sometimes can smell it in the tap water; interestingly, I have an allergy to chlorine, just a mild one, I simply sneeze a bit after swimming, or sometimes when doing water changes on the fish.

And it is quite true that a municipality may increase the amount of chlorine to handle various bacteria, something which is obviously more likely to occur in summer. Back in the mid 1980's I ived in Victoria, BC and the water was very lightly chlorinated. Those of us with fish didn't use a conditioner at all, there was no need, and this went on for years. But one summer a bacterial bloom in the reservoir lake caused the municipality to up the chlorine, and if it was announced in advance, most of us didn't see it. Well, that week, after the water change, we all lost some fish. That was when I started using a conditioner, regardless of the tap water.

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Old 04-22-2013, 08:08 PM   #20
 
4 ppm is the limit for both chlorine and chloramines in tap water. Though this is rare. A full 4ppm of chlorine is typical for a swimming pool. Most have 2ppm or less. Pretty much every dechlor out there assumes you have 4ppm of chlorine out of the tap and is dose to neutralize for that.

I have no clue on the levels of chlorine or chloramines in my tap but I can certainly smell them some times.

Glad I'm not experienced or 'experienced'.
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