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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; ...

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Old 04-24-2013, 10:13 AM   #21
 
Just a follow-up from the Seachem website

Prime

Product Description
Prime® is the complete and concentrated conditioner for both fresh and salt water. Prime® removes chlorine, chloramine and ammonia. Prime® converts ammonia into a safe, non-toxic form that is readily removed by the tank’s biofilter. Prime® may be used during tank cycling to alleviate ammonia/nitrite toxicity. Prime® detoxifies nitrite and nitrate, allowing the biofilter to more efficiently remove them. It will also detoxify any heavy metals found in the tap water at typical concentration levels. Prime® also promotes the production and regeneration of the natural slime coat. Prime® is non-acidic and will not impact pH. Prime® will not overactivate skimmers. Use at start-up and whenever adding or replacing water.

Sizes: 50 mL, 100 mL, 250 mL, 500 mL, 2 L, 4 L, 20 L

Why It's Different
Nearly all companies manufacture a product that removes chlorine. None of those, however, can compare in quality, concentration, or effectiveness to Seachem’s flagship product: Prime®. Prime® is the second most concentrated dechlorinator on the market after our own aquavitro alpha™. A single 100 mL bottle will treat 1000 US gallons of tap water. Prime® will remove both chlorine and chloramines from municipal water supplies.

Prime® also contains a binder which renders ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate non-toxic. It is very important to understand how those two functions work together. All dechlorinators operate through a chemical process known as reduction. In this process, toxic dissolved chlorine gas (Cl2) is converted into non-toxic chloride ions (Cl-). The reduction process also breaks the bonds between chlorine and nitrogen atoms in the chloramine molecule (NH2Cl), freeing the chlorine atoms and replacing them with hydrogen (H) to create ammonia (NH3).

Typically, dechlorinators stop there, leaving an aquarium full of toxic ammonia! Seachem takes the necessary next step by including an ammonia binder to detoxify the ammonia produced in the reduction process.

Be very careful when purchasing water conditioners. If your municipality includes chloramines in the water supplies, a standard sodium thiosulfate dechlorinator is not enough. Prime® promotes the natural production and restoration of the slime coat rather than relying on artificial or non-native slime compounds. A further bonus for the reef hobbyist—Prime® will not overactivate protein skimmers.

Directions
Use 1 capful (5 mL) for each 200 L (50 gallons*) of new water. This removes approximately 1 mg/L ammonia, 4 mg/L chloramine, or 5 mg/L chlorine. For smaller doses, please note each cap thread is approx. 1 mL. May be added to aquarium directly, but better if added to new water first. If adding directly to aquarium, base dose on aquarium volume. Sulfur odor is normal. For exceptionally high chloramine concentrations, a double dose may be used safely. To detoxify nitrite in an emergency, up to 5 times normal dose may be used. If temperature is > 30 °C (86 °F) and chlorine or ammonia levels are low, use a half dose.
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:35 AM   #22
 
If you absolutely fell you must use chemicals then add those (like Prime) to the new water before adding it to the tank.

FWIW what I do is plant my tanks and just replace the evaporative water with straight untreated tap water. My water supply has used chlorimine for over a decade. I have never seen any signs of stress to the fish ever with that method and have ran tanks for up to 9 years continuous and several tanks with that mathod since the late '70s in many different cities in the US.

FWIW after municipal water suppliers started using chlorimine they found out the have to flush their systems because the chlorimine breaks down in the storage systems, causing a bloom of the same bacteria we have in our tanks. So much so that often the chlorimine is almost non existant when the water reaches your tap.


my .02
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:42 AM   #23
 
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Back when I was on city water I did notice te smell of a pool occasionally I always go on the premise of its safe for me to drink its safe for te fish I primarily use prime during plant less new tank when they are cycleing personally I've never lost fish after a poll smelling water change from the tap but then again I've always stayed away from the more sensitive fish which I would assume is the same as new keepers would do but it's a assption

Moral of the story personally I don't use it to condition new water never saw a reason or had problems but every system is different
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:04 AM   #24
JDM
 
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I would add top off water untreated, do that at the office, but would not choose to use untreated chlorinated water. Even if the fish seem OK with it I would consider the long term effects that may be cumulative from exposure. Our town uses chlorine so I imagine I would be OK but I know how I react when in a pool with chlorinated water... even a shower has negative effects... glad I'm back on well water.

Prime is cheap enough that cost is not a consideration for me relative to the possible results.

Jeff.
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Old 04-24-2013, 03:05 PM   #25
 
After reading these comments, I get the inference that some people feel that it is OK to do a water change with regular tap water + just adding Seachem Prime or other water conditioner.

Would this be almost as good as using R/O water system?

I am considering getting a RO system from costco, but its quite expensive (compared to water conditioners)

I have a 40 gallon FOWLR tank setup but might consider adding corals one day.

Last edited by rk23; 04-24-2013 at 03:07 PM..
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Old 04-24-2013, 03:19 PM   #26
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rk23 View Post
After reading these comments, I get the inference that some people feel that it is OK to do a water change with regular tap water + just adding Seachem Prime or other water conditioner.

Would this be almost as good as using R/O water system?

I am considering getting a RO system from costco, but its quite expensive (compared to water conditioners)

I have a 40 gallon FOWLR tank setup but might consider adding corals one day.
IMHO for a planted Fw tank tap water is better then ro/di.

And for that matter for a fish and soft coral marine tank as well.

The only real need IMHO for RO/DI is for marine reef tanks with delicate corals which are very sensitive to things like copper and other heavy metals.

The plant life be it fw plants or marine algae and macros will maintain the waste products (ammonia, nitrates, phosphates, co2) of the fish just fine. But most do not realize that plant life also is extremely effective and efficient at filtering out heavy metals as well. To me, given some time and with limited or no water changes even SPS corals in a reef tank can thrive. But most would state you absolutely must use RO/DI water in that environment.

So that's just my .02
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Old 04-24-2013, 03:33 PM   #27
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beaslbob View Post
IMHO for a planted Fw tank tap water is better then ro/di.

And for that matter for a fish and soft coral marine tank as well.

The only real need IMHO for RO/DI is for marine reef tanks with delicate corals which are very sensitive to things like copper and other heavy metals.

The plant life be it fw plants or marine algae and macros will maintain the waste products (ammonia, nitrates, phosphates, co2) of the fish just fine. But most do not realize that plant life also is extremely effective and efficient at filtering out heavy metals as well. To me, given some time and with limited or no water changes even SPS corals in a reef tank can thrive. But most would state you absolutely must use RO/DI water in that environment.

So that's just my .02
agree with you here, those that have went back and forth with well water vs city water (myself included) can advocate better plant health. my well water has all the required micros and traces that my plants will need and thus I don't have to add them. however I still add a comp fert just to make sure I have a balance of available nuts.

untreated well water is best for w/cs imo better than ro/di since ro/di is si pure its just wter nothing more.
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Old 04-24-2013, 03:43 PM   #28
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rk23 View Post
After reading these comments, I get the inference that some people feel that it is OK to do a water change with regular tap water + just adding Seachem Prime or other water conditioner.

Would this be almost as good as using R/O water system?

I am considering getting a RO system from costco, but its quite expensive (compared to water conditioners)

I have a 40 gallon FOWLR tank setup but might consider adding corals one day.
Depends upon what you need to do to the water. RO basically removes everything from the water, resulting in a "pure" water. But fish cannot live in this. Also, I am not certain on chlorine, as I have read that it must first be made ineffective or it can destry the membrane--but I only throw this out as a "possible" issue.

Using tap water for freshwater fish tanks is always better when that is suitable. It is more readily available, and this makes water changes easier plus it allows for emergency changes--and believe me, they will occur. RO also wastes more water than it purifies, so you are left with much less useable water after using RO. Someone who has used this can comment on how much, but if I remember correctly more than half the water is "wasted".

Tap water is rendered safe for fish with a suitable conditioner. What sort of conditioner you need depends upon what you need to remove/detoxify in the tap water. Conditioners should be minimal, that is, geared to what you need. Extra chemicals and additives do not improve anything, quite the opposite.

Byron.
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:26 PM   #29
JDM
 
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I think anywhere from 4:1 to 8:1 is the waste water ratio for RO units. That waste has to go somewhere and it typically just goes down the drain. Good to know if you are on a septic system if you use a lot of RO water.

Jeff.
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:38 PM   #30
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rk23 View Post
After reading these comments, I get the inference that some people feel that it is OK to do a water change with regular tap water + just adding Seachem Prime or other water conditioner.

Would this be almost as good as using R/O water system?

I am considering getting a RO system from costco, but its quite expensive (compared to water conditioners)

I have a 40 gallon FOWLR tank setup but might consider adding corals one day.
Do not use tap water. What Freshwater aquarists fear about tap water is Chlorine, Chloramine and other additives in the water. Saltwater tanks, especially reef tanks (corals and/or invertebrates) cannot stand the various metals that are found in tap water. And even if they are not in the supply or the city data, they could end up in the water because it is transported in copper pipes or stored in metal containers. Use only RO/Di water or steam distilled water (as long as that wasn't stored in a metal container) when doing corals or invertebrates.
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