Pre conditioning tank
I have three tanks in my office in a bicycle shop. The practice of shlepping 5+ gallons into the tanks manually for freq water changes got tiring and complicated when the water has a few issues that need to be delt with. The water needs heated in the winter beacuse it is as low as 55f at times. Chlorine needs to be dealt with dispapated and the water does contain a bit of ammonia along with a ph of 7.4 when i desire 6.8. I am glad it is med-soft so i can persuade the buffering system to 6.8 with driftwood.
So i devised a 15 gallon tank located on top of a 6ft hutch. I have a heater, uv sterilizer, and a filter with carbon pouches and ammonia remover patches. i have it set up with a syphon hose to a "T" . I can add water from the faucet in the bathroom thru a garden hose snaked thru the hallway and connected to the "T", it also primes the syphon.
I do a gravity vacuum into a 5 gallon jug then dump this down the drain.
Then i divert the "T" and add the conditioned water to the tank with gravity.
I have done some searching on the internet and not many people mention the preconditioning of their water.
What do you do to Condition the Your Water?
For larger sized tanks, I add the conditioner to the tank after siphoning out water. Then I add tap water using the reverse flow feature on the siphon. As long as the new water is added within a few mins of the dechlorinator, it's fine.
For smaller tanks (10 gals or so) I just add the conditioner to the tap water in a 5 gal bucket before adding it to the tank.
Water from the tap in most if not all places in North America will contain chlorine at least, and in many areas chloramine is also added. Both of these must be detoxified before the water can be used in the aquarium as either can kill fish outright depending upon the level, or slowly by burning the gills so the fish cannot get oxygen. I assume this treatment is what you are referring to as conditioning or pre-conditioning.
With small tanks it is wise to condition the water before adding it, due to the small tank volume and significant impact of the added water. In larger tanks one can add the conditioner to the tank when the fresh water begins to enter the tank if using a Python connected to the tap.
Call me wrong itís not the first time but I thought that splashing the water allowed chlorine & chloramines to evaporate into the air. I am not suggesting any opinion about the practical use of water conditioners.
Very true. Chlorine can be out-gassed from water by shaking it very briskly for several minutes, or by letting it sit out for say 24 hours. And as AD said, this is why municipal water boards are turning to chloramine.
Here in Vancouver they still only use chlorine, but because of the above they have stations along a couple of the main water lines to add more chlorine, knowing that the chlorine added at the pumping station will dissipate out as the water travels through the pipes and it can pick up more bacteria. One can get increased chlorine at the faucet, depending where you live within the metro region. Some people notice when they come out of the shower they smell like they've beeen in a swimming pool due to the high chlorine.
Is chloramines sometimes made by addition of ammonia to chlorine? Can the use of water conditioners to remove chloramines and chlorine also release this unknown contained amount of ammonia into the aquarium? If so can this ammonia be used by good bacteria to develop colonies as it comes out of the tap (conditioned) or will this unaccounted volume of ammonia exceed the amount of ammonia acceptable to the bacteria colony and shut the processes down?
Disclaimer: I am not offering any opinion or suggestions about the use of water conditioners.
When it comes to pre-conditioning, I think I just may 'win' (or lose!).
I live in the country and have a well. I don't have to deal with chlorine or chloramines. There was a time that I simply got a garden hose adapter for the sink and indexed the faucets for the proper temperature. I'd insert the siphon hose into the garden hose and siphon out to the front lawn. Then hook up the hose, set the faucet handles and refill - no muss, no fuss.
Then I discovered I had HIGH NITRATES (60-80ppm) IN MY WELL WATER. You see I had some Platys that came with a 'payload', but the fry would seem to have a very short life span for no apparent reason. This lead to the testing and discovery of high nitrates. The most likely reason for the high nitrates is a 95 acre farmers field across the road that gets ample amounts of organic and chemical fertilizers.
So this began my quest to reduce tank generated nitrates as well as obtain water suitable for water changes. Purchased bottled water at $1 a gallon really adds up!
1) I bought an API Tap Water Filter to make deionized (DI) water. DI water is treated with Seachem Replenish for minerals and Neutral/Alkaline Regulators for pH. For my water, I only get about 50g for each $25 filter cartridge.
2) I setup a 10g tank in the garage and used Fluval Lab Series Nitrate Remover (FNR) to remove nitrates from my well water. FNR is a synthetic resin that adsorbs nitrates and is regenerated/reused with salt water.
3) I collect and use rain water (treated much like DI water for minerals and pH).
I would typically mix FNR with DI or rain water 50/50 to produce a 10-15g weekly water change.
For reducing tank generated nitrates:
-> Developed a DIY denitrate filter but even with copious amounts of Seachem Stability, I could not seem to culture the anaerobic bacteria to complete the N2 cycle and convert nitrates to nitrogen gas. (now discontinued).
-> Added several bunches of Anacharis plants.
-> Minimized feeding.
-> Aggressive gravel siphoning and filter maintenance.
-> Experimented using Seachem Purigen to remove dissolved organics before they are broken down, eventually to nitrates.
-> Switched from gravel to deep [pool filter] sand.
-> Added an Aquaclear 70 filter with an Aquaclear 20 impeller for a trickle flow through the Matrix/De*Nitrate bio-media mix... While my other AC70 just uses foam/pads/floss for mechanical and the media is changed regularly.
-> Experimenting with Aquabella bio-enzyme product.
So that's my story. A fair amount of effort to combat high nitrates in my source water. I ruled out an RO/DI system for the house. The cost would be increased as due to pressure, I would need an additional pump to get water through the membrane. Also 4 gallons of waste water for each gallon or RO water just seems crazy to me. Also, even with treating the DI water, based on general fish behavior, when I've attempted to use it alone without mixing my FNR filtered water*, it seems something is missing. So I continue 'making' water to use for water changes.
*With winter coming, for FNR filtered water, I discontinued my 10g setup in the garage for a 29H setup in the basement.
...and so, the saga continues. :-)
Seachem explains how Prime works thus:
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).Conditioners may work differently from brand to brand, I've no idea; not having chloramines, I have not dug into this further.
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