Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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SheyFirestar 07-01-2008 03:20 PM

water quality question
ok so i just heard that in the past month the water dept. here has changed something and is now adding a very large amount of chlorine to our water. i heard this from a friend who owns a local mom and pop pet store. it is bad enough that she actually bought some kind of filtration system just to remove the chlorine.

so my questions are.
1. is there a way to test water to see how much chlorine is in it?
2. i use a dechlorinater but if it is this high should i up the dose a little to compensate?
3. the fish in my tank seem fine with what ive been doing but i still havent seen any improvement of ammonia/nitrites could this be killing the bacteria that im trying to grow?
4. should i maybe dose the tank with dechlorinater to ensure that the chlorine is gone?
5. my PH is stable at 8 and my water overnight tests at 7.5. i know ph is not normally worried about unless you have a fish that needs a special range but i thought it might be helpful. at work i can get reverse osmosis water at a reasonable price should i maybe be using this instead for my water changes?

i am using NovAqua + water conditioner and it says on there that you cant really overdose the stuff. "Dosage can be increased or repeated without adverse affects."

as always you guys rock and any help/advice/personal experiences are greatly appreciated.

okiemavis 07-01-2008 04:54 PM

There are tests you can get to check for chlorine, your LFS should sell one for relatively cheap. I can't imagine they are adding dangerously more chlorine, as there are regulations on how much is legal. Are you sure they haven't started adding chloramines or something like that as well?

Also, chlorine evaporates rather readily, so if you leave a bucket out overnight, or even use a python (which aerates the water), the chlorine should be eliminated. You'll still need to use the water conditioner to remove chloramines and heavy metals.

I just checked out NovAqua+ and it seems like a bit of a strange product to be using. It does remove chlorine, chloramine and heavy metals, which is good, but it also says it "buffers pH". As far as I know, that means it increases kh and possibly gh, which is messing with other water parameters. It's possible it's fine, but I worry the product is causing water parameter instabilities over time. Perhaps it would be worth checking that out and also maybe trying another water conditioner.

SKAustin 07-01-2008 06:05 PM

If I might add. The water department is required, when asked, to provide you with a copy of the list of contaminates and additives in your local water. It may behoove you to stop by the local office and request a copy. although, I'll warn you, the results may sometimes be scary. You'll probably never drink Tap Water again.

SheyFirestar 07-01-2008 08:14 PM

ok well its not like i have an attachment to the novaqua, ive read on here a lot of people use primer? i think thats what it was, ill give it a try or maybe recommend something. but just for curiosity sake im going to test my water and then test a batch of water that i prepared with novaqua.

Water - no additives
Ph - 7.5
Kh - 4
Gh - 8
NH3/NH4 - 0
N02 - <.3

Water with conditioner
Ph - 7.5
Kh - 4
Gh - 8
NH3/NH4 - 0
NO2 - <.3

just so you see my tank parameters

Ph - 8
Kh - 4
Gh - 6
NH3/NH4 - 1.5
NO2 - .3

okiemavis 07-02-2008 03:58 PM

Prime is very good- I highly recommend it. I use it and it's soo concentrated that it ends up being way cheaper than anything else. Also, your hardness is totally fine- a kh of 4 is very soft, and a gh of 8 isn't really that high. Unless you're keeping discus you should be good to go.

I notice that you've got ammonia in your tank, is the tank fully cycled? Any level of ammonia is toxic, and 1.5 ppm is quite a lot to be seeing in a cycled tank. Because your pH is so high, the ammonia is taking the form of NH3, which is a lot more toxic than NH4.

Do you have any seashells or something like that in the tank that would drive your pH up? I'd actually assume not since your gh is dropping, but it's good to check. If not, my guess is that when the water ages, the co2 dissipates, thereby driving the ph up. Could you treat some tap water, leave it in a bucket for 24 hours and then test it? That would prove my theory.

SheyFirestar 07-02-2008 09:18 PM

no the tank is not cycled. its been like 6 or 7 weeks now with no change whatsoever in ammonia. its driving me crazy. and i had the treated water from yesterday but yeah tossed it when i was making dinner :( it was in my way lol. as for Ph of my tap ive tested it after 24 hours and its still 7.5. no i dont have anything in there that i know of that should be doing this to my water. decorations i have a piece of driftwood, a plastic rock/cave thing, a java moss covered cave, and a small amazon sword. ive tested the rocks im using and they are good too. ill post the results from the day long thing tomorrow.

i guess really its been so long since i started this im looking for reasons as to why the tank isnt cycled. im trying to be patient but i suppose its just not one of my greatest virtues. ive know sometimes you just get stubborn tanks that dont want to cycle i guess thats mine.

SheyFirestar 07-04-2008 01:46 PM

ok sorry i didnt have time to post last night but heres the water that has been treated w/ my dechlorinater and left out for 1 day.

Ph - 7.5
Kh - 4
Gh - 9
NH3/Nh4 - 0
NO2 - <3

Tank is still holding at 8.0 Ph. So correct me if im wrong but would that mean that there is something in my tank raising my ph? Also from this i can see really where the dechlorinater im using is really affecting anything. anyone else out there ever use this stuff? is it really necessary to switch? Also NH3/NH4 still 1.5 ppm but its not nearly as dark as before so maybe im getting somewhere. :) i sure do hope.

athlete3344 07-04-2008 11:55 PM

How did you test the rocks you're using?

SheyFirestar 07-06-2008 06:52 PM

i poured white vinegar on the rocks and watched for bubbles. it never bubbled so from what ive heard that means they are ok. at least thats how i was told to check them. if the rocks are still possibly a problem i could maybe set up a different small tank with them and only them and see if the ph alters again but thats probably a little overkill id think. ive been thinking of changing the substrate to sand but i really do want to do that now as the tank still hasnt even cycled yet. i just want to switch down the road sometime to open up some options for cool bottom dwellers. but im more concerned now with just getting a tank cycled and wetting my feet in this whole aquarium world.

Kim 07-06-2008 07:13 PM

What is your java moss covered cave made of? Also, do you know if your plastic pot is inert? I would try taking each of these things out and placing them in their own small container of water. Then test the pH after about a day. The pH in my tank kept rising and I found out that it was caused by a ceramic pot that was in there. You could also try a sample of the gravel. As for the ammonia, maybe your biological filtration just needs a boost. You could try a product that contains live benificial bacteria such as stress szme or colonize. Good luck.

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