Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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pyroskl 08-07-2009 01:02 PM

Air conditioner condensation in aquarium?
I have a 10 gallon planted tank with Guppys, Platies and Ghost shrimp.

I have been filling their tank with tapwater which I treat to remove the chlorine. The tapwater is hard water and it naturally has pretty high levels of ammonia in it.

I live in a humid area and I started running my portable air conditioner. It has a lot of condensation runoff and I am wondering if that water could be used to fill the aquarium. My thoughts are since it is only condensation it will be soft water, no chlorine and no ammonia.

Any thoughts?

Byron 08-07-2009 01:24 PM

During our recent abnormal hot spell here I was thinking the same thing. But I wouldn't do it because I can't guarantee there may not be some residue from the inside of the air conditioner that gets into the water. I suppose a chemist could test the water, but this isn't all that practical. Especially when tap water can be made safe with a good conditioner.

You mentioned ammonia; use a conditioner like Prime that detoxifies ammonia in tap water as well as removing chlorine and chloramine and heavy metals.

Another issue to consider is stability; an aquarium is healthiest for the fish when it is stable with respect to water quality and parameters. Using tap water continually ensures stability. And if hard water is a problem for the type of fish, there are ways to soften it (peat and RO).

Last thing that occurs to me--you don't say this, but if you are simply replacing evaporated water, don't. Do a partial water change. When water (especially hard water) evaporates, it leaves behind the minerals, and these continue to accumulate. Better to syphon out a portion of the water every week and replace it with conditioned water, also removing any mineral residue before filling the tank.

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