What are the advantages of using dechlorinator? I know obviously that it removes chlorine, but so does letting water sit for a few hours before adding it to the tank, however it seems that a lot of members here swear by it. Personally I have always just let my water sit because it means I don't have to add any chemicals to the tank, and it's also cheaper (obviously). I was wondering if there was also some hidden advantage other than removing chlorine that I don't know about, due to it's popularity.
Dechlor also has some very useful chemicals that help to restore the slime coat. I believe it also nuetralizes chloramine which if I remember right does not evaporate out. MY aquasafe also removed heavy metals which can be harmful if they build up over time.
I do not know about fresh water treatment and distribution on the Isle but in the States 99.99 percent of the potable water utility providers induce chloramine immediately prior to pumping the potable water into the transmission and distribution mains.
Chloramine contains the Cl element but is much, much more stable than the calcium and sodium hypochlorite which was traditionally used (and still is for swimming pool disinfection).
Chloramine is toxic to fish and will not dissipate when placed in an open vessel.
A dechlorinate will reduce chloramine and is necessary when tap water is used for water changes in the States.
Julie, I know that in my part of Glasgow, chloramines are not added to the tapwater but I don't know about your area.
I wouldn't consider just letting water stand though. For starters, I don't have enough buckets and like to transfer into the tank by means of a powerhead straight from the tap, and also as fish_4_all mentioned, there are additives in dechlorinator which help restore the slime coat.
Lots of the chemical additives aid in the neutralization of other heavy metals as well.
If so, I guess it's time to start buying some dechlorinator and count myself lucky so far.
Many months back I researched dechlorinators.
I had used Seachem Prime since reentering fish keeping but determined from my research, IMHO, it to be superior to other products.
The research, although fairly extensive, proved that my opinion would be formed from qualitative and not quantitative information as that published by the vendors is typically very qualitative.
Hence my recommendation was formed from an extrapolation of the information set forth in the literature based on (the following occurred 30 to 35 years ago) a few analytical, nonorganic and physical chemistry courses and reading an organic chemistry book.
Several Items to Note With Respect to the Marketing For Prime
Please note that the below assertions are IMHO.
Tap water conditioner removes chlorine and chloramine
Nope. Does not remove these but only reduces them to molecules which are less toxic to fish.
Detoxifies ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, and heavy metals
Only partially valid.
One molecule in Prime reduces the ammonia to nitrite and hydrogen and another molecule reduces the free nitrite to a fairly stable molecule* (although still toxic in significant concentrations).
The nitrite molecules stay in the water until digested by bacteria in the biological filtration media.
Nitrates and heavy metals are affected very little, if at all.
*probably a salt
The problem with chloramines is that even if your water company doesn't currently use them, they can start using them at any time without notice.
In the US there is pressure from the EPA to use chloramines because they're more stable and reduce the chance that halomethanes can be formed.
Thanks for all the help. Turns out there is no chloramine in my water however it seems that dechlorinator has other benefits, so I am going to start using it anyway.
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