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I am wanting to make my water changes easier instead of using a bucket all the time.
I'm considering getting a water changer such as the python water changer or the aqueon water
changer that I can hook up to my faucet to fill up my tank. When doing water changes I always
put prime in as im filling up the bucket and stir it around a bit before filling back up the tank. My
question is, since plain tap water is toxic to fish, how would I go about filling up my tank with the
water changer since I would not be able to add prime before the water goes in the tank? Should I
just add the prime after filling up the tank? I really dont want my fish being exposed to untreated
tap water if its going to harm them. Anybody have any advice for me? Thanks
 

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Add prime to the tank as it is being filled, or right before. I assume that you are using chlorinated water? If you were on a well you wouldn't need to treat it.

I happen to have a tap that cannot use an adaptor so I have to bucket but I set up a pump now with the bucket in the sink, pump in the bucket and hose to the tank. Run the tap, run the pump.... the water going through the pail could be treated before it gets to the tank I suppose. I do envy the people who can just use the attachments to do this.

Jeff
 

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Yes, chlorinated tap water is not good for fish, and it will kill them..... Eventually. It's not as toxic as I think you think it is, though. With the water changer, there are many kinds of fish that will actually swim in the inflow of new water, straight from the tap. You have some leeway. My point is not to fret about it... just don't FORGET to add it :) Too, it depends on the size of your water change. For instance, if you do a 20% change and forget, the chlorine will probably dissipate without doing any harm. However, if you did an 80% change, the concentration of chlorine would be significantly higher as there's only 20% old water to dilute it. It will still dissipate, but that's a far more serious matter. Chloramine, however, does not dissipate in a timely manner.
 
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You'll find plenty of older aquarists who do 25% weekly water changes with no water conditioners at all. This goes back to when they started, when chloramine was not in regular use in municipal water supplies. The chlorine would gas off in several hours, the slight amount of disinfectant caused no harm to fish or bio filtration.

Over time chloramine was seen more regularly in these water supplies, these veteran aquarists were unaware of this, and continued on as usual. Their fish thrived, as usual. One problem with municipal water supplies & chloramine is that there is bacteria growing in the system itself that is capable of splitting the ammonia/chlorine bond in chloramine, using the ammonia as a food source. These bacteria grow in the bio filtration of these aquarists, they don't know this for the most part, and really don't need to.

The amount of disinfectant in your water supply is enough to provide a safe product for human consumption to your tap. If there was enough disinfectant to wipe out your bio filtration & kill off fish you wouldn't be able to drink it, but it would probably make a great oven cleaner. Due to the nature of my setup, overflows for water changes, I do 50% water changes with untreated tap water, adding Prime after the tank drains down. This is due more to issues with metals in my supply, knowing a bit about my supplier there are times I will do without it.

A good article on what water suppliers are up against in regards to nitrifying bacteria in municipal water supply systems can be found here; Ammonia- and Nitrite-Oxidizing Bacterial Communities in a Pilot-Scale Chloraminated Drinking Water Distribution System Needless to say, adding dechlorinator before adding tap water to a tank is the safest way to go, adding it during or after filling really won't make a difference in a tank with healthy nitrifying bacteria & fish. If you look at the ingredients in Maroxy you'll find that it's a stabilized chlorine product, and while medicating healthy fish is generally frowned upon for a variety of reasons, perhaps these old timers giving their fish a little shot of disinfectant is part of the reason the continually have fish that do so well.
 
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just a heads up, instead of paying the like 60$ for 20 ft of rope and the adapter thing, you can get all of the same stuff at lowes/homedepot for maybe 20$ and that's with like 25ft of tube.
The water changing kits come in 25 foot lengths. I suppose $60 ($45 is more accurate) might be full retail value, but I don't know why anyone would pay that when they can buy it for significantly less online, with free shipping.

Amazon.com: Aqueon Aquarium Water Changer - 25 Feet: Pet Supplies

The faucet adapter costs about $10 to buy separately, and the vac tube costs around $10 as well. Not sure how much a 25 foot length of hose costs. Maybe you could save a couple dollars building it yourself, if the hose costs less than $10. For $29 dropped at your front door, I don't think you can beat it.
 
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You're always going to add conditioner after you drain, just before the refill. The real debate it about how much conditioner to use. Many members here report success with using just enough conditioner for the new water being added (as you would if you were doing it in buckets). For the tank method, I put the question to Seachem Tech Support on their web site and they recommended dosing for the entire tank volume.
 

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I would say it's advisable for someone just starting out, no doubt. As far as always adding it before you refill, no. With experience and depending on the setup & what you wish to achieve it may not be an always thing.
 

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I would say it's advisable for someone just starting out, no doubt. As far as always adding it before you refill, no. With experience and depending on the setup & what you wish to achieve it may not be an always thing.
Chlorine and chlorimine KILLS harmful bacteria from our drinking water...it also kills beneficial bacteria as well. Adding untreated chlorinated water to the tank could also harm the livestock and should be avoided. We always condition the water before we add it to the aquarium. In the case of adding tap water directly to the tank, we need to have the conditioner already in there at the ready. It is, or should be an 'always thing', as not doing so is just risky.
 

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Chlorine levels vary from municipality to municipality, so it is wise to recommend caution.

I speak as someone who has killed off fish solely by forgetting to use the dechlorinator one day, and with a 1/3 tank volume water change. Within a few minutes, the fish were all at the surface, gasping with reddened gills flared. I instantly knew what I'd done, and squirted in the dechlorinator. Most of the fish luckily revived over the next couple of hours, but sadly I lost some rare ones.

That tragedy was back in 1998, and I've been more awake since then. Until a couple weeks ago, when I was filling my 115g tank after removing half the water as usual; when the tank got to about 3/4 full, I happened to notice the fish were all at the far end, not swimming around into the stream as they usually do during water changes. Again I knew that I'd forgotten the dechlorinator, and squirted it in. Fish settled down again.

I use a Python on all tanks except the smallest, a 10g which fills too fast. I add the conditioner to the tank just after I switch the faucet valve to refill the tank and walk back to the fish room. I only add sufficient for the water volume being changed. In 20+ years this has caused no issues, other than the few slip-ups mentioned above.

Byron.
 
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I agree that adding dechlor before filling is the safest way to do a water change. However I rarely bother with any type of conditioner, but that is just me. Only for very young fry really. Even doing 50% or more straight from tap while running the filter I have never had a problem. My rainbows always spawn the most the morning after a water change. Typical levels of chlorine found in tap water are very very low. I have tried testing it before and it was well under 1ppm for my location. My current tap has chloramines and 0.25 ppm ammonia. Tanks also have loads of organics which will bind up chlorine/chloramines very fast. They really don't pose much risk to filter bacteria unless the utility does a flush of the pipes which typically happens in spring with all the run off. Also bacteria does live in tap water, quite a few are very commonly found that are not harmful and thus are no concern and also do live quite happily in chlorinated tap water.

I use a hose for changing water. I find the vacuum adapters very wasteful since you have to run the tap while draining which should not been needed. I drain water to my bath tub and fill by unscrewing the showerhead then screwing on a hose with the correct adapter. Showers are usually easier then sinks IMO and also give more water pressure. The typical tubing they use to make pythons has a 1/2" inner diameter and outer doesn't really matter. You can buy 100% vinyl tubing this size for about 30 cents a foot at some hardware/home improvement stores. Some is prepackaged and some is sold buy the foot. They also sell most all adapters you will need for cheap. I have two 30ft+ hoses with adapters that were very cheap. Then I bought a medium sized gravel vac and just stuck the vac end on the hose. One thing to watch out for is any gavel vac with a built in check valve/ one way valve as you won't be able to refill through it.
 

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I use a hose for changing water. I find the vacuum adapters very wasteful since you have to run the tap while draining which should not been needed.
Yes, it is very wasteful of water if you want to get the water change done in a timely manner.

Once the siphon starts, you don't NEED to keep the water running... it'll just take a while if you don't. I use a pump to drain the tanks - significantly faster, without wasting water. Also, allows me to drain one tank while filling another with the python.
 

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Yes, it is very wasteful of water if you want to get the water change done in a timely manner.

Once the siphon starts, you don't NEED to keep the water running... it'll just take a while if you don't. I use a pump to drain the tanks - significantly faster, without wasting water. Also, allows me to drain one tank while filling another with the python.
I use gravity and a bath tub, it goes a whole lot faster draining water to a much lower point vs a waste high sink. I unfortunately have too much debris coming through the hose to use a pump. Depending on the tank I may plug the bath tub. Especially for shrimp tanks, then I siphon everything and retrieve any slow shrimp from the tub, tho most are fast enough to avoid a siphon. Sometimes there is a thrill seeking fish even lol. I can drain and fill at the same time too but prefer to do one tank at a time unless I am rushed for time.

At my current location, where I have been for 6 months, I have really high pH out of tap. About 8.5 and my tanks may sit as low as 7.0 due to CO2 injection. So annoyingly I have to fill a 33 gallon trash can I have in a closet then it sits usually around 24 hours and pH will drop to 7.8 then I pump this into the tanks. I miss being able to fill straight from tap.

Here is thread for my basic water change hose. It could be made fancier with a T ball valve for draining without disconnecting it or using a separate hose. Depends how many tanks you are dealing with.
 

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Caution

Just a heads up to new fish keepers. Some experienced fish keepers may not do water changes at all, advocate not using conditioner properly or not using conditioner at all.
But beware that not using conditioner properly may be risky!
As I think Byron pointed out, some municipalities use more chlorine/chloramine than others, sometimes rates increase dramatically under certain circumstances (broken pipe repairs) or times of the year. Some folks have water that isn't even chlorinated at all.
Some folks have just let water sit out and/or agitated because chlorine readily dissipates, however chloramine does not and more and more municipalities have switched (or are switching) to chloramine because it's more effective.

When in doubt, using a conditioner properly by following the manufacturers directions better ensures your fish will not suffer.
 

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Thanks for the warning, AD!

While some more experienced fish-keepers may choose, based on a more in-depth understanding of how their specific tanks run, to do things in a way that is not *as* common, it is VERY important for us all to keep in mind those who may have only just started learning about tanks and who may also happen upon this thread. I really appreciate you taking the time to post a bit of information aimed at those who may not know, so that they may proceed with caution. It would be devastating if someone were to accidentally bring harm to their fish because of a lack of understanding. . .
 

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Just out of curiosity, you say some companies add more chlorine/chloamine to the water than others, which could easily be true. Is there a way to find out if there is 'excess' in ones tap? And would someone just add extra water conditioner to remove it? What 'limit' does a water conditioner have (obviously a certain amount dechlorinates a set amount of gallons, but does it rely on a certain 'average' amount of chlorine in the water? If that makes sense.)

I ask because sometimes my tap smells very strongly of chlorine (think pool scent), and other times it's completely odorless.
 

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It will be in your city's water report.
Most cities average at about 2ppm of chlorine I think.. And Prime I believe is designed to handle up to 4ppm of chlorine per the dosing instructions (other brands may be different though), I know Mikaila will be able correct me there if I'm wrong but that's just off my memory. :p
I know my city has 2.3ppm of chlorine. Also I do think it may change seasonally or randomly, as stuff like E. coli breakouts do happen here in the waters around here in the summer cause I don't really wanna know why, which may cause water plants to put in more chlorine.
 

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There probably are guidelines/regulations in the USA and Canada to limit the amount of chlorine, though I've never looked for them. I have never read of any water conditioner not handling the chlorine in tap water, whatever the level.

I too sometimes can smell it in the tap water; interestingly, I have an allergy to chlorine, just a mild one, I simply sneeze a bit after swimming, or sometimes when doing water changes on the fish.:lol:

And it is quite true that a municipality may increase the amount of chlorine to handle various bacteria, something which is obviously more likely to occur in summer. Back in the mid 1980's I ived in Victoria, BC and the water was very lightly chlorinated. Those of us with fish didn't use a conditioner at all, there was no need, and this went on for years. But one summer a bacterial bloom in the reservoir lake caused the municipality to up the chlorine, and if it was announced in advance, most of us didn't see it. Well, that week, after the water change, we all lost some fish. That was when I started using a conditioner, regardless of the tap water.

Byron.
 

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4 ppm is the limit for both chlorine and chloramines in tap water. Though this is rare. A full 4ppm of chlorine is typical for a swimming pool. Most have 2ppm or less. Pretty much every dechlor out there assumes you have 4ppm of chlorine out of the tap and is dose to neutralize for that.

I have no clue on the levels of chlorine or chloramines in my tap but I can certainly smell them some times.

Glad I'm not experienced or 'experienced'.
 
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