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Dechlorinator
August 31, 2008
8:27 pm
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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Who uses this stuff? What brands and why? I ask as I haven´t for a few years now... /ph34r.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":ph34r:" border="0" alt="ph34r.gif" />

Cake or death?
August 31, 2008
9:38 pm
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Eyrie
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Nutrafin Aqua Plus for me, since my water board uses chloramine rather than just chlorine.

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August 31, 2008
9:48 pm
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Mark Duffill
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I have to admit I dont and havent used it for years now

August 31, 2008
10:48 pm
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Richy
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I know of a couple of lfs's which don't and quite a few people but personally I DO use dechlorinators, basically as I don't trust the waterboard.
I know someone who is adamant that using a garden hosepipe (with a rose gun) to refill a tank releases chlorine as it's topped up due to the pressure of surface agitation etc. I was there once when he did it and to be honest, yes I could smell chlorine in the room.
The question is, without expensive water testing can we be sure that they do what they state on the label??
Personally, as I have a few tanks I fill a vat half with hot water from the tap and other half cold and treat with either API Stresscoat or a similar product like Tetra etc.
I'll sit on the fence and watch the replies as it may be very interesting.

August 31, 2008
10:50 pm
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mickthefish
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i think it's cheaper to buy a purifier or an RO unit than shell out cash for a dechlorinater.

mick

September 1, 2008
8:42 am
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ndc
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i use it sometimes, havent used it for a few months now as i ran out and just havent replaced it, hasnt stopped the guianacara or geo altifrons from breeding and the guianacara fry are now over an inch long so it hasnt bothered them, i do think though it depends where you live - were lucky up here because of having kielder close by so the water is pretty natural. even when i had the shop i used it sometimes but not all the time - if it was wild caught fish id use it or sensitive fish from asia but the czech republic stuff i tended not to bother. i spoke to a guy who worked for different water boards testing their water a couple of years ago and at the time he said there was no water boards up here using chloramine and that the water was pretty good quality overall. the main problem up here is with the amount of phosphate in the water so the only thing i use all the time is phosphate/nitrate removing pads from juwel or green x dependind on the filter - ive got both in at the moment and they definately work. as for dechlorinator i always used stress coat but i buy pond strength as it goes further in big tanks and you cant overdose with it.

September 1, 2008
10:31 am
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Mark Duffill
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I have been informed that the easiest way to be sure if your water contains chlorine or chloromine is to fill a white bucket with tap water, if the water has a blue tinge to it is chlorine if it has a green tinge to it's chloromine.

I had a friend who worked for United Utilities and he said that chlorine or chloromine was added on Fridays to stored water so if you are carrying out water changes on the following Wednesday, Thursday or Friday mornings a large percentage of chlorine has already dissipated. He actually tested my water one day after a 50% water change, the water was sprayed in from a hose pipe and there was a minuscule chlorine reading.

This guy actually bred a lot of discus, plecs, cories and south American cichlids and he never used dechlor at all.

There was a point raised some time ago that if you have chloromine in your water and you use traditional dechlorinators it will do harm in itself because the dechlorinator will remove the chlorine from the chloromine but release the ammonia from the chloromine and of course a pretty hefty ammonia spike will occur.

September 1, 2008
3:20 pm
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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There's a scientific theory that both chlorine and chloramine dissipate pretty much immediately when added to mature water. After reading that I stopped using dechlorinator and never lost a single fish following a water change, even fry of supposedly delicate species. Let me dig it out and I'll post the reasoning up in here. It's interesting stuff!

Cake or death?
September 1, 2008
3:24 pm
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Graeme
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QUOTE (Mad Duff @ Aug 31 2008, 10:31 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have to admit I dont and havent used it for years now

Same here! /biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" />

September 1, 2008
4:27 pm
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Mark Duffill
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The way I see it is if I can get wild loaches and they are fine and the same loaches then go on to spawn and fry survive then it cant be that much of a problem can it /ph34r.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":ph34r:" border="0" alt="ph34r.gif" />

September 1, 2008
7:31 pm
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Eyrie
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I know chlorine is meant to gas off fairly quickly and will do so if water is left to stand overnight, but chloramine is longer lasting, hence why it is used. Also worth noting that not all dechlorinators treat chloramine, and those that do usually require a stronger dosage (presumably for the reason Mark just gave).

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September 3, 2008
12:47 am
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dunc
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Aye, like Neill, I use pond strength stuff. I'm not too fussed about using it, though I try to use it on larger changes.

September 3, 2008
12:43 pm
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Little Lamb
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July 25, 2008
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Reading some of these replies is quite bizarre as although I've only been fishkeeping for a few months, it has been drilled into me numerous times that using dechlorinator is necessary to ensure the wellbeing of your fish by preventing the 'good' bacteria from snuffing it. For this reason I use Nutrafin Aqua Plus and will continue to do so (as so far it doesn't appear to be doing any harm). Not quite sure if it's right or wrong anymore though /unsure.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":unsure:" border="0" alt="unsure.gif" />

Interesting stuff /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

September 3, 2008
12:48 pm
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dunc
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Indeed Little Lamb.. it's one of the first things you'll hear in an aquatics shop. I've heard on numerous occasions that dechlorinator "cleans" the water, which people misinterpret as meaning it removes algae etc, etc...

If your water is heavily dosed with chlorine, it's probably worth using dechlor. A lot of people don't use it however and I've yet to hear of it having a detrimental effect on their fishes.

The biggest problem I have with not using dechlor is that chlorine allegedly kills nitrosomonas (the beneficial bacteria which break fish waste down in aquaria). I have no idea how true this is though...

September 3, 2008
1:21 pm
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ndc
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id always recommend it for new fish keepers as well, any help at all is beneficial when you start a tank, the same as using something like stress zyme to boost bacteria, if i had a bottle lying around id use it but if i didnt i wouldnt lose sleep. same as testing water etc, once youve kept fish for a while you can see if they are happy by behaviour , i do have a test kit but rarely use it and only then its just out of interest, theres nothing more beneficial than good water changes -

September 3, 2008
7:37 pm
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Bluedave
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June 28, 2008
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Don't use it because I use RO water. If I wasn't using RO I would use it as I don't trust the water board at all (having to deal with them everyday doesn't raise my opinion of them). If they can wipe a whole river out in the space of two days they can certainly b*gg*r my tank up!!!

April 7, 2009
4:55 pm
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Byron Hosking
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I know this thread is old (last September was the last post), but as a fairly new member of the forum I have only now got round to checking this folder's postings, and felt I should share some thoughts on this topic of whether or not to use a water conditioner when making partial water changes.

From glancing down the list of members who responded, almost all are from the UK. That is significant, because if an aquarist in most parts of North America (Canada or USA) changed 30-50% of the water in an aquarium with untreated tap water, he would have dead fish within minutes.

In the 1980's I lived in Victoria BC, on the southern end of Vancouver Island. I was a member of the local aquarium society, and none of us used conditioner. The water from the tap was very soft and slightly acidic, and while there was probably some chlorine it was miniscule. No one ever had problems. Then one summer there was a sudden bloom of some bacteria in the water supply reservoir, and the water board dosed the water with chlorine without (as far as we knew) advance notice. All of the members who routinely did weekly partial water changes lost fish. From then on, we used conditioner.

I moved to Vancouver in 1988, and the water here was (and still is) soft and slightly acidic, but chlorine and flouride (and perhaps other stuff) have always been added to the water. Some days you can smell it if the tap is running. This topic came up in another forum I belong to, again most members are from the UK, and the responses were similar to those here. Except from one aquarist who mentioned that during a trip to the US the previous summer, he had noticed the terrible amount of chlorine in the water; he said he had skin rashes after showering from the chlorine, and couldn't bear to drink the water. I must say many over here do buy bottled water regularly. Anyway, the point is, that NA water is generally heavily treated.

One day when doing the weekly 40% water changes on my 115g, 90g and 70g tanks, I sat in front of them to observe things afterwards, as I usually do just to make sure everything is still OK (haven't forgotten to turn the filter or heater back on, etc.). I noticed that almost all the fish in the 70g were at the surface, with very red and expanded gills, gasping and gulping air; nothing was amiss in the other two tanks. Immediately I instinctively knew that I had forgotten to squirt the Kordon conditioner into the 70 tank when starting the refill. I dosed the tank with more than enough, and in a few minutes the fish were beginning to swim around again, although still obviously in shock. I lost only a few luckily. This experiences does not support the idea someone mentioned that chlorine added to "mature" water is safe. I doubt it.

I think the issue is first knowing what is in your water, and second knowing how much you can trust the water board to be consistent or provide sufficient advance warning. I suspect the latter is somewhat academic, because in an "emergency" they are not going to risk people's lives just to provide some fish keepers with advance notice.

Another significant point though is what substances may be in the water besides chlorine. Some water supplies have heavy metals. If one replaces the water pipes in their home, using copper pipes (standard in NA), there will be considerable amounts of copper in the water for months; I know of people who have lost fish due solely to this. I heard (in another forum) only yesterday of an area in NA where ammonia in the tap water reads 1.6 which is significant. If any of these problems are present, a good water conditioner is mandatory to prevent stress on the fish at the very least.

Someone mentioned that chlorine will be removed from water with vigorous agitation, or letting it stand for 24 hours. That is true; the Vancouver water board has stations along the pipeways to add additional chlorine to the water, since the chlorine added at the source (the reservoir stations) dissipates from the water or at any rate loses much of its strength by the time it has travelled the 50 or more km to residents in the area. But if there is significant chlorine how much agitation is "vigorous"? And letting the water stand for 24 hours would require vast tubs of water for those of us with 100+ gallon aquaria. And obviously neither of these methods answers the problem of chloramine, ammonia, heavy metals, etc.

Another poster wondered about the chlorine killing the bacteria. Yes, it does; aquarists regularly advise newbies to rinse filter media in water from the tank to avoid the chlorine in the tap water killing more of the good bacteria. And the only reason chlorine is added to municipal water in NA is to kill everything bacteria-wise.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA Vancouver, BC Canada
April 8, 2009
10:08 am
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ndc
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totally agree byron, it definately comes down to where you live, im very lucky where i live with the water supply but if i lived elsewhere it would be a different story. when i first kept fish i used it religiously and would reccommend to new aquarists (or even if you move to a new area) but now it has no visible effect. i do use it if i add new fish (mainly to minimise stress etc) or if i have sensitive fry but otherwise its ok.

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