Using an aquarium conditioner or dechlorinator helps to remove residual chlorine and heavy metals from tap water that are harmful for aquarium fish, shrimps and helpful bacteria. A good water conditioner is very necessary for fish tank setup as well as maintenance that decides if you succeed in keeping your fish tank or not.
- Tap water causes sudden fish death and cloudy water
- How to make tap water safe for fish and shrimps?
- Best aquarium conditioners and the method to use
Tap water causes sudden fish death and cloudy water
To maintain the aquarium layout in good condition, regular water changes are essential. When you do water changes for your aquarium, the thing to do is to fill the tank with new water. We usually pour tap water into the tank, but tap water contains residual chlorine and chloramines that is harmful for fish, shrimps and helpful bacteria.
Chlorine is added to water in water treatment plants for the purposes of sterilization and it still remains in the water we get from the tap. This chlorine found in tap water is called residual chlorine and it can be checked. Residual chlorine concentration in tap water varies depending on season and location. It tends to be lower in summer when the temperature is high because the chlorine evaporates more easily in higher temperatures, and the concentration tends to be higher in the winter when less chlorine evaporates because the weather is colder. As for location, the chlorine concentration is higher in urban areas and areas closer to water treatment plants.
Residual chlorine is harmful to some living organisms such as fish and shrimps, and there is even a risk of sudden death for these organisms if the chlorine concentration is very high. In addition to this, given that chlorine is designed to sterilize water, it is obviously harmful to microorganisms including beneficial bacteria that living in the biological filter media and aquarium. Beneficial filter bacteria killed by chlorine will intermediately result in cloudy aquarium water and deterioration in water quality.
How to make tap water safe for fish and shrimps?
3 methods to eliminate chlorine from tap water
1. Aeration methods: You could eliminate chlorine from the tap water by aeration it for a time 3-4 days.
2. Using water purification system: For the larger tanks that require large water changes or where frequent water changes are required it is recommended to use a water purification system.
3. Using aquarium additives: Residual chlorine may be easily eliminated by using additives.
Why you should use conditioner for tap water treatment?
Although, chlorine in tap water can be easily removed by the aeration or using a purification system, these methods have some disadvantages. You have to wait for a long time (3-4 days) until the water can be used if using the aeration method. Or you may spend a large money to acquire a water purification system.
Unfortunately, in addition to chlorine, heavy metal in tap water is also a threat of aquarium fish and shrimps that can’t be naturally degraded by the aeration. Using a conditioner can conveniently solve both of the problems. Moreover, a conditioner will add some help that other methods can’t do such as protecting the mucous membrane of the fish or playing the role as stress coat adding electrolytes and polymeric compounds to the aquarium that you only meet in these following aquarium conditioners.
Best aquarium conditioners and the method to use
API Stress Coat Water Conditioner and Seachem Prime (the previous image) are two the best water conditioners that are chosen by thousands of aquarists who have succeeded to keep their fish healthy for long years. Both of these products can also remove ammonia, a nitrogenous toxic which is very dangerous to your fish. Because of this, they are also used in case of emergency that ammonia builds up in your aquarium.
Seachem Prime aquarium water conditioner
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- Seachem Prime will help you instantly remove chlorine, chloramines and detoxify heavy metals from tap water. Helps to remove ammonia.
- Promotes the production and regeneration of the natural slime coat that is very good for the health of your fish.
- A single 100 mL bottle will treat 1000 US gallons of tap water. It is much more economical than other conditioners.
- Usage: add 1 capful (5 mL) for each 50 gallons (200 L) of new water.
API Stress Coat water conditioner
- Editor's rating: Check on Amazon.com
- API Stress Coat Water Conditioner will help you instantly remove chlorine, chloramines and detoxify heavy metals from tap water. Helps to remove ammonia.
- Contains the healing power of aloe vera that protect the mucous membrane of the fish that is interrupted by handling, shipping, fish fighting, or other forms of stress.
- Usage: add 5 ml water conditioner per 10 U.S. gallons (38 L) of aquarium water.
A good water conditioner will neutralize chlorine, chloramine and heavy metals in the tap water. Good water conditioners do not affect water chemistry and may be safely used in all aquarium. When in doubt, it is better to use them than to risk problems that might occur during or after water changes.