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Water aging tank and LFS opinions...


monitron
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Hey everyone,

I have heard of and seen numerous times before people with large (200L) water aging tanks. They have air stones running and they leave the water there for a certain amount of time so that they don't need to worry about water agers to remove the chlorine and chloramines.

I set one up on Sunday and today I went to a LFS to enquire about:

a) How long does it take for the chlorine/chloramines to evaporate out of the water;

b) What can I put in the water to keep the PH and hardness up so that I don't need to adjust them as much in the tank.

The LFS answers:

a) The chlorine would evaporate but the chloramines won't. Now days Sydney Water doesn't use chlorine, only chloramines and ammonia. So I am wasting my time unless I use a water ager that 'Removes' chlorine and chloramines, not just 'Neutralises' them.

b) Throw coral and carbon in the aging tank to raise the Ph and KH. What Sydney water has been doing to the water is all due to the fact that they use plastic pipes nowdays. The alkaline water is rotting the pipes quickly, so Sydney water makes the water alkaline during the day and acid during the night to balance it out. So to make their job easier they have reduced the hardness right down to enable the PH to swing easily.

Now can I have some your opinions on the LFS answers and am I wasting my time filling a large drum with water and agitating it with an air stone for a week before use? Or does it work and how long does it take for the chlorine/chloramines to evaporate?

Fanks.

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This is what i do.....

I fill a 90 litre plastic tub with water and add one capful of prime to it. As I do water changes once a week for my 3 tanks, the water gets used up fairly quickly so the use of bubbles is not required. They can be used to oxygenate the water, but i don't bother.

I found that when i was using the old ( and trusted) bucket method of re-filling the tank straight from the tap, i was using too much Prime as i always over-compensate for the removal of chlorine.

Now with the plastic tub, i leave the water for approx. 4-6 days thus enabling the chlorine to evaporate naturally without the need of using too much "Prime".

Just re-fill the tub after using the water and add a little prime and it'll be ready in a few days.

There's no need to add coral or change the ph and hardness of your stored water as you are only adding about a third of new water with every water change and this small quantity won't dramatically alter the levels in your tank.

There's no harm in adding these by the way, but i personally find it un-necessary.

We don't add these things when we do water changes with buckets from the tap, so why do we need to do it with stored water.

Edited by KIMO
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As far as my understanding goes, chloramine is a combination of chlorine and ammonia. Chloramine is used by water providers in preference to chlorine because of it's more stable nature. When you neutralise the chloramine the ammonia is release, this is why product like Prime have an ammonia neutralising ability.

I use a water aging tub to enable me to get the temp set correctly, ensure that the water treatment has taken effect and allow time for my buffers and salts to dissolve properly. I use Prime every time the tub is filled up and wouldn't do it any other way.

As far as buffering goes, commercial products or DIY mixes are probably best, I use Seachem products but understand the additional cost is not accepted by some keepers. I don't think that coral would have enough of a chance to buffer the water in the short time it's in the tub. The LFS should be slapped for suggesting that carbon would have any impact on the buffering, it won't...

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Oddly enough chloramine is very easily removed by adding bleach or pool chlorine (sodium hypochlorite). This converts it to free chlorine which rapidly dissipates. Slow flow through a carbon filter or a large carbon filter for longer dwell time will also eliminate chloramine.

In practice, aerating your water aging barrel for a week does seem to make a difference. Throw in a delicate baby test fish if you want to confirm this.

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I guess what the LFS store has said is partly true. Airrating water in a barrel wont remove chlromines from you water.

As for Sydney water changing the Ph of water between day and night sounds a bit iffy to me. Every time I have tested the water out of the tap it comes out neutral.

With the levels of Kh in Sydney tap (ie about 0) Your aged water will drop maybe a degree of Ph in the barrels after a week. Thats what I have found from testing mine.

Like jon has said, use a good quality water ager like prime that removes both chlromine and ammonia, and you shouldn't have much trouble.

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Most people who use water change barrels/containers don’t fill them right before use. They do so after they have just emptied it due to a water change and the water will sit around till next use. That means that there is an advantage to putting such things as coral/limestone sand to buff the water. You can also put the salts and KH generator in well in advance as you can your water conditioner.

The water board put in chlorine and chloramines. Chlorine is not stable and can be dissipated with ageing (water sitting around) and with aeration. Chloramines will not. That is the reason the water board use chloramines because it is stable and will not disperse. Chloramines is a combination of chlorine and ammonia. A lot (all?) of water conditioners work by breaking this bond into its two parts, leaving the chlorine to dissipate and the ammonia to break down with the tank’s cycling. This means for us who use water change container that there is an advantage to filling and then pre preparing our water change water in advance of use. If you adjust the water in the water change container you will not need to do so in the fish tank itself. For Africans it will still be a good idea to keep coral sand or limestone sand in the tank/sump.

You can also put a heater in the water change tank, and if you do it will help to add an air stone to prevent temperature layering. It will also help blow off the chlorine and chlorine that has been broken off from the chloramines. You might prefer to add this air through a small box filter then the air can also mechanically clean the water change water.

Chlorine and chloramines are not added to our drinking water evenly, but put through in blasts. That is why sometimes when we step into a shower, the water smells more strongly of chlorine than at other times. The water boards mandate is to provide safe drinking water for human consumption, and not for safe use with our fish tanks. You might go for years without an issue not using a water conditioner, but then you might kill all your fish tomorrow by not using it.

The water board, at least in the Sydney region do add chemicals to our water to protect their pipes. Naturally our water should be on the acidic side due to it being filtered by en large through sandstone. Acidic water will deteriorate the water board’s pipes, so they make it more alkaline, as the water is coming out of the taps in my home. There is no way they can cause the water in the pipes to swing alkaline/acid am/pm.

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This is what i do.....

I fill a 90 litre plastic tub with water and add one capful of prime to it.

there's no need to add coral or change the ph and hardness of your stored water as you are only adding about a third of new water with every water change and this small quantity won't dramatically alter the levels in your tank.

There's no harm in adding these by the way, but i personally find it un-necessary.

one capfull of Prime measures 5ml, which is the suggested amount for 50gal [200lts] not 90lts.

no real harm done to the fish, just your pocket.

if you don't bring the water in the 'tub' up to the current values of the tank, then you must add the buffers to the tank [can be dangerous] if you add nothing to the 'tub' or the tank, with weekly water changes the coral in the tank will not have time to work and you will bring the tank down to the values of the tap water.

works for some, but not me.

also, please do some calcium tests, i've found that values have dropped to 0 lately in the water supply.

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Oddly enough chloramine is very easily removed by adding bleach or pool chlorine (sodium hypochlorite). This converts it to free chlorine which rapidly dissipates. Slow flow through a carbon filter or a large carbon filter for longer dwell time will also eliminate chloramine

a very high grade carbon [lab quality] MAY have some effect on chloramine. though the costs would be far greater than a shot of 'water conditioner'. as you don't know when carbon is exhausted you wouldn't trust it to do a second treatment [i wouldn't] the normal carbon from lfs is only good for a limited job on removing disclouration of tank water

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