Tap Water Conditioner?

shoggoth43

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After reading the EI articles I decided to skip the Distilled Water and did two tap water changes. The end result of the first change was one of my apple snails curled up overnight and died. Sadly for us, that doesn't seem all that unusual and I didn't pay much attention to the correlation. Shortly after the second change I noticed the other snail curled up and hasn't come out since. I'm guessing it's probably also dead at this point. While possibly coincidence it seems likely there's something in my tap water killing them.

The fish seem completely unaffected by it and it was just straight tap water without any conditioner to it. It's a ~8 gallon tank and I'm using a 2 liter bottle to do the water changes, so call it roughly a 10-15% change. I'm guessing there's copper in there that's doing the damage although there's probably chloramine in there as well. There's an odor if I cap the bottle for a while, but it's not a straight chlorine smell. Assuming it's copper, what kind of water conditioner can I use? Will Seachem's Prime or similar products from other manufacturers deal with this?

Given the issues with the snails I'm not about to toss any of the ghost or cherry shrimp in there as it seems like it's an invert death trap at this point. OTOH, I may continue the tap water for the time being to see if it kills off the rest of those pesky pond snails and then start to apply the water conditioners to the incoming water, or switch back to distilled water and go for a while before trying snails or shrimp again. It's only 8 gallons and it's much easier to go buy the water than splurge on the RO filtration at this point. The 90 gallon in the future may change that balance.

Thanks for your time.
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VaughnH

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A small bottle of Prime will last many months, so the cost is negligible. I can't see a justification for not using it. If there is any risk of having chlorine or chloramine in your tap water, use Prime. It isn't at all likely that copper would be the problem, unless your water company delivers water with a very low pH, causing erosion of everyone's copper plumbing.
 

SuperColey1

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I use pond dechlor!!!

Much more concentrated.

It is £10 for 500ml and each water change I use 1.3ml x 5 (5 buckets water change) which means £10 for 1½ years of dechlor ;)

AC
 

Dmaaaaax

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My guess is that the chlorine and chloramines killed the snails. Make sure you get a water conditioner that neutrilizes both along with ammonia, and possibly nitrite/nitrate like Prime. Some conditioners like API only neutralize the chlorine from chloramines, but leaves the ammonia component free.:eek:
 

shoggoth43

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I'll definitely check it out. I'm not keen on having free ammonia running amok in the tank. I got home today to see the snail had moved. Unfortunately it was only the decay had popped him to the surface and stuck him to the overflow. So much for that hope. :( I'm hoping moving up to the larger size tank will allow for some better stability as well.
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Matt F.

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VaughnH;33337 said:
A small bottle of Prime will last many months, so the cost is negligible. I can't see a justification for not using it. If there is any risk of having chlorine or chloramine in your tap water, use Prime. It isn't at all likely that copper would be the problem, unless your water company delivers water with a very low pH, causing erosion of everyone's copper plumbing.


IMO Prime is the best all around conditioner. All the LFS in my area use the stuff in their stock tanks.
 

denialmark

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Mar 31, 2010
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Super-strength water conditioner. Instantly removes chlorine and detoxifies heavy metals in tap water. Requires only one drop per U.S. gallon. Use when setting up a new aquarium or adding water. Safe for all aquatic life.
 

nipat

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denialmark;48822 said:
...
Instantly removes chlorine and detoxifies heavy metals in tap water. Requires only one drop per U.S. gallon. Use when setting up a new aquarium or adding water. Safe for all aquatic life.

Will it render micro nutrients (which are heavy metal) unavailable for plant?
I ask this because I remember Paul Sears and Kevin Conlin said to avoid something like Aquasafe,
NovAqua because of this. But I notice Prime has this property too (detoxify heavy metal).

:confused:
 
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jonny_ftm

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Mar 5, 2009
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denialmark;48822 said:
Super-strength water conditioner. Instantly removes chlorine and detoxifies heavy metals in tap water. Requires only one drop per U.S. gallon. Use when setting up a new aquarium or adding water. Safe for all aquatic life.

Anything more then the manufacture claiming advertisements you copy/pasted? Some comparision or personal expierience compared to other products would be much more helpful.
There was a recent debate on UKAPS about chloramine used in many US areas (not yet spread in Europe) as it won't degass like chlorine. Conditioners are supposed to help with this. RO water solves all these issues because it passes through the active carbon membrane before the RO membrane
 
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shoggoth43

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I often wonder if the chloramine removal by the carbon is as effective as it could be with the RO. For chloramine removal a long dwell time is needed and I'm not really sure the cannister used is big enough to allow this. Once it hits the membrane it could cause damage unless you have the type which can handle chlorine contact, in which case I don't know what they're trying to remove with the carbon filter in the first place. Maybe it's just there to prolong the life of the membrane somewhat?

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jonny_ftm

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carbon filter is to prolong life of RO membrane removing as much dust as possible. I'm not sure but I don't see why chloramine won't be fixed.
 

shoggoth43

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Chlorine is dealt with pretty quickly with carbon. Chloramine takes a much longer dwell time. Back when I was considering putting in a carbon block filter for water changes, for the flow rate I was looking at it would have been a pretty massive unit. I seem to recall something like a dwell time of 10 or thirty minutes was needed. At 200 GPD for many of the RO units ( including the waste water ) that's still going to be a pretty massive carbon filter. Most of them don't have that kind of size, so I don't know that they're really doing as well as they could. My math could be off by quite a bit though, so who knows.

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