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Old 10-17-2006, 02:32 PM   #1
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PWC procedure

Scince i can't seem to find exactly what i've been looking for i'll put it in here.

I've had a 15g Freshwater tank with a African clawed frog and Some goldfish (2 now just the 1) thats been going on and off (had some interesting travels in a 10g plastic tank and/or 20g tupperware) for about 4 years now. I setup the tank when i went to college, and i should have graduated last year (...yeah going to take a bit longer) so it's been around awhile. While the stuff has changed a bit over the years, the frog was in his own 10g to start, i had a fairly small red ruby (been awhile so i don't know the scientific name) in with the goldfish for a year or 2, my procedures for doing things have been about the same over all this time.

My question comes into play when i read and see things like the "python" and others. Way way way back in time, i was told that one of the big problems with just adding tap water (beyond any strange levels of minerals and other things) was that it contained amounts of chlorine. I was always told that you had to either use an amount of water conditioner, or let is sit and "age" for 24 hours for the chlorine to dissapate from the water.

I guess my not-yet understood question is this, how can someone add water from the tap through a hose system like the python, and not have the chlorine levels harm their fish? Is the chlorine problem overblown or is there something i'm missing from the python setups?

I'm asking this question for a couple of reasons, i'm probably going to get a python here sometime (it's a good price for a christmas gift) so i want to know how that works, and Secondly, i'd feel really foolish if the ageing of the water i've been doing for these years was actually not particularly helpfull and i should stop doing it.

PWC are often mentioned on here, but it dosen't seem like alot of explination is given to the freshwater version. Seems to me it would be something good to add to the Stickies.
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Old 10-17-2006, 02:38 PM   #2
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i add prime to the tank as i start to fill, in theory the prime declorinates the water on contact, as it enters the tank... i have never had a problem
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Old 10-17-2006, 02:42 PM   #3
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"aging" the water will allow the chlorine to gas off.However,if its treated with chloramine instead of chlorine,aging will not help at all.

Tap can be added straight to the tank as long as a declorinator (bottled product) is added to the tank at the same time.
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Old 10-17-2006, 02:50 PM   #4
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I've been adding tap water straight to the tank with a water treatment to dechlorinate the water. Haven't had any problems. I guess it's a question of better living through chemistry.
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Old 10-17-2006, 02:53 PM   #5
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Freshwater does not have several steps like Saltwater so that's probably why there is not a sticky. I have used a Python for about 2 years now and would never go back to the bucket brigade. When I first started with aquariums I was told to age all water for 24 hours. It didn't help since our water supply used chloramines but we did it anyway. The point of the aging was to remove the chlorine from the water. There are dechlorinators that remove the chlorine and chloramines so you don't have to age the water anymore. As long as you add the dechlor before, during, or after adding the water, you don't need to age it. The dechlor makes it safe instantly. Some people are not convinced and still age the water, but I have never had a fish death caused by doing this method.
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Old 10-17-2006, 03:50 PM   #6
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Yep, those were the rules prior to the advent of the dechlorinators. Once the product was firmly established, aging tap water became of thing of the past. Like the other respondents have stated, I use it while the tank is filling via my python.
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Old 10-17-2006, 04:28 PM   #7
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Thank you for asking this question, Smaug21. I've been doing water changes Little-House-on-the-Prairie style, lugging buckets back and forth from my sink to the tank, and I add bits of Prime to the water as the bucket is filling so it is "treated" before it hits my tank.

Although it does say on the Prime container that you can add directly to the aquarium, I now take that to mean, it is OK to add to established aquarium water, or new water as it is going in (a la by Python). I did a 50% PWC last night and added the Prime after all the water was in (first time I did it that way), and my brand new bala died about an hour later. So I'm guessing that he was affected by all the chlorine. I feel terrible. My three clown loaches do not ever seem to be bothered by water changes, and last night's was no different.

Anyway, thanks for posting this question. I'm new to this (again) and have been wondering about that as well.
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Old 10-18-2006, 09:39 AM   #8
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Sorry to hear you lost one. I ususally add my water treatment to the tank before I add the tap water. Haven't had any problems.
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Old 10-18-2006, 12:22 PM   #9
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Hmmm, maybe I'll try it that way next time.
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Old 10-18-2006, 12:56 PM   #10
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There could be a lot of different explanations for why you lost the bala. But as far as the water changes, as others have said, any decent dechlorinator will begin working immediately. It makes the most sense to me to add the dechlor just prior to filling, so that is what I do. Add the dechlor, and it begins reacting with the chlorine in the new water as it is coming into the tank. It appears to be perfectly safe to do this. This is both the method used by the majority of people on this board who I have seen weigh in on the subject, and the method used by both LFS's I shop at. I have heard some say they are fine with adding it after adding the new water, but, while this may be working, it does not seem to me to be the most optimal arrangement for the fish since the fish will be exposed to high amounts of chlorine and chloramine for a few minutes before you add the dechlor if you do it that way. Again, best practice seems to be to remove your old water, add your dechlor, and then add your new water. I swear by this. And it works whether you are using a python (or similar device) or bucket method.

EDIT: To add to that, here is what a chemist friend of mine had to say:
Quote:
I think everything should be fine. If the water were perfectly still, then you might have a cause for concern. But since you're filling the tank when you add this, the water will be quite agitated, and anything you add in will distribute evenly (and therefore scrub out the nasties) rather quickly. I would suspect that all of the chlorine & chloramine would be consumed in a matter of seconds.

When you add the dechlorinator, it's not intercepting the chlorine as it enters the tank in the tap water...that's basically physically impossible with an additive (an in-line charcoal filter, however, would remove them prior to the water entering the tank). What it should do is simply react with any of the chlorine-bearing molecules it encounters. It's added at the source because this is the best way to get it distributed evenly & quickly (as opposed to pouring it in a relatively tranquil corner of the tank).

Basically, as long as your chemical is getting disbursed evenly in the tank, you're good to go. And under the circumstances you've described, you should have an even distribution within a short period of time after adding it (just how fast depends on how vigorous you water flow is).
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Old 10-18-2006, 01:53 PM   #11
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Thanks for all of that. I normally do add Prime to the water before pouring it in, but didn't that one time. And will never do it again.

You're right, though. Hard to say what caused the bala's death. I bought a pair of them and his friend died about 24 hours after coming home. Looked like he had hemorrhaged or something beneath the skin. I was out all day and came home to him like that. The one that just died had no discoloration, so who knows.

Time to invest in a QT tank for the newbies, I suppose.
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Old 10-18-2006, 01:59 PM   #12
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They could have just been overstressed to begin with. If so, even a small amoung of chlorine or chloramine might have sent him over the edge. Could have even just been the added stress of the new water being poured in. Who knows? But if you are doing buckets, there's no reason not to add the dechlor right to the buckets before pouring in. If using a python or similar method, I would still just add it at the source of incoming water right at the beginning of the fill.
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