My LFS Told me my Water Change Process will Kill my Fish

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Sorg67

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I have been doing weekly 40% to 60% water changes using a python. I drain the water from five tanks. Refill with tap water dosing the entire tank volume with Prime.

My LFS states that Prime takes about 15 minutes to neutralize the chlorine or chloramine and therefore the fish are exposed for this period of time. They recommend filling a bucket with water, dosing the bucket and letting it sit for an hour. That would be a pain. I have 90 gallons of tanks. 50% is 45 gallons. That is nine buckets. If I let each bucket sit for an hour, it would take nine hours plus the time to drain the tanks. I can do my process in about an hour. Less if I fill faster.

I suppose I could get more buckets so that I can treat more water at once. Buckets are cheap and they stack without taking up a lot of space.

Filling with the python also allows me to multi-task. I can do something else while the python fills. I suppose I could get a pump to fill the tank from a bucket. And I could do something else while the buckets sit.

I fill slowly. I assume that helps.

I dose the tap water as I am filling. Would it be better to dose before filling?

I dose with a measured irrigation syringe into the stream of water coming into the tank. My thinking is that it more focused on the chlorinated water and the water distributes the Prime as it fills. However, by doing that, am I concentrating too much Prime in a small area? Will it get distributed fast enough?

My LFS also recommends API Stress Coat + rather than Prime since he states that you cannot overdose API Stress Coat + but you can overdose Prime. This makes sense to me if I am dosing the entire tank volume. Especially if I was doing more than 50% WC.

Anybody have an opinion on this? Wait, let me rephrase. Of course you have an opinion. Anybody care to share their opinion with me... :confused:
 

Cichlidude

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I believe your LFS is mistaken. All de-chlorinators will do their job pretty much instantly. That's why folks just add their de-chlorinator to the to dose the entire tank and then add their water. Chlorine and chloramine can take hours to kill fish. That's why they all work instantly.

Lots of folks have forgotten to add their de-chlorinator and have done it a little later. However a lot later is the problem.
 

Morpheus1967

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From what I understand, Prime works pretty much instantly. However, I always dose the tank, then fill. I do not dose while filling, if that makes sense. I have a 125 gallon tank. I drain about 40%. Dose tank with 2.5 capfuls, and fill with tap water. I have done this twice a week for almost a year now, and no issues at all.

The directions on the bottle do say it's best to add to water first, then add water to tank. But if adding directly to tank, dose for entire tank.

Unless your LFS is trying to sell you extra buckets, I think you can safely disregard his advice.
 

coralbandit

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I dose my tanks when I do water changes .Many 75-90% .
Never had an issue ..I often wait till done filling my tank ..
I own a chlorine test kit and instantly is the word that best describes how safe works for me ..
Take all info from any store with a grain of salt [just don't put the salt in your water IMO !]
 
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Sorg67

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Morpheus1967 said:
However, I always dose the tank, then fill. I do not dose while filling, if that makes sense.
I am going to revise my process to this^^^.

coralbandit said:
I own a chlorine test kit and instantly is the word that best describes how safe works for me ..
My water tests negative for chlorine right out of the tap. I suspect it is treated with chloramine. I will get a chlorine test kit and look for a chloramine test kit. My negative chlorine test was with a test strip so maybe not accurate.

I am curious about testing the water after treating.

coralbandit said:
Take all info from any store with a grain of salt [just don't put the salt in your water IMO !]
I take everything anybody says with a grain of salt..... even you guys. Nobody knows everything about anything. Well except for me of course..... :eek::rolleyes:o_O

Any opinions on Prime vs Stress? About the same? Both instant? I bought Stress on the advice of the LFS. But Prime has been working for me.
 

Betta02

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I'm on well water and typically use the API Stress Coat for water changes. I keep Prime on hand for my new cycled tanks in case I have a mini cycle after adding fish. The people at my LFS are super great, but in my opinion sometimes misinformed on some things.
When I was new to horses my trainer told me this, and I think it applies to the fish world as well: 'There's lots of advice out there, everyone has an opinion. You don't go to the grocery store and buy everything because you have a choice. It's the same with advice, you take what you want and leave the rest. Do what works for you.'
 

wheatbackdigger

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Temporarily moved my 300 gallon tank over the weekend. 100% water change by dosing Prime as I refilled. Nonissue. Tested parameters up until this morning. 0,0,5
 
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Sorg67

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After considering your comments and doing some research, I have decided that my process is low risk if done properly. Therefore, I feel safe in continuing my method.

However, I think that dechlorinating before adding is safer. Even Seachem Prime says dechlorinating first is preferred. The fact that Seachem says dechlorinating first is preferred carries some weight since doing so results in using less of their product..

And I do not temperature match using my system since I am by passing a water softener and temp matching would require taking some water heater water which is softened.

I could us the "safer" pre-chlorinating method and temp match by filling a garbage can. I could get a 55 gallon garbage can, fill it with water, let it warm to tank temp and use a water pump to fill the tanks. That would not be terribly much more work than my existing system. I would have to buy a water pump. And I wonder how long it would take to bring the water up to tank temp. I would need a heater. I suppose I could use the heaters from all the tanks. I wonder how long four heaters would take to raise the water temp. Ground water here in Florida in the winter is about 68 degrees. Bringing it up to 78 degrees should not take terribly long. And bringing it up to 72 or 74 is probably fine since a 4 to 6 degree differential is only going to change tank temp by 2 to 3 degrees in a 50% WC. Less if the water is filled slowly. My existing process is to direct the new water towards the water heater. By doing so, I make sure the heater is on and hopefully take some of the chill off the water right away.

I suppose the garbage can method introduces risk of contaminants from the garbage can. I would have to make sure the garbage can was not made of a material that leached toxins. I would also have to store the garbage can some place it is not going to get dirty.

I am going to stick to my existing method for now. It is easier and I believe those who have commented that it is safe.
 

Black Thumb

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Well, I don't use a Python, but I've used a bucket and dumped in the water pretty much the moment after dosing with Prime for over 20 years with no ill effects. I think your LFS is off base. Seachem's instructions also say nothing about any sort of waiting period.
 

Sprinkle

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Sorg67 said:
I have been doing weekly 40% to 60% water changes using a python. I drain the water from five tanks. Refill with tap water dosing the entire tank volume with Prime.

My LFS states that Prime takes about 15 minutes to neutralize the chlorine or chloramine and therefore the fish are exposed for this period of time. They recommend filling a bucket with water, dosing the bucket and letting it sit for an hour. That would be a pain. I have 90 gallons of tanks. 50% is 45 gallons. That is nine buckets. If I let each bucket sit for an hour, it would take nine hours plus the time to drain the tanks. I can do my process in about an hour. Less if I fill faster.

I suppose I could get more buckets so that I can treat more water at once. Buckets are cheap and they stack without taking up a lot of space.

Filling with the python also allows me to multi-task. I can do something else while the python fills. I suppose I could get a pump to fill the tank from a bucket. And I could do something else while the buckets sit.

I fill slowly. I assume that helps.

I dose the tap water as I am filling. Would it be better to dose before filling?

I dose with a measured irrigation syringe into the stream of water coming into the tank. My thinking is that it more focused on the chlorinated water and the water distributes the Prime as it fills. However, by doing that, am I concentrating too much Prime in a small area? Will it get distributed fast enough?

My LFS also recommends API Stress Coat + rather than Prime since he states that you cannot overdose API Stress Coat + but you can overdose Prime. This makes sense to me if I am dosing the entire tank volume. Especially if I was doing more than 50% WC.

Anybody have an opinion on this? Wait, let me rephrase. Of course you have an opinion. Anybody care to share their opinion with me... :confused:
They are fairly mistaken. All dechlorinators work pretty much istantly. LFSs just do their job, they tell people wrong stuff of fish keeping as if people would knew how much work it is fish then people wouldn't actually buy the fish. Most people buy fish just for decor to their houses.
I woukd also recommend you the API Water Dechlorinator as it has high concentration with only 1ml for 60L :)
 

86 ssinit

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Well me I’ve never used any dechlorinator. I run my water from the tap into a under sink water filter than into the tank. Been doing this for 30yrs still no problem. The filter removes chlorine no need for prime.
 

AvalancheDave

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Sorg67 said:
However, I think that dechlorinating before adding is safer. Even Seachem Prime says dechlorinating first is preferred. The fact that Seachem says dechlorinating first is preferred carries some weight since doing so results in using less of their product..

I could us the "safer" pre-chlorinating method and temp match by filling a garbage can. I could get a 55 gallon garbage can, fill it with water, let it warm to tank temp and use a water pump to fill the tanks. That would not be terribly much more work than my existing system. I would have to buy a water pump. And I wonder how long it would take to bring the water up to tank temp. I would need a heater. I suppose I could use the heaters from all the tanks. I wonder how long four heaters would take to raise the water temp. Ground water here in Florida in the winter is about 68 degrees. Bringing it up to 78 degrees should not take terribly long.
It is safer and you use less dechlorinator. I have about 1.1 mg/L chloramine and I can dechlorinate 55 gal of water at that chloramine level with as little as 1.9 mL of Prime. Of course, I prefer to have a margin of safety.

It takes a few hours to heat the water with 1200-1800W of heaters going. A circulation pump significantly increases the rate of heating and dechlorination.

Sprinkle said:
They are fairly mistaken. All dechlorinators work pretty much istantly. LFSs just do their job, they tell people wrong stuff of fish keeping as if people would knew how much work it is fish then people wouldn't actually buy the fish. Most people buy fish just for decor to their houses.
I woukd also recommend you the API Water Dechlorinator as it has high concentration with only 1ml for 60L :)
There are a few studies on dechlorination kinetics and it seems reactions either complete within 80 seconds or don't.

There is a 100-fold difference in the amount of chlorine neutralized by the recommended doses of various dechlorinators. Thus, "concentration" shouldn't be measured by the manufacturer's recommended dose but by chlorine (in mg) removed per mL (or mg for the dry stuff) of dechlorinator. Safe is the only dechlorinator I've tested whose recommended dose can't even neutralize the low levels of chloramine in my tap water.

86 ssinit said:
Well me I’ve never used any dechlorinator. I run my water from the tap into a under sink water filter than into the tank. Been doing this for 30yrs still no problem. The filter removes chlorine no need for prime.
Carbon isn't very good at removing chlorine and chloramine in particular. You need a lot of it and/or low flow rates. I lost a lot of fish years ago when chloramine got through the carbon stage of my RO filter. It wasn't obvious so it took me a few years to figure out. I'd just lose a fish every few months several days after a water change so there wasn't an obvious correlation.

Bulk Reef Supply has a lot of videos where they test chloramine breakthrough. Most carbon blocks don't last very long.

Dechlorinator is cheaper and safer.
 

86 ssinit

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Well the only thing I can say because I haven’t done any studies :rolleyes:. Is this has worked for me for years. No problems. So it makes no sense to me to start adding chemicals that aren’t needed. I change 50% of the water in 3 tanks weekly this way. 2 of these tanks are shrimp tanks. Again no problems. Now my fourth tank is a discus tank. This tank was getting 50% water changes every other day for 6+ months. Again no problems and healthy discus. Also I haven’t changed the carbon filter in 6 months. The filter before this one was in there for over 2 yrs. how is a dechlorinator cheaper? Ever think there just trying to sell there product? I’m just explaining what works for me :). This was told to me years ago by a discus breeder when they first started adding chloramine. In the days before there was a prime:eek::eek:.
 

david1978

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Hahaha. Dechlorinator? Whats that?
 
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Sorg67

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Is there a recommended chlorine / chloramine test kit? I have found lots of kits for a wide range of prices. Not sure what to use.
 

david1978

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Get the test strips for a pool or hot tub. They seem to be much cheaper then one for fish.
 

Cichlidude

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david1978 said:
Get the test strips for a pool or hot tub. They seem to be much cheaper then one for fish.
Just make sure it is for TOTAL chlorine. Chloramine, I don't know.
 

david1978

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Cichlidude said:
Just make sure it is for TOTAL chlorine. Chloramine, I don't know.
They test for bost since chlorimine is simply chlorine and ammonia to stabilise it.
 

AvalancheDave

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86 ssinit said:
Well the only thing I can say because I haven’t done any studies :rolleyes:. Is this has worked for me for years. No problems. So it makes no sense to me to start adding chemicals that aren’t needed. I change 50% of the water in 3 tanks weekly this way. 2 of these tanks are shrimp tanks. Again no problems. Now my fourth tank is a discus tank. This tank was getting 50% water changes every other day for 6+ months. Again no problems and healthy discus. Also I haven’t changed the carbon filter in 6 months. The filter before this one was in there for over 2 yrs. how is a dechlorinator cheaper? Ever think there just trying to sell there product? I’m just explaining what works for me :). This was told to me years ago by a discus breeder when they first started adding chloramine. In the days before there was a prime:eek::eek:.
How big is your carbon filter and how much water do you run through it?


Dechlorinating chemicals are really cheap and their safety has been tested with aquatic organisms.

Sorg67 said:
Is there a recommended chlorine / chloramine test kit? I have found lots of kits for a wide range of prices. Not sure what to use.
This is probably the cheapest one that can read down to 0.02 mg/L.
 

Cichlidude

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david1978 said:
They test for bost since chlorimine is simply chlorine and ammonia to stabilise it.
Question. If my water is treated with chloramine, what would my water test for?
1. Chlorine?
or
2. Chlorine and ammonia?

My water supply is only chlorine so I don't know.
 
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