untreated water

arfon

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a friend of mine has a 4ft aquarium and has had it set up for almost a year. he has angels. gouramis. tiger barbs etc and plants . he told me he does weekly water changes ' 3 buckets' and has never used any water conditioner since the tank has been set up and all fish are doing well. i use stresscoat when i do my weekly changes and was wondering if anyone else just adds water to tank without treating it?
 

capekate

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Hi there
I always use Prime when making water changes. I like the slime coat enhancer that it contains. Its a good water conditioner for fish. Your friend seems to have been doing something right if his fish are doing so well. ;D
 
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arfon

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he must be saving a few quid without having to buy conditioners. next time i go round to his house I'll take my api test kit and test it, like you said he must be doing something right ;D
 

Luniyn

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Everyone has different quality of water. It's possible that he doesn't have any chlorine added to his water or at least not a high enough amount for it to matter. For those of us with chlorine or even worse chloramines in our water, and a smaller tank then that nice 4 footer he has (smaller tank makes for higher concentrations of chemicals faster then a larger one), it would be hard to keep your tank from not being in a constant state of cycling. The chlorine removal isn't for the fish (though they would like it to be gone too) but it's mainly for the fact that it will kill your good bacteria and mean they have to start growing all over again (i.e. mini-cycle or full blow cycle). There has been some debate as to weather the bacteria has grown immune to chlorine over time to where it doesn't matter. However, usually the discussion boils down to is it really that big of a deal to buy a $5 bottle of conditioner that lasts for a long time (after you have done the first cycle that is ) as apposed to taking the chance on going through another cycle.
 

vin

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You think that's strange - I have two fishkeeping friends who say "what water changes".....All they do is add water to their tank when some evaporates off....No conditioners, no gravel vacuums - nothing....And their fish are fine....No deaths, nothing - and we all live in the same town and have the same city water.....With my rotten luck mine would all die....
 

COBettaCouple

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maybe this is proof of the chaos theory or entropy or luck.. who knows? that's bizarre and very lucky for them. ???
 
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arfon

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'what water change'  ;D Ive just emailed the local water board to find out levels of chlorine they add to the water and I'm going to do some research on the findings to see if i need to add conditioners or not. if he can get away with it i cant see why i cant { only live 2 minutes walk away)  I've almost 1,000 ltes in my aquarium and was wondering what would be the ideal amount of water i should change on a weekly basis, can someone give me some advice? i currently remove 5 buckets and replace with treated water. ( the water in the tank is to the max level recommended and with 5 buckets of water removed the water does not drop that much from the level due to the size of tank) i read that some people do 50% water changes weekly and if thats recommended then I'm not doing anything near that amount.
 

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The only reason to do a maintenance water change is to keep your nitrate down. There are other reasons to do one but those are special conditions, if nothing is wrong then nitrate is the only reason. So the question is what are your nitrate levels. Generally you want them to be between 10-20 ppm. Depending on the fish you have you can have more or some require less, but 10-20 is a good starting point. Once you get to 20 ppm, how much of a water change does it take you to get back down to 10 ppm. That is the amount of water change you need to do. Now if a 10% water change keeps the nitrate from getting high in the first place then that will work as well. It's all dependent on a ton of factors that all boil down to testing your tank and seeing how fast levels rise.
 
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arfon

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thank you Luniyn, i have just done a nitrate test and results are same as 3 weeks ago. ppm 20. i will do a water change '5 bucket's now and see if the nitrate levels drop. is it best if i wait a while after doing water change before i do a retest of the nitrate? if levels haven't dropped after Ive done the water change do your recommend i empty and refill another 5 buckets of water til i reach the 10ppm? thanks for your time.
 
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arfon

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one more question Luniyn just filled my test tube with water straight from the tap and the nitrate readings were - 10ppm ( not sure if that was a pointless test or not ) so do you think i need conditioners myself?
 

Luniyn

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Ok first off, I've found nitrates are the hardest to get down. I can sometimes do 2 back to back 25% water changes and not see my levels change at all (or at least noticeably considering we're matching a colored test tube to a piece of paper . Others on this forum who have had way out of control nitrates have also been reporting that it's taken tons of water changes to get their nitrates to even start to go down. Now in your case, having 10ppm nitrate out of the tap isn't helping because that means with straight water changes you will never be able to go lower then that without help. Live plants can help as they will consume some of the nitrate. Good aeration (air stones) in the tank will help keep the oxygen content in the water up which will mean less chance of the nitrate harming the fish at the lower levels that you have. There are chemicals that you can turn to that have had some good results for some of the members here in the forums. has Nitraban and that has lowered the nitrate levels for several here including one member that had 25ppm of nitrate out of his tap. However, unless you have live plants, then you MUST have aeration in your tank as that chemical increases the CO2 levels in the tank.

And no, testing your water wasn't a pointless exercise, in fact I would check for ammonia and check the pH as well. If your pH is the same out of the tap then in your tank, that's a good sign. If you have ammonia in tap then chances are you have chloramines in it as well (at which point I would wonder how your buddy gets away with no tap water treatments). If that's the case then you need something to help break up the bond of the chloramines into chlorine and ammonia so the tank can deal with the ammonia and the chemical that breaks up the bond can deal with the chlorine. Now the question "Do you need chemicals"? Well going by your friends luck, no it would seem that you don't (though I wonder what his nitrate levels are?) If your fish are fine then it's really up to you. You can go forward and only treat problems as they start to occur (if they ever do) or you can plan for issues and try to stamp them out before it ever becomes a problem. For me even with a small tank that is easy to do 70%-90% water changes in if I really had to, it's not a big deal to let things come as they will (though I do a 25% water change every week and treat my new water with Prime). For you and the size of your tank, however, doing a 70% panic water change... well my back hurts thinking about that ;D. In any event, you might want to read this article about "" just for an idea of what can happen.
 

vin

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FLBettaCouple said:
maybe this is proof of the chaos theory or entropy or luck.. who knows? that's bizarre and very lucky for them.  ???
Yeah, I can't figure it out...One of them has a 20g tall with 2 angels, a few platys and a small cat of some sort and does zero, zip, nada,
-0- maintenance......
 
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arfon

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thanks for great advice. Ive just done water tests straight from the tap and results are as follows - Ph 7.6 ammonia 0.ppm and water tested from tank Ph 7.6. i have Java moss growing in the tank and watersprite as a floating plant and my external filter ' fluvalf x5' gives off a real good current on the surface of the water which I'm told is good for aeration. might be a stupid question now but if for example i did a 70% water change and added the required amount of conditioner wouldn't the fish die due to sudden drop in temperature ? :-[
 

COBettaCouple

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as much as possible, i try to have the water i'm putting in at the same temp as the tank water by adjusting the hot/cold water. That's where one of the digital thermometers with a probe comes in handy.
 

sirdarksol

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vin said:
You think that's strange - I have two fishkeeping friends who say "what water changes".....All they do is add water to their tank when some evaporates off....No conditioners, no gravel vacuums - nothing....And their fish are fine....No deaths, nothing - and we all live in the same town and have the same city water.....With my rotten luck mine would all die....
People used to think this way a lot. Prior to learning about the ammonia cycle, it was presumed that new tank water was bad for fish, because when you changed the tank water, fish would die. What was happening was this; As the toxins, extra minerals, etc... build up in the tank, the fish become conditioned to them. They also become stressed and unhealthy, but not quite enough to die. When a water change is done, a bunch of the excess garbage, which the fish are conditioned to, is removed from the water. These fish, already stressed due to the amount of that same garbage in their systems, actually die from the sudden removal of the garbage.
Their fish may not be dying at once, but I pretty much guarantee that they have shorter than average life spans. Even if their bacteria colonies are keeping up with nitrites and ammonia, and even if the nitrate levels aren't horrifying, there are trace amounts of mineral in nearly every source of water. These minerals are building up in their tanks, because they don't evaporate with the water.
Congratulations to them, however, for keeping up tanks without chems or extra work. It is quite a feat.
 

Luniyn

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Well if the change in temp is that different, then yes it can be pretty stressful. Trying to get the water the same temp is a good idea. Also I would make that your last large water change for a while. Just stick with smaller one's. A steady stream of smaller changes is better for the fish then 1 large one. As for the tap water, it's good that your pH is the same and that there is no ammonia. That would be a good indication that you don't have chloramines in your water, and the chlorine levels might be low enough to not matter (hence why your friend has been able to not treat it even if it does have nitrate in it). Did you ever hear back from your local water company?
 

griffin

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another possibility to avoid using conditioner might be just to age your water. i don't use any conditioners, but i do age my water, and it seems to work for me.
 

Luniyn

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griffin said:
another possibility to avoid using conditioner might be just to age your water. i don't use any conditioners, but i do age my water, and it seems to work for me.
That works great with just chlorine in your water as it will evaporate off on its own. But if you are unfortunate enough to have chloramines in your tap water (like I am ) then it won't do anything (or at least not much) as you can't break up the chloramine bond just by letting the water age. But this would certainly work well for the OP since he doesn't seem to have chloramines in his water either.
 
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