What type of water for water changes?

miamiheat8

Hi, I have a 20G long tank with 6 glofish tetras. My tap water has high chlorine levels, so I’ve been using the Top Fin Preconditioned water jugs for my water changes. They’ve been great, but stores have been selling out of those quickly lately, so I need to find other options.
What is the recommended option for water changes? Spring, distilled, RO, etc? We even get a lot of rain water here.
I also added two mystery snails to the tank recently and they are great but seem to produce a lot of waste. Would it be better to only have one?
Thanks!
 

Shrimpee

if you could collect rain water, then measure the TDS, PH, etc for once to get a gauge water condition. if all is ok. that will be your cheapest option. else Ro water is next since you need quite a lot of water at 20G. mine shrimp tank is only 4G. i use bottled distilled water. 3 bottles a week.
 

Flyfisha

Almost all of us have chlorine in our tap water miamiheat8.

A conditioner like prime has instructions on how to deal with higher levels .
 

miamiheat8

if you could collect rain water, then measure the TDS, PH, etc for once to get a gauge water condition. if all is ok. that will be your cheapest option. else Ro water is next since you need quite a lot of water at 20G. mine shrimp tank is only 4G. i use bottled distilled water. 3 bottles a week.
Thanks! What brand of RO water would you use?
Wont dechlorinator work?
I'm just nervous about trying the tap again because it killed fish when i first used it (probably bc tank was not cycled properly). But i am being extra cautious now and it has been working out great for about 5 months now.
Wont dechlorinator work?
I'm just nervous about trying the tap again because it killed fish when i first used it (probably bc tank was not cycled properly). But i am being extra cautious now and it has been working out great for about 5 months now.
 

SparkyJones

use a dechlorinator if chlorine is your only problem with the water. I use Prime for years, 2 drops per gallon works great and can be immediately used, if you are worried, use 4 drops per gallon.
 

Shrimpee

Thanks! What brand of RO water would you use?

I'm just nervous about trying the tap again because it killed fish when i first used it (probably bc tank was not cycled properly). But i am being extra cautious now and it has been working out great for about 5 months now.

I'm just nervous about trying the tap again because it killed fish when i first used it (probably bc tank was not cycled properly). But i am being extra cautious now and it has been working out great for about 5 months now.
i dont use RO water cos my tank is small. i just buy the cheapest bottled distilled water. top up plus weekly water change i need about 5 bottles a week
 

miamiheat8

So I filled a 2 gallon bucket with tap water and added 1/5 capful of Seachem Prime (enough for about 8g according to the bottle). Then i tested the water with an API Test kit. The chlorine levels were 0, but the ammonia level tested at 0.5 (same as the current water in the tank that needs to be changed out). And the PH level tested at 8.0 (the current water is about 7.0 ph). So i didn't do the water change as i am nervous as to how the fish would react. The tap water seems unsafe, no? Should i play it safe and go get some RO water or distilled water, and then add the Seachem Prime to that?
Thanks for everyone's input.
 

StarGirl

So I filled a 2 gallon bucket with tap water and added 1/5 capful of Seachem Prime (enough for about 8g according to the bottle). Then i tested the water with an API Test kit. The chlorine levels were 0, but the ammonia level tested at 0.5 (same as the current water in the tank that needs to be changed out). And the PH level tested at 8.0 (the current water is about 7.0 ph). So i didn't do the water change as i am nervous as to how the fish would react. The tap water seems unsafe, no? Should i play it safe and go get some RO water or distilled water, and then add the Seachem Prime to that?
Thanks for everyone's input.
It seems your tap has ammonia then. The prime will keep the ammonia safe for the fish up to 48 hours. The chlorine is totally fine. Do your water change and check it after and tomorrow. If you are cycled it should be zero tomorrow.
 

FishDin

Seems like you are making a lot of unnecesary work for yourself. The small amount of ammonia in your water will be consumed by your biofilter. Seriously, most people keep fish in tap water. Some have horrible water (high nitrates usually) and still use it. I change 40-50 gallons per week. There's no practical way to do that without tap water. Your fish store uses tap water.

Because your fish have been living in the bottled water, you could transition them over to your tap water over the course of a few water changes.
 

86 ssinit

Put your tap water on a bucket. Test it. Add an air stone and let it sit for 24 hrs. Test again. That should help.
 

miamiheat8

if the PH is normally 6.8-7.0 and the tap water ph is 8.0, isnt that a big jump and enough to harm the fish?
 

FishDin

if the PH is normally 6.8-7.0 and the tap water ph is 8.0, isnt that a big jump and enough to harm the fish?
I think what 86ssinit is advising is that tap water can have an artificially high pH when it comes out of the tap, Allowing it to sit with an air stone will help normalize it. You may find that after following 86ssinit's suggestion that the pH is actually closer to the 7.
 

KingOscar

if the PH is normally 6.8-7.0 and the tap water ph is 8.0, isnt that a big jump and enough to harm the fish?
My tap water is similar to yours. High PH and over .5 ammonia straight out. This is why I favor smaller water changes. Usually about 30%. Once into the tank the ammonia will be processed by the beneficial bacteria in your filter and the PH will drop.

I suggest weaning your tank over to your tap water.

One thing not recommended is using only distilled water. Fish need some normal minerals to maintain their health. It is good for top offs though.
 

miamiheat8

Thanks for all the feedback. I was overdue for a water change so I added a few gallons of Publix bottled spring water since it tested out well (no ammonia or chlorine, ph 6.8, just a bit high on hardiness at 150). I added Prime and then after a few hours it all tested the same as it had been. Its less than $1 per gallon and its only a 20g tank so i don't mind using that until i get a filter or treat the tap.
 

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