When to add water conditioner

hxns

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G'day every one or good evening to the beautiful ladies and the gentlemen in this forum. I am actually not a new member here but I was a member 5 years ago using another account. I was hoping if anyone can answer my question regarding the addition of a water conditioner when performing water changes in your tank. Just a little background, I started a new tank and unfortunately I am currently doing a fish-in cycle which I know isn't the best to go about starting a new tank but my dad insisted on buying a fish (we ended up buying 6 goldfish) but even though they're common fish, I still feel responsible in providing the best care as possible I could give to the fish we have right now.

I have done my research which involved a lot of reading and watching videos even though I have stock knowledge with fish related stuff. It's the third day of my cycling with my 6 adorable fish and I think they're in a 20-gallon tank or more than that but I'm not quite sure. I was having an inner battle choosing whether I put water conditioner in the bucket first or add it afterwards I've filled up my tank. I ended up choosing to put the water first before putting the water conditioner in but I'm a bit worried about that decision I made. I think I messed it up but I need someone's opinion about my situation. Any reply would be appreciated!
 

Ghelfaire

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I put it in the bucket with the new water. I think the instructions on the bottle will say to do that.
 

Jibletjames

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Hey there :).

It goes in the new water before the new water goes in the tank as you need it to neutralise the chorine / chloramine before it hits the tank as otherwise you risk killing the good bacteria you're building up. Do you have a water test kit, as if not definitely worth getting one that - ideally liquid as the strips dont cover ammonia which you need to keep an eye on right now.

Btw (and it's not a short term issue to worry about but something to think about in the future) 6 common goldfish will outgrow your 20g tank, and they also make quite a lot of mess, but thats for another day haha
 
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hxns

hxns

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Jibletjames said:
Hey there :).

It goes in the new water before the new water goes in the tank as you need it to neutralise the chorine / chloramine before it hits the tank as otherwise you risk killing the good bacteria you're building up. Do you have a water test kit, as if not definitely worth getting one that - ideally liquid as the strips dont cover ammonia which you need to keep an eye on right now.

Btw (and it's not a short term issue to worry about but something to think about in the future) 6 common goldfish will outgrow your 20g tank, and they also make quite a lot of mess, but thats for another day haha
Yes, I was worried about the "killing the bacteria" part but I hope everything's well because I didn't turn on my HOB filter while I was changing water also, I directly dosed my tank with the conditioner before turning on my tank. I'm hoping that everything will be alright because I don't want to mess up my cycle. I do have a test kit which was a bit pricey but definitely worth it.

I also knew that having 6 goldfish in a 20g tank isn't sufficient but dad was the one deciding how much fish we put in the tank even though I already told him we could only get maximum of 2-3 goldfish so that it's not painful to the wallet if we lose some during the process of cycling. But I do have an extra tank, just need to buy other equipment needed just in case I do need to set up another one. I don't like keeping goldfish because they're too basic, I think, because I have experience keeping other species of fish which I totally enjoyed more.
 

Sorg67

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There are a lot of different opinions about the dechlorinator process. I dechlorinate water before I put it in the tank. However, lots of people dechlorinate water in the tank. If you do that, you put in enough dechlorinator for the entire tank volume, not just for new water.

Some people put the water in first and dechlorinator second. Other people put the dechlorinator in first and water second. After reading comments on both sides, if I were to do that, I would put the dechlorinator in first and water second.

I do not think beneficial bacteria is as sensitive to chlorine as people think. I do not personally know, but it makes sense to me that brief exposure to the levels of chlorine or chloramine typically in tap water won’t to much.

I formerly dechlorinated water in the tank and added dechlorinator as the new water was being added to the tank. I changed to dechlorinating outside the tank because I am a relatively new fish keeper so I think it makes sense for me to err on the side of safety. I think dechlorinating outside the tank is safer.
 

Jibletjames

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Sorg67 said:
There are a lot of different opinions about the dechlorinator process. I dechlorinate water before I put it in the tank. However, lots of people dechlorinate water in the tank. If you do that, you put in enough dechlorinator for the entire tank volume, not just for new water.

Some people put the water in first and dechlorinator second. Other people put the dechlorinator in first and water second. After reading comments on both sides, if I were to do that, I would put the dechlorinator in first and water second.

I do not think beneficial bacteria is as sensitive to chlorine as people think. I do not personally know, but it makes sense to me that brief exposure to the levels of chlorine or chloramine typically in tap water won’t to much.

I formerly dechlorinated water in the tank and added dechlorinator as the new water was being added to the tank. I changed to dechlorinating outside the tank because I am a relatively new fish keeper so I think it makes sense for me to err on the side of safety. I think dechlorinating outside the tank is safer.
Completely agree that there are loads of different opinions and ways to do it, but I think your last paragraph is spot on....why take the risk when there isnt any need to//
 

Sorg67

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Jibletjames said:
why take the risk when there isnt any need to//
Yes, this is my perspective at the moment. Not only do I think this is a safer dechlorination method, but it also allows me to let the water sit for as long as I want.

However, I have six tanks in one room adjacent to a bathroom. The six tanks total 120 gallons. A 50% water change is 60 gallons. That is a lot of water schlepping. I have a decent system at the moment and I am working on a better system, but it is still a lot of schlepping.

With the Python, I could do 50% water changes on all tanks in less than an hour with dechlorinating the water in the tank. And no carrying buckets.

I am going to stick with dechlorinating in buckets outside the tank for now. But I remain open to the possibility that I might get comfortable dechlorinating inside the tank and make my life a little easier.
 

mattgirl

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Even if I am just adding a quart of water to top off a small tank it is dechlorinated before it goes in any of my tanks. I take no chances of harming either fish or bacteria. That tiny bit of chlorine/chloramines may not harm anything but I am not willing to take that chance. I still use buckets to do my water changes and each bucket gets treated before pouring it in.

I am thinking most folks that use a python type system to do their water changes turn off their filters (I admit I could be wrong about that) and then add enough dechlorinater to treat the full volume of their tank before refilling. Since most water conditioners work almost instantly The chlorine should be neutralized as soon as it hits the tank so it should be safe to turn the filters back on as soon as the tank is filled.
 

Sorg67

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mattgirl said:
Even if I am just adding a quart of water to top off a small tank it is dechlorinated before it goes in any of my tanks.
When I gather my water change water, some of it is gathered in one gallon water jugs. After I am done with my water changes, I will have a few gallons of dechlorinated water I keep on hand for this purpose.

I have also read that dechlorinator works instantly. But that is instantly when it comes into contact with the chlorine. Since the chlorine is disbursed, the time it takes for the water to be completely dechlorinated will depend on how long it takes for the dechlorinator to disburse completely through the water to be dechlorinated. I give my buckets a few swirls and my jugs a few shakes before I consider them dechlorinated. If I was dechlorinating in the tank and I turned the filter off, would want to do something to make sure the dechlorinator was disbursed. IMO that is another reason to put the dechlorinator in first since adding the water can help disburse the dechlorinator.

In buckets and jugs it is also possible to put the dechlorinator in first. I always think of this right after I finish filling them with water..... lol
 

Deku-Cory

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Though it's generally best practice to add it before, the risk level of adding it after depends on how much clorine and chloramine is in your tap water. If your water has low amounts, you can probably add it in after without any negative consequences, unless you're doing a very large water change. But if you have high amounts, then adding it after carries a much larger risk. My tap water is about equivalent to a swimming pool, so I dechlorinate before, in buckets. It's so high that I can tell if the water is ready to go in my tank based on smell alone. If it doesn't smell like chlorine, it's ready.
 

Sorg67

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My water tests zero for chlorine on a Tetra test strip. I do not know if that is because the chlorine level is low or because it is treated with chloramine and the chloramine does not show up on the test strip.
 

mattgirl

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Sorg67 said:
When I gather my water change water, some of it is gathered in one gallon water jugs. After I am done with my water changes, I will have a few gallons of dechlorinated water I keep on hand for this purpose.

I have also read that dechlorinator works instantly. But that is instantly when it comes into contact with the chlorine. Since the chlorine is disbursed, the time it takes for the water to be completely dechlorinated will depend on how long it takes for the dechlorinator to disburse completely through the water to be dechlorinated. I give my buckets a few swirls and my jugs a few shakes before I consider them dechlorinated. If I was dechlorinating in the tank and I turned the filter off, would want to do something to make sure the dechlorinator was disbursed. IMO that is another reason to put the dechlorinator in first since adding the water can help disburse the dechlorinator.

In buckets and jugs it is also possible to put the dechlorinator in first. I always think of this right after I finish filling them with water..... lol
I always put the dechlorinator in as the bucket is filling and mine gets stirred a lot since I also add equilibrium to each bucket.
Deku-Cory said:
Though it's generally best practice to add it before, the risk level of adding it after depends on how much clorine and chloramine is in your tap water. If your water has low amounts, you can probably add it in after without any negative consequences, unless you're doing a very large water change. But if you have high amounts, then adding it after carries a much larger risk. My tap water is about equivalent to a swimming pool, so I dechlorinate before, in buckets. It's so high that I can tell if the water is ready to go in my tank based on smell alone. If it doesn't smell like chlorine, it's ready.
Same here. Most of the time I can smell the chlorine. I add Prime and the smell dissipates almost instantly even though the water is still running. That is what I base my thoughts on conditioners working almost instantly.
 

AvalancheDave

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Sorg67 said:
My water tests zero for chlorine on a Tetra test strip. I do not know if that is because the chlorine level is low or because it is treated with chloramine and the chloramine does not show up on the test strip.
I think the Tetra strip is supposed to test total chlorine which would detect chloramine. However, chlorine tests are sensitive to oxygen and/or moisture and should be individually sealed. You also need tests that can read down to 0.02 mg/L. There aren't a lot of test strips that can do that.
 

mukg

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Different options, ranging from best to worst:

1. Add dechlorinator to water in storage bucket/tank, and let water dechlorinate before adding to tank.

2. Add dechlorinator to tank to treat the entire volume and then add the new water to the tank, which spreads the dechlorinator around and mixes it in and gets started on dechlorination a little earlier. (option I choose to do for my 75G)

3. Add dechlorinator at the end after adding all the water.
 

Canacullus

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TBH I don’t treat my water. At all. We are on a well, so it is pretty safe though. No chlorine or chemicals.
 

Mhamilton0911

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I dechlorinate in the bucket. My water smells like a pool right from the tap. The second I add Prime (which smells sulfur-y) I can no longer smell chlorine so it works quickly. I also keep a 1 gallon jug filled and dechlorinated under the fish cabinet for top off's, but I change water frequently enough that I don't need to top off often.
 

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