Here is yet another aquarium tip that will keep you more relaxed about the health of your fish and your aquarium! It is simple, it is cheap, and it may just save the lives of your pet fish. All you have to do is De-chlorinate the source water that you are using for your aquarium!
Most (if not all) municipal tap water is treated with chlorine and chloramine. Both chemicals are hazardous to fish. So, you can’t just take buckets full of your tap water and immediately fill your aquarium with it. You have to De-chlorinate in order for your pet fish to be healthy!
First, go out and get a cheap water test kit that will test for both chlorine and chloramine and test the tap water that you plan to use for your aquarium. These test kits can be found at your LFS, or you can head on over to your local plumbing and hardware store and they should have a test kit. You may have well water and think that you don’t have any chlorine and chloramine in your water. Well, some well tanks are treated with chlorine to reduce bacteria. Just do a quick test, and you’ll know for sure.
If you have to De-chlorinate, it should only cost you about $5-$10 a year. A regular, cheap bottle of De-chlorinating water treatment from your LFS should be enough to treat about 4,000 – 5,000 gallons of water. Make sure that you get a water treatment that takes care of both chlorine and chloramine. This should be written on the bottle, but may be in fine print somewhere. We don’t really recommend that you purchase the water treatments that De-chlorinate and have “added benefits.” Really, you just need to De-chlorinate and neutralize the chloramine. Anything else that the water treatment can do might mess with the natural biological filters that are in your substrate and keeping your aquarium ecosystem healthy.
You may not have to purchase anything to De-chlorinate unless you want to just spend that $5-$10 per year to be safe, and not worry about it. If you test your water and find that there isn’t any chloramine then you may just have to set your water out in a bucket overnight. Setting your water out in a container with a decent surface to air ratio for about 24 hours should allow all of the chlorine in the water to evaporate. Most reverse osmosis (RO) filters also De-chlorinate.
Once you’re sure that the water your adding to your aquarium due to evaporation, or for a regular water change is De-chlorinated go ahead and put it in your tank and your fish will stay happy and healthy! For saltwater aquariums just make sure that you add the correct amount of salt after you De-chlorinate if performing a scheduled water change.
How chlorinated is your tap water? Leave a comment below!