These are things you can add to your aquarium water
Chlorine and chloramin are often added to tap water to kill bacteria in order to make it
safe for human consumption. (Check with your water supply authority if you want to know
exactly what chemicals are added to your tap water.) However, there are two kind of bacteria; good bacteria,
and bad bacteria in water. These chemicals which are added to tap water kills all bacteria, including good bacteria.
Besides, these chemicals are also toxic to fish because they enter the bloodstream through the the fish's gills.
They are safe in human because they are broken down by the digestive system.
Note: Both Chlorine and Chloramine can be filtered away using
activated carbon. However, it is not advisable not to treat
water before adding it into your aquarium because they do
harm to your biological filter.
To remove Chlorine (bleach is chlorine) :
Simply sit the water for 24hrs. Chlorine should dissipate out of water by itself.
To speed up the process, you may use an air stone to cause water movement.
To remove Chloramine (chlorine+ammonia) :
Sitting the water CANNOT remove chloramine.
Chloramine does not dissapate by itself like chlorine in a short time.
To remove Chloramine, you may buy chemicals that do the job.
Since you need to use chemicals to remove chloramine, you should use chemicals
that can remove chlorine and chloramine together for efficiency.
How to know what to use?
First, look at the label. Is there a brand name or company name?
Do not trust bottled solutions with no brands because they are often highly diluted solutions
in ineffective concentrations. Their only purpose is to make money
for the operators who market and sell them.
If you have a choice, look for a brand that also carries other kinds of water addictives.
This is because brands that carry a range of products have a reputation to keep. It is
more probable that they will not misrepresent their products because they also hope you will
find their product useful and buy something else from their range of products.
Next, look at the ingredients on the bottle. This tells you
what chemical is used
for that product.
If the ingredient is Sodium thiosulphate, then it is able to remove chlorine.
This is because sodium thiosulphate reacts instantly with chlorine to form chloride ions, which is
completely removed. If chloramine is present, chloramine will be broken down into ammonia.
(Remember that chloramine = chlorine+ammonia).
However, breaking down chloramine into ammonia is also a problem because ammonia is also
harmful to fish. This just changes one problem into another.
Therefore, the solution is to use a product which states
"for the removal of chlorine, chloramin and ammonia"
Algae Killers (Algaecides)
These are chemicals used to kill algae. I do not recommend using them because
anything that kills algae will harm your other plant life. Plants play an inportant role
in the Nitrogen cycle and you should promote plant growth in any way you can.
There are natural methods to remove algae that does not require chemicals.
One way to to use fish/shrimps that feed on algae.
Another is to use more plants to feed on the nutrients in the water, starving off the algae.
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