Water Treatment

Water treatment for aquariums and ponds


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Water treatment is used to neutralize chlorine and chloramines. Cities add cleaning agents to prevent harmful bacteria growth, making water safe to drink, however, both chemicals are dangerous to fish and friendly bugs that create the nitrogen cycle

Combined ammonia; referred to as chloramines; gives the agent staying power in large cities

Chlorine is a liquid gas, and is easily eliminated from water by exposing it to fresh air; Add a simple pond pump to your freshwater bucket. Oxygen destroys chlorine on contact. The process takes up to 24 hours

Chloramines, also referred to as combined ammonia, is just that, ammonia combined with chlorine. The only difference between the ammonia used to disinfect our tap water, and the ammonia created from waste is the latter is ionized. Ammonia becomes ionized when enzymes are present. Enzymes initiate change, which allows beneficial bacteria to feed on it. The insignificant amount of ammonia found in chloramines will not injure your fish, and will quickly become consumed by friendly bugs. Whether you have chlorine or chloramines in your tap, water treatment does not need to be used to convert either one

Goldfish care

Chemicals found in water treatment:
Sulfur dioxide, bisulfites, hydrosulfites, aqueous solution buffered at pH 8 with ameliorating ingredients and reducing agents are all chemicals used to create water treatment

Although relatively safe in low amounts for healthy fish, these substances burn fish that have little or no slime coat due to living in an unhealthy environment. Use a product that enhances or builds slime coat when using increased amounts of water treatment. Slime coating can be increased by giving the fish a Sea Salt Remedy Salt irritates their skin, causing them to secrete a protective coating

Read more about slime coat

Aloe Remedy is another means of increasing the slime coat as your fish receive many other benefits as well

A healthy slime coat helps reduce the risk of infection as well as avoid poisoning by water treatment. Goldfish with a healthy slime coat are more tolerant to low levels of ammonia, high KH levels and disease in general

Warning: Do not use Stress coat water treatment for increasing slime coat when cycling a tank or pond. Stress coat contains only trace amounts of aloe and increased amount of treatment may put the fish at risk

Read the label of your water treatment bottle. Some treatments convert only chlorine and chloramines while some convert metals as well. Other treatments convert ammonia, nitrite and nitrates. You may combine water treatments if caution is used to avoid overdosing

  • Type water treatments

There are water treatments that raise or lower general and carbonate hardness levels, while some treatments lower these same mineral values. This can also be done by using products found at the grocery store. Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) raises (GH) general hardness. Distilled or R.O. water lowers GH levels. Bicarbonate of soda raises (KH) carbonate mineral hardness. Vinegar lowers KH levels

Nitrogen cycle

Noted on treatment label; water treatment has the capacity to bind to a specific amount of substance per dosage, however, new toxins being created requires additional treatment

Use treatment that converts chlorine, chloramines, ammonia and nitrite combined with daily water changes if your goldfish house has not completed the nitrogen cycle

Few brands of water treatment have the capacity to convert chlorine, ammonia, nitrite and nitrates; necessary when cycling a tank or pond. The most commonly used are Seachum Prime and Kordon’s Amquel Plus. Considered as toxic when overused, there are no alternatives to keeping  fish safe during a spike. If the spike is large however, consider a safer option by cycling a pump out of your fish house, using your fish’s waste Semi Live Fish Free Cycle

Prime water treatment safely converts 1 ppm of ammonia and nitrite; 5 ppm of nitrates with a single dose. Double dose for every additional 1 ppm. (do not exceed triple dosage) May release bond within 24 hours

Amquel Plus water treatment safely converts 2 ppm of ammonia and nitrite; 10 ppm of nitrates with a single dose. Double dose for every additional 2 ppm;  (do not exceed double dosage) May release bond within 48 hours

  • Water treatment converts ammonia

Prime and Amquel Plus water treatments may temporarily raise or lower pH levels, depending on the specific value of water. To avoid, premix water treatments in freshwater with a pond pump for a minimum of one hour. This also removes supersaturated gases found in tap water

If your goldfish house is fully cycled, use water treatment that converts chlorine and chloramines. Use enough treatment for only the amount of water you are going to exchange

Warning: premix water treatment in freshwater before adding to tank or pond

As stated above, water treatment can burn fish that have little or no protective slime coat. When used in too large of quantities, can poison fish. Water treatments that remove algae and green water, or treatments that clear water should be used with extreme caution if not avoided altogether. Algae or green water is best removed naturally to reduce the risk to goldfish. Water treatment can be dangerous to goldfish when abused, or used improperly. In a healthy, cycled tank or pond, water treatment may not be necessary at all

Algae the living plant

Never add water treatment directly into the goldfish tank; premix in freshwater source first, following instructions on the label carefully

Avoid the use of ammonia chips, lava rock, zeolites or carbon in your cycled tank or pond. Thought to absorb ammonia; carbon is a good product to have on hand in case of accidental poisoning.

Marketed to goldfish keepers that desire cycle free tanks, these products make for a risky environment

The fish in the photo below was poisoned by ammonia after a severe spike in the cycle. Unknowingly, the owner rinsed the filtering system, which destroyed the colony of beneficial bacteria

water treatment

Water treatment cannot take the place of freshwater changes

  • Organic water treatments

Use organic water treatments to improve redox value of water

Oop Boost oxygenates water and eliminates chlorine
Water Boost oxygenates water, eliminates chlorine, buffers GH, KH and pH

If you are on well water; test for pH, KH, GH, metals, ammonia, nitrite and nitrates

Warning: Water treatment only converts toxins to a safe form, but doesn’t actually eliminate them. The toxins can still be measured accurately

STEP 6 Oxygenating Water

10 Steps to Goldfish Koi Keeping

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Author: Brenda Rand


By Venus

Master goldfish keeper

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