how long to dechlorinate water for fish

How long to dechlorinate water for fish

How long to dechlorinate water for fish? This issue has been considered repeatedly on forums, in reference literature, and it would seem that it makes no sense to discuss again how much to defend and how to fill in water during the next change. In most cases, the arguments of opponents are as follows: “the longer water settles, the better the water”, “let all the filth disappear”, “it takes a week for everything to work out for sure.”

With dechlorination, there are many other bad elements that can be taken away by leaving water in the open air for a couple of days. Make sure to check the whole article to find out more intricate details.

At the same time, aquascapers are in no hurry to justify these arguments, and water changes must be carried out regularly. Let’s consider in detail the time interval for water preparation.

Why do you need to leave water from the tap for a couple of days?

How long does it take for water “stand” for water for an aquarium so if would dechlorinate? The main reason for this is contaminants that can harm the inhabitants of our aquarium. After settling, sometimes solid particles appear and precipitate. Initially, clear water may become cloudy over time.

Many aquascapers leave the water for the change to breathe for several days, and in order for all the harmful suspensions to evaporate – for a week. This assumption is partially true, but it cannot guarantee the quality of the treated water.

Before we do something, we always know why it needs to be done. By keeping tap water outside the pipeline, we are trying to improve its performance so that it does not harm our fish. In other words, when settling water, we get rid of most of the harmful components.

Conditionally harmful substances in water can be divided into:

  • solid (precipitates to the bottom);
  • gaseous (volatilize from water into the environment);
  • liquid (initially dissolved and remaining in water).

The settling process can only affect solid and gaseous mixtures, and it does not affect liquid substances in any way.

Gaseous constituents of water

How long does it take to settle the aquarium water to dechlorinate it for fish? This type of substance evaporates through the surface of the water. Here you can consider the quantitative and qualitative compositions of dissolved gases in water. Gaseous substances in natural water enter into chemical reactions with other dissolved elements, due to diffusion they constantly circulate through the water mirror and are harmless to fish.

The method of water disinfection for your area can be found in the local water utility, this information will not be superfluous. A new water treatment plants, ozone, and ultraviolet treatment are used, and such water can be topped up in aquarium without fear (it is pointless to defend against oxygen and photons).

The outdated chlorine cleaning method is gradually becoming a thing of the past, but it is still being used. Chlorine and its derivatives are poisons. They allow you to destroy both harmful and beneficial bacteria, as well as, depending on the concentration of large animals and even people.

Gaseous constituents of water

How long to dechlorinate water for fish

Everyone knows the unpleasant smell of chlorine coming from freshly poured water. Water, being in a cup, stops smelling after a while, which means that the chlorine molecules have evaporated. If fish are placed in freshly collected chlorinated water, they will die from burns to the body and gill petals.

Having made some observations during water settling, you can see that chlorine evaporates quickly enough. It is not necessary to leave tap water on open air for more than a day since chlorine residues cannot affect the well-being of the fish.

An important point is the choice of dishes. The larger the area of ​​contact of water with the environment, the faster gas exchange occurs, and chlorine is eroded. It follows from this that when the water settles in a large-diameter basin, it will become suitable for the aquarium much faster than when using a plastic bottle.

You cannot cover the used buckets with a lid, and even more so, shake the bucket, since there will be nowhere for gas impurities to evaporate, and the water, which was chlorinated, will remain so.

If you prefer watching videos, I recommend you to take a look at this one:

Is Tap Water Safe For Your Aquarium? |

Ozone and its effect on fish

With ozone, things are a little different. It does not have a pronounced odor, although it carries freshness. Under natural conditions, we feel it during a thunderstorm, during the operation of air conditioners (ozonating) and laser printers. Before water is supplied to the drinking pipeline, the process of ozonation takes place, ozone molecules are unstable and quickly transform into a stable compound – oxygen. Well, oxygen is not dangerous for fish.

Other gaseous impurities

How long to settle the water for the aquarium If you pour fresh water from the tap, you can observe a certain amount of bubbles on the walls of the tank. They are formed due to the presence of excess gases dissolved in water. When adding fresh water directly to the aquarium, gas compounds appear on plants, fish skin, and aquarium.

If the fish receives an excess of gas, then bubbles form in the circulatory system, which leads to blockage of blood vessels, gas embolism, and, as a result, to death.

This can happen if the aquarium fish is brought home and immediately placed in a container with fresh water. Beginning fishkeepers are always warned not to do this!

Also, the appearance of bubbles can be caused by the method of pumping water into the water supply system. Cold water pumped into pipes under high pressure loses it abruptly when it leaves, and gases escape into the atmosphere. If such water is collected in a glass, then it will be covered in bubbles floating up the walls to the surface. It needs to be defended a little.

With regular water changes in the aquarium, most likely there will be no bubbles. Fresh and clean water will not greatly increase the amount of gas-containing mixtures in the total volume, so there is no need to worry about the appearance of single bubbles on the fins of the fish.

From all of the above for gas mixtures, it can be noted that:the

  • Most important thing is to dechlorinate water for fish;
  • it makes no sense to spend more than a day;
  • to speed up the settling process, it is necessary to provide strong aeration in a container with water (even simple air with a pump will significantly reduce the time for gas mixtures to emerge);
  • to use fresh water (without settling), you can add special components to it( like water conditioners ), which are on sale in a very large amount, and after 10-15 minutes the liquid is suitable for adding to the aquarium.

Solid impurities

How long does it take to settle the aquarium water? In accordance with sanitary standards, they should not be in tap water.

However, given the quality of old water pipes (rust in pipes), maintenance of pumping stations by unqualified personnel and other factors, it is impossible to exclude the presence of solid constituents in drinking water.

If the water supply system is modern, made of plastic pipes and connecting elements, there will be no solid suspensions in the water.

Solid impurities

It is necessary to settle the water until the complete precipitation of solid impurities into the sediment no more than a day, further increase in the time of the result will not give.
Lime sediment on the inner walls of the kettle indicates that you have a high carbonate hardness of water and it appears only when boiling. High rigidity is harmful only to certain types of fish. If it is necessary to lower it, then there are other ways for this. Leaving water in a bucket for a couple of days of will not give any result.

If water is taken from a well, well or spring, then solids may be present in the form of clay particles or grains of sand that create cloudiness. Such a suspension is not dangerous for aquarium inhabitants. It is necessary to pay attention to the fact that in its appearance it does not resemble clay milk (possible contamination of the gills in fish).

True, no fishkeeper will not use such water for their fish.

The presence of clay particles in the water gives it a cloudy look, which does not precipitate quickly. It’s not worth messing around with cleaning. To speed up the achievement of full transparency, floating plants with a developed root system can be planted, it perfectly collects clay particles.

To summarize the solids in water, we can say:

  1. Fill any transparent container with water and leave it for a few hours.
  2. If there are impurities discussed above, then it will be noticeable in an hour (sediment or pieces of rust will appear at the bottom).
  3. In the presence of visible components of solid impurities, each time before a change, it is necessary to settle the water (no more than 12 hours, then it is ineffective). In the absence of suspensions in water (and they are extremely rare), settling to remove solids is impractical.
  4. We take water samples once a year to control solids

Liquid substances dissolved in water

How many days to leave water in oper air to dechlorinate it. The most dangerous constituents of water are liquid dissolved impurities. They do not precipitate to the bottom, do not fly away into the environment, and are invisible. Water standing does not affect them in any way.

There are many such substances, and many are not classified. It is almost impossible to say exactly what harmful substances are in tap water without special chemical analysis. In addition, the composition of water is not constant.

It can only be argued that in water with chlorine antibacterial cleaning there is a mass of liquid chlorine components (in the greatest amount of chloramine), which remain during water settling. From this, it follows that in the presence of chlorine water, it is necessary to use special water conditioners that will dechlorinate water for fish by removing not only gas chlorine but also binding chloramines.

Liquid substances dissolved in water

Ammonia, nitrites, hydrogen sulfide may be present in water in large quantities. If the dose is large, then the fish will suddenly become ill when changing the water. An aquarium with developed biofiltration (nitrifying bacteria) will transfer these harmful substances, and a newly launched one may die.

The most unstable period in terms of the composition of water in the water supply system is spring. Melting snows in fields treated last season with various chemicals form rivulets flowing into water bodies. And from there water is taken for the needs of the population.

Therefore, it is very important at this time of the year to treat the water for the change with conditioners that bind nitrites, ammonia, chlorine, metals, etc. The choice of a water conditioner depends on your capabilities and the aquarium. This market is now widely represented. It is better to consult on this issue directly from sellers.

In the end how long should it take to dechlorinate water for fish?

In order for tap water to be normalized for a change in an aquarium, it is necessary to remove all harmful components from it – solid, gaseous, and liquid.

Today, leaving water in the open air is extremely rare. There are isolated cases of solid components in the water supply system, derivatives of chlorine water have to be removed with a water conditioner (chlorine gas is also removed in this case), but liquid components – only with a special conditioner. Gaseous water settles for several hours, and much faster with strong aeration.

From all of the above, it is clear that it is best to use special additives for water. The sedimentation of water does not completely remove harmful substances, and in some cases, it can even be harmful (a dusty film, mustiness, etc. appears).

From personal experience:

  • I collect the required amount of water for a change;
  • add conditioner according to the instructions;
  • I perform aeration for 15 minutes;
  • I adjust the temperature of fresh water (with air conditioning) in accordance with the aquarium;
  • pour in, and that’s it.

The advantages of this method of water preparation: all harmful substances are removed, there is no need to wait for the chlorine water to settle, the basins do not harm the interior of the room.

Video from Tetra on how to properly prepare water for an aquarium: