Does leaving water sit out make it safe for fish?
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Does leaving water sit out make it safe for fish?

This is a discussion on Does leaving water sit out make it safe for fish? within the Freshwater Chat forums, part of the Aquarium Related Chat category; i was over at a friends place last night and she was doing a water change on a small tank ...

  1. #1
    hoolagal
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    DefaultDoes leaving water sit out make it safe for fish?

    i was over at a friends place last night and she was doing a water change on a small tank ... i noticed she used no water conditioner/dechlorinator and she said it is not needed and has never used it !!! it was my understanding that water these days has chlorine (which will evaporate being left sitting) and chloramine which can only be removed with a chemical dechlorinator ... is a dechlorinator needed or am i mistaken ???

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  3. #2
    Forum Resident big_bubba_B's Avatar
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    wellpeople will age there water and by the time they use it most of the chlorine has gassed off . good dechlorinators like prime do not harm your fish . but if she has well water or maybe there water is low in chlorine .if u wanna do it depends on your tank size just get a cheap garbage can fill it up put some prime in it and a heater to raise the temp to what your tank is and use it . is way lss stress on the fish especialy if u have the water at the perfect tempurature
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  4. #3
    hoolagal
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    she lives in a highrise in the west end a block or so from me so we have the same city water ... and she has had no death in her tank ...

  5. #4
    Mr Know It all
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    chloramines are not used by the GVRD, as for chlorine, yes it does evaporate over time. I would recommend using a powerhead or air pump to get the water moving, it'll speed it up. Our levels of chlorine are very low here, and the heavy metals in our water are negligible if you take a peek at the gvrd's annual reports on water quality. When introducing new fish though i'd recommend using a dechlorinator for the next few water changes to help with their slime coat.
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  6. #5
    hoolagal
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    thanks, that is very informative ... so many years i have been using a dechlorinater every week when i could have just let pails of water sit out ... i guess i will have to tell my friend i was wrong (geez, i hate that :O) just kidding :O)

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    Mr Know It all
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    just dont use your hot water, and let the water run for a little bit. you can get heavy metals from old pipes/heat tanks
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  8. #7
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    I've found that using water straight from the tap was fine for fished. I never used de-chlor in the past. I even mixed in some hot water to match temps.

    For a planted tank however, I had to start using de-chlor, as straight tap water did impact the plants. Still mix in hot water to match temps though.

  9. #8
    Forum Snooper
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    Gas exchange between water and air is a function of partial pressures. When the water first comes out of the tap there is a lot of chlorine coming out, but within a few minutes the amount of chlorine in the water goes down and the rate at which it leaves the water is greatly deduced. The bottom line is that 90% of the chlorine dissipates within the 1st hour and the rest takes about 24 hours to escape. Fish can handle some chlorine, but too much burns their shin and gills.
    So in the lower mainland if you are doing a 20% water change, just let the water sit in the bucket for about 10 minutes and dump it in. For larger water changes let it sit overnight. Aeration helps speed things up, but not a lot.
    I other jurisdictions there may be higher concentrations of Chlorine, making straight out of the tap changes ill advised. Also after very heavy rains the GVRD increases chlorination to deal with high particulates in the water.
    Chloramine does not dissipate on its own and does require chemical removal.

  10. #9
    Mr Know It all 2wheelsx2's Avatar
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    Chlorine also has low solubility in water, so in addition to what pistolpete said, if you use a shower head or a sprinkler type setup to splash the water coming out of the taps then more of the chlorine and CO2 is released out of the water right away.
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    Super Moderator The Guy's Avatar
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    I use well water and have let it sit over night and it seemed fine, but on a big water changes I always use prime. I'm not taking a chance with my discus or any of my fish for that matter, prime is cheap insurance in my books.
    My opinion only, you can make your own choice.
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