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Water Conditioner?

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36 replies to this topic

Poll: water conditioner?

Do you use water conditioner??

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#1 DR14GoNF14SH

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  • Location: mirrabooka

Posted 29 July 2008 - 12:53 PM

After speaking to a mate about his choice not to use water conditioners, and seeing how healthy his fish are...i wonder, do i really need to use them myself?

i remember reading a thread re: this same topic, but what i want to know...is, who here does/doesnt use them?

e. wink.gif

#2 Fox

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  • Location: Ellenbrook W.A

Posted 29 July 2008 - 01:25 PM

When I was in Tassie, I never used water conditioner, only Rift Lake Salt.
But since being here I always use it. I dont use Prime as it stinks all the time like rotten eggs.
I was using Wardley's Tri Start, But since finding API Im using Stress Coat +. Seems like really good stuff.
Oh and I still use Aquasonic Rift Lake Salt. Great stuff and I swear by it.

#3 lilfish

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 04:16 PM

Surely if you dont use water conditioner the chlorine will kill off your biofilter?? can someone correct me if im wrong smile.gif

#4 Scat

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 06:09 PM

I dont use water conditioner in my malawi tanks nor my catfish growouts and dont have any problems,I think tank volume can help eg 160lts of tap water into a 800lt tank doesnt make any difference in my experience but am alot more careful with water that is going into my discus tank now.


#5 Fish Antics

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 06:27 PM

I now tend to use a dechlorinator for all water changes. Cholrine in large enough quantities will adversly effect your filter and fish. How much? this depends on the amount of chlorine in the tap water at that time as it changes constantly and the amount of water you are changing. I dont take the chance. I have also paid a bit more for a pond strength bottle which will last me a bit longer, works out more cost effective.

I do use rift lake salts in hard water tanks, either commercial or home made. I also use RO/Rain water and Peat for some of my soft water tanks. Some tanks with nothing special as my water comes out at a PH 7.4 but is quite soft at 70ppm.

I would also tend to treat my fish for internal parrasites/worms every couple of months.


#6 dazzabozza


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Posted 29 July 2008 - 06:30 PM

Something out of the norm like elevated metal levels etc coming through your taps could catch u by surprise. Conditioner is good as a preventative.

Surely if you dont use water conditioner the chlorine will kill off your biofilter?? can someone correct me if im wrong

Depending on the size of your water change it could become an issue. More likely to see a mini-cycle rather than a full blown crash.


#7 keenas

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 06:37 PM

I stopped using conditioner with no effect to the fish. Having said that I keep some on hand and if there is a strong scent of chlorine I will use it.

#8 Mr_docfish

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 07:51 PM

A reminder for some.....

It is not the chlorine that is the biggest problem, but the other 10+ possible added chemicals and other chemicals that are not added, but find their way in there....

For those that do not use conditioners or any other form of conditioning of tap water.... try licking a lead pipe every day for the next few months and let me know if your hair starts falling out.... you wont be dead though, so I assume licking lead would be safe, Huh???

I have no sympathy for those people that come crying to me with stories of lost fish due to doing a big water change without conditioners, it is Russian roulette with your fish.

I never wore a bike helmet when I was a kid, and I am still alive.... but I wear one now, and so do my kids....

enough said.

#9 Donna

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 08:37 PM

Hi everyone,

I always, always use conditioner. I was interested in Mr docfish's comment about other metals. Now I am concerned about the conditioner I use. So just to make sure I get only the best, what would you recommend as being a good broad spectrum (for want of a better term) brand of conditioner? I always read the labels etc but I am still unsure.

I take you point also about living and not merely surviving. There is a difference.



#10 4x4xfar

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 08:47 PM

It all depends on where you live and how reliable your water supply is in regard to quality.

I have never used water conditioners in 12 years of fish keeping and have never lost fish because of it!

#11 Mr_docfish

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 09:18 PM

QUOTE (4x4xfar @ Jul 29 2008, 08:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It all depends on where you live and how reliable your water supply is in regard to quality.......

This is true... Metro vs Country, and it also depends on the day, time of year and other factors such as hardness of water, species of fish being kept, volume of water being changed etc...

Best brands in my opinion:
API - Tap Water Conditioner (basic) and Stress Coat
Hagen - Aqua plus
Sera - Aqutan
Seachem - Prime powder (more stable than liquid)

Special Note: Avoid subjecting the above products (or any for that matter) to temperatures above 40C.

Something I have found out after reading Sydad's comments (in a previous thread) about EDTA breaking down and releasing the chelated metals (as a function of conditioners).....
"Soluble Calcium (part of GH) has the ability to block/slow the uptake of metals (and nitrite) through the gill membranes of fish. So having a high Calcium content as part of the GH (often the case in rift lake tanks and those living in the northern suburbs) will assist in preventing released metals from affecting the fish. In the mean time, organics produced in the aquarium will eventually and permanently bind with the metals, and then be removed through filter cleaning and water changes."

It is possible that tanks or water sources with high Calcium levels can minimise the effects of toxic metals.... but this is just a broad theory, and no quantitative studies have been done on ornamental fish to date.

#12 seriavo

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 09:22 AM

Whilst we are on the subject.........i am moving bush soon and will be on tank rain water............. is there any thing i should do other than rift lake salt? and ph buffering?

I would obviously stop using the conditioner.....



#13 giz

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 09:45 AM

If it was a metal rainwater tank, then I would still use the water conditioner to remove metals. Rainwater is slightly acidic and soft, so make sure you get it right before you do your waterchanges to be on the safe side.

#14 Missbuggz

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 10:20 PM

I've always had good results with Prime liquid. I do tend to over-use it a little tho, but I'd rather over-use it a bit than under-dose...

Someone mentioned to me a good source of chems like Prime, Acid Buffer etc online but I can't remember the name of the site. He'd said $20- for 250ml, delivered. Does this ring any bells to anyone?

#15 Kieran

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 01:19 AM

Wow thread mine much? smile.gif

Try Age of Aquariums, top left sponsor link at the top of this page.

#16 Wacker

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 08:33 PM

I don't use water conditioner either.. never had a problem with filters spearing in or fish dying

FYI I also change up to 50% at water changes and I believe the fish actually respond well to the different cooler water.. I've never worried about the couple of degrees drop etc... in fact, it quite often encourages spawning

I'm pretty sure there's a big industry in flogging these products that IMO are not necessary

#17 (abc)Jarrad

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 08:39 PM

i pretty much use api water conditioner for the first few months of starting up a new tank then get lazy

#18 gibbs

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 12:39 AM

Prime Religously

#19 AfricaFan

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 08:28 PM

Always, always, always use conditioner plus salts and buffers.

I have a 200 litre blue plastic drum, I fill it with tap water, add in the rift lake salt and tang buffer, then add 4 ml of Wardley Tri Start. Give it a good stir, then leave it for about half an hour while I siphon out the tanks (usually remove about 20%). Then pump in the newly treated water. I do this every week, and my fish love it.


#20 ruffaz

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 02:54 PM

i cant believe some of theses comments i use api conditioner i keep bigger fish nothing i have is under 20 cm mark and those that are are juvies i notice the diffrence in the look of my fish when im dont use it so yea to me its real important so is the health of my fish have you notice how sick you feel when you dont eat veggies for like a week thats how i put it.

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