Freshwater aquariums are miniature ecosystems. Everything from the substrate to the surface of the water plays a part in the overall health of the fish, plants and snails. Water quality is one of the most important things we can work on as aquarium keepers and for most of us, this starts with tap water. Tap water, thanks to the friendly folks down at the water treatment plant, is safe for us to drink and readily available in our homes so it is understandably the first choice for most fishkeepers. However, just because it is safe for drinking, it does not mean it is safe to add directly into your aquarium. Before water comes out our taps, it is filtered and treated several times. During this process, disinfectants, chloramine and chlorine are all added in order to “clean” the water to make it safe for us to drink. These chemicals are great at removing bacteria and other nasties that we don’t want and we consider them safe for us, but they really are not safe for your aquarium inhabitants. While they do a good job of removing everything from our water, they also remove the good bacterias that our aquarium require to thrive. This is why it is vital to always treat water before putting it into your aquarium. There are ways we can make that water safe for our aquarium. You can use a specialised reverse osmosis filter which attaches to your mains water supply and draws water directly through a variety of resins and compact filters to remove everything from the water. This creates lots of waste water but produces a water absolutely no harmful materials which can then be conditioned with specific trace elements for your aquarium.
Alternatively, you can use tap water that has been treated with a solution designed to make tap water safe for your fish. There are products on the market that make it really easy and convenient to do just that. We have water conditioners, a solution you simply add to water which safely removes these dangerous chemicals, by completely neutralising them, making our aquariums a safer environment for its inhabitants to thrive. Todays Fishkeeper can easily add water conditioner which will effortlessly isolate and remove everything that is harmful to our aquarium in one go. Everything from lead, copper, chlorine, chloramine all gone. Our tap water has changed many times over the years and the aquarium keepers have had to adapt to these changes in order to avoid unwanted chemicals entering our aquariums. Initially, our tap water would only be treated with chlorine. Then our tap water was treated with ammonia which, combined with chlorine, formed something called chloramine - deadly for any aquatic animals. Luckily for us, we can easily add water conditioner which will effortlessly isolate and remove everything that is harmful to our aquarium in one go. Everything from lead, copper, chlorine, chloramine all gone. the modern water conditioners also offer additional benefits like aloe vera which promotes a healthy slime coat on your fish, help to control nitrates with some even working to maintain you pH levels too.
When we do our weekly maintenance and water changes, we should always condition the water BEFORE we put it into the aquarium. This insures all the toxic chemicals have been removed prior to your tap water entering your aquariums ecosystem and have damaging effects. The water conditioners available in your local fish shop have come a long way since they were first introduced and will continue to adapt to the ever changing needs of the aquarium community. We recommend you regularly test the tap water prior to conditioning it. This is a good way just to keep an eye on your water supply. It is not uncommon for your water supply to be treated with abnormally high amounts of chemicals following heavy rain and catching this change early could save you a lot of trouble. Furthermore, tap water perimeters vary form location to location.
Always remind yourself, before you can call yourself a Fishkeeper, you have to become a water keeper first.
We stock the following water conditioners online and in our new store:
Sera Chlor EX
API Tap Water Conditioner
Nutrafin Aqua Plus
Aqua One Health plus
API Stress Coat