Every week, Bob Hawe, our resident aquarist expert, answers your aquarium and pond questions. To ask Bob your question - click here
Does ALL tap water have chlorine or chloramines in it?
What can I do to remove them?
Since I began working in the pet and aquatics industry more than 20 years ago, this has been one of the more commonly asked questions. Essentially, unless you have well water, the answer is yes. Almost all municipal tap water has chlorine and/or chloramines added to treat the water. That creates a problem for aquarium owners because both are toxic to your fish.
Chlorine is easier to remove than chloramine. The old way of dechlorinating water was to leave it stand overnight with an aerator and let the gas dissipate into the air. This can be effective, but not always guaranteed to work. Also, some of my customers believed that the aerator on the faucet was enough to dissipate the gas. This is definitely less effective than the overnight aeration method. I always tell customers to use a dechlorinator to ensure the chlorine is removed.
Chloramines, on the other hand, are more troublesome. Chloramines get absorbed into the fish body and become very toxic. Signs of chloramine poisoning are sluggishness and heavy breathing.
Chloramines are formed when ammonia is added to the water that contains free chlorine. Chloramines are much more stable in the water, thereby creating a better tap water disinfectant. The problem for aquarists is that aeration is not very effective at removing chloramines. The chloramines’ bond must be broken before any tap water is added to the tank. I always recommended that, in order to be sure there are no poisonous gases in your tap water, you should use a product like Acurel Bodyguard+ when adding water to your tank.
When using Acurel F, how often can it be added to the aquarium?
Acurel is completely organic and all natural. It can be added to the aquarium daily for crystal clear water, without any side effects. I have been using Acurel F, without issues, since I was 12 years old! I remember leaving for school and putting Acurel in my tank (because I did a water change the night before, overfed them, or changed the filter creating a biological situation) and my mother saying “You don’t need it!” When I returned home from school, the water was so clear it was as if the fish were suspended in air.
Beginning from when I had my retail store in Philadelphia to now as an Acurel representative, I have sold thousands of bottles of Acurel E and F. I have never received a complaint. This quote from an internet testimonial says it best: “Acurel takes the fine particulates that are just annoying when you get up close to your tank and binds them together and brings them to your filter. Even though you don’t think you need it, try it and see the results”. I remember those annoying particulates as a kid, not letting me see my fish clearly. That’s why I have been using Acurel for well over 30 years!