The correct type of aquarium water is very important in maintaining the health of your tropical fish. There are many sources of water but only a few are reliable in keeping healthy fish. Depending on where you live, the water you get can vary greatly. Some water supplies vary so never think that you water supply is safe for your fish. I'll just give you the pros and cons of different water supplies so you can make an educated decision.
Tap water contains chemicals such as chlorine or chloramine that is added to kill organisms that is harmful to humans. But chlorine is harmful to tropical fish. To get rid of the chlorine in tap water you need to add dechlorinator such as Aqua Safe to eliminate chlorine. The best time to add dechlorinator is when your tank is filled and all your equipment is running and when you are adding water to your aquarium. It's a great idea to take a few plastic jugs such as gallon milk containers and rinse them with clear water. Run the tap water a few seconds to eliminate any stagnant water and traces of metal that's in the pipes. DO NOT USE SOAP OR OTHER CHEMICALS TO RINSE THE CONTAINERS. THESE CHEMICALS ARE DEADLY TO YOUR FISH. After rinsing, add the dechlorinator to the containers and let them sit with the cap off for about 24 hours. That's it, just add the water to your aquarium.
Some people like to collect rainwater for their aquariums. This process in not very practical unless you live in a region where you get alot of rain. Rainwater also contains contaminants from factory emissions, smog and others. Rainwater tends to be very soft and may not be suitable for certain fish. I would avoid using this type of water.
One thing good about bottled water is that you can add it to your aquarium without adding chemicals. The bad thing is that bottled water is very expensive. Do yourself and your pocket book a favor and buy some dechlorinator and just add it to your tap water.
Keeping Well water for your aquarium water is another bad idea. There are alot of bad ingredients such as sulfur, lead, and mud. Well water lacks alot of good oxygen and is high in dissolved nitrogen and carbon dioxide. All the best filters and and chemicals couldn't change the composition in this water.
The aquarium water in your tank is like the air in your home. It keeps your fish alive and is probably the most important element to take into consideration. Here is some basic rules or aquarium water.
1) Make sure your water is free of debris, chemicals and metals.
2) Dechlorinate your water before adding it to your tank.
3) If you are collecting water such as rainwater, use a clean non-metallic container.
4) Monitor you water using a home test kit.
5) When performing water changes, add dechlorinator to your containers and let containers sit for 24 hours with the cap off.
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