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Jacksonnorris

Best way to top up the water in my tank?

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First thing you have to know is whether your tap water is polluted by your local govt types. Apart from fluoride (nasty stuff they have decided humans have to drink even though it is a known carcinogen and for which there is no data as to how well it builds up in the food chain) there is chlorine and chloramines - at least one of them kills fish.

Chlorine isn't too bad - aerating the water well or even letting it sit in the sun for a time or boiling it will remove the deadly component. Chloramines MUST either pass through an activated carbon filter or be chemically neutralised.

Once you have dealt with that, what I do is feed the water in through the GB's - I figure it gives it a bit of a 'live' filter before it gets back to the fish.

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Hi,

Whats the best and safest way to put more water in my tank as it seems to be evaporating.

I use rainwater. It's the most environmentally-friendly (read sustainable) option and nothing has to be done to it prior to using it.

Gary

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I was talking to a woman who owns a fish store, and she uses no chemicals, so other than dechlorinating the water, and adding salt. She uses DeCHLOR made by webco products inc, long beach california, there is no warnings on the label, it takes 1 drop per gallon. Has anyone heard of this stuff, and know whether it is safe for AP or not. The salt she uses is from H20 aquatics, AFRICAN RIFT LAKE CICHLID SALT

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I agree rain water and well water are your best options. I disagree on fluoride being the worst thing in the world, but I'll leave that to a different forum.

Standard practice for using tap water containing chlorine (hypo or gaseous) is to let it off gas for a few days before using. Chloroamines have more of a residence time, hence the reason why cities are now using it, and need a dechlorination agent to get ride of them. If you are topping off less than 5% at a time you could probably get away with going straight from the tap, but that's not considered the best practice. I've read some people use a toilet bowl float valve system that automatically tops off their tank. You would need a constant water level in your fish tank for that to work.

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A comment on rain water. When I bought my new car (after trading in my van with 350,000 miles on it), the manual recommended that after every rain it was exposed to, I get it washed. When I finally read the whole section, apparently, this part of the U.S. has a significantly high pH rainfall, >8.5. I haven't bothered to verify, as I live within 2 miles of a very large pulp mill that smells suspiciously like sulfur dioxide. I wash it often because of that!

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i've "topped up" many of my tanks with chlorinated water from the tap with no issues up to 20% (i once did over 50% with no ill effects, but did probably 80% once and killed most of my minnows)

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Killing fish is one thing, and to be avoided. The problem we have with many of the things we are putting into the food chain, is that they build up. Little things eat or absorb them and bigger things eat them and bigger still eat them, and for many of the more toxic and noxious chemicals, there is no process for removing them from the plant/animal systems, or if there is, it works very slowly.

Fish may very well survive multiple top-ups of tap water, but over time the chances of a build up of toxins incrreases. While the water may contain 2ppm of some chemical, and we are told it is safe, the fish LIVE in that, and if we keep topping the tank up with it, the concentration increases, both in the water and in the fish.

By the time we eat the fish, that 2ppm could easily be 20ppm or even 200ppm.

The more pure we can make our top up water the better - it is even more important, because of the potential for concentration effect, in the FT than it is for our tap water.

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Another option if you use well water or even chlorinated water, is to leave the end of the hose you use to add make up water in your fish tank, or other tank, with a spray nozzle barely open and the water on.

I have a nozzle that slowly drips and this is what I use it for. I just clamp it to my clarifier tank.

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I've been experimenting with rainwater as well.  I'll just explain something that I've been messing around with.  Take it for what it's worth, as it's probably not a long term solution.  

 

I have an overflow valve in the fish tank which is higher then my normal water outlet.  I direct rainwater directly from the roof into the tank  We get plenty of rain here, so when I decide to turn this on, I get enough water to not only top up, but I get a partial water change automatically as water flows out of the overflow due to the sheer volume of water that comes down in our rainstorms here, which are often short lived and usually quite stormy.  The downsides are that there isn't any precise measurement of water lost vs water topped off.

 

This of course does not help when you need water to replenish the water lost when cleaning mechanical filters, but I'm guessing it's going to keep nitrate down to a more manageable level.  I need to redo the gutters here, and when I do I'm going to route a good number of them into a 300 gallon container to better manage the process.

 

I have an old roof, so I learned quickly that I'll need a filter on the downspout outlet to catch the loose roof materials that fall off, leaves and small sticks that would just fall into the tank otherwise. You might also want to do some research into roof types and chemical leeching, especially when they are new. Be warned for the sheer amount of information you find, especially misinformation.

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Craig,

What is the difference between your system ph and the rainwater ph? Or is there?

The only danger I could see if you had a significant water change and there was a significant ph difference, your fish and bacteria could go into shock.

In the northeast USA they have had fish kills if the lower ph snow pack melts too quickly. The alkalinity of the water bodies is too low counteract the ph swing.

Edited by Cecil (see edit history)

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I have been using water from my rain barrels but I wonder am I likely to add parasites or other bugs to my system?

I have had problems with my system with little black worms in it.

 

Hi PI Farmer,

 

Welcome to APN.

 

Rainwater is the best thing to use in an aquaponics system.  The "worms" sound like mosquito larvae.  In any case, they will serve as fish food regardless of what they are.  There's nothing that grows in rainwater that's going to harm you or your fish.

 

Gary

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I netted out mosquito larvae from my waste water tank and dropped them in my outside bluegill tank. The larvae ddn't last long.

Since I added five or six fingerling tilapia to the waste water tank the larvae seemed to have disappeared. Coincidence? Not seeing the fish in the tank though, but they may be hiding. Added a small air stone as I had oxygen concerns.

Edited by Cecil (see edit history)

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