I am doing 100% water changes. So I was debating between aged water at (cooler) room temperate, or using warmer tap water to try to get close to Betta's target temp range.
If I used aged room temp water, I'd have to set everything up, and wait for the heater to bring the tank up to the correct temp. This means George would have to sit around for a longer time, waiting in a "closet" until the tank temp comes up (while floating his cup in the tank).
If I use warmer tap water, then George would be stuck in the "closet" for a shorter amount of time (shorter time floating is cup in the tank), and I can return him to his tank sooner. I imagine he'd be happier spending as little time as possible in the cup while waiting for his Merry Maid to do his house cleaning.
I have gallon jugs which I can use to set aside water for aging. I just thought of a question though...
Will water still age if I place the cap on my gallon jugs? Or do I have to let them sit out without the cap?
There are formulas to figure out the evaporation rates of chlorine and chloramine (they're different), but they are long, complex and a royal pain in the ass. They also require many precise variables about the conditions where the water is, like surface area, air flow, temperature, humidity, CO2 concentrations in the air along with a whole other host of factors which you probably do not know, and do not have the ability to gather anyhow.
So to spare us from going there, we'll go with the simple generic answer: it will still break down and evaporate if you seal the jug, however, it will take much longer to do so than if you had left it uncovered. Also, the more surface area the water has in general, the faster it will de-chlorinate itself -aka a gallon of water in a gallon jug will take longer to evaporate the same amount of chlorine as a gallon of water sitting in a five gallon bucket. Why? greater surface area.
now i've heard that using heated water from the tap is a bad idea. I was taught not to even drink heated water, i.e. why does everyone boil their water for tea instead of just using rather hot water from the tap. My water turns while when it's hot. I think one of the reasons i've heard is that the hot water can break down and carry more impurities in from the pipes and anything else that may be sitting down there.
I was also taught not to drink hot water from the tap. You never know what "bonus" stuff you're getting, especially from older pipes. We always boil our before using it for coffee or tea. We have a Zojirushi that provides us with hot water on demand, so we don't have to wait for water to boil. It's an Asian thing, most Asian families seem to have something similar in their homes. If I need hot water for cooking, I'll take the water from the Zojirushi, not from the tap.
We had a kitchenette area at the office where I worked, and the sink had a separate spout to provide you with hot drinking water. I never used it for my tea because the water always looked icky. You just put some of that hot water in a cup and you see mysterious things floating in it. Yuck.
I guess I should play it safe and set some jugs of water aside to let them "age", add water conditioner to them before I use in a tank, and then wait for the submersible heater to bring up the water temp before adding George.
That's interesting about the rate of chlorine/chloramine evaporation varying depending on water-to-air surface area. Seems to make sense though. So this leads me to the next question that has popped into my mind...
Is it possible to use too much water conditioner?
Since we don't know how much chlorine/chloramine is in the water, it is very possible to add too much water conditioner (if the are already low).
I had wondered about this. I mean let's say Tetra Aquasafe says use 7 drops per 1 gallon. Sure, we try to stick close to that. But what if we accidentally put 9 or 10 drops in 1 gallon of water? Is that ok? I am assuming 9 or 10 drops in 1 gallon would be much better than putting only 4 or 5 drops in 1 gallon. That is, err on the side of too much water conditioner rather than too little. Would that be a safe assumption?
Last edited by MarieBettaMom; 05-05-2009 at 06:09 PM.
Ah, water myths.
There's a lot of variables to bear in mind with the 'drinking hot water from the tap' story. And important thing to know is what kinds of pipes the water you are getting from your tap runs through. In many older systems, brass and copper piping was used. Unfortunately over time, if not properly maintained, there can be a scaling buildup inside these pipes, or even rust. This can then break of over time and end up coming out through your tap. Most modern systems run PVC though, which does not have as much of a scaling buildup, and no rust. Also, if your system is not a proper closed system, untreated or exposed water can get into the pipes, and this can carry bacteria. This happens most commonly because of people illegally hooking up their pipes to city or county lines, and not doing it right. In Florida we also have a problem of people and their personal wells. They sometimes hook these up to the same lines that city water runs through. They often leave these pumps on, and the back pressure from their pump can sometimes overwhelm the standing pressure in the pipes, and force their untreated personal well-water back up into the city's lines, thus contaminating them with whatever was in that water. Don't you love your neighbors? They've now infected your entire neighborhood because they were too cheap to get a permit and have someone come out and properly install their pump and pipes.
Supposedly there's stories about the hot water breaking off more things in the pipes and reacting with things in it. I find this silly. The water in the pipes is all the same temperature. There only becomes a difference when it goes into your personal house lines, and it sent to your water heater, which then heats it up. Anything that broke off in the city/cpunty/municipality's pipes wasn't because of hot water. If there's anything coming off the pipes because of the hot water, its because it's within your own pipes within your house. At which point in time you either have a leak which has allowed contaminated into the system that you need to get repaired asap, or the contractor which built your house did a shoddy job, and you should hunt him down and wring his neck.
There's also stories about chemicals reeacting more with hot water. This is true, some chemicals react more at higher temperatures. However, nothing you should have in your water become "omg toxic!" just because it's heated up.
I don't use hot tap water out of the tap on my fish tanks simply for the fact that is normally too hot. What may feel like barely luke warm to us can indeed be in the upper 90's and 100's, which is far too warm to stick a fish in. And it takes so long to cool it back down so that you can acclimate the fish, just isn't worth it. I use cold tap water, its closer to the temp I want it to be. Then again, I'm in Florida, and come summer even our 'cold' water isn't really cold.
On the topic of water conditioners. I don't really know if there is a 'too much', but I find it unlikely. The water conditioner is supposed to simply bind to the chlorine chemically, and then break down in a fashion which renders it harmless to the fish. I imagine the only time you'd have an issue with that is if you had the fish swimming in a 50/50 water to water conditioner solution.
i occasionally toss in a few extra drops and it hasn't hurt my fish over the years. I'd rather a few too many than too little.
Nataku: I worry about PVC, too! Being plastic, they're finding that it releases toxic chemicals, particularly when heated up (like that Nalgene bottle scare last year... too much BPA...i think those were PVC. They were finding near toxic levels of BPA in water that had been left in plastic bottles say, in a hot car, and the water heater up) I try not to put hot food in plastic so I don't really want my hot water coming through it either. But that's just my preference. I'm one of those natural types who tries to avoid pesticides, contaminates, eats organic, etc. So perhaps I'm overly cautious but I'd prefer to be mildly overcautious then be in trouble later.
Anyway, I'm in an old section of Chicago. They just replaced our water pipes (after 100 years.. they had lead in them the workers told us) and you shoudl have seen what was coming out of them!! I would turn on the tap and get a sink full of rust. I'd have to run the water for a long time and we couldn't drink it for about 3 months; it was all bottled for awhile. So, i figure, what's not good for me probably isn't good for my fish...