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Setting up your aquaponics tank to have the best water quality takes time and careful planning. Besides ensuring the right pH level, temperature, and fish population, tank waters should also be dechlorinated to remove chemicals that may harm your fish. Regardless of the fish species, you plan to keep, it is vital to find the best dechlorinator for aquaponics and dechlorinate your tank.
Tap water that you use to fill up your tank likely contains chlorine or chloramine, both of which can be harmful to your fish and other aquatic species. To remove chlorine, you need to treat your water with a conditioner, also known as dechlorinators. Some of the best dechlorinators in the market include the following:
- Seachem Prime
- Crystal Clear Vanish Plus Liquid Dechlorinator
- Tetra AquaSafe Plus Water Conditioner
- Home Grown Ponics Instant D-Klor
- API Tap Water Conditioner
In this article, we will discuss the concept of water chlorination, how chlorine can affect fish, and the best dechlorinators for your aquaponics system.
Understanding Water Chlorination
Chlorination is a process that involves adding chlorine to the water to disinfect and kill harmful bacteria. This is done mostly for our tap water system since most of the water comes from outdoor bodies of water. To make sure the water that reaches the households is clean, free from viruses, bacteria, algae and other tiny aquatic life, adding chlorine is necessary.
Depending on your state, your water system may have chlorine or chloramine as the additive agent that disinfects water undergoing treatment in a facility. In most cases, chlorination is the most convenient and effective way of decontaminating water since it eliminates harmful microorganisms rather quickly.
Despite the benefits of chlorination to the household water supply, it is not good for the fish in your tank. We will discuss why dechlorinators are necessary for aquaponics below.
Importance of Dechlorinators To Aquaponics
Dechlorinators are important in aquaponics because even small amounts of chlorine in tap water can kill your fish. This not only applies to water that you used to fill up your tank the first time you set up your system but also to partial water that you add as a replacement during cleanup. In this case, replacement water should always be treated first before adding to your tank.
Below are just some of the dangerous effects chlorine has on any aquatic creatures in your aquaponic system:
- Chlorine acts as an oxidizing agent removes the slime coating from fish causing stress-related illness
- The chemical damages the gills causing serious health problems in fish and other tank creatures
- When fish are exposed to high chlorine levels, they will exhibit signs of irritation and may be observed to swim erratically.
To keep a thriving aquaponics, always remember to add dechlorinators as part of your maintenance program.
Best Dechlorinators For Aquaponics
Dechlorinators are inexpensive so it won’t set you back much. Usually, you can get one bottle for a few dollars, and that would already last a year. But there are also some dechlorinators that require you to put higher doses and are, therefore, more expensive. You can buy them at a local pet shop, or you can purchase online. Below are some of our recommendations:
Seachem Prime is touted by many hobbyists as the best choice. You only need low doses for the dechlorinator to do its job, making it cost-effective. It also acts as a heavy metal neutralizer, so you’ll get clean and healthy water for your fish.
Crystal Clear Vanish Plus Liquid Dechlorinator
This is another good option to buy if you’re looking for an easy-to-use, effective dechlorinator for aquaponics. It works instantly to remove chlorine and heavy metals from your fish tank. It also promotes healthy slime coating for fish, so they stay healthy and less prone to stress. A 32-ounce bottle is enough for a 6,400 gallon of water. While it’s recommended for bigger setups like a pond, you can still use it for your tank as long as you adjust the dose.
Tetra AquaSafe Plus Water Conditioner
Within a few seconds, this dechlorinator works its magic. One teaspoon is enough for 100 gallons of water, making this another cost-effective product. If you are keeping a saltwater fish in your aquaponics system, Tetra AquaSafe is a good water conditioner option. A bonus from this product is that it promotes the increase of beneficial bacteria population.
Home Grown Ponics Instant D-Klor
Dechlorinators are generally chemicals that you introduce to neutralize the harsher chemicals present in tap water. However, with Instant D-Klor, you’re not dealing with chemicals. According to the manufacturer, this is a natural product formulated with sodium ascorbate. This product also introduces vitamin C to your tank, which will help promote good health for your fish, particularly the production of natural slime coating.
API Tap Water Dechlorinator
This is another strong dechlorinator, which only requires you to use one drop for every gallon. Just like Seacehem, this water conditioner removes chlorine, chloramine, and other heavy metals.
Maintaining water quality for your fish is vital to their survival. Remember that tap water is not safe for your fish. Before you introduce your fish to their new home in your aquaponics system, make sure to have your water treated with dechlorinators.
Removing chlorine from water should not only be done when filling your tank for the first time. Even replacement water when cleaning up your trank should also be treated. Find the best dechlorinator for aquaponics and make it a part of your maintenance routine.