A dechlorinator for your fish system is essential for keeping your fish happy and healthy. However, a lot of people are not actually sure what a dechlorinator is!
If you want to learn more about dechlorinators including what they are, why you need one and how they work, then this is the place for you.
We are going to cover all of these questions so you can know all the ins and outs of dechlorinators and do your absolute best to keep your fish healthy.
So, let’s dive right in!
Table of Contents
What Is A Dechlorinator For Fish Systems?
A dechlorinator for your aquarium or pond is an additive that helps remove chloramine from water.
Chloramines are byproducts of chlorine reacting with ammonia in water. This is especially true if you have any type of biological filter such as a bio-filter or nitrifying bacteria tank.
If you don’t use a bio-filter or add nitrifying bacteria to your tank, then you will be left with high levels of ammonia in your water which means there will be chloramines present too.
These chloramines are very toxic to fish and other aquatic life. Chloramines are extremely dangerous because they are colorless and odorless.
They also tend to be tasteless as well. So, even though you may notice some unpleasant taste or smell when adding a dechlorinator to your water, it is still important to get rid of them.
Chloramines can cause problems because of how reactive they are with organic compounds.
They are extremely toxic and even when present in small doses, chloramines can cause a lot of stress and damage to your fish.
This is because chlorine can cause burns on the gills, scales and tissues of your fish. This will lead to breathing issues and pain.
Not only that, but chloramines can also enter the bloodstream of your fish and cause internal burns and pain there too.
Therefore, you need to treat your fish tank’s water with a dechlorinator before you add in the fish.
Why Do You Need To Use A Dechlorinator In Your Fish System?
The reason you should use a dechlorinator is that it removes chloramines from your water. Ideally, there should be no chlorine at all in your fish tank because this chemical also offers no benefits either.
However, it’s usually impossible to remove all presence of chlorine in any body of water, but using a dechlorinator should help solve this issue.
If you don‘t use a dechlorinator, then your fish will be exposed to chloramines. As we mentioned above, chloramines are highly toxic to fish and cause so much pain and discomfort.
So, it’s important that you use a dechlorinator to get rid of as much chlorine and chloramine in your water as possible.
Using a dechlorinator will help prevent your fish from getting sick and dying.
This means you spend less on restocking your tank with fish, and your fish also get to continue their life in the best possible health.
How Does A Dechlorinator Work?
A dechlorinating agent works by breaking down the chloramines into harmless chemicals. The chemicals produced by the dechlorinator are much safer than chloramines.
Once the dechlorinator has broken down the chloramines, it becomes a part of the water cycle. It gets filtered out through the gravel, sand and other solid particles in the water.
As the dechlorinator breaks down the chloramines, the water becomes cleaner and healthier.
This process takes time, but it is worth it. Once you start using a dechlorinator in your aquarium, you will see a difference in your water quality. It will become clearer and healthier over time.
You can also use a dechlorinator to treat tap water before adding it to your aquarium.
This is a great option if you live in an area where the water isn’t treated properly. Tap water tends to contain higher levels of chloramines compared to bottled water.
Alternatives To Dechlorinators
If using all of these chemicals in your fish tank is not the method for you, then you will probably want to find out if there are any alternatives to dechlorinators.
In fact, there are – a KDF filter or using activated carbon will help remove both chlorine and chloramine in your fish tank.
When To Use A Dechlorinator
You can measure your tank’s water to see how much chlorine it contains using an electronic test device.
You should always try to keep the amount of chlorine and chloramine as low as possible so if the device is measuring above 0.1 PPM (parts per million) then it’s time to use your dechlorinator.
Follow the instructions on the pack of your chosen brand of dechlorinator and remember that using too much dechlorinator can cause it to bind to the oxygen in the tank instead, taking away important oxygen from your fish and potentially killing them.
Make sure that you have adjusted the dosage to suit your fish tank (see also ‘How to Clean a Fish Tank‘) and follow the instructions carefully to avoid this issue.
Wait the suggested time on the pack (usually between twenty-four and forty-eight hours) before adding your fish to the tank.
It’s so important to use dechlorinators before you add your fish to their new home as it helps remove any chlorine and chloramine in the water that could be life-threatening to your fix.
Because these chemicals are so toxic to your fish, using a dechlorinator in your tank beforehand will help ensure that the tank water is the best possible quality for your fish.