Setting up an aquarium takes a lot of careful planning. The temperature, number of plants, salt content, if any, and number of fish in the tank are all important factors of a healthy aquarium. Dechlorinating the water is vital, no matter what type or number of fish you have. Many companies make chemical products to add to your aquarium and rid it of chlorination. You can, however, naturally remove some chlorination from the water.
The water that runs through the taps of most households has made its way from an outdoor water source, such as a reservoir or river, to a water treatment center. Here, the water is filtered to remove large objects, such as fish and tree branches, and filtered to remove smaller debris. Depending on where you live, the water treatment facility will add either chlorine or chloramine to the water to rid it of bacteria and other small life forms that can make you sick. Call the local water treatment plant to find out what chemicals are used to disinfect your water.
It is relatively simple to rid your tap water of chlorine. Place the water in an open container and let it rest for 24 hours. This process is called "aging" the tap water. The chlorine gas that has been dissolved in the water to disinfect it will escape into the air. If chlorine is the only chemical the treatment facility has placed in your water to chlorinate it, the water will be safely dechlorinated and ready for your fish.
While simply aging water is enough to rid it of chlorine, chloramine, a relatively new additive, is a little more difficult to get rid of without the aid of chemicals. A carbon filter is necessary to rid your tap water of chloramine. Run-of-the-mill filters, such as those in the popular refrigerated pitchers, will not stand up to the job of removing chloramine from your water. Large carbon filters are necessary for this task. Look for filters that use catalytic carbon, which are specifically designed to remove additives such as chloramine from water.
Keeping the water in your aquarium clean is essential to keep your fish healthy, happy, and alive. Additives like chlorine and chloramine are toxic to fish and must be removed from water before placing fish in the tank. Call your local water plant and take appropriate action to remove the chlorine or chloramine from your tap water before you put it in your fish tank.
Stephanie Parker holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education, and a Master's of Education in library science. She currently works as a school librarian and spent six years teaching Prekindergarten and Head Start.