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    Thread: Gassing off chloramine

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      John Doe is offline Junior Member
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      Gassing off chloramine

      So, I was at a local hobbiest house and they were giving me a tour of their system. The thing that they told me that surprised me the most was that they do not treat for chloramine in their tap water. According to them they drain the pond to the level they want to change then slowly add water back at a trickle and do not add anything to neutralize the chloramine. According to them if you add the water slow enough it will dissipate on its own and be safe for fish. I was looking at a 10k gallon pond with some high dollar sansai that they grew out from last year that supposedly had never had a drop of conditioner added to the water. I know the cost of the koi in the pond and was looking at a $10k filtration system running it so it surprised me that they would do something that seemed so reckless. Does anybody have experience NOT treating water containing CHLORAMINE? I know chlorine can gas off, but i have never heard the same for chloramine. Any experience to provide further data on this would be useful as i would love to make a flow through system on my pond, but am inhibited by my local tap water.

    2. #2
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      Here is a chart just for thought from an aquarium site. Didn't have a pond when I lived where water was treated but had many aquariums. I would let the treated water sit out with aeration for 24 hours. Notice how much longer chloramine takes.

      How fast do they add the water back in?
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      Are you certain their tapwater contains chloramine?

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      John Doe is offline Junior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by jcardona1 View Post
      Are you certain their tapwater contains chloramine?
      Yes. They live only a few blocks from me

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      Quote Originally Posted by batman View Post
      Here is a chart just for thought from an aquarium site. Didn't have a pond when I lived where water was treated but had many aquariums. I would let the treated water sit out with aeration for 24 hours. Notice how much longer chloramine takes.

      How fast do they add the water back in?
      They said it took them two weeks to change 80% of their water by draining and slowly refilling.
      But in response to the chart you provided it would seem that with aeration and circulation it should be gassed off in under 3 days. Also, that is not accounting for any of the chloramine that is neutralized when encountering the organics in the pond. So i guess the question would be what concentration of untreated water would be harmful to the fish, then dividing that by 3 since water added 4 days prior would be gassed off already. For example, if the fish could theoretically tolerate 10% of untreated chloramine water at a time without adverse affect you could add 3.3% of total gallonage a day allowing you to add around 23% new untreated water a week. Of course these numbers would change depending of the amount of untreated water the fish could tolerate without adverse affects. Also, it would be beneficial to know what if any adverse affects these low concentrations of chloramine would have on a biological filter.

    6. #6
      ricshaw is online now Supporting Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by John Doe View Post
      The thing that they told me that surprised me the most was that they do not treat for chloramine in their tap water. According to them they drain the pond to the level they want to change then slowly add water back at a trickle and do not add anything to neutralize the chloramine. According to them if you add the water slow enough it will dissipate on its own and be safe for fish.
      That is old school for chlorine treated tap water... NOT chloramine treated tap water. Chloramine is more stable than chlorine. That is the reason municipalities switched over to Chloramine.


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      While cloaramine can be consumed by your Biological filter it will also make you biological less effective at removing the ammonia as quickly cholamine is bound with ammonia and either needs centaur carbon or your biological filtration to break down the ammonia. I left my hose on all night and lost over half my koi. It also knocked my biological filtration back for a few days.

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      Our water supply averages about 2.2 ppm of chloramine. Assuming the dissipation is linear, that would mean a bit more than 6 days for the chloramine to reach 0. Just safer to use Safe, Chloram-X, etc.

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      Quote Originally Posted by AvgJoe View Post
      Our water supply averages about 2.2 ppm of chloramine. Assuming the dissipation is linear, that would mean a bit more than 6 days for the chloramine to reach 0. Just safer to use Safe, Chloram-X, etc.
      Or even better use a Carbon filter to remove it vs chemicals

    10. #10
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      You guys are looking at this from the wrong perspective. If you fill a sterile container with water treated with chloramine, and aerate it, the chart above will likely apply, but if you trickle it into a live (non-sterile) environment it will oxidize any organics in the pond in short order and neutralize. By keeping it at a low rate, it neutralizes before it can reach a level that will damage the fish's gills... unless the fish sits right at the water entry point for hours on end. Run the hose full blast on refill and you will likely end up with gill damage also.
      The rate of water return is the key point here, as is the percentage of turnover... but there really is not any off gassing to speak of.

      I don't treat my water unless I am doing a 25% or more water change. My typical water change is 12.5% over about 2 hours in a system that is not sterile by any means.
      Last edited by danzcool; 04-24-2019 at 03:01 AM.
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    11. #11
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      Chlorine is readily consumed by organics including bacteria and other organisms in the water. It is also readily deactivated by sunlight. So not so much gassed off. I have a friend who accidentally left the water hose on all night and non of his fish died. He said, "lucky my filters were so dirty ... that morning I've never seen my water so sparkly clean." For me, I still use a conditioner (Safe) even with small water changes. My question is which disinfection by-products is safer long term (I heard they cause cancers), by-products caused by pond organics or by-products caused by Safe and other conditioners? I'm leaning towards the later. That is one reason I still use Safe. One study (actually a survey of koi owner is Sweden) links koi abdominal tumours with increase frequency of water changes. The other reason I still use Safe is that even though my ammonia registers zero, there is always that ambient ammonia that is not detectable. Wouldn't Safe bind this ambient ammonia basically rendering ammonia non-existent?
      Last edited by KoiRun; 04-24-2019 at 09:50 AM.
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    12. #12
      ricshaw is online now Supporting Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by danzcool View Post
      You guys are looking at this from the wrong perspective. If you fill a sterile container with water treated with chloramine, and aerate it, the chart above will likely apply, but if you trickle it into a live (non-sterile) environment it will oxidize any organics in the pond in short order and neutralize. By keeping it at a low rate, it neutralizes before it can reach a level that will damage the fish's gills... unless the fish sits right at the water entry point for hours on end. Run the hose full blast on refill and you will likely end up with gill damage also.
      The rate of water return is the key point here, as is the percentage of turnover... but there really is not any off gassing to speak of.

      I don't treat my water unless I am doing a 25% or more water change. My typical water change is 12.5% over about 2 hours in a system that is not sterile by any means.
      You are right, Chloramine is less of a problem in dirty ponds and small water changes.

    13. #13
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      Seems like another key factor in all of this is the level of chloramine in the tap water, which is not the same for every water system. When I tested mine a couple of years ago, it was 2.5 ppm chloramine, but a friend in a neighboring town had 0.0 chloramine in his tap water. I guess their system still used chlorine. Now I should explain that I got that using a couple of different tests from pool supply stores to check for Total Chlorine and Free Chlorine.

      Chloramine = Total Chlorine - Free Chlorine … Right?

    14. #14
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      Quote Originally Posted by danzcool View Post
      You guys are looking at this from the wrong perspective. If you fill a sterile container with water treated with chloramine, and aerate it, the chart above will likely apply, but if you trickle it into a live (non-sterile) environment it will oxidize any organics in the pond in short order and neutralize. By keeping it at a low rate, it neutralizes before it can reach a level that will damage the fish's gills... unless the fish sits right at the water entry point for hours on end. Run the hose full blast on refill and you will likely end up with gill damage also.
      The rate of water return is the key point here, as is the percentage of turnover... but there really is not any off gassing to speak of.

      I don't treat my water unless I am doing a 25% or more water change. My typical water change is 12.5% over about 2 hours in a system that is not sterile by any means.
      So i guess I would be safe using a constant trickle in my pond without pre-treating the water for chloramine then? Maybe enough for about a 20% change per week is what i was thinking.

    15. #15
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      It's all going to depend on the level of things to burn off in the pond. I personally would never try it but it's apparent others seem to do it without issue.
      Still learning as I go but y'all can call me Marilyn

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      Quote Originally Posted by Matt24 View Post
      Seems like another key factor in all of this is the level of chloramine in the tap water, which is not the same for every water system. When I tested mine a couple of years ago, it was 2.5 ppm chloramine, but a friend in a neighboring town had 0.0 chloramine in his tap water. I guess their system still used chlorine. Now I should explain that I got that using a couple of different tests from pool supply stores to check for Total Chlorine and Free Chlorine.

      Chloramine = Total Chlorine - Free Chlorine … Right?
      My understanding is that Chloramine = chlorine + ammonia. Treatment plants add ammonia to chlorine in chloraminated systems. One advantage of chloramine over chlorine as a disinfectant is that it is more stable. It can reach water taps far away from the water plants without deteriorating so much.
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      Quote Originally Posted by John Doe View Post
      So i guess I would be safe using a constant trickle in my pond without pre-treating the water for chloramine then? Maybe enough for about a 20% change per week is what i was thinking.
      What's the goal, save a few bucks? Given all the cheap and readily available products that can neutralize chlorine/chloramine instantly, I don't see why anyone would take the risk. All it takes is one time for your fish to go belly-up and then you'll never try that again!

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      A 4kg bucket of Safe Seachem is under a hundred and last me a year
      Well I have a small pond and super clean etcs
      I also don’t want to take a chance with my messy collection wutzever
      So be “Safe” for me I don’t like the stink smell from the product, thought even my koi come over try to eat it and ran away kakaka
      The risk I can consider is an RO fast drip system
      M.Nguyen


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      John Doe is offline Junior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by jcardona1 View Post
      What's the goal, save a few bucks? Given all the cheap and readily available products that can neutralize chlorine/chloramine instantly, I don't see why anyone would take the risk. All it takes is one time for your fish to go belly-up and then you'll never try that again!
      The goal is to be able to have a constant flow of fresh water to the pond so that I am not performing water changes which can be stressful for the fish wether or not you use chemical. Presently I do water changes and use safe which is extremely economical. However I would rather have a flow through system so that I can maximize growth and pond health without having to dedicate time each week to water changes. I am curious as to what if any experience anyone on here has using untreated containing chloramine in a system like described. The claim of a local hobbiest seemed a little outrageous to me and I was looking for any other evidence supporting or disproving that type of claim.

      Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

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      Quote Originally Posted by John Doe View Post
      The goal is to be able to have a constant flow of fresh water to the pond so that I am not performing water changes which can be stressful for the fish wether or not you use chemical. Presently I do water changes and use safe which is extremely economical. However I would rather have a flow through system so that I can maximize growth and pond health without having to dedicate time each week to water changes. I am curious as to what if any experience anyone on here has using untreated containing chloramine in a system like described. The claim of a local hobbiest seemed a little outrageous to me and I was looking for any other evidence supporting or disproving that type of claim.

      Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
      Me personally, I would never do a water change or constant drip without treating the tapwater. For a constant drip/flow through, I would run a 2-3 stage canister filter. These can be setup fairly cheap. Since you have confirmed chloramines, this is what I would do:

      Stage 1: 5 micron sediment filter
      Stage 2: 5 micron carbon block
      Stage 3: 1 micron CGAC for chloramines (catalytic granular activated carbon)

      I don't have chloramines in my water but this is what I'm in the process of setting up:


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