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When I Do Large Water Changes


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I notice that some of my fish will bottom rest. I treat the water with a conditoner and ATTEMPT to draw water that is SOMEWHAT similar in temp to the tank water yet some of my fish without fail will bottom rest after a larger than normal water change...... Does anyone know why this is? I've also noticed that I have NASTY algae explosions when I do large volume water changes!! Could Ph differences be doing this???

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Absolutely. Sudden pH changes can make the fish flash like they have parasites and it can also make them bottom sit and gasp at the surface. It's interesting that the pH scale is based on algorythms of 10 so the difference of just .5 in pH is actually a difference of 50 for the fish :o . Some fish are more sensitive to it than others.

Also temperature, some fish will bottom sit if the water going in is colder.

If your tap pH is unstable you should try smaller water changes more often. I'll do 3 small water changes in a day on a newly cycled tank where the pH is volatile rather than one large change.

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Algae explosions will be green colored, bacterial blooms will be whitish cloudy water...these happen sometimes when you are doing too large a water change too often. It happened to me - and I had some good feedback from mrbumblebee and other members herebacterial blooms

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Guest Halloween

Thanks! Yes, it's bacterial blooms, not algae!! I have a bad habit of moving fish around so it's probably the system trying to ajust to having a certain number of fish then I take one of two and then a week later add someone new. The bio load is constantly changing.

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I advise anyone and everyone to check their tap pH to see if it's close to a goldfish' need, and if it's close enough, don't modify the pH of the water via buffer or baking soda as even a single pH shock is more dangerous then living in an environment where the pH is off by .1 or .2 is stable.

To add on, the recommended weekly or biweekly water change will spell out constant stress for the fish which would inhibits growth and development in wen or colors.

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Actually, if you run enough Airstones in water for pre-filtering, chlorine would dissolve over time. It's actually more economical to do this by setting a pre-filtering system outside in the sun where the heat from the sun would cause chlorine to react faster.

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unless of course you have chloramines like the most of us.......

Chloramine will not dissapate over time but remain in solution. That is why so many cities are using it. Adding dechlor only to water that contains chloramine will break the chlorine-ammonia bond and take care of the chlorine component of the chemical, but will release the second component ammonia strait into the water. No amount of aging will take care of that but biological filtration or ammo chips.

I reccomend that everyone check their cities water dept website to see what they use. I have had friends on other cities not know that their city changed to chloramine and poisened their fish with dechlor only.

just a FYI

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thought I should add that if you have chloramines you should use a "prime" like product that says it neutralizes BOTH chlorine AND ammonia. Some say that they neutralize just chloramine and still release ammonia into the water.....

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thought I should add that if you have chloramines you should use a "prime" like product that says it neutralizes BOTH chlorine AND ammonia. Some say that they neutralize just chloramine and still release ammonia into the water.....

Was wondering, is there a ratio in Chloramines to Chlorine and Ammonia ratio.

If Chloramine can only exist in a chemical equilibrium, would it be possible that after neutralizing Ch and NH3, Chloramine would go into a backward reaction and decay to Ch + NH3.

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Chloramine is held together by a very strong ionic bond. this is why it does noe evaporate out and is stable in solution. (This is why prime works, ative component is hydrosulphite salts=ionic bonded salt) the induvidual ions in Prime are more strongly attracted to the components of chloramine than each other. I believe the chemichal nomenclature of chloramine is NH2(36)cl- since chloramine is negativly charged, the prime is attracted and reduces the over all (polarity?) effectively braking up the molecule. Once that is done NH2- is split off the chlorine?, chlorine then neutralized and the teporaraly inactivated NH2- (bonded to prime and neutralized) is then dealt with the bilogical filtration. If no prime like chemichal is added the nh2- reverts to ammonia somehow. I am thinking that the active ingredient in standard dechlor donates nh2- a hydrogen ion turning it into ammonia...... (If somone can clarify this it would be great)

I also know that Prime also detoxifies ammonia, so it must somhow revert NH2- into ammonia somhow.

From what I understand, chloramine does not not exist in an equalibrium in water, making it very stable (very strong ionic bond). I do know that the water companies do add bicarb to increace the pH adding to the stability though, hmmmm......

What I am trying to say is that I dont think that H20 has a stronger affinity to break the bond in chloramine like a less strongly bonded salt such as NACl- (salts being ionic bonds).

OK, that is enough for now, my brain hurts :blowup:

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Chloramine is held together by a very strong ionic bond. this is why it does noe evaporate out and is stable in solution. (This is why prime works, ative component is hydrosulphite salts=ionic bonded salt) the induvidual ions in Prime are more strongly attracted to the components of chloramine than each other. I believe the chemichal nomenclature of chloramine is NH2(36)cl- since chloramine is negativly charged, the prime is attracted and reduces the over all (polarity?) effectively braking up the molecule. Once that is done NH2- is split off the chlorine?, chlorine then neutralized and the teporaraly inactivated NH2- (bonded to prime and neutralized) is then dealt with the bilogical filtration. If no prime like chemichal is added the nh2- reverts to ammonia somehow. I am thinking that the active ingredient in standard dechlor donates nh2- a hydrogen ion turning it into ammonia...... (If somone can clarify this it would be great)

I also know that Prime also detoxifies ammonia, so it must somhow revert NH2- into ammonia somhow.

From what I understand, chloramine does not not exist in an equalibrium in water, making it very stable (very strong ionic bond). I do know that the water companies do add bicarb to increace the pH adding to the stability though, hmmmm......

What I am trying to say is that I dont think that H20 has a stronger affinity to break the bond in chloramine like a less strongly bonded salt such as NACl- (salts being ionic bonds).

OK, that is enough for now, my brain hurts :blowup:

Actually the NH2 can act as both an acid and a base, so should be a bit weaker then we think.

The interesting thing to note is, ClNH2 is more toxic in lower pH and may be a result of free radicals of Cl- which is very reactive (I'm thinking about NH2Cl + H = NH3 + Cl-).

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OK, at the risk of getting waaayyyy off topic.........

I am not sure that NH2 can be an proton donor. IIRC, the more negativly charged the molecule, the more it desperatly tries to hold on to its protons (H+). I think in the case of NH2, it can only act as an proton accepter except in extreamly basic pH situatations.

This is where I get foggy..........

I know that when you are dealing with high ammonia levels in a tank, the trick is to keep the pH low. The more acidic the water is, the more NH3 will exist as NH4. Nitrogen is more stable as NH3 but can still accept a proton. NH4 being less toxic to fish. The goal being to keep more NH3 existing as NH4, the less harmful of the two. (this part makes sense to me) Oh yes, and of course multiple WC'S....

When the nitrites (NH2) are high, you need bump up the salinity of the water. This produces an osmotic gradient keeping the nirtites out of fishes gills.

(why would not boosting the acidity of the water help too?)--this is why I get foggy.

--a probable explanation is that NH2 would rather exist at this state (stability wise), and takes a chemical rxn to convert it to another form--bilogical filtration.

Also, if nitrogen was to exist in equalibrium, it would have to be rather weakley bonded (to remain NH2 in the presense of polar H2O). If it was, then why do we need biological filtration to break nown NH3, to NH2? Because the acidity/alkalinity needed for this to happen would kill our fish.....

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OK, at the risk of getting waaayyyy off topic.........

I am not sure that NH2 can be an proton donor. IIRC, the more negativly charged the molecule, the more it desperatly tries to hold on to its protons (H+). I think in the case of NH2, it can only act as an proton accepter except in extreamly basic pH situatations.

This is where I get foggy..........

I know that when you are dealing with high ammonia levels in a tank, the trick is to keep the pH low. The more acidic the water is, the more NH3 will exist as NH4. Nitrogen is more stable as NH3 but can still accept a proton. NH4 being less toxic to fish. The goal being to keep more NH3 existing as NH4, the less harmful of the two. (this part makes sense to me) Oh yes, and of course multiple WC'S....

When the nitrites (NH2) are high, you need bump up the salinity of the water. This produces an osmotic gradient keeping the nirtites out of fishes gills.

(why would not boosting the acidity of the water help too?)--this is why I get foggy.

--a probable explanation is that NH2 would rather exist at this state (stability wise), and takes a chemical rxn to convert it to another form--bilogical filtration.

Also, if nitrogen was to exist in equalibrium, it would have to be rather weakley bonded (to remain NH2 in the presense of polar H2O). If it was, then why do we need biological filtration to break nown NH3, to NH2? Because the acidity/alkalinity needed for this to happen would kill our fish.....

I made a typo, I meant to say NH3 can act as a proton and a base so I meant to say NH2 might be a proton accepter if it was to break from the Cl- and become reactive (energy from breaking a bond) of course it could stay as NH2, however I was thinking that if there was energy from breaking NH2 and Cl- and the NH2 needed to bind to something it would go for Cl- again if we're in a high pH environment (less H+ in sight), while it would go for H+ in a low pH environment. This idea originated by the idea that Cl- as a very reactive molecule would be more poisonous to fish then Cl2 which is more stable, thus explaining why high pH was more dangerous in water with NH2Cl.

At any rate. I was wondering if NH2Cl would have a moment in time if the NH2 was low in concentration so that the Cl- from NH2Cl would break off and become a radical to react with other NH2Cl to create Cl2. So when I mentioned equilibrium I was referring to NH2Cl = NH2 + Cl- not the equilibrium in NH2 = NH3.

My idea in summary was NH2Cl breaks apart and are both high in energy so there might be a chance that NH2 bonds to a H+ creating NH3 or it can rebind to Cl- making NH2Cl again, this might alter if H+ was present at the time or not.

Next is NH2Cl is salt, so would the NH2 dissociate a bit to create an equilibrium where a ratio between NH2 in the water and NH2Cl must be maintained.

Head go Boom now. :blowup:

I've been a bit sick and sleepy when I type these so I'm probably forgetting something here and there. None the less I also need to do more HW probably.

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Oh, ok. Yeah I have a typo too. NH2 cannot be a proton acceptor in basic sloluton. (end of first para) duh......

I totally get what you are trying to say now. I am not sure about the cl- being able to to pop off NH2 in equalib. Crap, what if nh2cl- is not a salt? Looks like it is, but am not so sure now. From what I hear it is VERY stable in alkaline water and will not dissociate-that is what makes me think it is a salt..... You could always do a search on chloramines chemical properties :duckk:

Not to distract you from HW or anything. Are you in college now? Biochem was once upon a time one of my favorite topics. Been a while though......

Ended up with a bachelor of science in nursing=BSN. Always thought if the nursing gig did not pan out that I could always go back to be a chemical engeneer. I think I made a fine cardiac ICU nurse though-if I may toot my own horn :heart

Keep up those grades and you can go anywhere.........

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Oh, ok. Yeah I have a typo too. NH2 cannot be a proton acceptor in basic sloluton. (end of first para) duh......

I totally get what you are trying to say now. I am not sure about the cl- being able to to pop off NH2 in equalib. Crap, what if nh2cl- is not a salt? Looks like it is, but am not so sure now. From what I hear it is VERY stable in alkaline water and will not dissociate-that is what makes me think it is a salt..... You could always do a search on chloramines chemical properties :duckk:

Not to distract you from HW or anything. Are you in college now? Biochem was once upon a time one of my favorite topics. Been a while though......

Ended up with a bachelor of science in nursing=BSN. Always thought if the nursing gig did not pan out that I could always go back to be a chemical engeneer. I think I made a fine cardiac ICU nurse though-if I may toot my own horn :heart

Keep up those grades and you can go anywhere.........

I am in college however I'm an economics major. I just took Chem because I can get an overview in investing in pharmaceuticals. Chem is actually one of my weaker subjects as I really hate doing repetitive arithmetic in formulas, however I have enough understanding to see how drugs work.

At any rate I think it'll be a good experiment in throwing some agents like zeolite to bind to mass amounts of NH3, then if it is in equilibrium we can observe color change from green (Chloramine) to yellow (chlorine) if I'm not mistaken. However, I don't have a deep white tub to observe green in water with chloramine nor do I have pure H2O and Pure Chloramine to work with..

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