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Can You Add Too Much Dechlorinator to Your Fish Tank?

Put Too Much Dechlorinator in Aquarium San Diego, CA

The fish keeping hobby is an exercise in ecosystem management and biochemistry. Setting up your first aquarium means adjusting the chemistry of tap water and making it suitable for bacteria, zooplankton, plants, fish, and invertebrates. This involves various steps, and the first one will always be treating the water in a way that eliminates chlorine or chloramine, two additives that make H2O adequate for human consumption but deadly for fish. The reason these chemicals are added to tap water is because they kill waterborne pathogens and bacteria that can make humans and domestic pets sick. Very few species are resilient enough to deal with the burning of the gills this type of chlorination entails, and there’s the problem of the inability for Nitrobacter to reproduce and colonize, thus resulting in a tank with high levels of nitrates and ammonia.

The knowledgeable staff at Aquatic Warehouse, a leading provider of freshwater and saltwater aquarium supplies, is here to share some details on the use of dechlorinator and whether or not you can use too much of it.

The Proper Use of Dechlorinating Agents

When you collect tap water for your aquarium, you can safely assume it contains a high concentration of chlorine or chloramine—the latter being more commonly used in most water management facilities. The first step in making it safe for fish keeping is to use a dechlorinator formula, and you should always read the instructions on the label. The main compound in dechlorinating formula is sodium thiosulfate and an ammonia remover, but some bottles include other ingredients such as vitamins and even aloe.

Sodium Thiosulfate Is Safe in an Aquarium

Aside from removing chlorine and chloramine, sodium thiosulfate doesn’t have much of a purpose for the aquarium hobby. The good thing about this chemical is that it’s safe for fish, invertebrates, aquatic plants, and bacteria. Should you accidentally dump too many drops of dechlorinator (to a point) in the water you intend to treat, you won’t have to worry about fish being harmed. The same goes for the other additives such as vitamins and nutrients in dechlorinating or all-in-one water conditioning formula.

Choosing Between a Dechlorinator and Conditioner

Some seasoned aquarists prefer to keep all their chemicals separate, while others will tell you an all-in-one formula is better. As long as you follow the instructions on the labels of bottles, it doesn’t really matter if your dechlorinator includes nutrients, extracts, and other additives that are beneficial to aquarium species.

There’s More to Dechlorination When Treating Aquarium Water

You shouldn’t assume that a few drops of dechlorinator will automatically establish the water in a new tank, because it won’t. Keep in mind you still need to go through the nitrogen cycle before stocking your aquarium with species other than plants. The traditional method of establishing a new tank takes a few weeks, but you can cut this down to a few days with a special water conditioner and bottled bacteria. This doesn’t apply to water changes because you’re mixing smaller amounts of dechlorinatated water with established H2O.

At Aquatic Warehouse, we carry only the highest-quality dechlorinating products, and we also have all of the other essential aquarium and pond equipment you need. Take a look at the selection on our website, come shop in our store in Kearny Mesa, or give us a call at 858-467-9297 if you have any questions.


Contact Information

  • Address: 5466 Complex Street Suite 204
    San Diego, CA 92123
  • Phone: (858) 467-9297
  • Email: sales@aquaticwarehouse.com
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