We already know the importance of adding dechlorinator to our tanks, but when to add it during water change is also an important question.
It is absolutely safe to add your dechlorinator like, Prime, Safe, or Stress Coat directly into your tank just before adding in your new tap water. Even if there are fish in the tank, most dechlorinators can be dosed up to 5x the recommended amount.
When To Add Dechlorinator During Water Change?
Now if there are any veterans reading they can tell you that back in the day dechlorinating your water wasn’t as simple. And many still use these old methods today. But keeping buckets and buckets of tap water sitting around waiting for them to dechlorinate is a thing of the past.
Dechlorinators have advanced and have long been deemed very safe for your fish. So safe that Seachem named one of them Safe.
You don’t have to dechlorinate your water first, wait X amount of hours (or days) and then add that water into your tank. If you’ve got a big tank like my 210 Gallon African Cichlid Tank how would you even live with all that water sitting around, I don’t know. 😊
How Much Dechlorinator To Use
So how much dechlorinator should you use. Again, because dechlorinators are so safe, no matter how big or small of a water change you do it’s recommended to dose for the entire volume of water in your tank, not just the amount of your water change. This will ensure that all of the water is properly conditioned and safe for your fish.
Not only is it safe to add dechlorinator directly into your tank during water changes, its safe to directly add in general.
Lets say for whatever reason you’ve got an ammonia spike in your tank, your tank crashed, because… you added too many fish at once…or you dropped an entire bottle of food in the tank, or maybe you over cleaned your filter…whatever the reason…
Prime and Safe are dechlorinators but they can also detoxify ammonia, nitrites and nitrates for just such an emergency. They wont remove the ammonia, but they’ll detoxify it long enough for your bacteria to eventually remove it. This will keep the water safe for your fish until you regrow your beneficial bacteria.
If something like this were to happen you can safely dose the entire volume of the tank and your fish will be fine until you get that ammonia spike problem under control.
BTW, if you do have a problem like mentioned above its most likely that you’re going to have to let your tank go through the nitrogen cycle process again. Having to do that while fish are in the tank can be deadly if not done correctly. But no worries. I’ve got the process mapped out for you to keep your fish safe and get your tank cycled again quickly. This video will show you how – Fish In Cycle (Ammonia Spikes)
How Fast Does Dechlorinator Work?
Now don’t get me wrong, dechlorinator does not dechlorinate your new tap water instantly. But nowadays depending on where you are in the world, most tap water has very little chlorine and chloramine in it to start with. These trace amounts wont hurt your fish before your dechlorinator has time to handle it.
With that being said no matter where you are in the world it should be common practice to always use a dechlorinator also known as a water conditioner because they do more than just dechlorinate your water. They ensure that anything harmful in your source water is either removed or detoxified. And the safety of your fish is always priority number 1.