Chloramine

Discussion in 'Quarantine Tanks, sick fish, QT corals' started by LuckyFish, 6 Mar 2012.

  1. LuckyFish

    LuckyFish MASA Contributor

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    What do you guys know about chloramine?

    Many know, that it gets used from municipalities to treat tap water. It is much more stable than chlorine. So when it comes to supply tap water on long distances, chloramine is what gets used. Chloramine doesn't really smell like chlorine. So using your nose to detect chloramine in the water won't work.

    Many know, that chloramine is basically chlorine and ammonia.
    Many know, it is written on bottles from water treatment agents, like Prime from Seachem.

    A few of you, might know how to remove it.

    A few might know, that you can not remove it via reverse osmosis. If you run a new RO unit with carbon filter, most of the chloramine gets taken out of the water.
    And if you run a carbon filter on your tank, you will probably not even know, that you added some chloramine with the RO water into your system.

    Removal of Chloramine
    Chloramine can get taken completely out of the water with carbon. The amount of carbon needed, is roughly 3-6 times more than the carbon filter from the RO unit contains.

    And carbon filters have to be replaced on the recommended schedule, even though your TDS reading is still fine.

    Simply is the use of products, like Prime from Seachem.

    There are test kits available for the detection of chloramine, but I doubt that somebody stocks it. Chlorine test kits might not work as there are different kinds of chloramine.

    Prime from Seachem (250ml) treats 10.000 litre RO water, for the price of R125.

    What happens when chloramine is added to your system?

    Depending on the concentration of chloramine in the top up water and also depending if you have an auto top up system running, you will add constantly a bit or once per day/every second day, a couple of litres RO water to your system.

    The "constantly a bit" is the less harmful variant.

    In sea water, chloramine breaks down over a few hours, into chlorine and ammonia.
    Chlorine disappears via surface or skimming. Ammonia gets neutralised, if your filtration can handle the extra load!

    The most dangerous part about chloramine in a marine fish tank!

    Chloramine passes through the gills of fish and enters the blood stream. There, it reacts with hemoglobin, forming methemoglobin. In fathead minnows (Pimephales primelas) exposed to 1 ppm-Cl of monochloramine, for example, about 30% of the hemoglobin is converted into methemoglobin. The fish then suffer from anoxia (low oxygen in their tissues) because they have lost some of their hemoglobin, which is responsible for carrying oxygen in the blood.

    Source and full article: Chloramine and the Reef Aquarium by Randy Holmes-Farley - Reefkeeping.com

    It results in fish swimming not much anymore, fish turns blind, fish is breathing heavily, etc.

    Guys who have issues with ammonia and can not figure out why their bloody filtration isn't coping. This might be your answer: Chloramine

    I did water changes, checked for a high iron content in the water, treated fish with medicine in the feed, put fish into quarantine onto Myxazin. Nothing helped. Of course not, I was adding RO-water with chloramine.
    Last thought was to polish up the water with something and I came across a bottle of Prime from Seachem. The word chloramine jumped into my eye. I've never heard about it. After some research I was sure, that is the problem. Chloramine in the tap water, which passes the RO-unit. In the meanwhile, the remaining fish are doing fine and recovered. I lost almost all my livestock, just because I could not figure out, what makes a fish blind, why are they breathing so heavy, where other fish in the same system were doing fine and laying eggs.
    Diseases and parasites, that what I was looking for. The simple answer to the problem, the RO water could be the cause, didn't cross my mind as the TDS reading was okay. Low nitrates and a huge load of old filter media, didn't make me think of that there might be ammonia in the water.
    The good new is, I know now what went wrong. I know how to prevent such problem in the future.

    I highly recommend the treatment of RO water used in your system to prevent what I have been through!
     
    magman likes this.
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  3. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    Thanks marcel i am on the way to my topup water with a bottle of prime.
     
  4. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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  5. Keanan

    Keanan 2time

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    You making me worried now, my long nosed hawk fish stopped eating for almost week now, and doesn't swim as much as he did. He was mostly active and now he just swims from spot to spot but "relaxing" most of the time. Need to get me some prime.
     
  6. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    What are you feeding?. Maybe not lus for what u feeding.
     
  7. Keanan

    Keanan 2time

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    Nah dont think so, he is one damn picky eater. Wont take flakes or pellets, only hake or frozens. I fed frozen today and I didnt see him go for any food but it looks like he was eating. Also he is much thinner than usual. Normally looks like he will explode.
    And Im sure my six line would out compete him for pods.
     
    Last edited: 6 Mar 2012
  8. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    Just feed tanks inhabitants once a day for the next few days and then see what happens
    reason is so that no food laying around that he will eat when u not looking. also get seachems entice to soak food in.
     
  9. Keanan

    Keanan 2time

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    I tried all that already, even fed less. The entice I used before he stopped eating and he ate with it.
     
  10. LuckyFish

    LuckyFish Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    The RO unit does not remove chloramine. Only activated carbon, with a very slow flowrate will do. Slower than the water runs through the RO unit.

    I quote out of the link, which is the same link I posted:

    1. Monochloramine is the most difficult of the three chloramine species to remove because it is small (allowing it to pass through a reverse osmosis membrane).
    2. Monochloramine is the most chemically stable of the chloramine species, so is the hardest to break down (as on activated carbon).
    3. Monochloramine predominates over the other forms in tap water at pH above 7 (dichloramine predominates at pH 4-7).
    4. The pores of the activated carbon may become plugged with sediment over time, reducing the effectiveness of the carbon at breaking apart chloramine.
    5. At high pH, the pores of the RO membrane can swell, resulting in poorer rejection of impurities.
     
    Last edited: 6 Mar 2012
  11. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    Thanks for taking the time to give info. last night i went straight to topup and added prime!
     
  12. HenkHugo

    HenkHugo

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    Hang on! @LuckyFish City of Cape Town does NOT use chloramine in their water. Some of the water treatment plants in GP uses it but it is best to phone your local water treatment plant and ask them for an analysis of their water. All plants would be able to provide you with it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  13. maj

    maj

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    I also say its good practice to dose prime with each waterchange done and atleast dose ur tank once a week with prime-goodstuff that
     
  14. LuckyFish

    LuckyFish Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Firstly, I would not believe them.
    Secondly, I quote:
    Chloramine is formed through the reaction of dissolved chlorine gas (forming hypochlorous acid) and ammonia in tap water.

    Third, @Nemos Janitor Can you point out, if there is such chloramine test kit available in SA? Thanks, bud.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  15. HenkHugo

    HenkHugo

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    @LuckyFish none of the more advanced Freshwater fish breeders in Cape Town add de-chlorinates to their water. Yet we spawn wild discus, P. Leopoldi angels, checkerboard cichlids etc.

    Trust me there is NO chloramine in Cape Town water. This is going to turn into another MASA mob pretty soon.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  16. FransSny

    FransSny

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    Marcel, I have to agree with Henk on this one , I have had a discussion or two with City of CT , in order for us to provide a working solution they need to be quite up front wrt water paramaters...

    If you are really concerned...just use Microbelift Declor , destroys chloramites
     
  17. LuckyFish

    LuckyFish Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    So all I need now is a ammonia test kit and a chloramine test kit. Trust is not good enough. I need to know what caused all this.
     
  18. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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  19. FransSny

    FransSny

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    Not sure I understand where this is going , but seeing as you have no access to correct testing facilities / equipment , this seems a bit of a useless thread as it is based on assumptions.

    If you are really concerned , take your water sample to CSIR ...think its like R 80 odd per tests
     
  20. LuckyFish

    LuckyFish Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    So many things in this hobby are based on assumptions. Especially when something dies. This thread is useless, when nobody would reply and would make some suggestions. I want to make a living with breeding fish. I need to know everything, that could cause a total wipe out or breeding stand still. Dealing with nature is dealing sometimes with the unknown.

    What is CSIR? I know CSI Miami. Maybe CSI Rondebosch?
     
    Last edited: 7 Mar 2012
  21. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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