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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been using Aquasafe for a while now (before I got into planted aquariums). I've read about planted aquariums for the past couple of weeks and decided to get in on the action. My confusion is this: Aquasafe specifically lists "removes heavy metals" on the label. And I got to thinking that it might remove all the micros I am introducing to the tank for the plants. So I called up Tetra an hour ago and the customer service lady told me to wait 24 to 36 hours before dosing with fertilizer after I add the Aquasafe. This presents 2 problems for me.

1) The way I do water changes is by suctioning out ~10 gallons of water (~33% or 2 buckets) once a week. I then fill the buckets with tap water, mix in the Aquasafe, wait a few minutes, and pour it into the tank. I only have 1 bucket, so I do this last step twice to replace the 10 gallons that I removed. However, the tank now has Aquasafe in it, which should remove any heavy metals. Right?

2) Since I only have 1 bucket, I could remove 5 gallons at a time twice a week. This will allow me to treat the tap water with Aquasafe and let it sit out the required 24 to 36 hours before I add it back to the tank. (I have a "dirty" bucket that I can use to remove the bad water while the "clean" bucket can sit)

Do any of you have any ideas on this? I've searched google and several forums but nobody seems to have a problem using Aquasafe with fertilizers. I guess it is not a problem with the fertilizers.
 

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Well, I can't find it now on Tetra's website, but I had the same discussion with myself a couple of weeks ago. Somewhere on their website, they state explicitly that Aquasafe *does not* remove iron and several other plant-nutrient-oriented metals - everything that we dose and fertilize with. As I say, I can't find the danged thing now, but it listed every metal macro and micronutrient in PMDD, plus others, as things that are not removed.

Maybe I'll be able to find the statement and post it later. Seems it was in a FAQ of some sort...?

HTH
Glen
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
For my situation, having buckets around may be a problem. I have 2 year old twins that love to get into everthing and anything. They just discovered how to fluch matchbox cars down the toilet. And I'm sure that my wife would love to have two full buckets sitting out in the guest bathroom or somewhere else. I mean, if I really wanted to do this, I could. I am just confused how so many people could be using this product without problems. Unless it is like glenhead said and the Aquasafe somehow only goes after non-important minerals.
And the HD buckets cost almost US$4 after tax. The bucket I use now was purchased 2 days ago from there. My last one was dirtied up painting the room for my soon-to-arrive baby girl. $4 isn't much unless your SO is like mine. I'm still building up the courage to ask for money to buy 2 check valves for my DIY CO2.

-Dustin

EDIT: And what about the people that have larger tanks? I can't see someone with a 100gal tank keeping 5 buckets (25%) sitting around for 2 days.
 

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People with larger or multiple tanks usually use a "python" for water changes. I use one for changing 50% of water in 5 tanks, total of ~50 gallons. You can make one for about $15 with just a cheap hose, cheap waterbed flush/fill pump and a couple misc. plumbing parts. Check this thread out for more info about DIY pythons, or you can buy a ready made one. Python is the original brand name of the company that first marketed it.

Most of us just drain the aquarium, add the water conditioner to the tank then refill. Also, usually one doses Macros and Mircos on alternate days. You do your water change and add the Marcos as soon as you are done. You add the micros the nest day.

HTH:) and welcome to the board!
 

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How long does the water have to sit around to become aquarium safe? I've always used tetra aquasafe myself without any problems, but i might want to keep water handy so that i don't have to constantly fool around with buckets and filling them all the time.
 

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Chlorine will dissabate and become safe in about 24 hours if the amount is small, maybe 5 gallon bucket or less of open water, or well areated like a trashcan with a powerhead in it. Chloramines will not dissapate without either carbon filtration or a neutralizing agent, ie. water conditioner. Chloramines also leave behind ammonia when they are neutralized or carbon filtered so make sure you account for that.
 

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That is one reason i dont like the python. I do use a gravel vac here and there when i water change the buckets help with this chlorine process.with the python your putting straight tap in the water and i would assume this is harmful.I would fill 5 buckets on water change for a 75 and add a bucketa hr after sitting with stress coat for at least 2 hrs
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I guess the issue I have is not "How do I change my water?", but rather "Tetra tells me that I need to wait 24 to 36 hours before I fertilize (ie for the heavy-metal-remover to die off)."

Is this true in the forum's experience?

The information that we get from out suppliers needs to be accurate. While I can imagine that the Aquasafe will remove chlorine and chloramine perfectly well, how much, if any, of our macros and micros is it removing as well? Where do they go once they have been "removed"? Are they chelated away until we do another water change? Are they converted to a different form (oxidated, reduced, precipitated, polymerized, etc)?

From what I find (or lack of, rather), most people, if not everybody, have no problems using aquasafe and fertilizing right away. Or, as Dennis said, they add macros immediately and micros the next day.
 

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In case no one chimes in, you could use a DIY test:
- fill bucket with X amount of water
- test for NO3/PO4 with test kit
- add Aquasafe
- add NO3/PO4 immediately
- test for NO3/PO4

That will give you an idea of whether and/or how much NO3/PO4 is removed by Aquasafe. Who said Trust, But Verify! Someone has a signature with that wording. It's very true in this hobby.

I use Seachem Prime to remove chlorine and chloramine. It is extremely cost-effective and does the job well. After a water change of 70-80%, I immediately add NO3/PO4/K without problems. I add Micros the day after the water change.

Does that help?

Congratulations on your soon to be baby girl, BTW!

Andrew Cribb
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the input pineapple. While doing the test as you described might show something, I really don't consider the NPK-macros as "heavy metals". I've always thought of the transistion metals as heavy metals, including some other elements outside of the transition groups. But it's a good idea.

In my experience for the past week, the Aquasafe hasn't touched my nitrate levels. I hadn't changed the water for several months and the nitrates are currently off the chart (>160ppm). Even after 2 x 25% water changes it is still way up there. I don't have a PO4 test (yet). I'm more concerned with the Fe, Mn, etc (ie the micros). At such small concentrations, you might think the effect (if any) of the Aquasafe would be more pronounced.

(yes, I know I neglected my tank for a long time. My wife asked me to take better care of it and I agreed as long as I could do it the "Right Way"TM. So I bought more lights, made a DIY CO2 generator, etc. :) )
 

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I think you will be just fine if you dose the Micros, Fe etc, on the day after the water change. That gives any Aquasafe 24 hours or so to dispell. You shouldn't have any problems - at least I don't using that schedule. I tend to dose Macros starting on the water change day and Micros at night, after lights out, when needed, starting one day after water change.

Andrew Cribb
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok, I think this thread is about dead. Here is what I have gathered or inferred:

1) AquaSafe will remove heavy metals from the water according to the manufacturer.
2) Nobody has had a problem with the AquaSafe scavenging their Fe, Mn, etc from their tanks.
3) But just to be safe, it might be a good idea to let your make-up water sit for a day before you add it to you tank.

AND/OR

To be safe, don't add your micros until the day after a water change.
 

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Chlorine will be removed after a couple days I believe, but if you have chloramines, I dont think they will leave so easily. I have used aquasafe for over a year without noticing any problems, and know others who use it as well.
 
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