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A hobbyist asked me following question about how I did water changes for my 55 gal.

"I am just trying to figure out how you remove 80% of the water in a 55 gallon tank and then replace it with tap water. I can let gallon jugs of tap water set 24 hours to remove the clorine or add water conditioner but how in the world do you do it on a tank the size of 55 gallons. That must be a chore."

I use well water, which doesn't have chlorine or chloramine. I add water using a garden hose hooked up to the kitchen faucet via a hose adapter. Since zinc is a problem in my well water I add water conditioner (Tetra's AquaSafe) during the process of filling the tank.

I honestly don't see why you need to store water in jugs beforehand. I think that you could remove 80% of water, and add new water directly. I would add a full dose of water conditioner while you are adding the new water. The neutralizing reaction of the water conditioner is probably instantaneous-- depending on water mixing. Therefore, I always add the water conditioner right next to where I'm adding the new water. The relatively low levels of chlorine and/or chloramine in city drinking water aren't that potent and shouldn't be that hard to neutralize with an aquarium water conditioner.

My water conditioner (Tetra AquaSafe) says it protects agains chlorine, chloramine, and heavy metals. It works well against zinc. I don't know why it wouldn't protect the fish against chlorine and chloramine as you're filling the tank.
 

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Since zinc is a problem in my well water
What are the effects of too much zinc (if you didn't add the conditioner, what would happen)?

I also have well water, but never had it deciphered (analyzed)....so if I did have too much zinc (and I'm not adding any kind of conditioner), what would be happening right now?
 

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The high zinc levels (0.8 ppm) in my well water can cause problems for plants and invertebrates during large water changes. The zinc quickly killed a favorite shrimp (it became highly agitated during a water changes and then died soon afterwards). Also, the zinc almost completely blocks the hatching of brine shrimp eggs. Using the AquaSafe water conditioner, I can hatch brine shrimp eggs just fine.

It will cause some plants (for example, Elodea) to turn yellow and then to mush.

These are all typical symptoms of metal toxicity, a subject that I wrote about extensively in my book (pp 9-19).
 

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I just wanted to comment that I've always used the Python for changing water (well, I've used it for the past decade or so since it came out) and I've never had any problem with cholorine or chloramine. I've also never used water conditioner in any of my tanks and have never had any fish die after even large water changes.

Get yourself a Python. It really is "god's" gift to the fishkeeper!

-ricardo
 
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