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Thread: Aging water? Whats that and why is it important?

  1. #1
    Administrator brewmaster15's Avatar
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    Default Aging water? Whats that and why is it important?

    Thought we should have a discussion on aging water. Some do it..some don't. But what is it and why might you want to or need to.

    I age most of my water. I HAVE TO. unless I want an excess of rose fertilizers (aka..dead fish) . I have to because I have a ton of CO2 in my water. It makes for unhappy fish and unstable pH.

    How about you? Do you age your water and why?

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    Administrator and MVP Dec.2015 Second Hand Pat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aging water? Whats that and why is it important?

    I always age my water. Even my RO water. I NEED to age it to handle a rise in pH from 7.4 (out of tap) to 8.2. It takes four hours to handle that rise. I too am on a well and I am guessing there is CO2 in my water also. Another thing I do is filter all my incoming water with a carbon block and sediment filter and here's why https://forum.simplydiscus.com/showt...Unhappy-Fishes.

    In the last couple of years my area has seen tremendous growth. I am in a rural settlement which is now surrounded by lots of people with all the problems people come with...traffic, noise, crime etc. It's awful and I have no idea how this might affect my water so everything gets filtered, even my drinking water.

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    Registered Member bluelagoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aging water? Whats that and why is it important?

    When I started with discus and large frequent WC's I too had to age my water. Any more than 25-30% and the discus weren't happy. Especially, with all the micro bubbles it caused after a WC. After aging I changed 80-90% without stress and didn't appear to be suffocating the fish with CO2. My ph is about 7.4 from the tap and 6.4 from the lake the town uses for water supply. Even after aging the ph remains almost the same but had lots of microbubbles. Most water coming in under pressure will have CO2 in it. I found after aging, it brought the water to an equilibrium of what it is supposed to be for a fish to breath better. Large frequent WC's are even done on all my fish tanks nowadays and one other thing that I've noticed was disease is very rare.

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    Default Re: Aging water? Whats that and why is it important?

    I don't age my water. I use tap water that has a PH of around 6 out of the tap and goes through a carbon block before getting into the tank. I've had no issues while changing about 50% of the water on a daily basis. I do have aged water in a couple of 55s waiting for occupants. I'll run some test on them to see if the water is any different from the tap. I do add Seachem Safe and Stability to the tap water during water changes.

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    Administrator brewmaster15's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aging water? Whats that and why is it important?

    I know we usually attribute the gases in the water to C02 and when theres a huge pH swing between tap and aged water, C02 is the likely culprit but another gas we usually do not hear about in the hobby is Nitrogen. It too can affect pH. I am not sure which is more deadly but I was looking at degassing columns used by aquaculture and saw a reference that said nitrogen gas was deadly to fish at just 3% over saturation. Thats a really small window ..I can imagine that sometimes when we have fish getting really stressed by dissolved gasses, nitrogen may also be the culprit...Luckily aging offgases both.

    degas.jpg
    https://pentairaes.com/degassing-columns.html
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    Homesteader jwcarlson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aging water? Whats that and why is it important?

    I age my water, for discus it's always 24 hours. The other fish (usually getting smaller water changes) might not always get 24 hours in the barrel depending on what I've got going on. My tap water swings from 7.0 to 8.2 or 8.3. Additionally, my tap water this time of year is less than 50 degrees. So I've got a lot of watts that I need to dump into it to get it to temperature. I cannot use my normal water heater because of a whole house ion exchange system (water softener), that I have bypassed for cold water for my fish.

    Al, I didn't know about the nitrogen being an issue. That's interesting. Also, the degassing column is something I've been thinking about building, but I didn't know such a thing existed. I was planning on making a long section of maybe 4" PVC with bio balls in it. The one you linked says it is filled with "bio barrels". Pic from website here:
    bio-barrels.jpg

    I wonder how important the space between the sections is. I have been kicking around the idea of adding a small, gas fired on-demand water heater. There's some that have the BTUs I need for a 30-40 degree temperature rise at moderate flow rates that are fairly inexpensive. I would LOVE to be able to bypass the aging barrel. I actually asked about this kind of thing awhile back, which sparked my interest in some sort of a degassing "tower". I wonder how many plastic flower pots they sell for $80 and a $280 stick to mount them on.
    https://forum.simplydiscus.com/showt...to-Aging-Water

    There was an interesting 3M filter that actually does basically exactly what I want, but my tap water doesn't fit the bill.

    I'm embarrassed to say that it's been a year since that thread and I've not done my experiment! I have done everything but buy the PVC drain, though. I was going to buy it about 2-3 weeks ago, had it in my hand and realized that I wasn't going to get it home easily in my Civic! Then forgot when I was there with a bigger vehicle. I think I'll do this on Friday. I should have the time. I know warmer water temps make for faster degassing. If I can prove to myself that I can "turbo age" my cold water somehow, then I think I might take the step to install an on-demand unit. It would save quite a bit on electricity and get rid of my aging equipment (other than for RO, but that's not a very big part of my water usage.

    Thanks for the thread!
    Last edited by jwcarlson; 02-12-2024 at 01:47 PM.

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    Administrator brewmaster15's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aging water? Whats that and why is it important?

    Jacob that thread was a really good read. .. looks like I missed it completely.. probably was posted during my "dark days " lol. Im always looking at things like this to get ideas.. Someday I hope to have a real fish room/house when I grow up.
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    >>>>>I am a science guy.. show me the science minus the BS

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    I take Pics.. click here for my Flickr images

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    Silver Member Willie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aging water? Whats that and why is it important?

    Quote Originally Posted by brewmaster15 View Post
    I know we usually attribute the gases in the water to C02 and when theres a huge pH swing between tap and aged water, C02 is the likely culprit but another gas we usually do not hear about in the hobby is Nitrogen. It too can affect pH. I am not sure which is more deadly but I was looking at degassing columns used by aquaculture and saw a reference that said nitrogen gas was deadly to fish at just 3% over saturation.
    The atmosphere is 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and 350 ppm carbon dioxide and all these gases will dissolve into water under pressure in roughly the same proportion. So nitrogen is the main culprit here. I can confirm that my fish were getting the bends when I filled tanks with fresh tap in the winter time. Despite all the discussion around pH changes, I'm not convinced that the pH change resulting from degassing really affects discus very much.
    At my age, everything is irritating.

  9. #9
    Administrator brewmaster15's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aging water? Whats that and why is it important?

    Willie I agree.. its not the pH change that stresses them .. Its the gases.Im sure of it and have witnessed the same here. The pH change is just our way of seeing the effects of the invisible gases and gauging their effect.
    AquaticSuppliers.com Freeze Dried BlackWorms and other foods your Discus will Love!!!


    >>>>>I am a science guy.. show me the science minus the BS

    Al Sabetta
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    Aquaticsuppliers.com


    I take Pics.. click here for my Flickr images

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