As I write this, I am probably correct when I say that you know of the water cycle. Everyone knows that our world is mainly created of water and that the water circulates around us constantly. And since you know this, I can move on.
I have overheard people asking questions about their water sources and various pet stores. Some people ask about adding bottled water to their fish tanks, or if tapwater is safe to add. I thought that I would explore a couple different methods of watering your fish.
Your tapwater contains a wide range of substances. Salts of calcium, magnesium, sodium and small, but vital quantities of trace elements may or may not be included.
Tapwater is treated with chlorine or chloramines. This tradition, while keeping us safe from harmful bacteria, is a great concern for the aquarist. Another tradition is to add fluoride to keep our teeth healthy, and water softening chemicals. Your water supplier will be able to your questions about your tapwater’s composition.
Tapwater is suitable for general fishkeeping and for breeding livebearers (they aren’t a picky bunch), but the quality can be improved upon by removing the chlorine and chloramines that are added. These two chemicals will kill your fish if used in great quantities.
To remove chlorine and chloramines is an easy task. They can be dispersed by letting the water stand uncovered in old water containers for twenty-four hours, or by aerating for twenty-four hours. You can also use commercial anti-chlorine products.
If you live in an area where the air is clean, then investing in a rainwater bucket or tub is a valuable asset. However, even areas that appear to have clean air can have rains that are full of contaminants. To catch clean water, make sure that your bucket is clean. If you must wash it out do not use soap, use hot water and salt. Don’t catch your water from the gutter on your building as it might be rusty. Also avoid catching water after a dry spell.
To use your rainwater, half it with tapwater.
I do not recommend using bottled water unless you have no other choice. Bottled water lacks the natural enzymes and minerals that fish need present in their water. If you simply must use bottled water, I would suggest Spring Water.
Breeding And Your Water
Livebearers, excluding the Molly, are not very picky about their water quality while breeding. You can continue your usual water routine, that is, unless you choose to. It doesn’t take anything on your part to get a couple of livebearers interested in spawning, all you need is a male and a female.