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How long should the Water Sit before Adding Fish into the Tank?

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How long should the Water Sit before Adding Fish into the Tank

Having an aquarium in a home lightens up the mood of the house and gives your home an aesthetically pleasing look. Getting one for yourself is a good addition to your life. Although this adds a new responsibility to your life it is worth it.

Purchasing a new aquarium for your home is surely a good decision but there are a few things that you will have to keep in mind for a healthy and harmless ecosystem for your aquarium.

You will have to find a good spot for your aquarium, sturdy and strong support, filters to ensure the cleanliness of the tank, and many more. But before everything, you will add water to your aquarium. You have must have come across terms such as letting your water sit. Several questions will pop up in your head like how long, why, etc. Well, I’ve got your back on that aspect of this article.

After adding water to your aquarium, you must let it sit for a few days or even weeks. This is an important and impactful aspect concerning the health of your fish. This is the very first thing that you will do to have a suitable ecosystem for your fish. It doesn’t matter if you’re getting an aquarium for the first time or if you already have had aquariums, messing up during primary or the first steps will come through as hurtful. So do everything carefully and get away from painful and unnecessary results.

How long should you let the water sit?

Adding fish as soon as you add water to your new aquarium is never a good idea. The water needs to be made suitable for your fishes to survive without any trouble. You will have to let your water sit for several weeks before adding fish. If you don’t let your water sit and add fish instantly to your new aquarium, likely, your fish won’t survive and even if they do, they will remain unhealthy.

Why should you let your water sit?

Letting your water sit upon bringing a new aquarium is very essential and will determine the health of your fish. The water in the new tank should be dechlorinated and the tank needs to be cycled before adding fish.

These are the most important things that should be done before anything else. Getting rid of chlorine from your tank is the first the foremost thing that you should do which is done by letting the water sit for some time.

How long should the water sit to dechlorinate?

Commonly most people when they have brought a new aquarium, will fill the tank with tap water. This is a given as tap water is the most readily available water if you have brought a new tank. But don’t be a fool and add your fish instantly into the tank with tap water. The tap water is filled with chlorine and it is harmful to your fish. If you’re thinking about why there is chlorine in the water, chlorine or sometimes chloramine (chlorine and ammonia) is added to make the water safe for drinking.

Usually, water takes about a day or two for it to dechlorinate. Letting your water sit for that amount will remove all the chlorine as chlorine will evaporate. Most people let the water sit for a day to dechlorinate the water but sometimes one day is not enough.

The amount of time the water needs to sit to dechlorinate depends upon the level of chlorine present in the water. It may take a day or even weeks. All you have to do is keep testing the water.

If you want to cut it short and make it easy for you, you can use a water conditioner and remove the chlorine. Apply the water conditioner on your water and let it sit. Use a test kit to know the levels of chlorine in your tank.

The water conditioner is very effective in removing all the chlorine from the water. If the water contains chloramine, all the chlorine will be gone but the ammonia will remain. This is where the cycle comes in to do its job.

Why dechlorinate water?

Dechlorinating water before adding fish is an essential step that you must not avoid at all costs. If you do not dechlorinate your water or fail to do so accurately then your fishes are in danger. It will hamper your fish due to the high acidity.

Not just fish the chlorine will also instantly kill the beneficial or nitrifying bacteria in your tank. It will not let your tank cycle which is very important in the ecosystem of an aquarium. The cycle is responsible for the removal of harmful and toxic chemicals such as ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates. If these toxic chemicals remain in your tank, you can be assured that your fish will not survive for long.

Cycling the tank

Now for this, you have to have gotten rid of all the chlorine in your tank. If you have not done so then a cycle will never start in your tank. Cycling your tank will make way for the nitrifying bacteria to develop and spread. These bacteria will ensure a healthy environment for your fish as they get rid of the toxic chemicals. The more nitrifying bacteria that you have the better it is for your tank.

How to long should you let the water sit to start the cycle?

Similar to dechlorinating your tank, for the cycle to start you will have to let your water sit. The primary factor while starting the cycle on your tank is to let the nitrifying bacteria flourish. These bacteria will get rid of nitrite, nitrates, and ammonia. It will most definitely take a couple of weeks for a new tank to cycle.

You can give a head start to the cycle in a lot of ways. The most effective one is to get a filter from an old tank and install it on the new one. The nitrifying bacteria love filters so installing them on a new tank is sure to get the cycle started. You can also take out the sponge from the new filter and squeeze it within the water of the new tank. This way the tank will be availed of the nitrifying bacteria. You can also plant your new tank to speed up the process.

Now what you have to do is let the water sit and keep on testing. It is an obvious fact that larger tanks will take a longer time to cycle than smaller ones. Keep on testing your water until there are no nitrite, nitrates, and ammonia in your tank. The levels of these chemicals being zero means that the cycle is complete and your new tank is suitable for your fish. It usually takes about 4 to 5 weeks for the cycle to complete but it solely depends upon the size of the tank.

What will happen if you add a fish without cycling the tank?

Adding fish to your tank without cycling is a total red flag. Cycling the tank is extremely important, if you do not your fish will not survive at all. If you don’t cycle a tank there will be no nitrifying bacteria in the tank which leads to the toxic chemicals being accumulated on the tank. This will eventually lead to the death of your fish.

Adding the fish

Now that your water has been dechlorinated and a cycle has been set up you can add your fish. But remember not to add a multitude of fish at first. First, you will have to add one or two fish, then increase the amount slowly. But keep in mind the size of the tank and add the amount of fish suitable for that particular size of the tank.

Upon getting a new aquarium you should let your water sit. Letting your water sit before adding fish gives takes away a lot of hurdles. If you do not let your water sit and add fish instantly you are making a mistake at the very beginning. This will bring forward a whole lot of problems that you would want to avoid in the long run. Your new aquarium will be free of chemicals like chlorine and nitrates if you let it sit. All you need is patience and if you don’t have patience there are a lot of ways by which you can speed up the processes.

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