Jump to content
jayc

The Best Water Conditioner (in my opinion)

Recommended Posts

jayc

Gents & Ladies,

We all know and love Seachem's Prime when it comes to purchasing and recommending water conditioners to neutralise Chlorine/Chloramine. Heck, Prime even promotes the natural production and restoration of the slime coat - whatever that's supposed to do, I don't know. I also know Prime doesn't come cheap. A 500ml bottle is $17.70, which is the cheapest I can find online, up to about $22, and that doesn't include the delivery costs.

What if there is a product that works just as well at neutralising Chlorine/Chloramine, is cheaper, yet does a lot more?

Well there is.
You might have already heard of it, but have not used it ...

Supachlor Town and Tank.

This is a quick features list ...

  • Australian Made - (G&K Lloyd-Jones)
  • 5ml per 200 liters - same concentrations as Prime
  • Water Ager - that means it does both Cholrine and Chloramine
  • Removes Ammonia - as well as nitrite and nitrate
  • Removes Fluoride - don't know of any other brands that remove fluoride
  • Removes Heavy Metals
  • Removes Copper, Iron, Zinc and Aluminium - great for shrimp keepers
  • Removes Hydrated Lime - don't know of any other brands that remove hydrated lime
  • Does not contain Formaldehyde

I have used numerous brands of water conditioners. For the last few years I've used Prime and was my favourite.
Ever since changing to Supachlor over 1 year ago, I have seen a huge change in my tanks. My livestock doesn't get diseases as easily. My cardinal tetra's would contract fungus growth, even though water parameters seemed perfect. There are no signs of fungus for a year now since using Supachlor. Uneaten food used to grow fungus within 2 days, that doesn't happen now. It'll take a week now before uneaten food show signs of fungus growth.
I use it on collected rain water as well as tap water.

Here is the blurb on the product from the manufacturer's site (www.gandklloydjones.com.au):

SupaChlor does not contain Formaldehyde.
Supa Chlor is probably the one of the most sophisticated water conditioners in the world, it is the only product that is manufactured to recognize one of the primary problems associated with town water. That is hydrated lime, lime is used to buffer the pH of town water world wide, and is one of the least understood toxins in the Aquarium.
Lime can be linked to a whole range of diseases, primarily fungal infections, the most common ailment to effect ornamental fish. This toxin is removed by chelation of the Calcium molecule which allows the hydroxide ion to become water by being attracted to hydrogen in water (Lime = Calcium Hydroxide converts to Sodium) This conversion is done with a bound phosphate, which is then left over to be used as plant fertilizer, this phosphate will not adversely effect aquarium water and is a benefit to plants and fish.

EDTA is the most commonly used remover of toxic metals in normal Aquarium Water Conditioners but is exhausted because it is only moderately effective with Lime. Because Supa Chlor has a Calcium specific chelatant, the EDTA is more capable of removing the metals it is more efficient at countering, Zinc, Copper (often present in rainwater) Ferric Oxide, Aluminium, Fluoride and Iron (present in town water and bore water).

As well as the abilities already mentioned Supa Chlor can also remove Ammonia that can be present in town water (in the form of Chloramine) or Ammonia present in Aquariums. It does this by encapsulating Quartinary Ammonia after removing Chlorine and then allowing it to aerate from the aquarium, this also happens with Ammonia biologically created in aquariums.
All this and it is also one of the most powerful Chlorine Neutralisers available, chelating chlorine at a dose rate of 5 mls per 200 litres.
Benefit to Plants:
Because Supa Chlor removes Hydrated Lime from town water by utilizing a chelating phosphate (that will not cause algal problems), this phosphate then becomes a safe effective plant fertiliser, or will bind with Calcium carbonate to make calcium usable for fish and plants.
EDTA in Supa Chlor can also bind with Ferric Sulphate (often replaces *Aluminium Sulphate in town water) to produce Iron Chelate, again utilizable as a safe plant food.*
This often inhibited action of EDTA (consuming Calcium Hydrates), means that when Ferric Sulphate and Ferric Oxide are present in town or bore water and the pH is lowered with CO2 or pH down, then these irons fall out of solution and will coat the aquarium with a red brown dust, which plants can't use, and must be removed mechanically.
The problem normally blamed for algal growth in aquariums (phosphates) in our opinion are caused by the long known fact that, Hydrated Lime and Caustic soda, both used to buffer pH in town water, strip the water of kH. What happens is they soften water by removing Carbonate hardness, then false test as kH and gH. These human added buffers then feed the simpler plant life that is algae, removing macro-nutrients like Calcium Carbonate that would normally be used for higher plant life.

- This is an Australian Made product -

Being Australian Made not only are you supporting Australia and a Australian product and manufacturer the product is made and designed with Australian water conditions in mind.



Additional Q&A between Graham Lloyd-Jones and customers for additional insight into the product, complete with the original spelling mistakes:

Q - Can you please explain why you have chosen to use Sodium to displace Calcium/Magnesium/Aluminium, and to bind phosphate, instead of Potassium which is beneficial to Planted tanks?
A - The chemical used to displace not just calcium, but calcium hydroxide, it is a very little amount of Sodium, 250g in 30 litres of water, then it is dosed at 5 mls per 200 litres, and not all of that is sodium, part of it is phosphate. As far as I know there is no potassium substitute that can do this (remove lime).

You may have noticed that I previously stated that this form of lime will dissolve your carbonate hardness, which is a macro nutrient, so is phosphate.

When doing regular water changes, say 30% per week with town water, you keep removing your calcium carbonate reserve. Calcium is the most common occurring element along with Magnesium, combined with nitrogen and phosphorous they make up your macro nutrients.

Reducing your macro nutrient will encourage lower plant form algaes to grow. As was dicussed on my hello thread, in combination with Carbon dioxide, Lime will covert to something useful and become non-toxic, but I believe there is a lag time with respect to this happening and during that period, big water changes might damage your environment.

So what I would do if I had town water, is after I water changed and used my product is to add a small amount of Calcium carbonate to your water to pick up your carbonate hardness again, a couple of hours later. At least then you know you have the right minerals in your water, and the small amount of phosphate released into your tank from Supa Chlor will be a benefit.

Q - what you mean by: "It does this by encapsulating Quartinary Ammonia after removing Chlorine and then allowing it to aerate from the aquarium, this also happens with Ammonia biologically created in aquariums." Do you mean it renders the Ammonium useless for plant uptake or it complexes Ammonium - making it harmless to fishes etc but still beneficial to plants?
A - With respect to your Ammonia question, ammonia is quartinary, a four fingered molecule, what happens with Supa Chlor is the formaldehyde is capable of binding with it, converting it to hexamine and then allow it to gas off or aerate off. This is the component in all ammonia removing products available to aquarists.
From what I can find, and I have been looking at this lately is that hexamine is of no use to plants. The reason I have been looking is because I am considering using Xxxxxxxxxx instead of Formaldehyde in Supa Chlor. I have been wondering whether Xxxx will remove ammonia as well, I think it does as it is now replacing Formaldehyde in many uses and is a lot safer to use. That having been said, will it also aid in plant growth after removing ammonia is unknown.

(Note: this question was asked several years ago. Supachlor no longer uses formaldehyde. It's replacement is a product secret).

Q - How long does the effects of SupaChlor lingers in the aquarium?
A - Supa Chlor will linger in the aquarium as a phosphate and sodium, but not at detrimental levels and sodium in these kind of products are unavoidable.

Q - Just curios if you know if this is suitable for Regeneration of Seachem Purigen, or is there something in the product that might foul the purigen?
I'm considering this instead of Seachem Prime/Alpha, just need to know if I will still need Seachem Prime/Alpha to restore my Purigen.
A - It's ok to use with recharge of Purigen Juls, I did it myself this morning with Marcopore and they are essentially very similar products. I also know others who use Supa Chlor for Purigen on a regular basis.

Q - I did a water addition to my system on friday and im seeing some shrimp deaths and the only conclusion i can come to is that the water tap might be plumbed with copper pipe?
Will Supachlor successfully and completely neutrolise the copper?
A - Supa Chlor will remove copper.

Q - Its my understanding (very limited as Im not the scientific mind type!) that we should be adding calcium after doing water changes and using your product. Is this correct or am I barking up the wrong tree? Also are the aquarium neutralizing blocks ok to use for the calcium or should I be using something else?
A - Yes you are correct Supa Chlor will remove Calcium Hydroxide from town water and this will mean the pH of the tank will drop faster. Neutraliser blocks will buffer the pH with Calcium Sulphate and a small amount of Calcium Carbonate, Macro Fertiliser blocks, which will be up on our website by tomorrow are better, because they have dolomite lime in them (calcium and magnesium carbonate) in a much higher level and they are more then twice the size.
If you have a planted tank these blocks in conjunction with Glut blocks are a better alternative.
If you use these blocks, when you water change with town water, Supa Chlor will remove most of the Calcium hydroxide and Carbonate but the blocks will just re-release it.
All that having been said ordinary bicarb of soda is a great way to buffer as well and a much better alternative then Hydrated lime which is Calcium Hydroxide.



Where to buy and how much:

I only know of a few places that sell Supachlor Town and Tank.


 

  • The Tech Den (www.thetechden.com.au) seems to be selling it at the cheapest price - $12.50 for 500ml. However, this product is that good that I would recommend you save your money on shipping and just get the 1L ($21.95) or 2L ($29.95) bottles. I bought a 250ml to try and loved it so much I bought another 2L bottle. Should have just bought the larger bottle to start off with.


There you have it. A product that does what Prime does and more, costs less and is Aussie made.
It removes copper and other metals from the water.
It removes hyrdated lime and converts it into fertiliser that the plants can use.
It removes Calcium carbonate and converts it into calcium our shrimp can use.
The removal of Calcium Hydroxide helps pH to drop for those low pH fish or shrimp.
The removal of Calcium Carbonate from the Lime improves the effectiveness of CO2 injection since it no longer precipitates insoluble Calcium Carbonate.


Happy to field any questions I might be able to answer. Remember I am not the manufacturer, nor do I sell this product. I'm just a happy customer that wants to share in a great product.

Cheers.

Edited by jayc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ineke

Seems a great product but for those of us using RO units do we really need this sort of thing? I have only RO water in my tanks with salty shrimp and have not been using anything else except recently trying to get a tank to cycle with seachem stability.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
torface

Thanks jayc!

I'll get some of this when I finish my Prime (in 10 years time, I have 500ml LOL)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jayc
Seems a great product but for those of us using RO units do we really need this sort of thing? I have only RO water in my tanks with salty shrimp and have not been using anything else except recently trying to get a tank to cycle with seachem stability.

The answer is - no, of course you won't need any water conditioner if you use RO water.

But what if your RO breaks down, and/or you need emergency water?

It takes ages to produce enough RO water. In those situations, you need a water conditioner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ineke

Thanks for clearing that up. I thought maybe I had missed something somewhere along the line. Haven't had the Ro Unit that long.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
blackcat

Wow what a writeup incredibly informative. Ty for sharing ! Am I allowed to share this on?? As in on FB?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jayc
Thanks jayc!

I'll get some of this when I finish my Prime (in 10 years time' date=' I have 500ml LOL)[/quote']

I was the same. I still have Prime for other duties.

But in the mean time you miss out on all those extra benefits that Prime doesn't cover.

I guess I switched because I was seen issues in my tanks I couldn't put a finger on.

There is more to healthy water than just zero ammonia, nitrites and nitrates.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jayc
Wow what a writeup incredibly informative. Ty for sharing ! Am I allowed to share this on?? As in on FB?

Yeah,

no problem. None of this is private information, all of it is available from G&K or various only sites, apart from my own thoughts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
torface

I use probably 10-12l tap water a week (to slightly raise the ph of my ro for my discus) but that's it (shrimpies are 100% RO). So im sure the impact of anything in those 12l is minimal, but if I notice any problems, i'll give it a go :encouragement:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wraithie

Great writeup! It sounds like good stuff.

Thanks Jayc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Smithers

Epic and informative Jayc, Great read thanks. Unfortunately I'm at same stage with Torface and a minimal user. Hopefully that'll change in near future. :p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jayc

You're welcome all. :encouragement:

I'm not here to sell anyone anything.

Just contributing to this community and letting people know there is a better alternative out there. If and when you are in the market for a better water conditioner, you are now armed with more knowledge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



  • Must Read SKF Articles

  • Register today, ask questions and share your shrimp and fish tank experiences with us!

    Join Our Community!

  • Posts

    • CurleyJones321
      Right so i've left the tanks and inhabitants for well this long simply because i dont want things to die off if i can help it and people have said leave it a month after establishing a tank before adding shrimp. Other than doing normal maintenance and transferring the 2 liters of old water from the small tank to the large each time and the large tank then getting an extra 2 liters of mineralised new water. Friday i sorted out all the tank decor in both tanks and adjusted the tank TDS to within 5TDS of each other. mainly because i needed to cull the flaoting plants which in the large tank the frogbit has taken over and in the small tank the water lettuce had almost taken over. the Duckweed has all but died out in both tanks not that i have done anything to aid it. my tanks now look like the attached. i then took readings they are as follows:-

      Small tank
      TDS - 232
      Temp - 23C
      PH - 7
      NH4 - Unreadable
      N03 - 1PPM
      N02 - 0.05PPM
      P04 - 2PPM
      dKH - 2
      dGH - 6

      Large Tank
      TDS - 237
      Temp - 24C
      PH - 5.5
      NH4 - Unreadable
      N03 - Unreadable
      N02 - Unreadable
      P04 - 1PPM
      dKH - 1
      dGH - 5

      So the Phosphate is up but thats because i was massively invasive in the tanks and churned up the fertaliser i have in the tank substrate. The PH is also what i would consider to be completely off

      also as a side note its worth mentioning that stressing plays out seems to stimulate them to give birth, i now have an extra at least 3 fry appear in the tank just after the works when the mothers had seemed to have stopped giving birth.

      i also got a new fish the in other breed of platy because the fish keeper at my LFS told me they could interbreed and it might make what im doing with the fish go faster, i got him today and named him Rodney and am about to add him to the Large Tank with Tyrone  before taking Tyrone out and putting more females in the tank with Rodney to let nature take its course. the Fish keeper did tell me to drip acclimate him however as the PH shock may be too much so that's what I'm currently doing and he's on his 2nd dip.

      that does make me wonder however can i now add shrimp to the tank or is the PH going to be a massive problem. i estimate i have between 60 and 100 shrimp in the small tank and want to transfer over say 10?
    • sdlTBfanUK
      Thanks for replying. I know what you mean about breeding, I started off with about 10 and was soon (couple of months) over 100, and  I am sure that would have kept going up if the tank could  have supported more??? I don't see any reason that it wouldn't work with bee shrimps if it is working so well for your cherry shrimp. Obviously the parameters are different but if you are managing to keep the cherry tanks stable I don't see why the bee would be any different, although they are a lot harder to keep! Worth a try though unless someone says otherwise? I shall certainly follow this with some interest. Simon 
    • Myola
      Hi Simon, NO, I wasn't using a buffering substrate previously in the neo tanks, it was just some white gravel that I had laying around. It had originally been in a fish tank some years ago, so it wasn't new when I put it into the neo tank. It started to break down just because of age, and my GH, and subsequently TDS, were rising out of control. JayC talked me through a rebuild with a bare floor. It has worked so well that when I set up more neo tanks I just made them bare as well. Like I said, I wouldn't go back. The little buggers are breeding like crazy, I have a very high baby survival rate and almost no deaths. Under my particular water conditions, it works great ... for neo caridinas. Now I want to do the same with caridinas, but not sure if there's more to a buffering substrate that I don't know about. Hopefully someone out there will be able to help me (and you) with the answers :)  
    • sdlTBfanUK
      A very good question and one I will follow with much interest as I had a similar question a year ago in that would I need to replace the substrate when it stopped buffering with my Taiwan bee tank if all the water I use has the right parameters. Unfortunately I don't know the answer in my case as my heater stuck on and killed all my shrimps off so I am starting again, though I still wonder about the same issue, though I should have at least a year before the new substrate stops buffering.  A lot of big breeding companies that have hundreds or thousands of shrimp (cherry and bee) in each tank (big tanks admittedly) use bare tanks (for obvious conveniences) so I am guessing it will be ok! Hopefully someone who has done it may get back to this thread, but otherwise I would give it a go with a few, especially if you have a spare small tank etc and see how it goes? If you used buffering substrate before but were using RO mineralised water of ideal PH did you have a problem once the substrate lost its buffering ability? I am/was hoping that the substrate buffering wasn't really needed if the water going into the tank is always around PH 5 or 6?  Simon
    • Myola
      So here's the thing. I've got 6 bare-bottom neo tanks that have been chugging along just fine for quite a while now. There are lots of babies and it's extremely rare to have any deaths, even when I add new shrimp.  I use remineralised rain water that has been filtered through an RO. I stopped using substrates in the tanks after I had ongoing issues with it breaking down, and to be honest, I wouldn't go back. Now I want to start some caridina tanks for tangerine tigers, CRS and blue bolts but want to know if I can get away with bare bottoms in them too. My RO filtered rain water comes out at pH 5, and when I add Salty Shrimp 'Bee shrimp' minerals to give me a GH of 5, the pH goes up to around 5.8. Do I really need the buffering affects of a substrate if my water is already within an acceptable range for caridinas? 
×