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talk to the frog / Setup / General Post on Water Quality and Safety
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Whitney
Moderator
2241 posts
2241 posts

# Posted: 4 Feb 2004 00:09 · Edited by: Whitney


Hello, all. I was going through one of the many forums that I frequent, including this one, and I noticed that a large percentage of people are still letting their water go "stale" before its use in their enclosure and recommending that others do the same. Well, just for the sake of those who were unaware, this method is not as reliable as it once was. So here is a crash course in Water 101.

Chlorine is extremely toxic, which is precisely why it is used to kill bacteria and drinking water. It specifically hinders the ability of the animal to deliver oxygen to its cells. Most municipal water supplies now use chloramines , which uses not one but two extremely toxic compounds put together. They absolutely must be removed or be rendered harmless by a dechlorinator. I personally recommend a combination of Amquel, and NovAqua, made by the same company, but others work just as well. Although chlorinated water will not necessarily kill an amphibian outright, it definitely decreases the level of stress the animal is able to cope with.

However, tap water should definitely be treated to remove chlorine and/or chloramines, which are added to many municipal water supplies to kill potential pathogens. Although they are added in small enough quantities that they are not harmful to mammals and reptiles, they are extremely toxic to amphibians. There are many commercial products available for chlorine neutralization; sodium thiosulfate in pure form is best, hence this chemical being the primary ingredient in most commercial tap water treatments. However, the easiest treatment is simply aging and vigorous aeration, as chlorine will generally dissipate from aerated water within 24 hours. Dedicate a water-conditioning tank or other basin or bucket where water can be so treated for a minimum of 24 hours before use. Alternatively, one can run the water through a carbon filter to remove chlorine, but it is difficult to determine when chemical filters are saturated and in need of replacement.

This is the important part. Chloramine is quickly replacing chlorine as a tap water disinfectant in many parts of the country, as it tends to be more stable in solution, but it is doubly problematic for the herper and their captives. Chloramine breaks down gradually to produce chlorine and ammonia, both of which are highly toxic to amphibians and must be removed with a dechlorinator. One must find out which chemical the local water municipality uses and treat the water accordingly, or to stay on the safe side treat all water before use. Ammonia in the water-aging tank is probably best treated with chemical conditioners, such as AmQuel


<-- Say, can I have some of your purple berries? <--
cheshireycat
Member
3789 posts
3789 posts

# Posted: 4 Feb 2004 03:39


Thanks, Whitney. Your post will help many people (and their amphibs for sure)


- Evolution is a theory, not just a fact. -
heatherposer
Member
327 posts
327 posts

# Posted: 4 Feb 2004 17:47


Thanx Whit---I just found out they're going to be adding Chloramine to our water here, thank goodness for AmQuel!

Frogbert
Moderator
2424 posts
2424 posts

# Posted: 4 Feb 2004 18:04


I was thinking about this again, today. I read once that you can determine what will eventually happen to humans based on what happens with the amphibians.

All the horrible pollution we make, all the chemical waste, all the medicines in the water, it is TOO dang scary.

Just think if the theory above is correct then in time the water additives will kill us too! Arrrgggghhhh!

Its bad enough that I have to shower in clorine water. The level here is so high you can smell it when you turn on the tap. I am more glad than ever to have my drinking water filtration system for me and my animals!


"Lead a life of purpose, Kindness being the first." ME

"The life of the individual has meaning only in so far as it aids in the making the life of every living thing nobeler and more beautiful" Albert Einstein
x5dmr
Member
71 posts
71 posts

# Posted: 5 Feb 2004 01:33


i have been using this stuff called mistimize water conditioner made by Exo Terra, and i find it to work pretty well, i have been using it not only for my frogs but for my newts and salamabders as well.

FrogLvr
Member
15 posts
15 posts

# Posted: 24 Jan 2005 03:19


Thanks!!!

CindyM
Member
3 posts
3 posts

# Posted: 19 Apr 2005 22:45


I didn't know that tap water couldn't be toxic to frogs and now I do know this. Thanks!
Is there anything special I need to know about well water?

iwant2killU
Member
24 posts
24 posts

# Posted: 16 Jul 2005 18:29


what about bottled water..

can we use bottled water in our
tanks.
i'm just researching b4 i get a pet.
not sure if i'll get a fbt or retf,

but anyway... wouldn't bottled water be clean of any crap????


THE VOICES IN MY HEAD TELL ME TO 'BURN THINGS'
Brian
Member
2274 posts
2274 posts

# Posted: 17 Jul 2005 00:07


Something a lot of people overlook though is hard water does have a lot of salts and minerals in it. Sometimes I think that people overlook that this could be a source of calcium and other trace minerals.

Obviously with most frogs from wet areas this is not a concern, but with some things from areas where the water in naturally hard I sometimes wonder.

froglady5
Member
11 posts
11 posts

# Posted: 8 Aug 2005 13:26


I leave my water out for24 hours or more before i use though i use a reverse osmosis system from culligan for all our drinking water do i still need to leave it out or put the declorinator stuff in it ? maybe i should just use rain water *S* though i read an article that says there are a lot of frog deformities now due to pollution


jami
Bilge rat
Member
11 posts
11 posts

# Posted: 11 May 2006 15:28


What about those Britta water filters, either the faucet mounted ones or the kind where the filter is part of the pitcher and you pour the water through it. I've been using the pitcher type but I've only just begun planting my tank. No critters yet.

back2eight
Member
1554 posts
1554 posts

# Posted: 11 May 2006 17:46


froglady, if you are using a reverse osmosis unit, you don't need to add anything to it. That is water in its purest form.

You need to not get water labeled "drinking water" unless you really read the label first. A lot of times it has a lot of added sodium and minerals in it. I simply buy distilled water. I need it for my plants anyway, and that is what I use for the frogs. Bilge rat, I think that filter you are talking about will filter out minerals and stuff, but I'm not sure if it does anything for the chlorine. The other method, leaving the water sitting out, lets the chloring evaporate but doesn't do anything about the minerals. I'm not fond of using tap water and adding anything to it to remove the chlorine, either. This is all just my opinion, but there have been plenty of people whose frogs have died, and their set up, temp, humidity, everything sounds fine. The only thing is that they use tap water and add something to it to remove the chlorine. It is never known what killed their frog, but it is my suspicion that it was the water.

exoreds
Member
37 posts
37 posts

# Posted: 20 May 2007 01:43


Is well water safe to use? I tested it and it seems to be safe. Just wondering.


1.0.0 white's tree frog
0.1.0 bearded dragon
spawn
Member
2553 posts
2553 posts

# Posted: 20 May 2007 05:19


Think of the things that fall into it. Rainwater isn't good because of the contamination of the air.

sandrok
Member
84 posts
84 posts

# Posted: 20 May 2007 06:41


i just buy a big jug of mountian spring water no junk in it

FwoGiZ
Member
1392 posts
1392 posts

# Posted: 18 Dec 2008 06:44


Hmm just wanted to bring this back since some of the questions havent been answered... im totally aware that there prolly is no 100% certain answer

Distilled Water? i read its not good at all... it takes the mineral out of the frog (osmosis like?) what do you guys think?

Bottled Spring Water?? isnt this THE best? thats what i use at least... 5$ for 40litres around here

Brita? works or not?

i also been told that some dechlorinator might not be good for frogs, notably those that says "help amphibians skins" .. they add some stuffs in it that is in fact, not good for frog skins.. anyone got info bout that?



I've had this spring peeper for over 4 years..!
Carlton
Member
653 posts
653 posts

# Posted: 18 Dec 2008 18:35


You won't know about your well water unless you test it to see just how hard it is or what occurs in your local water table. Every well will be different. If you don't have a chemical treatment unit on your well you won't have to worry about chloramines, but you might have to adjust the pH for your frogs. There are lots of water test kits available or you can send in a sample to local labs. I know just what is in my well water and can add RO water or whatever to modify it.

Rainwater may or may not be OK. If you collect rainwater off your house roof you need to be aware of what the roof material (like asphalt tile) may add, what exhaust from your furnace or wood stove flu deposited on the roof might add, etc. Again, don't assume, test. I learned this the hard way. I added some rainwater to a tadpole tank and killed some of them. When I tested the rainwater I found it very high in NO2...source? Probably ash from my woodstove.

Distilled water isn't a good option as it is TOO pure and will cause electrolyte problems for anything living in it. You could use it to lower the pH of hard well water by mixing.

Bottled spring water isn't automatically safe...you need to read the label and find out from the company if they use any purifying chemicals or additives, or what the mineral content is.

Brita/faucet filters...again, READ THE LABEL to see just what your particular filter cartridge does remove. Different types of filter cartridges remove different chemicals, sulphur, tastes, etc from water.


"True merit is like a river. The deeper it is the less noise it makes." Edward Frederick Halifax
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