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Chlorine, a gas, will dissipate with water circulation and exposure to the air within one or two days. Chloramines, on the other hand, take much longer to break down. Both are harmful to fish and will kill the nitrifying bacteria in the pond. They both also have the potential to burn or kill aquatic plants. Fortunately, there are many ways to keep chlorine and ammonia levels under control with some simple tips and tools.

When adding chlorinated water to the pond, spray it with a hose to give the necessary aeration to dissipate the gas. De-chlorinators are available at many pet and pond retailers. If you’re only adding five to ten percent of the pond’s water, it is unlikely the resulting ammonia will affect fish and plants.  If you are adding greater amounts of water, testing after using a de-chlorinator is a wise idea.

Sodium Thiosulfate will also remove chlorine from water. Refer to the bottle or ask a supplier specific instructions before using. Sodium Thiosulfate will also pull the chlorine from the chloramines. Be sure to monitor the ammonia levels and label and safely store after use. A bio-filter will also help remove ammonia and is something to consider if you are regularly topping off or changing more than five to ten percent of the pond’s water on a weekly basis with chlorinated water. Adding up to five percent of the pond’s water with untreated chlorinated water no more than once or twice weekly is okay for your fish and plants.

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