Therapist

How to add stress coat to aquarium

  • What is API STRESS COAT™ water conditioner?

API STRESS COAT water conditioner is a tap water conditioner that eliminates harmful chemicals, and uses the added benefit of soothing Aloe Vera to reduce fish stress and promote healing of wounds and damaged tissue.

  • Is API STRESS COAT™ water conditioner a dechlorinator?

Yes, API STRESS COAT water conditioner removes chlorine and neutralizes chloramines and heavy metals found in tap water.

  • Is API STRESS COAT™ water conditioner suitable for both freshwater and marine (saltwater) aquariums?

Yes, API STRESS COAT water conditioner is safe for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums, but is not recommended for use if you have a protein skimmer.

  • Is API STRESS COAT™ water conditioner safe for all fish, invertebrates, and aquarium plants?

Yes, API STRESS COAT water conditioner is safe for all fish, invertebrates, and aquarium plants.

  • Does API STRESS COAT™ water conditioner affect the biological filter or the pH of aquarium water?

No, API STRESS COAT water conditioner does not affect the biological filter (natural aquarium cycle) or your water’s pH levels.

  • Can I use API STRESS COAT™ water conditioner with other API products?

Yes, you can use API STRESS COAT water conditioner with all other API products.

  • I accidentally overdosed my fish with API STRESS COAT™ water conditioner. Should I worry?

No, API STRESS COAT water conditioner will not harm your fish or plants.

  • How much API STRESS COAT™ water conditioner should I use?

If you are using API STRESS COAT water conditioner as a dechlorinator to make tap water safe, you should dose enough for the amount of new water you are adding to the aquarium. If you are using API STRESS COAT water conditioner to help your fish recover from injury or a disease, dose enough for the amount of water in the whole aquarium.

Stress Coat

Image by KM_Aquatics

I‘ve seen many issues resulting from the misuse of stress coat. I’ve decided it would be good to explain the issues regarding stress coat, and how to use it properly. So if your fish is acting strange after you have been using stress coat, please read on.

What is Stress Coat?

Stress Coat is an API product intended to be used as a water conditioner, well known for it’s soothing capabilities for fish with damaged fins or wounds, and the fact that it is thought to reduce stress in aquarium fish. So what’s the problem with this? Well, the recurring issue is that stress coat is overrated for what its worth. Don’t get me wrong, it is a good product. The issue has to do with the name, which is very misleading to say the least.

Issues Regarding Stress Coat

Stress coat is too commonly bought and used as medicine. It is believed that by adding it to the tank, you are helping to calm and soothe your fish who may be struggling or adapting to a new tank. If you use it properly, then it very well may, but if you’re like lots of people, you are doing quite the opposite. Allow me to explain.

I would like to make this very clear. Stress Coat is NOT a medication. It is a water conditioner. The issue stems from this belief, because people hope it will heal their fish and use it alongside their water conditioner, unbeknownst to them that it is a water conditioner itself. This means you are dosing double the amount of water conditioner you are supposed to. So what?

To understand the issue with this you must first understand how water conditioner works. The water conditioner does not necessarily make chlorine disappear, it just creates a chemical compound that is not toxic to the fish. In chemistry, molecules will bond with other molecules to become more stable. Chlorine and chloramines are their own molecules, as well as the water conditioner. When you add the water conditioner, it binds with the chlorine and breaks the chloramines down into ammonia and chlorine, also binding with this chlorine to become a more stable compound, and as a result, the water is now safe for your fish. This is only true if you use the correct amount of water conditioner. The situation we are referring to would be about adding twice the amount of water conditioner you should be, by adding a full dose of stress coat and a full dose of another water conditioner.

Why NOT to Overdose Water Conditioner

To you, it may seem reassuring to add that extra dose of conditioner, but it’s really only going to create poor conditions in your tank. No, the water conditioners do not react with each other. No, it is not toxic in large amounts. It can simply be described as the conditioner doing its job a little too well.

When you add double the dosage of water conditioner, it stills makes an attempt to bond with the chlorine and chloramines in the tank. And the first dose does just that. The second dose, however, does not have any chlorine or chloramines to bond with. So, in an attempt to become stable, the conditioner frantically searches for something to bond with, resorting to your oxygen molecules. As a result, the oxygen content in your tank is depleted, which the fish needs for respiration. As soon as your tank has little oxygen left, surely your fish will seem to be acting peculiar.

Symptoms of Oxygen Depletion

Heavy/Laboured Breathing

Lethargy/Sitting on the Bottom of the Tank

Going to the Surface for Air

How to Respond; Will My Fish Make It?

If you react in time, it should not be fatal to your fish. Fish with a labyrinth organ, such as bettas, will provide even more time to respond, as they will be able to take oxygen from the surface. In these fish, you will see the third symptom mentioned, getting air from the surface, for this very reason.

The best thing you can do to restore your oxygen content is a tank flush, or a series of back to back water changes, matching the temperature and only using a SINGLE dose of ONE water conditioner. If you want to use stress coat, feel free. But then you can only use stress coat. By doing so, you will have new water with a restored oxygen content, still free of chlorine and chloramines. I will include a link on how to do a tank flush at the end of the blog.

In Conclusion

Stress Coat is not a bad product. It’s the misuse of it that I am referring to. The same goes for ammo lock, and any other water conditioner. Just be sure that you only use one dose of the one water conditioner of your choice. Water conditioner is not to be used as medicine. I cannot stress this enough(no pun intended). So always read the labels and take extra caution when adding anything to your tank.

Information on How to Perform a Tank Flush: https://www.myaquariumclub.com/another-way-to-flush-a-tank-7015.html by KK F.

G2u3c4c5i isa master member at My Aquarium Club.

What is API STRESS COAT?

API STRESS COAT is a tap water conditioner that eliminates harmful chemicals, and uses the added benefit of soothing Aloe Vera to reduce fish stress and promote healing of wounds and damaged tissue.

Is API STRESS COAT a dechlorinator?

Yes, API STRESS COAT removes chlorine and neutralizes chloramines and heavy metals found in tap water.

Is API STRESS COAT suitable for both freshwater and marine (saltwater) aquariums?

Yes, API STRESS COAT is safe for saltwater aquariums, but is not recommended for use if you have a protein skimmer.

Is API STRESS COAT safe for all fish, invertebrates, and aquarium plants?

Yes, API STRESS COAT is safe for all fish, invertebrates, and aquarium plants.

Does API STRESS COAT affect the biological filter or the pH of aquarium water?

No, API STRESS COAT does not affect the biological filter (natural aquarium cycle) or your water’s pH levels.

Can I use API STRESS COAT with other API products?

Yes, you can use API STRESS COAT with all other API products.

I accidentally overdosed my fish with API STRESS COAT. Should I worry?

No, API STRESS COAT will not harm your fish or plants.

How much API STRESS COAT should I use?

If you are using API STRESS COAT as a dechlorinator to make tap water safe, you should dose enough for the amount of new water you are adding to the aquarium. If you are using API STRESS COAT to help your fish recover from injury or a disease, dose enough for the amount of water in the whole aquarium.

Is API MARINE STRESS COAT for use in marine aquariums only?

Yes, API MARINE STRESS COAT is solely for use in marine (saltwater) aquariums. Use API STRESS COAT for regular freshwater tanks.

How often can I dose my tank with API MARINE STRESS COAT?

Use API MARINE STRESS COAT when your fish seem stressed, or after you’ve performed a 25% water change to dechlorinate water and soothe your fish. You can use more frequently if you wish.

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