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Tap Water Is Off, Anything I Should Do?


gialeigh

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My tap water reads as follows:

pH: 7.8

Ammonia: 0

Nitrite: 0.25

Nitrate: 30

When I bought the house, the man who inspected it had told us the water was not drinkable. We had to boil it before drinking it. Also, its just a few points shy of not being able to be used for showering also!! UCK! Sucks we have no choice who supplies our water. Topsey water will not even respond to our phone calls. It took two months just to get the water bill in our name because they would not call us back.

Anyway, my fish just dont seem as perky since we've lived here and I guess this would be the reason! ANything I can do???

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Where do you live? What makes it bad enough not to be able to drink?

We have a well and we have purification systems that help with iron and sulpher. Is there something like this available in your area?

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lol! The test results make it bad enough! Im not drinking chemical runoff, which is probably why the nitrates are high. WHen the guy tested it he said he didnt know what was making the water bad, all he knew was what his little machine said. So I really dont know what is wrong with the water, but my hunch is chemical/fertillizer runoff or something. Every city is different, but I live in TX

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oh and yes Im sure there is some kind of filteration thing I could install..but I was hoping for a less costly alternative. lol

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Boiling will kill bactiria. But it won't remove the chemicals or make it safe to drink.

You need a water filter. You can get a counter top water filter for less than $200 and you can also get a shower head water filter for less than $100.

Your body absorbs more of the chemicials when taking baths and showers than it does when drinking the same water.

You see the way your water is effecting your fish. It's doing just as much damage to you. You just haven't noticed it yet. If your water is that bad you better get some kind of water filter before the money your trying to save needs to be spent on doctor bills.

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I'm sorry I can't help you

I hope someone comes along that can 

Thanks, hon. ITs starting to get me worried.

I just noticed that my comet is missing a LOT of scales, like maybe 10 or so. Four out of 14 fish have red streaks in fins/tail, and for the most part all of them seem to not have much energy. 4 of them I notice lay on the bottom a lot. Different ones than have the streaks...they are all being affected by this. Its just started really showing recently, in all three of my tanks.

My water has been hard to keep in check because of this, obviously. It seems there is nothing I can do about the nitrites or nitrates. Ammonia has been ok and pH has been stable.

Water tests have been pretty much the same as the tap for the last 3 or 4 months, with nitrates becoming a bit higher every now and then (depends on if Im a few days early or a few days late in changing water!)

Am I going to have to give up keeping fish? This has got me worried now because Im seeing lots of bad things happening...

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Your body absorbs more of the chemicials when taking baths and showers than it does when drinking the same water.

You see the way your water is effecting your fish. It's doing just as much damage to you. You just haven't noticed it yet. If your water is that bad you better get some kind of water filter before the money your trying to save needs to be spent on doctor bills.

Thanks for the info. I guess your right and we will just have to suck up the cost one day. It just cant be anytime soon, I still dont have a job. That's why Im trying to look for an easy cheap solution for right now.

Are you talking about a filter that you can install that is like an extra faucet? Where I lived before that is what they had installed because the water was bad there. Can you explain to me exactly what you are talking about so that I can look that up? Thanks soooo much! :D

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Gia are your filters running fully cycled? If you have nitrite at 0.25 then your filter should convert it fairly quickly. Also, if you have a bottle of Prime, it will detoxify the nitrites in your water. As for the nitrates - 30's not so bad. Anything <40 is in healthy range for goldies.

I currently have nitrates of 40ppm and ammonia 0.75ppm coming out of my tap so I ended up adding more biological filtration to my tanks and it converts the ammonia quickly. Plus I double dose on Prime with all waterchanges and have found my fish fare ok :)

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Gia I dont see anything that wrong with the water. Most tap water contains levels of nitrates anyway and mine is 25. For the nitrite then as Jen says your filter should get that easily enough or you can add salt to .2% until it goes again. There might be something else in the water.

What are your tank params? When was the last time you did a water change and how much?

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We get our filtration services through a company called Culligan.

Culligan Water Services

I don't know if you have this company near you, but I am sure there will be a compnay similar. I believe they will come out and test you water for free and see what the problems are. Its worth giving them a call. I am not sure what we pay, but I saw an ad the other day for the same company and they were advertising rentals of systems for $10.00 a month. And they aslo offer financing options!

I hope you get everything worked out and you fish are OK. Sorry it took so long to respsond, I am out of town and took of the computer to get my Koko's fix!

Let us know what you find out!

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Is there a lfs near you that sells water? I know theres a lfs near me that sells purified water thats been purified by reverse osmosis. I don't know the details but I do know that you have to add the electrolytes back in. Its just an idea, at least until you can figure out a more permanent plan.

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Thanks guys! Well you are right about the nitrites, actually, usually that is taken care of...but the nitrates usually go up to about 40 or so. I was worried that was way too high. I have heard of people having nitrates like that and then from the prolonged exposure to it their fish get REALLY sick.

The last time I changed my water was Thursday, and I did 50%. Ive been doing about 50% every week because I was afraid of these nitrates, but after learning it was in the tap (I should have tested that months ago) I guess there isnt much I can do.

Im going to test my tank water today, but give me a bit. It takes forever to test it because its those stupid tab things ( I will never buy it again) and I have to drop a pill looking thing in the test tube and shake the crap outta it for like 5 minutes each to get it to dissolve.

Ill do that after my chores this morning and post back and see what my water has done since thursday.

Thanks sooo much guys, I do feel a bit better now. Im going to keep a close eye on my fish and see what is causing these odd symptoms.

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ahhhhh medicate right away! get antibotics!

*crys* red streaks could be septicemia or blood posioning, what I am going though. If you don't catch it right away they might not make it through it.

With septicemia they spend most of there time sitting at the bottem of the tank barely moveing. :( I would medicate all your fish, its really easy transferable to tanks and very infectious between fish.

I had to put so many down this month because of the stupid sickness, they can live up to a month to three months with the sickness without dying but not getting better. *has read everything on the net about the sickness*

The only thing that seemed to work after a month of dealing with the sickness was to remove everything from my tanks and scrub everything down and add all fresh water and meds. Only then did the ones with a little bit of the sickness get better, but then of course it ment a lot of water changes but I did save a few of my fish.

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Gia I too don't see the water as too bad. Jen and Sandy are right on.

For the fish anyway.

You and the family, well you can contact the state about it. I am not sure at the moment who you can call, let me see if I can find out. But if you have city water they have to be within certain guidlines Or face problems.

You could also consider having live plants to help with nitrates in the tank. There are several varities that the gf don't eat up.

Not sure if I would jump on the septicimia band wagon just yet. While what silverpet said is true it is very very deadly. You could also just be seeing the veins in the tails or even stress.

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Thank you Laurie. The viens are seen on the white fish, which I think is sometimes common to see them on white fish. I will consider getting some plants. I have had really bad luck with plants though. I think my lighting is just not good enough. I never was able to figure out what watt the bulbs were. It came with the tank in a kit, so Im sure its not superb. I tried swords and could not keep them alive. Any plants you could suggest that would do ok in not the best lighting? I will run out and get them after payday! :D

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Here are a couple of the water filters that I was talking about. These are some of the best filters on the market and they're not sold in stores.

http://www.nicks.unfranchise.com/index.cfm...cat2ID=USA20835

http://www.nicks.unfranchise.com/index.cfm...cat2ID=USA20837

Everyboby needs a water filter. You can find simular water filters in stores and something is better than nothing.

Remember if you don't have a water filter you are the water filter.

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Thank you Laurie. The viens are seen on the white fish, which I think is sometimes common to see them on white fish. I will consider getting some plants. I have had really bad luck with plants though. I think my lighting is just not good enough. I never was able to figure out what watt the bulbs were. It came with the tank in a kit, so Im sure its not superb. I tried swords and could not keep them alive. Any plants you could suggest that would do ok in not the best lighting? I will run out and get them after payday!  :D

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ohh I thought you meant like streaks of blood XD any blood streaks and believe me its different from just veins. Its horriable, on the dark fish you have to look really really closely to see it and sometimes you don't notice it if you aren't looking at it or for it. but it is from contaminated water so I would be on alert for it just in case.

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Hey Gia - been off-line for a bit so only just saw this.

I also have a regularly high nitrate out of my tap - sometimes 60/70 due to agricultural run-off. Eeew! When it's bad I use the Aquarium Pharmaceutical Nitrazorb pillow to combat the effects. It works very efficiently and you can re-charge it in saline every so often. Having said that I personally don't think that 40 is going to be enough to really stress the fish, but the thing that would be bothering me is that the water's not drinkable. Unless you can get the water company or someone else to test it properly you really won't know what's in there.

By the way, I think Nick is absolutely right about the filter; it's true that your skin absorbs much more efficiently than your digestion (think of aromatherapy) so things like chlorine and metals and chemicals go right in. I'm trying to get a filter system for my home for this very reason but like you am worried about the cost. I couldn't access the link in Nick's thread, could you?

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I was able to access his thread when he posted it a few days ago, I havent tried it today. I did not know that about skin! I wonder why the inspector said the water is not safe to drink but it IS safe to shower with??? I guess they dont know that. Well Ill look into getting a filter for my showerhead I think, but that might be all I can afford. Maybe Ill just fill my fishies water from the shower. lol.

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Yeah! A lot of people don't know that skin is such a highly absorbent 'organ' so the water man wouldn't have had a clue!

I only started to be aware of it through reading some naturopathic papers on how environmental factors can mess up the hormone balance. Amoung other major culprits are pestisides, petro-chemicals used in hair and soap products and plastics leeching into food from micro-waving or any high heat. You can't win can you?

Anyway I forgot to add that Ancharis is a good plant for low level light and uses quite alot of nitrate as well. Also Vallis and Java fern - not sure about their consumption of nitrate but they're fine in low level lighting.

Hope this helps.

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Thanks sooo much! Hopefully by the end of this week I will be able to grab some! Thanks thanks thanks!

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