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Old Water Question

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Hi all,

This is embarassing, but I have to ask the experts. Months ago (maybe 6 or more now) I cleaned out my empty aquarium (I did use PP to sterilise it) and then filled it with freshwater, with a small amount of leftover gravel in the tank. I thought I'll start putting more fish in it some day, but the day never came. Now, about a few cm has evaporated off, the stagnancy of the water looks dubious to other people (not me, cos I do want to save water if possible). I am wondering now whether it is safe to use it, or to just replace it altogether?

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Was there a filter running?? I'd just replace it if I were you I think, bacteria from the air can settle in standing water...not good :blink:

Chrissy

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I agree. Do not use that water for a fish tank. Reuse it elsewhere and rinse and refill the tank.

The bacteria that makes up our cycle is in the environment - that is how come a cycle will "appear" over time. The same goes for many other types of bacteria. Dust, dirt, skin cells, etc. all are airbourne and can contribute to a thriving bacterial community in a volume of stagnant water.

Use the water for your plants, prerinsing things, or for washing the car. It is still fine for that - for as soon as you add soap, you no longer have to worry about bacteria.

I use all used fish water for my garden. I do not want to waste any water. If I need more water, I save all bath water and reuse that. It is called "gray water" - water that is not poluted, but is not potable. It is fine.

(Do not use fish water that has been treated with medicines or salt on plants. )

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Interesting, I always thought water left out in nature should be ok to use, as long as it doesn't have any dodgy contaminants (didn't realise air bacteria will affect fish). What was I thinking!

On a different note, I do leave treated water in big bottles for water changes (letting it stand for some time, even longer) instead of taking it from the tap and treating directly. The bottles are clean - is this a no-no?

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I think that "aging" water.....allowing the chlorine to evaporate & leaving water to "stagnate" are two different things.

I would clean everything & start over. :exactly

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Not at all.... but so much depends on what you are trying to do with that water....

Just for kicks, not too long ago, I pulled a micron filter sample of the RO water in my big bottles. The water runs at about 4-5 dissolved solids when it comes from the RO tap. It is sealed in 5 gallon blue plastic bottles and set in the store room - dark most of the time. After 2 weeks the water was teaming with microorganisms - an amazing array. There was nothing there "nasty" that I could determine, but.... that is a bit unsettling. (I have since bleached my RO tank and the bottles)......

You can and will have just about everything possible in the water you draw. 99.99% of it will be benign. A healthy fish will have absolutely NO problem dealing with the rest.

In an open tank that has been sitting for that long, I feel, however, that you are asking for mold, fungus and other nasties.... things that are naturally occuring but have the potential of creating large problems down the road. They do occur in nature but it is a bet that they are in a higher concentration in that tank than elsewhere! It is so much easier to reuse the water in another fashion than worry about that sort of t hing.

:)

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I second what Daryl sez: use it for your plants (as long as there are no meds in it...)

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Yikes, that's interesting about the bottles of water :blink:

I constantly have three large bottles filled with water for emergencies, mainly for my amphibians who are super sensitve to water quality. But I do use that water to top up my betta tank and hermit crab bowls....I think from now on I'll just leave it for a day or so to let it reach room temp, and then add some Prime!!

Chrissy

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I try to rotate the water more after that experiment! I always used fresh drawn water and save the bottles for "emergencies" etc. Now,, instead, I always start with the bottles, and as soon as a bottle is empty, I run the RO hose down in and start it filling while I go to the next bottle. That way, the water is used and renewed every day or so.....

:)

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