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FAQs on Tap/Source Water Use for Marine Aquariums, Troubles/shooting 

Related Articles: Treating Tap water for Marine Aquarium Use, Water Purification Using Reverse Osmosis,

Related FAQs: Treating Tapwater 1, Treating Tapwater 2, Treating Tapwater 3, & FAQs on New Water Treatment: Rationale/Science, Chemicals (Chlorine, Chloramines, Trihalomethanes...), Filtrants, Techniques/Tools, Testing, Products by Manufacturer/Brand, DIY Treatment Chemicals/Tools, & Reverse Osmosis Filtration, Specific GravityWater Purification Using R.O 1. RO/DI 2, RO/DI 3, NitratesWater Changes

Tap/Source water is NOT a consistent product... Seasonally or moment to moment. It IS treated occasionally with MUCH higher concentrations of sanitizer, flocculant, et al.

Dealing with exceptionally hardy strain of crypt?    Impt. notes re Quinines; old Amquel toxicity           11/12/15
​Hi Crew,
I've been happily reading your site for several years now and am grateful for all of the information. Ever since ich entered my 170g reef almost two years ago before I learned to properly QT, I've been fighting it with just about every method in the book, including many "reef-safe" snake oils, but also QT with hypo, Chloroquine, and quinine...sometimes keeping the fish in
the DT while removing LR and corals, others removing fish to QT and letting the DT go fallow.
<With you so far>
I've blamed failures on everything from not keeping medication levels high enough, to keeping the QT and DT to close together so that aerosolized crypt could move between the two systems.
<Interesting speculation. More likely resident/residual infestation. Most systems have this/them>
I've also demonstrated through studies in a lab with good equipment that Chloroquine degrades super fast leaving behind an inactive molecule in my tank (I was monitoring by HPLC , and I believe, based on changes in CPQ behavior over a year, that a microbe capable of detoxifying Chloroquine either entered or evolved in my system...more about that another time, but high levels of the degradation do appear to be toxic to Zebrasoma tangs).
<I REALLY encourage you to publish your data, explanations>

I now know that quinine is perfectly stable in my system and that the concentration remains constant after dosing regardless of skimmer or keeping lights on. It clearly wipes out any visible ich on my fish within 24 hours and prevents the return until removed. Unfortunately, as you already know, it dos nothing for the inactive cyst stage, and I find that certain tangs (particularly Zebrasoma) begin to show signs of drug toxicity after about a week (labored breathing, failure to eat, general listlessness) but they recover fully withi8n a day of being moved to a system without quinine.
<I have suspected such as well>

SO....I still have ich. I just completed a 13 week fallow (no new coral or other additions), my QT and DT are far apart, precautions were taken to heat-sterilize anything that went from one tank to another, etc. I moved a Kole tang with no visible signs of ich from QT to the DT.
<Note the qualifier, "no visible signs">
He had been at high quinine concentration for the previous five days and was allowed an hour in the quinine containing water during the transfer process, just in case there were any random cysts that had just hatched so that the new hatchlings would have time to die from high drug exposure.
About a week later, the first small blotch appeared, looking nothing like ich.
<You should sample, check under a microscope>
Couple more blotches (as opposed to raised sugar grains) appeared here and there until this morning when I clearly saw some raised sugary grains. So, it's back to QT for him, and I'll have quinine in the tank to make sure that anything on him dies before it can re-encyst and live to infect another fish.
Finally to my question: Would you let this DT go fallow for 6 months?
<As long as possible, practical... more likely, with no desired life present, I'd bleach all and restart it>
A year? Or sacrifice your corals, cook your live rock, empty the DT, and go over every component with a hair dryer to make sure not so much as a single drop of water remains anywhere in the general vicinity?
<No; I would not go this far. Just as likely to (re) import Crypt w/ new fishes>
I have also considered periodically placing an ich-resistant fish in an isolation box within the tank in case this strain requires fish hormones to break dormancy. I realize all of this might seem extreme, but I seem to have a real survivor here and the theory of crypt weakening after a year of successive generations seems to either be wrong, or to not apply to this strain.
The good news is that my fish seem to be real survivors....though I did lose many to a bad batch of Amquel plus, which I will write about separately.
<To/for browsers; DO give your polyvinylpyrrolidone solutions (commercial dechloraminators often contain) a "good whiff" and if they smell, toss rather than use them>
I would greatly appreciate any advice here.
Thank you
<I'd have you read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/reefparfaq2.htm
and a few of the linked files above.... for solace, input. I'd strive to "keep balance" in your/fishes favor here; through optimized care: environment and nutrition; use of cleaners.... Bob Fenner>
Bad batch of Amquel Plus          11/12/15

​Hi again crew.
I wanted to separate this subject from my previous tome on a persistent strain of ich.
<Ah, I thank you>
I have found a little about this on your site, but wanted to add. It took me 3 die-offs and a discussion at my LFS to get here.
I have used the product many times in the past with great success,
<I've used hundreds of gallons commercially; and know where you're going here>
but I bought a new bottle from Amazon in July when we were having a heat wave. I had just restarted a quarantine tank and was ready to begin catching fish after another ich outbreak and put some of the product in. I trapped a pbt that was heavily infected, added him, and he died overnight. I assumed he was too badly damaged by crypt or that something was wrong with my parameters or that it was new tank syndrome even though I had added a well seeded sponge. I let the QT (75 gallons) settle for a few days, added carbon, and tried another fish, but assumed I didn't need the AmQuel for just one fish. That fish lived, and I added more, one at a time. They all lived. After a week, I was heading out on vacation and thought I'd leave
the fish with a big water change and clean filters....and of course, some Amquel plus prophylactically in case the bacteria count was too far reduced to fully keep up with the bio burden for the first couple days. The water went cloudy overnight and many fish died immediately or over the next week while my house sitter watched helplessly. Again, I blamed it on my water change and the weekend state of my fish.
As the end of my fallow period approached, I decided to do a tank transfer just in case there were any cysts capable of surviving. I set up a 20 gallon with new water and seeded sponge filter and checked my temperature, pH, etc. Then I added Amquel plus from that same bottle, now 2 months older. I placed a fish in the tank and it began twitching and was dead
within 10 minutes. I had removed it to a bucket of water taken from my DT within 5 minutes, but it could not recover. The water turned cloudy and the pH dropped to 6.5.
After my fallow ended and I transferred my few remaining fish back to the DT, I decided to buy a couple new fish and begin the QT process over again. They went into the same QT my other fish had been in with good stable conditions, and they were swimming happily. At 10 PM, I decided to add a single capful of Amquel plus from this same bottle, still thinking
the other deaths were something I had done. Six hours later, I awoke to find the fish dead and the pH very low but no ammonia.
I tasted the material and found it to be acidic and strong, then went to my LFS and explained what had happened, and asked if they had open AmQuel I could taste. The two were not the same.
<Note to browsers, please DO NOT taste test aquarium products>
When discussing my decision to purchase off Amazon in July, the owner noted that he only orders Amquel for the store between October and May, and stocks up in May to avoid shipping in summer. He stated that exposure to high temperature will sometimes cause it to go bad, and that was likely my problem.
<Yes; though simple time going by can result in such degradation>
I bought a new bottle to run some tests, like change in pH of live salt water, but the old and new were identical. I cut off a couple pieces of filter floss from my canister filter and added them. It did seem like the old bottle made the water hazier in the presence of the dirty filter, but I could just be seeing things. since I cannot distinguish between the two bottles based on appearance, smell, or effect on simple parameters, I am terrified to add this to my tank.
I have since added a couple fish to this QT, after a water change and carbon. There have been no deaths.
Since I can't similar stories anywhere else on the internet,
<There are a few accounts. Am going to try "Amquel Toxicity" in the search tool: There are ref.s, but they're not coming up counter-shaded for some reason, and am wont to look w/in the FAQs files for the specific Q/As.... I assure you though that I am well-aware w/in you speak; chatted w/ Dr. Bob Rofen (RIP) who passed earlier this year; owner of Kordon/Novalek Re (the maker of this product and NovAqua, and...) and John/ny Farrell Kuhns, the actual chemical patent holder for these lines..... the aging, break-down and toxicity of this product IS a known quality>
I was wondering if you had similar experience or had heard this from somebody else in the past. I am particularly interested in whether the "heat effect" is real.
<Sped up rates of reaction; yes. You can see/read my bio. on WWM, elsewhere. I taught H.S. level chemistry and physics....>
Thank you in advance for whatever information you can provide....I'd like this info to help others, but I understand if you need to keep it private in order to avoid lawsuits from the manufacturer.
<I am very long since past any such consideration. Am really only interested in establishing fact/s, disseminating them in a useful, timely manner to others that are interested. Again, I thank you for your sharing, concern. Bob Fenner>

well water /Carole      10/12/15
<Hi there!>
I have a 43.5 g. saltwater tank with 26.5 refugium. The display tank has 4x39W 36” fluorescent tubes on for 6 hr/day, and a MagDrive 5 and MagDrive 7 on 24/7 with an Aqua C EV-120, housing @ 50 lb live rock, 2 false *percula* clownfish, 1 yellowtail damsel, 1 Coral Beauty angelfish, all quite healthy and long-lived.
<Is this a fish only tank or do you have some coral as well? What kind of macro algae are you growing in your refugium and, for my final question, when you say "healthy and long-lived", how long are you talking?>
My problem is continuing cyanobacteria. I am on untreated potable well water and it is not practical to consider RO water <any particular reason why not? A good RO/DI unit can be purchased for less than $200 these days and they do a very good job of removing dissolved minerals/metals/etc... from the water and don't require hard plumbing and are considered a necessary part of equipment by many people. Also, are you adding a buffer to your well water/check the pH on your water? How frequently do you do water changes?>.
I have tried many ways over the years of at least reducing it, including vodka treatment
<Your well water is most likely your culprit and vodka dosing isn't going to do anything to help. Your well water may have something that the cyanobacteria love, not necessarily nitrates/phosphates. Water parameters from your tank would be a huge help here - (pH, ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, phos, calc, alk, etc..) as well as pH from your well water> .
Within a day it starts showing again, so I have just been putting up with it. My freshwater tank shows some green algae, but no Cyano, and to much less degree <whatever is in your well water is feeding the Cyano in the saltwater tank much more readily than in the freshwater>. My question is: would treating the prep water for water changes with bleach help? <absolutely do not treat with bleach> If so, how much for how long and how much dechlorination is suitable?
<Your problems with the water will not be helped with bleach. Bleach will kill bacteria, fungi, viruses, etc.. but not do a thing about what is dissolved in your water that is causing this issue. You would be better off with a good RO/DI system and, barring that, a UV sterilizer which will help reduce the Cyano as well>
Thanks for your help -
<No problem! ~ Carole>
Gai Burnett
well water /RMF     10/12/15

I have a 43.5 g. saltwater tank with 26.5 refugium. The display tank has 4x39W 36” fluorescent tubes on for 6 hr/day, and a MagDrive 5 and MagDrive 7 on 24/7 with an Aqua C EV-120, housing @ 50 lb live rock, 2 false percale clownfish, 1 yellowtail damsel, 1 Coral Beauty angelfish, all quite healthy and long-lived.
My problem is continuing cyanobacteria. I am on untreated potable well water and it is not practical to consider RO water.
<Mmm; impractical? Such units are VERY inexpensive to procure and run.... AND if your potable has issues... you should move forward for your drinking and cooking needs in addition>
I have tried many ways over the years of at least reducing it, including vodka treatment. Within a day it starts showing again, so I have just been putting up with it. My freshwater tank shows some green algae, but no Cyano, and to much less degree.
My question is: would treating the prep water for water changes with bleach help?
<Mmm; not likely... can only tell by analysis of the water, or actual use/bio-assay of the chlorine bleach treated water. This is NOT the route I would go>
If so, how much for how long and how much dechlorination is suitable?
<A day, then removal w/ Thiosulfite.... again.... there are other approaches to BGA control. READ here:
AND the linked files above, AND
on WWM re RO, AND get a unit.... WITH an auxiliary pump if your pressure is low>
Thanks for your help -
Gai Burnett
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Need help with Possible Cupramine Interaction   3/27/10
I have been looking for a possible solution to a situation I recently had that resulted in the death of multiple fish while in quarantine. I have looked on numerous places on the net but have not been able to find anything that matches what happened.
I purchased 3 red striped Cardinalfish and 2 neon gobies. My plan was to place them into a QT tank first as I had issues with marine Ick in the past and don't want to rip down my main display tank again. Learned my lesson. All new purchases go into quarantine first.
<Okay... you might peruse WWM re this issue. I am not a strict adherent to this mantra... there are several fish families/groups that are better NOT quarantined... the Gobiosoma/Elacatinus among them>
I mixed new salt water using tap water (I know I should use RO but don't have a RO unit yet) filled the QT
<I'd use water from a clean, established system for quarantine, unless I could/was very sure of its quality>
and then added Stress Zyme to remove any chlorine that may be in the tap water. I then waited a couple of days before adding the fish. I also tested the water parameters prior to adding the fish and the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate where all 0, PH was at 8.4, salinity was 1.023 and temperature was 77F. So everything looked good.
I then purchased and slowly acclimated the fish into my quarantine tank (bare tank) and then watched them for two days so that they had a chance to adjust and I could make sure they were eating OK. Everything was look good. Fish were eating, swimming and breathing normally. Basically looking good. My plan then was to do a treatment with Cupramine
<And I would not expose Gobies, and again that Middle English derived word, several fish families/groups to copper products. Read here:
and the linked files above>
after they settled so I could ensure that I would not have an issue once put into my display tank.
<You won't, because they'll likely be dead>
I was doing this as I have had issues with fish acquired from our only LFS store in the past and don't want a repeat. I should also note that I have used Cupramine in the past without issue.
Since I am aware that fish like gobies can be sensitive to a copper treatment I started with 1/2 of the recommended amount
<Copper strength is a threshold event experience... i.e., not having a physiological dose (concentration) does no good... Is actually harmful. Do you understand this?>
(Cupramine: 1/2ml per 10.5 gal instead of 1ml per 10.5 gal recommended) for the first day.
The quarantine tank is 30 gallons so I added 1.5ml. I was going to add the other half dose after 48hrs and then again to achieve a final concentration of 0.3-0.4 mg/l, slightly under the recommended 0.5 mg/l.
I had tested the water after a couple of hours after adding the initial copper dose and it was at ~0.1 mg/l
<This with a chelated copper test kit?>
which is where it should have been at. I am using the Salifert copper test kit. Within 24 hours all 3 of the red stripped Cardinalfish were dead and the gobies (not dead yet) looked like they had copper poisoning. I had not yet added the second dose. One was sitting lifeless at the bottom and the other looked like it was convulsing. After I discovered that the fish died, I immediately tested for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and PH. Ammonia: 0, nitrite: 0, nitrate: 0, PH 8.4, temp 77F. I also retested the copper and it was still at 0.1 mg/l.
<Mmm, I'd be reading re testing for Cu++... and checking your test kit against one of known accuracy, with test batch water and the Cupramine added>
Both gobies have also died so obviously something went really wrong in the QT. Right now I am at a loss as to what may have gone wrong.
<... Likely copper poisoning>
So I would like to know if the stress-zyme caused the Cupramine to go from Cu+2 to Cu+ and become lethal.
<Mmm, don't think so... am very familiar with this API product, its constituents... if anything, if there was some active StressZyme left in solution, it would serve to precipitate the Cu>
I did find that you can't use Amquel as this will happen
<Really? What specific component does what with the free copper or its alkano-amine complex?>
so is it possible that using stress-zyme prior to adding the Cupramine caused this to happen or is it possible that there may have been something in the tap water that caused this. Any insight would be appreciated as I don't want a repeat.
Thanks Dan
<Again... please read where you were referred. I would NOT quarantine these two families of fishes period... Dips/baths and summary placement is advised. Bob Fenner>

Re: Need help with Possible Cupramine Interaction  3/28/10
Thanks for the insight. I was not aware that exposing gobies and Cardinalfish to Cupramine was a bad thing.
<Is too toxic for these fishes to be safe, effective>
I am not exactly sure what you mean about " not having a physiological dose does not good... Is actually harmful"
If you mean that to have it remain below the level that works then I understand.
<In part this is so, the other element is that instead of "achieving" anything positive, sub-clinical concentrations poison the hosts. Think of successive approximation events instead... a little kiss from your aunt may not count as a kiss to you, but pregnant is pregnant... This latter is akin to sufficient ranges of copper exposure... a threshold event>
My thought that building up more slowly would be a better approach but apparently this is incorrect. I will not pursue this in the future.
In regards to your question about Amquel, there was a post on the Seachem forums and also on multiple other boards about this.
<Would you please send along this/these links?>
But the one thing that I did not indicate in my first post (as I did not consider it an issue at the time) and I believe may have actually added to the problem is that this was a tank I just re-sealed. I used GE Silicone II glass (100% pure silicone - clear). I did let it dry for several weeks before using it so I dont think that was the issue but, upon a closer read on the tube I noticed that it contains a mold inhibitor.
<Mmm, the 100% product should not>
I should note that this is not obvious and was only something I discovered after re-reading the tube several times and was clued into after looking for a possible answer to my initial problem. I have re-sealed numerous tanks over the years and always used GE clear silicone without incident but it seems that all the new GE silicones have this inhibitor which before they never had.
<This mold inhibitor IS toxic>
So I think what happened was when I removed the carbon and added the Cupramine, the inhibitor combined with the Cupramine caused the water to turn poisonous.
<Is toxic on its own... I don't know of any synergistic effect/s>
I do not have a way to know for sure so I can only assume. I think the reason that everything was OK for the first few days was due to having carbon in the filter. It was probably absorbing anything that was being leached.
Again thanks for the information. I am always trying to learn more to do the right thing.
<Thank you, BobF>

Re: Need help with Possible Cupramine Interaction - 03/28/10
Thanks for the explanation on the sue of Cupramine. Much Appreciated.
As for the use of GE II clear, it is listed as 100% silicone but if you look at the fine print on the back of the tube, then you will see where it says "...that also provides mold free product protection". This is on the Silicone II Clear Premium Waterproof Silicone for Window/Door/Attic/Basement and listed as 100% Silicone.
<Oooh, I sense a big lawsuit here... How can anything be 100%... plus something else?>
Here are the links you requested.
Here is the response from Seachem on their forum:
Re: after Cupramine dosing, can Amquel be added
Once you have finished treating with Cupramine and the copper has been removed from your tank, it is safe to add a water conditioner, such as AmQuel, to combat ammonia. We do not recommend using both products at the same
time, as water conditioners are reducing agents that could reduce the copper to a toxic form.
If you need to perform a water change to lower ammonia levels during the course of treatment, just be sure to re-dose the Cupramine to bring it back up to a therapeutic level.
<Mmm, yes... conversion of Cu++ to Cu+...
Back to my standard suggestion to not use such "Dechlorinator et al. products"... and just pre-mix and store new synthetic seawater if this is the purpose, or skip such conditioners altogether, as both chlorine and "amines" are complexed almost immediately on contact with seawater. Bob Fenner>

SW Water Quality Issues: Silicates\TDS RO/DI Softeners, etc. 5/4/2009
<Hello again Penny,>
I recently bought a silicate test (Seachem) and a TDS Meter and what an eye opener these two purchases were.
<Hehehe, they usually are.>
Our house runs off of a 400ft well. I have a home RO unit (no DI) and have recently changed all filters and membranes so these numbers are as good as it gets so far:
Tap water: 1090 TDS!
RO water: 109 TDS! (so 90% removal rate)
<Less than optimal, but not surprising. What is the water pressure\temperature? out of the tap?>
Silicates in tank are about 4-5
<A bit high.>
I have some problems with Cyano blooms, could this be because of the 4-5 reading?
I know is s/b 0 but is 4-5 a horrible number? It's not off the chart but higher than I like.
<Not horrible, but lower is better>
I run two Phosban reactors (TLF's), one has carbon and the other has Rowaphos (recently switched
to this from another brand-last water change). I am hoping the Rowaphos helps brings down the silicate readings, it says it aids in silicate removal, is this true?
<Yes it does.>
All my water changes have been done with water from a drive thru dispensing machine which I have checked and it has 3 TDS's which is stellar compared to my crappy water, and 0 for silicates. But I was
using my 109 RO water for the ATO on my 90g tank. I assume this is where my silicates have come from.
<Likely so.>
I am now using all store bought water for everything. I am hoping this will help turn around my Cyano blooms???
<It certainly cannot hurt, but if you remember the articles I referred to you earlier, Cyano is normally caused by excess organic nutrients and\or a lack of competition for what nutrients are there.>
Again, I am not sure how bad 4-5 is as a silicate reading. I am having a water treatment guy (rep from the drive thru water source) come to my house and assess my situation and hopefully get me on track to being able to use my own water source. I was told by my LFS that adding two DI add on units would greatly help my situation, do you think this is true??
<You will see positive results with a DI unit. I'm not sure if two are necessary.>
I was also told by the rep guy that my water softener (which is not working properly anyways) is really not big enough to handle my TDS/ Hardness count, I should have a bigger model. Do you think this is BS?? It makes a bit of sense to me that the softener does dissolve some of the hardness and solids in the water.
<By default, you should not use water from a water softener for an aquarium. Straight RO\DI from the tap is better For that matter, what does your tap water test out for straight from the tap.>
I am having to do weekly/bi weekly water changes to keep the Cyano in check on the sandbed which is costing me a fortune in store bought water now that I am using it for everything (ATO is about 2-3g a day!).
<Hmm, I wonder if it would be better to get a dedicated RO\DI system for your tank. It will probably be cheaper in the long run.>
So do you think I am on the right track with the above mentioned things?
<I would not use a softener for your aquarium water, otherwise, yes.>
Will the Rowaphos help with silicates?
<Yes, it will>
Will water changes bring them down enough or should I buy a silicate remover product? If so which one?
<Rowaphos is fine.>
And could the 4-5 silicates be causing my blooms?
My tank is a 90 gallon, about 3-4 months old, 100lbs+ LR, 1.5" SB, 3 Vortech MP40's for movement, 2x250w MH 14,500K (Giesemann), 2xActinic Plus T5's (Giesemann), Eheim 1262 for return pump, Bubble king 180 skimmer, Nitrite-0, Nitrate-0, Phosphate-0, Ammonia-0.
Is there a clean up crew that deals with cleaning the sandbed better?
I don't have dead spots really but am wondering if something other than crabs (don't eat it) will eat the Cyano? Or keep the sandbed mixed up.
<There are several creatures that will keep your sandbed mixed up. Read here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsiftfaqs.htm >
My fish are: Hippo tang, yellow tang, Foxface, 2 blk clowns, 1 Sixline, 1 lawnmower blenny. Stocking OK?
Everyone gets along great.
My lighting timers are Actinics from 9:30am-8:30pm, MH's are from 11:15am-7pm. Is this too long of a span?
<You can reduce it a bit to help with the Cyano problem.>
Sorry for the long winded email.
<No worries.>
One last question.... Do you guys have an address where cases of beer can be delivered for providing such a great service???
Thanks for all your help, you guys are the life savers of the SW community!!
<My pleasure>

Re: SW Water Quality Issues: Silicates\TDS RO/DI Softeners, etc. 5/5/2009
I don't use my softener water for my tank directly. The well water runs through the softener first before heading to the RO unit. I also have purchased a booster pump which I forgot to mention before for my
RO unit.
<Ahh, OK.>
I tested my "straight from well" water and it's 1130 TDS.
Water through our ill functioning softener is 1100. Water through our RO is 93. These are numbers as of 5 minutes ago. You were asking about pressure, our house pressure tank is set at 50/20. But for the RO unit
I do have a booster pump. Do you have any good brand suggestions for an add on DI unit(s)?
<I buy my RO\DI equipment from these guys -
http://www.thefilterguys.biz/index.htm >
I have been dosing Kent's Marine Buffer for PH/Alk levels to keep my Alk at about 9. Could this be a Cyano causer?
I don't dose every day, maybe once a week but ever since I started dosing it my Cyano started.
Nothing before then.
<Keep up the water changes and stop adding the buffer. I've found that not adding any supplements when fighting Cyano does seem to help.> >
I have been trying to find someone who has Chaeto in Canada as no doubt I can't ship it across the line. How big of a chunk do you need growing to be beneficial?
<A small chunk is fine, it will grow very quickly in the right conditions.>
I am just stumped as to my Cyano cause.
<I know the feeling - been fighting it myself - I'm finally winning. It does take time. I've been fighting it for a month.>
I don't feel I am over feeding. I am not one of those people who do no research before getting into this hobby. I feel I have really great husbandry skills and am willing to do whatever it takes to solve this. I keep hoping it will go away with all my water changes and lack of feeding.
Thank you again for such a fast response. I am still needing an address to ship the beer to.
<Heheheh I'll have to have Bob chime in here. The shipping costs to Florida would be astronomical.>
<<Maybe we can just swing by your place to tip a few? RMF>>
Thanks again.
<My pleasure>

AquaC EV-120 vs. Tap Water Conditioner - Round 1 1/23/09 Hi All, <Thomas.> I am just looking for a quick suggestion from you, if you would be so kind. <Sure.> My setup is a 135 gal mixed reef, mainly softies, some fish, and a 40 gal sump/refugium. I have a brand new EV-120 skimmer, and I've always used Tetra Aqua AquaSafe Tap Water conditioner with BioExtract to condition my 5 gal of make up water I add every 3 days or so. Apparently, this water conditioner causes the EV series skimmers to foam like crazy. I would really appreciate it if you could suggest for me: 1. The best method for removing the conditioner that currently remains in the tank. <Carbon or just time.> 2. A quality product for conditioning my make up water that won't cause the skimmer to foam like crazy. <I personally always used Kordon AmQuel in my pre RO days. See: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/treath2o.htm for even cheaper/better options.> Thank you very much for your expertise and time. Thomas Bolton <Welcome, Scott V.>

Re: AquaC EV-120 vs. Tap Water Conditioner- Round 2    2/2/09 Thank you! <Happy to help.> I just wanted to follow up to let you know that I have switched to AmQuel+ and have been able to slowly increase the output of the pump going to the skimmer as the days pass and the amount of BioExtract in the water disappears. <Great! Many of these bio mumbo jumbo concoctions are great for making a skimmer go nuts!> The EV-120 skimmer is pretty awesome, and I would recommend it to anyone. :) <Definitely.> Thanks for your help! Thomas Bolton <Welcome, Scott V.>

Water conditioners in a reef tank  2/21/08 I have a question regarding water conditioners. I add Prime to my tap water when I perform water changes/top offs and I was recently told that water conditioners such as this will kill the pods in my tank. Is this true? <That statement is a bit extreme, but generally speaking, tap water is bad for marine inverts.> Would water conditioners have a negative impact on coral? <If not the Prime, then the other things in the tap water, yes.> So far I haven't observed anything bad happening. My usual top off method is to put a couple of drops in the bucket I'm using then filling it with water and adding it either directly to the tank or to the sump/refugium. Of course when I do water changes I let the water sit for a few days to settle. Is it significantly better to use RO/DI water and avoid the water conditioners? <The benefits of using RO/DI water go far beyond just avoiding water conditioners. Unless you live in rural Montana (or some other such odd place where the tap water is nearly pure), your tap water is loaded with stuff you don't want in your reef aquarium. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/watrqualmar.htm And do a search on WWM for RO/DI and tap water filtration.> Thanks, you guys are always a big help. <De nada, Sara M.>

Not so much of a question, but more of a warning. Tapwater use...    5/7/07 Hello Crew, <Mike> Just writing this in the hopes that you pass it on.  Previously, I subscribed to the theory that if tap water is safe for humans to drink, it is safe for the fish once properly treated. <Mmm, you're learning...> Yesterday, I did my normal 15% water change on my 300G FOWLR.  Prior to the water change, my readings were Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, and Nitrate <5ppm (API test kit). About one hour after adding the new water, the tanks looked a bit cloudy, and the twelve fish in the tank (species not relevant to this letter), were acting "odd".  Difficult to describe odd, but you understand what I mean when your fish are just not acting like they normally do. I tested the water again:  Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0.5ppm, Nitrate <5ppm. To make a long story short, after checking all of my equipment and not finding any problems, I tested my tap water; the nitrite level was somewhere between 0.5 and 1.0 ppm straight out of the faucet. <Yikes> I added a bottle of "Cycle" to the tank to help the system along. <Mmm, not a consistent/useful product unfortunately>   the nitrite level was down to 0.25 ppm within 90 minutes and back down to 0 ppm by the next morning. <Likely your nitrifiers effect> So, my RO\DI unit should be arriving this week, and my water utility will be getting an angry call from me in the morning. <Good luck t/here> So, just a friendly reminder to the WWM readers, if you use tap water, make sure you spot check it from time to time! <Good!> Thanks again for this wonderful resource, Mike <Thank you for sharing Mike... You have saved many organisms, and many aquarist head- and heart-aches. Bob Fenner> Chloramine Deaths. Hi There, <cheers!> Recently, I've had deaths in my tanks directly after partial water changes that must have been chloramine-related.  <Not likely... more commonly a discrepancy in temperature or pH. Do you really have so much Chloramine that you can smell it from feet away? Most dechlorinators easily neutralize this treatment> I unfortunately used a "one-step" product for my water changes that I will never use again. <do reconsider that most every Dechlor product is virtually identical in efficacy> A friend told me about your site. I'm glad he did! I've did a good deal of reading of your site. I'm intrigued about your "vat method," -- letting water sit or be mixed for a week or more before being added. <chlorine will dissipate in open air but chloramine never will... a chemical bond that must be broken (with a de-Ammoniating product.. most conditioners)> My question is, what will this method do, if anything, to "toxic metals?"  <absolutely nothing> Should I be concerned about this? <hmmm... rare in potable tap water. If concerned, get a prefilter stuffed with PolyFilter pads to draw water through> Thanks! Walter B. Klockers Plano, TX <best regards, Anthony Calfo>

Re: fish in dire need Hi folks, I just sent Bob an e-mail, I think he must be traveling the world again this week. <Just out in HI. Did you get my previous response?> I have a serious problem that I cannot figure out. I live in the Twin Cities (Minnesota for those who are geographically challenged) I have 5 large systems that do not share water. I have friends that are all over the Twin Cities, Chicago and Milwaukee. ALL of us are having the same issue, in the past week we have all lost "rock solid" healthy fish in large numbers. I have done autopsies on 7 large fish and a Hybrid Clownfish I have had for 3 years. We all have some sort of Amyloodinium. My friend in Chicago has a very very high end set up, He has not lost a fish in 2 years- he lost 7 overnight. I lost angels, tangs, butterflies, clowns, Anthias, a Moorish Idol I had for 2 years, blue spot Jawfish, a red sea wrasse. Different tanks with very different systems throughout my house. We are desperately searching for answers. The symptoms are extremely heavy breathing for 5-6 hours, slightly clouded eyes, and within 24 hours the fish are dead. I started a Tetracycline dip for all the remaining fish, I have very large tanks so this is no small undertaking. I have kept fish for 20 + years and have never seen this happen. ANY SUGGESTIONS?????? <Sounds like something... like chloramine, alum... being "pulsed" (over-added) into the potable supply to counter a deficit in the concentration of sanitizer or in an attempt to whack a high TBC or even coliform bacteria count... I would enquire of your water co. (their number is on your bill) immediately and ALSO acquire a chloramine test kit pronto... and see how much stock dechloraminator it takes to knock the titer out. In the meanwhile, DO NOT change water in your systems if you can avoid it, and store any water to be used for a good week before any change. Bob Fenner>

Re: fish in dire need Hi Bob, Ananda here with a request for clarification and more questions on this. >> We all have some sort of Amyloodinium. My friend in Chicago has a very very >> high end set up, He has not lost a fish in 2 years- he lost 7 overnight.   Ack! Even in the far western 'burbs, my source water is from Lake Michigan.... I wonder if this person was using an RO/DI setup. > <Sounds like something... like chloramine, alum... being "pulsed" (over-added) into the > potable supply to counter a deficit in the concentration of sanitizer or in an attempt to > whack a high TBC or even coliform bacteria count...   TBC = total bacteria count? <<Yes>> Is this something that might survive a poorly-maintained grocery store type of RO unit? <<No. Reverse osmosis units will exclude all bacteria> They supposedly have UV sterilizers on them, but I doubt their effectiveness: I think the water flows by them too fast. Would one of those tap water purifiers help? A full-blown RO/DI system is not in the budget right now.... > In the meanwhile, DO NOT change water in your systems if you can avoid it, How long is this sort of problem likely to last? <<A few days. Bob Thanks,

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