View Full Version : Whole House Water Treatment

08-09-2014, 11:43 AM
Last year was a learning experience for me in raising angelfish. My fish started pairing off in Febr. By March I was gathering eggs and artificially hatching them. By June my tanks were full but I did try one more pull. Eggs hatched and all was well until day 6 or so when the fry died. Since tanks were full anyway I stopped pulling eggs.

Late Sept I again had tank room so let have a go collecting eggs. Strange, the same thing happened; the fry died. Went through all my notes to see if I had changes my hatching procedures. Nope. But something had changed. All through Oct through min Jan. cluch after clutch about 60 in all died.

I sterilized tanks with bleach. Tried suggestions of hatching in distilled water and drinking water, yes they hatched, but the fry died after I started doing water changes?

Talk to my local water company. They were not going to admint to anything they were doing differently.

My last resort was a chat with a friend who one of the big supervisors for the county water agency. She said at different times of the year, the city draws water from different wells. Since she is with the county, she could not tell when the changes took place or what wells were being used.

The end of Jan, I had a large clutch of kois make it. From then on, it seemed I could do no wrong hatching. Tanks were full again so in June I stopped collecting eggs. Has a new pair for and I wanted to see what the fry would look like so I grabbed the eggs. Oh no, it seemed like I had been down this road last year. Eggs are being laid and one again by day 7 all the fry are dead.

I now strongly believe it is the water in the late Spring through early Winter that is the cause of all the dead fry.

My neighbor suggested a filter just for bacteria. He is a do it yourself kind of man, which I am not. He even suggested the hardware store to buy this what ever it is at. Have not been to this store yet.

To work with this problem I am thinking a water treatment may be necessary. Can someoine suggest a good water treatment which would be for the whole house but not for the outside faucets? I have looked into the Kinetico company but woe are they expensive.

Please share your thoughts.

08-09-2014, 04:51 PM
I cannot suggest a system for your home, however I can sympathize with your situation. I too deal with water changes in source water.

My water comes from a natural spring most of the year; however, late spring through early summer I get water from the river. I have confirmed this with my local Water Commissioner. He was shocked I even knew this change occurred!

I would suggest testing your untreated water now; and if necessary take a sample to a LFS who will test from a liquid kit. Test it for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, General Hardness, Carbonate Hardness, Phosphates and Iron at the very least. You can also contact your Water Commissioner or check online for their published test results. It shouldn't be a big secret, especially as you can test for these basics. Then, once you suspect the water has changed sources again, repeat this process.

Now that you have the baseline of both sources you can compare for differences. This may help you to determine what is different.

Something else to consider is the water conditioner and its ability to neutralize heavy metals. It is entirely possible that one source is much higher in heavy metals and this is why you are loosing your fry. Some water conditioners do not attempt to neutralize heavy metals. Another thing to consider is whether your source water contains your basic chlorine or the more stable chloramine. Chlorine can be eliminated by using a holding tank and running an airline for about 24 hours; however, chloramine cannot be removed from such practice and must be removed via an appropriate water conditioner. Many products will only remove chlorine and this could be another factor. Highly unlikely that you receive chlorinated water part of the year and chloramine treated water the other, but just throwing it out there as a possible factor. Food for thought if nothing else.

In my own situation, here is the differences I deal with twice a year:

Natural Spring Water
pH: 6.4 - 6.8
NH3: 0
NO2: 0
NO3: 0
PO4: 5 PPM and higher depending on how much rain we receive
dGH: 4 - 6
dKH: 0 - 3
Fe: 0 - Trace

River Water
pH: 6.8 - 7.4
NH3: 0
NO2: 0
NO3: 0
PO4: .25 - 2 PPM
dGH: 6 - 8
dKH: 4 - 6
Fe: 1 - 2 PPM

So, while most of the differences are minor, it is enough of a variance to cause fish death by simply doing a large water change on their tank!

Best of luck finding a solution.

08-17-2014, 01:22 PM
Wed. I did w/c on a few tanks. Finished about noon. Went to a Dr. apt. at 2:15 came home and took the dog out. Around 5. I went into my fish room for something and found on breeder angel on the floor. I looked around the area to find the tank this fish came from. Three feet away I found the tank and the other 3 fish left in the tank were lifeless. This tank has a HOB filter and I forgot to turn it back on. Was this the cause of death. I notice the tank had a clear film on the top of the water with trapped air bubbled in it. What was that film. This tank was one that I did a w/c on. I felt empty loosing those fish.

On Thursday I got to talk to the supervisor in charge of water quality for the city I live in. This guy should have been a painter lol as he definitely knew how to spread bull s**t. After he listened to my story he had some assurances for me. First he tells me how the water is treated with chlorine at a .8 - 1.0 level. then "All the bacteria is killed when the water is treated." So here I interjected with, "Not all bacteria is killed. you are telling me that all is killed with the chlorine level being at .8 - 1.0. What about bacteria that needs a stronger amount of chlorine?" Then he changes his tune to just certain bacteria like ecoli and one other which escapes me at the moment. I think I might be getting through to him until he tells me how bacteria can enter my water supply. He tells me that outside garden hoses left in the sun leach harmful bacteria in the hose and toxicity from the hose itself into my house. So I asked how it does this and he says it backs up into the house. Now I'm thinking when I turn on my garden hose it starts flushing all the water out so how would this bad stuff coke it. No, I didn't ask him. Also mentioned to him at certains the water has a strtong chlorine smell to it. He says that can't happen because the water agency is very careful to add just the right amount so there would be no spike in chlorine.
My friend a supervisor from the county water company, has told me differently and to watch out for the spikes.
He did not want to talk about the usage of different wells during the year; just avoided it completely.

Did he answer my questions truthfully? I think not.

The friendly culligan man came Friday. His findings were we have very hard water, not quite in the top range but up there. Showed him my fish room and the tank where the fish died. He said I have a lot of calcium in the water as well as very fine stones. We're talking smaller than sand. His suggestion was a soft water system that has carbon in it.. I asked about R/O and he said it would lower the pH too much and then I would need to add chemicals to get the pH back up. For as many tanks that I have, he wouldn't recommend an R/O system

And so the story continues. . . .

08-18-2014, 10:46 AM
Very sorry to hear you've lost some of your breeders. Unbelievable the differences in attitude amongst water companies. Were you speaking with the Water Commissioner? That's who I spoke to and found him very helpful in my own situation.

08-18-2014, 11:36 AM
No, it was the person in charge of quality control.

He is something I noticed this morning. In one tank al the the duckweed at thye top had roots that looked like they were singed. As I was doing w/c I noticed in the first tank that I refilled, the adult pair had tiny bubbles in their slimecoat. After a few minutes the bubble and it looked like the slimecoat too just llifted off and floated to the top. I'm think this isn't normal, is it?

08-18-2014, 02:15 PM
Well, that depends. If you water had a higher than usual gas content this certainly could have been a factor.

Usually that gas saturation occurs in cooler water, but I noticed myself I had a bit of this occurring in a new tank I set up for a QT with some rams and angels I received.

The trapped gases release tiny bubbles into our tank and can coat the glass when thick enough. Most of the time this doesn't cause any issues, but I too have noticed the occasional issue with the slime coat you've described. While I have not lost any fish from this, it is a real problem for me in the winter months. I know of others who have lost fish due to these gas bubbles getting lodged into the gills and the fish suffocating. Apparently what happens, which is very rare, is that a tiny bubble can pass through the gill plate and work its way through the blood system. And when it becomes lodged in the wrong place, same as with humans, death can occur.

Not saying this is what happened. Only that it could have been a factor.

One thing I keep going back to is the fact that you did water changes on multiple tanks yet only this one tank was affected. Who knows you may find out that it was caused by several different things that all added up to a bad ending. Things that individually wouldn't normally cause harm.