Boil Water Advisory - Now what? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Boil Water Advisory - Now what?

It has been a while since I had this problem and I recently switched to EI dosing on the main tank. I am supposed to change the water tomorrow, but we had a major water break and the water is not even safe to drink.

Will my fish be okay without the water change? Unfortunately, I had already added water to one of my tanks (10%) before I found out and the nitrites/nitrates/phosphates and who knows what else was really high when I checked it. I doubled up on the prime and threw in a bunch of stems to hope for the best. I lost two shrimp already though.

I guess my question is, will the fish be okay if I don't change the water? Should I stop dosing until I can change the water?

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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 04:55 PM
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If your tank is not overcrowded and you don't have super-sensitive fish, you can go for weeks without water changes. One thing you can do is minimize feeding (except fry of course) for as long as you can't do water changes.


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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Unfortunately, one of the tanks is a little overcrowded due to the livebearers. I'll cut back the feeding more, but it's the CPD fry I am worried the most about. I was changing water daily and I feed BBS shrimp.

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Last edited by sewingalot; 06-27-2009 at 05:02 PM. Reason: typo
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 05:53 PM
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You might consider buying RO from your lfs until the problem is fixed. Admittedly it's a pain and added expense.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 05:57 PM
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You might consider buying RO from your lfs until the problem is fixed. Admittedly it's a pain and added expense.
Good suggestion, and maybe instead of a 50% change, just do 10%.

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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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That is a good idea. Thanks Jeff! I'll call around and get some prices.

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 07:50 PM
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How about a chlorine treatment followed by amquel?
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Well, the filtering won't work, this was posted on our local news website:

Do not use home filtering devices in place of boiling or using bottled water; most home water filters will not provide adequate protection from microorganisms.

The chlorine treatment may work. I'll try that if it lasts past tomorrow.

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 08:39 PM
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How about a chlorine treatment followed by amquel?
Good "out of the box" thinking right here.

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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-28-2009, 12:12 AM
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the trick is to use the right amount of chlorine & right amount of dechlor..
heck if I know

I wouldn't chance it.


A UV sterilizer running over night with the affected water might work.


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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-28-2009, 12:19 AM
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First off... I would never ever tell someone to drink the water after a water main break. However, I have done my fair share of interactions with water systems and breaks, and I can tell you this, they are SHOCKED with chlorine, post repair. They are usually more unhealthy because of the shock treatment then the potential for biological contamination.

That said, go a week without a W/C. Cut dosing a little if your nervous.


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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-28-2009, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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Considering the water is really nasty - it is now coming out with a bad smell and color, I think I would be better off waiting. Knowing my luck, I would bleach the whole tank inadvertently or something equally stupid.

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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-28-2009, 01:10 AM
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eww. sounds like waste water contamination.. All sorts of nasty chemicals in there too.


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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-28-2009, 01:16 AM
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I agree with gmccreedy, chlorine is nasty business. But, after Katrina and Wilma I used this system for topping of my tanks. I had no power so I had no well. I used a neighbor's tap water that was under a boil order. If you have a chlorine test kit you can determine how much needs to be neutralized. Is it coming out yellow? If so it is probably a chlorine shock treatment like gmccreedy said. But while you are testing anyway, just check your ammonia and nitrate levels and see if you can get away with a couple more days. Sometimes it's all that's needed for these problems to get straightened out.
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-28-2009, 01:32 AM
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Seriously, don't change it. If your filter is doing a good job, you can go forever without any changes.

One other supporting measure would be to buy a generous bunch of fast-growing plants and throw them into the tank. Cabomba, wisteria etc. will pull out a healthy amount of toxins.


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