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ASF07003 07-12-2014 06:43 PM

H2O supply contaminated with E. coli!!!!
As the title says, we found out that our local water supply is contaminated.
My weekly pwc is for tomorrow. (50%)
Should I:
1- boil water, then add a bubbler and prime to cool overnight,
2- add chlorox to my water. Let sit overnight then add 5-10 x prime dose before my water change
3- add ammonia, let sit overnight then add 5-10 x prime dose
4- add aquarium salt and prime

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Trying to avoid buying bottled water for the fish (wife is having a hard time with me purchasing water that could be used for cooking/consumption/ bathing our own fry, btw)

Ulrichsd 07-12-2014 06:54 PM

Could you get one of those filter faucet attachments? All your options seem like a lot of work.

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sealife 07-12-2014 07:01 PM

Personally I would go with option 1.
All options have a bit of work involved, but boiling is the easiest, and heat should hopefully kill off the bug. (Google the temperature at which e.coli dies off)
And I would stick with this option for every water change until your tap water is safe.

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Mebbid 07-12-2014 09:17 PM

I would just use bleach to be honest. It's super simple and won't require anywhere near as high of a dose of prime as you think. Following these directions I would just go with a double dose. These directions are for drinking water so you could even do this for drinking.

Make Drinking Water Safe with Bleach

How to purify water with Bleach
If the collected water to be treated is cloudy and contains sediment, either scoop a new sample with less sediment, or strain it first through a makeshift filter (cloth bandana, t-shirt, coffee filter, etc..) or let it sit in the container allowing sediment to settle to the bottom. Gently pour off the clearer water on top.

Directions for using bleach for drinking water:

Use regular liquid household bleach (any brand); however the only active ingredient should be sodium hypochlorite. Do not use bleach that contain soaps, perfumes, or dyes. Be sure to read the label.

Add 8 drops (almost one-eighth U.S. teaspoon) of regular liquid bleach per one gallon of water to be treated.

Mix thoroughly and let stand for 30 minutes (important).

Then, smell the water. If the water has a faint smell of chlorine, then it is okay to use. If you cannot detect any chlorine odor, add another 8 drops of regular liquid bleach. Let stand, and smell it again. If you still cannot smell chlorine, discard it and find another water source.

Chlorine test strips are useful to verify the chlorine level in the water. The maximum safe level for drinking water according to the EPA is 4 ppm (parts per million).

Coyne 07-13-2014 09:47 AM

Does E. Coli even affect fish?

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Dallascowboys16 07-13-2014 10:36 AM

I would honestly play it safe and not do your water change until the water is back to normal. Better than to risk infection of you and your fish (if they can catch it but I'm assuming they can't).

Brookster123 07-13-2014 11:09 AM


Originally Posted by Coyne (Post 2989714)
Does E. Coli even affect fish?

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I'm with coyne.. fish thrive in environments that send us to the er after one sip...

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GreenLily 07-13-2014 11:25 AM

What if this member has children? Why would anyone (children or not) want to even have contaminated water sitting around? I would rather be on the safe side and disinfect it (option a or b) just for my own safety. :)

You could also leave it until the water is safe again, as Dallascowboys mentioned.

PB_Smith 07-13-2014 01:08 PM

From a quick read on the topic, it appears that your fish are in little to no danger from using the water untreated as them picking up the pathogen directly from the water column isn't that high of a probability, but that probability does increase with increased exposure to the contaminated water. Even then it appears that e.coli has little detrimental effect on the fish host itself.
The biggest risk/concern would be human infection from contact with the fish's fecal matter if they do harbor the pathogen.
If they are eating food contaminated with e.coli, then they definitely are harboring the bacterium in their guts and passing it in fecal matter.

Bleach is the best/safest way of dealing with this pathogen in your water.
Boiling the water will alter the chemical composition of the water by concentrating any dissolved solids present.

MICEY 07-13-2014 01:26 PM

you could buy ro water from those machines at the supermarket , they have a uv filter in them that should kill any germs

Hulka9 07-13-2014 05:53 PM

I dont think e coli matters for fish. Only when we eat them! I could be wrong though.

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