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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All...I am new to Tropical Fish Keeping. I need some help...BAD! I have been trying for years to keep goldfish. I am CRAZY about ranchu, lionhead and orandas. There is something in my well water that is killing my fish. I have a 50 gallon tank in the house that is filled with a combination of Sparkletts and well water from my friends house 20 miles away. It's a pain driving for my weekly water changes to my buddies house for water. I would love to have a pond but I think a tanker of Sparkletts would break the bank.
I am going to begin water testing, to see if we can straighten out our water. I found a testing lab to help me. I am starting my testing with heavy metals (arsenic, Zinc and uranium are in the area) as well as Flouride and Nitrate. Does anyone have any idea what levels of these items are detrimental to my fish? Any ideas what else I should be testing for? Thank you.
 

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I don't know for sure but I have to say if it's safe for you to drink it should be safe for the fish.
Do you know the levels yet?
 

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How did you deduce the fish were dying from something in the water and not something else?

If it is the well water, getting it analyzed to ascertain just what is in it would be useful.
 

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All of the results for the standard testing is 0. Nitrites, Ammonia etc. My neighbors who had fish had the same problem and they gave up. I can't imagine what else it would be...open to all ideas.
 

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All of the results for the standard testing is 0. Nitrites, Ammonia etc. My neighbors who had fish had the same problem and they gave up. I can't imagine what else it would be...open to all ideas.
Are you on the same well? Or is this municipal water that happens to come from wells? If the latter, the municipality should be able to tell you the water data.
 

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We all have our own wells. As the crow flies we live about 1/4 mile apart. It would make sense that the ground where the water is found for each well is similar. All the wells in the area were dug by the same company and are all avout 350' deep.
 

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From my own exp. having a vac. house in fort mohave AZ on a well, the water is very hard with lots of minerals(what hell i forget now) And was told its just fine for watering but drinking and so on had to install a water filter... so imho i would say it the well water just a exp. i have long hair so just 2 min in the shower out there without the filter on just pure well water and im spending 30min trying to comb it out lol... but im new here so maybe 1 of the other members can chime in on this but from my own personal exp. thats what happend to me on my well
 

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I agree...there is lots of junk down there, I just have to find out what. I have the same problem with my hair in the shower too. A little research tells me that goldfish do better in hard what than soft. I am guessing arsenic, which I think is down there...not so much.
 

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@FatWigglyFIsh a friend of mine who watches my house out there who has fish, he just go's down with a few 5g water bottles and filels them up at a filter staion for i belave 35c a gallon(im cali/AZ) if you have one of them that cleans the water thats a easy way to get the tank up and going and wwater changes.
 

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@FatWigglyFIsh a friend of mine who watches my house out there who has fish, he just go's down with a few 5g water bottles and filels them up at a filter staion for i belave 35c a gallon(im cali/AZ) if you have one of them that cleans the water thats a easy way to get the tank up and going and wwater changes.
That's going to get rather expensive with a 50 gallon goldfish tank. With weekly 40% to 50% water changes, that's a lot of water. If you are going to be in that house for a while, maybe look into an RO filter.

I love goldfish, too. But my water isn't suited for them either. It's too soft, so I harden it with crushed coral. You would have to do something similar with the RO filter.
 

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i dont think he is soft water if he is like me on a well(and sounds like it) hard water with lots of minerals but i could be wrong ofc but should be many filter systems that can make it better for the hole house like you said thekoimaiden
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I did a quick search on RO filters, interesting idea, thank you. Any idea how often/gallons you have to change the filters? Any brand/model suggestions?

I found a very weird thing with the Sparkletts water in the fish tank. It somehow interfered with the systems ability to deal with the ammonia, perhaps hindered the bacteria...just guessing. If there was an ammonia spike in the tank no matter how many water changes I did with Sparkletts (distilled or Spring water) it didn't help the ammonia spike. (I am assuming Sparkletts Spring water is heavily filtered...distilled is distilled) If I did a small water change with well water the ammonia was gone by the next day. Problem...there would then be well water in the tank. Do you know anyone that uses the RO filter with Goldfish? Any ammonia problems?
 

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I don't personally know anyone who uses RO filters with goldfish. RO filters are typically used with sensitive soft water species as well as with saltwater tanks.

I use two Aquclear 70's on my goldfish tank. They work like a charm. I forgo the carbon (although I don't think I'd suggest it for you) and add another sponge with a finer pore size. Those filters work wonders for me. My weekly water changes are 40% but that is for two reasons: I have to harden the water and I have live plants to keep down the nitrate. If my tap water weren't too soft and I didn't have the live plants I would probably do two 30% water changes weekly.

It might not be ammonia in the Sparkletts water; it could be a touch of chlorine. I've heard people say that some bottled water companies will add chlorine to help keep the water cleaner for longer.
 

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I have hard well water too and up until recently, I've had no issues with my tanks. A few weeks back I started losing healthy fish at the rate of about two every other day. Any water levels that I could test were perfect and the fish were great one day, gone the next.

Process of elimination left me with possibility of some type of heavy metal in the water. I always used Prime conditioner even though we have no chlorine but I switched to API Stress Coat which detoxifies heavy metals. I haven't lost a fish since then.

We're looking into buying a filter that will take care of the whole house but my concern is losing essential minerals. Sigh.....
 

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I have hard well water too and up until recently, I've had no issues with my tanks. A few weeks back I started losing healthy fish at the rate of about two every other day. Any water levels that I could test were perfect and the fish were great one day, gone the next.

Process of elimination left me with possibility of some type of heavy metal in the water. I always used Prime conditioner even though we have no chlorine but I switched to API Stress Coat which detoxifies heavy metals. I haven't lost a fish since then.

We're looking into buying a filter that will take care of the whole house but my concern is losing essential minerals. Sigh.....
If you haven't already, i would get a well water sample tested by a lab to determine the substances in the water. It is odd that StressCoat worked while Prime didn't, as both detoxify heavy metals. But this assumes the levels are "normal" to start with, such as one would encounter in municipal water supplies. Seachem did say to me that Prime will not handle excessive heavy metals, as this is not generally encountered in municipal water. Also, the effective periode for Prime is 24-36 hours, after which it no longer detoxifies anythhing. I don't know, but I would have thought other conditioners would be similar in both respects.
 

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I used well water for 6 years without any issues. Just because it is a well does not mean it is hard water. Mine was moderately hard but could of been worse. Regardless of keeping fish or not you should test well water yearly if you use it for drinking. I never added anything to my well water, no dechlor or heavy metal binder. Never had a single problem. Even spawned german blue rams in it and lots of other fish. Also remember while some heavy metals are certainly toxic they are normally present in low levels in drinking water. Quiet a few heavy metals are also essential nutrients, but most of these are provided in fish food, like copper, zinc, iron, maganese, and cobalt. Only things we tested our well for regularly was bacteria, nitrate, and copper. It had 25ppm of nitrate but I never had a problem using it, my plants loved it.

My current tap drinking water is chlorinated town water and contains levels of Uranium, Radium, lead and arsenic. I use it for all my tanks and don't use any heavy metal binder. The radium is pretty close to the maximum allowed level. I also dose CSM+B which is a trace fertilizer containing copper, iron, zinc, manganese, and other elements on top of whatever levels are in my tap water.
 

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We also noticed that our laundry whites are coming out gray. This is a fairly recent observation as well. From the minimal amount of information I could muster about water well levels fluctuating, it could be a result of higher concentrations of metals due to the mild winter with no snowfall.
:dunno:

We're going to have the water re-tested as soon as we figure out if we can install a good system on our own of if we're going to have someone come out, test the water, and install it for us.
 
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