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Cultivated Reef

Worried about water Help please !


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I have cycled a tank 10G for over month.

Went to LFS last weekend parameters are perfect.

Initially loaded the tank with tap water then Seachem "Prime" on day 0.

Since then I have been adding top off water directly from the tap without "PRIME", I realize this is horrible.

Last night I topped off and then added 1ml of "PRIME" directly to the tank (10G measurement is 1ml).

The tank has 13 pounds LR and a couple of snails.


Am I screwed? How do I fix it? Will the fact that I added the Prime last night undo my cycling / i.e kill off some of the beneficial bacteria in the live rock?


I badly need advice as to

1. how bad is my situation

2. how do I fix it -big water change, small water change, start agin from scratch?

3. what is a good system for top off and dechloring water, since the "PRime" is highly concentrated measuring the correct does for a 10G is difficult, it is even harder for a 3G water change.

4. Is there a cheap easy portable ro/di system that might be worth investing in, oh yeah that can attach to the tap no pumps no plumbing please.


hoping to hear from you soon, becuase I am freaking out a bit. Thanks.

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also posted in RC, someone else had mentioned that I killed my live rock. Can this be true, the featherdusters, worms, and snails on the rock are not dead nor are the copepods in my tank. The snails are fine too. I don't want to have to throw out my LR and buy more since it was not cheap!


Everyone's pipes are copper, does this mean I have a death tank on my hands. What a stupid mistake ! Anyone else care to weigh in on the damage factor.

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There are people around here who use untreated tapwater in their tanks.


The chlorine/shloramine present in the little tapwater you added won't do anything to your tank. Ditto for copper, since most (all?) municipalities add phosphate (PO4) to the water to help reduce pipe corrosion.


Your tank is fine for now, but tapwater may cause you problems in the long-term. Not so much because of chlorine or metals but because of the nitrogen and phosphorus in it.

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Its possible your chlorine residual was low enough and you have enough organics in your tank to neutralize the chlorine present.

I wouldn't ge tall shook up about copper at this point, EPA levels in drinking water are extremely low and its more of a cumulative problem over time at those levels. Phosphates could be an issue depending on the levels in your tap water, especially if your water utility treats the water for corrosion control with orthophosphates or polyphosphates.


A good reef quality RO/DI with a TDS meter and full sized cartridges will run you right at $150 complete and can be hooked to a hose bib or faucet easily. They are small enough to sit on a kitchen counter when in use then be stuck in a closet when not in use.


My best advice is quit using tap water immediately, with Prime or not. If you cannot afford a RO/DI unit at the moment, purchase your water from a trusted source. Around Arizona there seems to be a water & ice type store on every corner, most do a very good job and are more than happy to test the tDS or conductivity in your presence. Other options are a LFS or bottled RO(as long as the label does not say remineralized) or Distilled from the grocery and lastly vending machines although that would be my last resort since they are not regulated for quality, only quantity. RO often sells for 0.25 per gallon and around here they have specials certain days of the week which is nice if you need quite a bit.

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