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Re: SF Bay Area water question...

I'd like to thank all of you who gave your input on my situation - here and 
via e-mail.

I doused my affected tanks with more AquaSafe yesterday, and this morning, 
I noticed that some of the fish looked much better. A few of my guppies 
that were shimmying very badly yesterday recovered in the course of 24 
hours. However, those that had already been in a severely weakened state 
either passed on, or are still continuing to show further weakening. Some 
suggested ammonia to be the culprit. I did a test today, and nothing. It's 
a well-established tank, so I didn't really expect a reading above zero. 
The pH test indicated 8.0 - same as usual; it's a bit high, but my guppies 
have been fine with this. Besides, I lost a fish in another tank that has 
CO2 injection and pH close to neutral.

I know this may sound far-fetched, but humor me: I have eczema (atopic 
dermatitis). I've had it since I was a kid, but most of the time, it's 
under control. Well, just in the past couple of weeks, my skin has been 
extra-dry, very irritated and inflamed. My skin is *very* sensitive, and 
can get quickly messed up from minimal exposure to irritants, whatever they 
may be. Well, I tried something today for which I hope none of you will 
call the men in white coats on me. I took some water prepared with Kordon's 
AmQuel (added a little more than the recommended dosage) and washed my face 
with it. I used the usual mild cleanser, but rinsed with the AmQuel-treated 
water. It says on the bottle very clearly: Non-toxic to humans, pets and 
aquatic life. I followed with my regular moisturizing regimen (which hasn't 
been working well as of late). Result: my face is softer and less-irritated 
than it's been in weeks! Granted, it may be purely psychosomatic... Maybe 
I'll try a sponge-bath using the treated water. That would be a better test.

For now, I think I'll try using twice the recommended dosage of detoxifier 
and do smaller water changes more frequently (I'll be very angry if there's 
a sudden jump in the price of detoxifier). Some have let me know that my 
concern about the water is not completely invalid. But if my fish continue 
to die, I guess I'll have to bark up a different tree. Thanks again for all 
the replies, and please continue to post or e-mail me with similar 
occurrences or information that might solve this mystery. I'd be much