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I just sent in samples on my fish tanks and water coming from my sink to see what I had. I have 2 separate fish tanks and raft systems. My potable water had no coliform present. Then I sent in 2 samples for E.Coli and Salmonella. Both fish tanks had not detected on the Salmonella and on the E.coli it was >1600 MPN/100ml.

The test they did for E.coli was called ESCHERICHIA COLI SM9221 F.

I called them and asked what it meant and the lab person said that all of the test tubes had greater than 1600. They cannot go higher than 2 he said.  I am completely confused.

There is no way that I have not been careful with any animals in the greenhouse or using anything other than worms in one of my beds. Washing my hands all the time and not using anything in my system.

Now what do I do?

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As someone who raises livestock, I have a little experience in researching this.  There are dozens of strains of e - coli.  Most are harmless.  Some are even beneficial.  We all have it growing in our guts and it helps in the digestive process.  While it's a great idea to eliminate it, you shouldn't overly worry unless they tell you it's a bad form. I would ask them for as much detail as possible.

They were probably cocoons because I never remember them crawling or sliding just hanging on to the lava rock. My test kits are on the way.

Sam.. All they said was it was generic and not the H015.whatever kind of E.Coli.  They said that if I drank the water I would get sick that is all. I just want to get rid of all traces of it, that's for sure.

My local lab tests water for e. coli for $50. It costs them $10 for the test. 98% of their tests come back clean, and the 2% that don't are sent to another lab to test for 0157:H7, which costs about $350, but that cost is absorbed by the local lab on account of it's rarity. The presence of e. coli means nothing by itself, but the theory that a high total e. coli count increases the odds of containing the baddies. Fair enough. And Joe, you're right, getting the entire count down ensures safety, whether or not it is dangerous at current levels.

I just had the pleasure of Glen Martinez and Natalie at my house for a few days last week. Great guy, and we talked AP all day and into the nights. I'm still processing the both the info I recieved, and the alcohol :D

Glen did have e. coli show up in his system, and he did fight it with EM, Effective Micro-organisms. He traced the source back to his rainwater catchment tank. He said he added a cup or two to storage tanks and AP systems (as I recall), left town for a week, and tested again when he returned. No more e. coli. It also clears the water and reduces solids, and now he adds it regularly, taking pride that he can read a newspaper at the bottom of his fish tank. EM is the same product used to clean (reduce solids) septic tanks, and contained in pricey health food drinks called "pro-biotics". Glenn uses the EM that comes in 1 gallon jugs for $80 each. He pours out a cup of EM each week, and refills jug with a cup of distilled water and spoonful of molasses so that the jug stays full forever.

Hi Jon, I just purchased some EM. I found a video about it on a Aquaponics website a long time ago and had to find it again. It was Glen telling the story about the exact same thing. I also ordered a E.Coli test kit and hopefully can find the source as well. My E.Coli is not the 0157:h7 variety but still need to get rid of it.

Joe, you're heading into winter... that'll probably kill off your e-coli anyway...

Will it if I leave the temperatures at 70 degrees or should I start to let the water temp get colder? If colder how cold is safe again for the nitrafying bacteria?

I have an update on the tests I did and so far and found nothing. I did 1 last week and I am doing 2 this week, one on each system. So if I do not find anything again I will assume that either the kits are no good or my E.Coli is gone. I bought EM but have not used it so I will see. I will get another test done from the Lab that got it last time and see what they find.

I am confused so far but who knows.

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