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Old 04-04-2005, 01:47 PM   #1
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Tap water already has high ammonia??

Hi, I just did a test of my tap water. Seems the ammonia level is already around .5ppm. What are my options?? I guess buying those big bottles fromthe grocery store might be one!! Any help would be great, thanks.
Scott
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Old 04-04-2005, 01:54 PM   #2
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water conditioner
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Old 04-04-2005, 02:41 PM   #3
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How did you test your water...straight out of the tap? What test did you use (test strips or re-agents)? That is quite a high reading.
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Old 04-04-2005, 02:48 PM   #4
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Assuming you used a quality liquid test kit, the most likely explanation is that you have chloramine (NH2CL) in your water. Is it municipal water or well water? cities will add chloramine instead of chlorine as a disinfectant. Did you use a liquid two bottle test for this?
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Old 04-04-2005, 03:46 PM   #5
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Hi, Imin arlington VA in an apartment. Its city water. I used the freshwater master test kit. Fill the tube up to the line and add in a total of 16 drops from the two bottles!! I didnt add any aqua safe to it, just plain old tap water
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Old 04-04-2005, 04:03 PM   #6
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OK. Sounds like your city uses chloramine as a disinfectant. The AP FW master test kit has a "salicylate" test for ammonia. The test first adds chlorine and changes the pH so that any ammonia in it will be turned into chloramine. The chloramine then turns the test kit color.

So, you could have ammonia in your water, but more likely you have chloramine. Since the test kit actually measures the amount of ammonia by how much chloramine it can be turned into, your kit also turns color with the chloramine the city put in. See if you can find your local water report online. I bet it will tell you about the chloramine there.

Chloramine stinks. It is toxic to fish. It places an ammonia load on your system. Until you have an established biologic filter, that ammonia will stay in your tank. That is because the water conditioners free the chlorine to diffuse out of the water, but leave behind ammonia - NH2Cl goes to NH3 (ammonia) and Cl with the dechlorinators.

But what do you do? After your tank is cycled, nothing. The 0.5ppm of ammonia you get after adding a dechlorinator to your water change water will be diluted, then dispatched by your nitrifying bacteria in little time. Until your tank is cycled, a water change doesn't make any sense for ammonia levels below 1 ppm because you have to add 0.5 ppm when you change. Bummer, no?
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Old 04-04-2005, 04:37 PM   #7
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When I tested i didnt add any Aqua safe (from tetra aqua) According to the bottle its suppose to neautralize chlorine, chloramine and heavy metals. So maybe the test I did meant nothing!! I just changed 3 gallons (out of 10) and added in a bit more aqua safe. Are the product Amquel+ a better product than the Aqua safe??? Thanks Scott
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Old 04-04-2005, 05:04 PM   #8
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No, your test was correct. Arlington county uses chloramines, I checked! Adding a conditioner will change it from chloramine to ammonia. There might be some conditioners that will interfere with the test to make the test go negative, but the ammonia is still there, maybe bound so not toxic to fish, but still there and must be dealt with by the bilogic filter.

by "nuetralizing" chloramine they mean freeing the chlorine. Ammonia is left behind. Some of the conditioners have chemicals that "bind" the ammonia, so that it won't harm fish, another way of "nuetralizing" the ammonia. The bacteria then convert the bound ammonia to nitrite and nitrate.

Look at the positive side, if you were to run your tank for four to six weeks just by doing water changes every few days with dechlorinator added, your tank would have a steady,low supply of ammonia and cycle itself! :P

you can check out my webpage dealing with test kit chemistry at: http://home.comcast.net/~tomstank/to...s/page0018.htm
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Old 04-04-2005, 06:25 PM   #9
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My tap water has ammonia in it, but I am on a well. I called the water company, and they said they don't add anything to the water. The only thing I can figure, is the water goes into a reservoir, and once a year they "blow off" the holding tank. I think maybe leaves and such get into the tank and decompose = ammonia?
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Old 04-04-2005, 06:33 PM   #10
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well im guessing what beblondie said might solve your problem...maybe go to your local pet store & tell them about the water condition they might have something to clear it up!
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Old 04-04-2005, 07:08 PM   #11
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i also have chloramines in my tap water...i use prime as a water conditioner...and i test the water right after a water change and its 0ppm so i guess once u have enough bacteria to consume it it should be fine...i also posted the same question about buying water and to be honest nobody seemed to be really excited about it...so tap water it is...
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Old 04-04-2005, 10:14 PM   #12
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My tap water has ammonia in it, but I am on a well. I called the water company...
I am confused. You have a well, and a water company? when I was growing up, we had well water. It was a pump in the basement that pumped the water up from the ground. If you buy your water from a water co, don't they have to treat the water for distribution over their pipe system?
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