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Old 02-03-2012, 05:47 PM   #1
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Ammonia mystery

After performing several tests, I've come to realize that the 100g of salt water I made recently contains traces of ammonia, .25ppm to be exact. I've already used this water to fill my 92g tank last week. I obvioulsy expected to have ammonia readings in the tank a week later but I didn't expect to have readings in my source water (I still have 20g of the source water mixed up in a 55g plastic drum with airstones and pumps keeping it circulating)
The source water was made using ro/di water from my recently purchased spectrapure maxcap ro/di unit and Instant Ocean sea salt (the salt was from an unopened box I bought a few years ago and never used. I didn't see an expiration date listed so I'm assuming that's not the problem)
My city may use chloromines in the tap water and thought maybe the ro/di unit wasn't doing it's job but the water I tested right from the filter shows ammonia at 0ppm.
considering the time and tap water it took to make the source water in question, I'm hesitant to start over. I guess my questions are: 1) does it matter that the water I used to fill the tank over a week ago probably contained some ammonia (.25ppm) seeing how you need ammonia to start the cycling process and 2) what can I do to avoid having traces of ammonia in my salt water going forward?
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:25 PM   #2
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It makes a big didderence. I work for a water municipality so I know that alot of ammonia is Added to purify water. You will always have problems if you continue to use tap. Get a RO/DI unit to remove the bad stuff.
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melosu58 View Post
It makes a big didderence. I work for a water municipality so I know that alot of ammonia is Added to purify water. You will always have problems if you continue to use tap. Get a RO/DI unit to remove the bad stuff.
I am using a ro/di unit.
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:04 PM   #4
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What are you mixing your RO/DI water in??? If you water tests 0ppm right out of RO DI it could be your container leaching something. Is it FDA approved container??

Another source could be bad ammonia test kit.
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:15 PM   #5
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I'm using an API test kit I just purchased. Not sure about the container being FDA approved but I'm making some ro/di water now and will test the water before I add any salt. I've been reading over some older threads and saw some posts that say some salts actually contain traces of ammonia. What brand(s) do most people recommend?
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:19 PM   #6
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I'm sure you can figure it out by testing before each stage of mixing. I have used reef crystals with no issues for years. I recently switched to red sea pro salt which I love. Takes half the salt that reef crystals used to mix to 1.025.
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:05 PM   #7
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to add to my issues, my tank is reading ammonia at .50ppms and nitrates at around 20ppm but all my nitite readings have been at 0ppm. How can this be? For what it's worth, I am using Stability to help the cycle process along and I realize it's only been a week now. I just think it's odd how I've seen the nitrate levels go up in a week, the ammonia stay pretty much the same at around .50ppm but never had one reading where nitrites were above 0ppm.
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:08 PM   #8
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Your in middle of cycle. Normal to get nitrites after ammonia spike. Then will have nitrate spike and other 2 readings will subside
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:13 PM   #9
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that's my point, I have ammonia and nitrates but no nitrites. It's like the process skipped a step somehow.
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Old 02-04-2012, 02:32 AM   #10
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It doesn't skip any steps. You're still developing bacteria to get rid of your ammonia, but you MAY already have plenty of bacteria for nitrite conversion. Later, you MAY end up with 0 ammo with a reading for nitrite. You're done cycling when you get 0 of both, and a reading for nitrAte.
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