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Old 07-20-2006, 06:42 PM   #1
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tap water contains 1ppm ammonia....

What do i need to do about this?
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Old 07-20-2006, 07:19 PM   #2
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use different water such as ro water or spring water. You might also want to verify that with a different test method.
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Old 07-20-2006, 08:26 PM   #3
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If you tested the tap water alone & it has NH3 then get different water source (at least until you have a cycled tank that can take care of the NH3).

But if you have NH3 after adding your dechlor, then you have chloramines in the water. The chloramines are added to disinfect the water, and when you add dechlor, it forms NH3 (and chlorine). All you need in that case is to use a dechlorinator that will bind the freed NH3 (most do). Once bound the NH3 is safe, but still will be read by a Nessler NH3 test. To truly read NH3 level in systems with NH3 binders, you'll need a more expensive Salicylate (SW) test.
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Old 07-20-2006, 08:58 PM   #4
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I did decholrinate before testing with Aqua Safe....


does that mean anything?
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Old 07-20-2006, 09:19 PM   #5
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Yes, test a sample straight from the tap.
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Old 07-21-2006, 10:02 AM   #6
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straight from the tap is still real high, 1.25 ppm this morning.


what kind of water do i need to buy from walmart =/?
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Old 07-21-2006, 10:50 AM   #7
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If you aren't on a well, I would call the water department and find out what the ammonia level should be. That seems VERY high for a munincipal water source.

However, if you use a Prime as your water conditioner, it will lock the ammonia into ammonium, which is less harmful to the fish but still goes through the Nitrite process. You may want to overdose the Prime a little, just to be sure (won't do any harm to the fish).
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Old 07-21-2006, 10:57 AM   #8
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I called the city water just this morning and spoke to the lab.

her quote "our water will kill your fish."

She suggested talking to the LFS and getting ammo chips.

i am reluctant to do any more water changes or put anything else in my tanks while they cycle until I find out what i can do to help this problem.


I am going to switch to Prime as soon as I can, been using Aqua Safe.
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Old 07-21-2006, 11:06 AM   #9
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OK, so you need to start using at least 50% reverse osmosis (RO) water when you are filling you tank. If you have a 25+ gallon tank, then in the long run you will save money buying a RO system (at least 3 stages, from what I have heard). Check around you for saltwater fish stores - many will sell RO water. I'm not sure if the distilled/deionized that you can get at WalMart/CVS/whatever is the right product - I've never had to use it, so I haven't done alot of research.

One thing to keep in mind is that RO water will drop your water's hardness and alkalinity, which could be a shock to your fish and make it harder to keep a stable PH. I see crushed coral in your future.
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Old 07-21-2006, 11:32 AM   #10
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After the bacteria catch up to the ammonia in the tanks, will I be able to return to tap water?
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Old 07-21-2006, 11:36 AM   #11
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How big of an aquarium is it?
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Old 07-21-2006, 11:39 AM   #12
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2 aquariums....


1 20, one 29
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Old 07-21-2006, 12:30 PM   #13
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If you do 25%-33% water changes, you should be OK with tap. It would spike your ammonia up to about .4 PPM, which the bacteria should be able to handle. If you use tap, I would go with more, smaller, water changes whenever possible. Then just buy 15 or so gallons of RO water to have on hand in case you need to do any major emergency water changes (50-75%).
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Old 07-21-2006, 02:59 PM   #14
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I went to the LFS today.


They switched my water prep to prime, and sold me stability by seachem to bring the bacteria up in my tanks.


They also tested my water in both tanks and a sample of tap without treatment. They had the same results i did, about 2 ppm each.

Suggested teh stability will bring the ammonia down and to test again the tap after adding prime before and after next water change. Also suggested dosing each tank with a 1/2 dose of prime immediately then waiting an hour and testing for ammonia in tanks and then doing water change if needed.
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Old 07-21-2006, 03:50 PM   #15
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that made my eyes bug out when I saw that the lady at the water company actually said that the water would kill your fish. Gotta love that brutal honesty.

I can't make any suggestions in your case. Good call on getting the prime though, that will most likely help. I usually use prime, but one night, i had to do an emercency change, and had run out of prime. Walmart didn't have prime, only stress coat, so that is what I am stuck with right now.
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Old 07-21-2006, 03:51 PM   #16
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What?

I have Chloramine in my tapwater as well.

But your LFS said to do a PWC, treat it, wait an hour, and if you still have high ammonia levels, do another PWC? Restating that to make sure I understood what you just posted.

If that's what they suggested, I beleive they misunderstand the problem you are facing.

Your tapwater comes out about 2PPM Ammonia (According to previous figures).

If your tank was at 0PPM, and you did a 50% PWC, you'd end up at 1PPM. If you then tested the water, saw that it was high, and did another 50% PWC to correct it, you'd end up at 1.5 PPM!

You mention reading Ammonia straight from your tap- I'm not 100% sure about this, but have heard that some test kits will read Cloramine as Ammonia.

The most common suggestion I've heard was to use a dechlor such as AmQuel help with the Ammonia. Even after you cycle, that can be a fairly large ammonia spike.
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Old 07-21-2006, 04:11 PM   #17
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ok

here are the directions from the LFS (they ONLY sell FISH and Herps and Amphibs, and are probably the most ethical and reputable people I have ever met, i am really fortunate. They have people from jax and tampa come all the way out here, even a regular from atlanta GA. We are on the space coast of FL)

do a tap sample with prime. if still high (above .5 ppm), call us. Otherwise,

1.) add 2 to 3 times the dosage of stability to each tank
2.) wait 1 hr, test each tank
3.) if ammonia still high, add 1 more dose stability, and 1/2 dose of prime
4.) wait 1 hr, test each tank
5.) if still high and tap tests ok with prime, 25% wc, with 1/2 dose stability and double prime dose

if this is still high, call.
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Old 07-21-2006, 05:06 PM   #18
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The instructions make sense IF you have a salicylate ammonia test ....

Prime will lock up the ammonia in the water so it is not toxic , but that bound NH3 (now NH4) is still read by the Nessler test. So if you are using a Nessler test, following the above instructions will get you chasing your tail.

However, A Salicylate ammonia test will not read the bound ammonia, so you can actually guage how effective the Prime was in removing the NH3. BTW Prime - in the fine prints - will tell you how much chloramine/ammonia that it will bind per ml, so you can calculate the amount of prime you actually need rather than guessing or using the generic x capful per gal.

PS - I find it strange to have that much free ammonia in the tap water .... It can't be that good for you ..... I'd be getting a R/O unit for my drinking water.
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Old 07-21-2006, 05:10 PM   #19
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i am using a salicylate test.


i don't have access to a nessler.
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Old 07-21-2006, 06:05 PM   #20
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What type of test is the AP Ammonia test ? (Nessler or Salicylate) - would be useful for future reference. I'm assuming its Salicylate ?
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