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Old 09-23-2013, 09:10 PM   #1
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Water change/ water test question

Lately I have been doing more routine water changes every week and testing my parameters. I always test my water after doing my water change. I have been getting varying levels of ammonia and 0 nitrites every time. I am on city water and tested it once and it shows that I have ammonia in the water and high ph. I add a dechlorinator with the water changes. I feel as if I am not getting the true results for my tank. Should I do the tests before the water change or maybe the next day or what? Also should I add prime or something during water changes for the ammonia or just stick with what I do now.
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:20 PM   #2
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Your best bet is always to test before the water changes. You can also test the day after to see if it has zeroed out again.
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Old 09-24-2013, 03:13 AM   #3
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Two things: First test the water right out of the tap. It does fluxuate at times. Secondly, use a piece of air line to pull a water sample from the bottom region and then from the top. This should give you a better idea of why you have the issues.
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:10 AM   #4
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When testing tap water you take a cup or bowl and toss an airstone in it for 24-48hours or your can just stir is very often, to get your actual reading. Aerating the water helps it to off gas and gives you a more accurate reading. For me the ph was the most noticable. It went for 7.4 to 8.6.
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:30 AM   #5
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Hello Fall...

As long as you're not keeping and breeding rare fish, you really don't need to fret over the chemistry of your tap water. Aquarium fish have been adapting to our tap water for decades and most, if not all will tolerate our public water supplies.

What you do need to do is maintain a stable chemistry by replacing a healthy percentage of the tank water every week. Half the tank's volume isn't too much and your fish will respond with good color and good health in general.

I'd recommend using Seachem's "Safe". It's as good a water treatment as any and is economical too.

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Old 09-24-2013, 11:58 AM   #6
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If you are showing ammonia after a water change, this is likely from the use of chloramine in your tap water. The dechlor will reduce the chlorine, leaving the small amount of ammonia for the filter to take care of. A product like Prime doesn't remove the ammonia but binds it up in a the safer form of ammonium, which the filter then takes care of.
As BBradbury has already stated, don't get too concerned about pH and such or even the hardness, as fish are very adaptable to varying conditions. You do want to maintain as stable an environment as possible, and this is easiest done with regular water changes.
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:44 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies everybody. I have just been keeping track of the results and since moving I have ammonia and I always had 0 before. All my fish are doing great so I'm not going to worry about it
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