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Is it Common to have 0.5 PPM Ammonia in Tap Water?

This is a discussion on Is it Common to have 0.5 PPM Ammonia in Tap Water? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by funkman262 In new tanks, I use Kordon's AmQuel+ or Seachem's Safe when changing water to detoxify the ammonia until the bacteria ...

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Is it Common to have 0.5 PPM Ammonia in Tap Water?
Old 01-13-2013, 01:22 PM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by funkman262 View Post
In new tanks, I use Kordon's AmQuel+ or Seachem's Safe when changing water to detoxify the ammonia until the bacteria can consume it, but after a couple months when the plants fill in I just use Kordon's NovAqua+ to simply deal with the chloramine and don't even worry about the ammonia in the water because the plants consume it so rapidly (plus I don't do massive water changes at a time so the ammonia becomes heavily diluted). You make a valid point though about using products like Ammo-lock or AmGuard instead, and I'm now considering switching to one of those (or similar) instead of using Safe when dealing with ammonia.
I only have chlorine in my tap water. I used Kordon's NovaAqua for many years back in the 1990's and had no issues. I am now using Nutrafin's Aqua+, only because it is the least expensive in bulk and also has the least amount of impact. It detoxifies heavy metals which I don't need, but I am prepared to accept that extra. I did try Big Al's which only handles chlorine/chloramine, but it left the tanks cloudy for a day or sometimes two after every water change.

I never have ammonia issues, even in new tanks as I plant well from the start, so that is one less issue.

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Old 01-14-2013, 09:14 AM   #12
 
Byron,
If I wanted to stock 8-10 african cichlids at once, how much water sprite would I need floating in my 55 Gal tank to suffice? 5 plants, 10?
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:30 AM   #13
 
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While not directed at me, I'll say from my own experience with using place to do fish day-one ... it's best if you do not add them all at once. Slow and steady is the key, particularly since new plants can take some time to get adjusted and start growing at full speed.

If I was doing it, I would follow a stocking schedule, only adding new fish every ~1-2 weeks.

Even with plants, you should not add fish if you have readings of Nitrites (like you do right now). Wait for the plants/bacteria to get that to zero along with your weekly partial water changes. Nitrites are very nasty for fish (and plants will take Ammonia before they take Nitrite).
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:44 AM   #14
 
From what I understand it is not uncommon for ammonia to be in tap water where they use chloramines. This appears to be a problem for water compaines when they switch from chlorine to chloramines. So much so they take actions such as flushing the storage tanks, resevours, pipes and so on.

The chloramines break down to chlorine and ammonia which feeds bacteria just like in our tanks. Or even possibly bacteria in the plumbing break down the chloramines.

I do agree that plants will rapidly consume the ammonia plus the ammonia from your fish to keep the tank safe. You may get an initial nitrAte spike as the plants are initially getting nitrogen from the ammonia not nitrates. Then as the aerobic bacterial builds up and consume the ammonia, the plants consume the nitrates instead. So after a few weeks nitrates drop down.

Sometime nitrItes will kinda stall at high levels so I stop feeding until they drop down.

Actually what I do is start the tank planted, wait a week, then add 1 fish (10g tank), then wait a week with no food being added, add some more fish and start feeding 1 flake per day. The idea is to get the plants established and conditioning the tank. Then to add the bioload slowly so the tank can keep up.

I also do no water changes and just replace evaporative water with untreated tap water. Again the tank can keep up with that low level of chlorine/chlormines.


my .02

Last edited by beaslbob; 01-14-2013 at 09:47 AM..
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:00 AM   #15
 
Makes sense, I'll get the water sprite and let them start to grow for a week or so, making sure they are working and the nitrites have dropped and then add 3-4 fish (1 species) at a time.....
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:27 AM   #16
 
Water sprite is one of the easier growing plants from what I gather when left floating. Whats the bare minimum of supplements to add to the water to have it grow. Would it get all the nutrients it needed from Fish/Food waste or would I need to dose with Plant nutrients as well?
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:34 AM   #17
 
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Water sprite is one of the easier growing plants from what I gather when left floating. Whats the bare minimum of supplements to add to the water to have it grow. Would it get all the nutrients it needed from Fish/Food waste or would I need to dose with Plant nutrients as well?
What I do is let the plants condition the water with no additives.

Then add fish after a week or so.

So the plants just grow and expand to whatever the bioload can support.

I have heard on some systems you can develop a iron deficiency. So I dissolved an iron gluconate pill in a 12 oz (or so) soda bottle and dosed a capful each week or so. But that didn't seem to make much difference.

some use fertz and add carbon dioxide to get the plants really really thriving. I just don't do that. I just let the plants and fish balance each other out.


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Old 01-15-2013, 11:59 AM   #18
 
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Originally Posted by Cja313 View Post
Water sprite is one of the easier growing plants from what I gather when left floating. Whats the bare minimum of supplements to add to the water to have it grow. Would it get all the nutrients it needed from Fish/Food waste or would I need to dose with Plant nutrients as well?
It depends. Nutrients come from various sources naturally. All nutrients will come from fish foods, but I do not recommend overfeeding fish just to get better plant growth, and minimal fish feedings may not necessarily provide sufficient nutrients to balance the light. Other nutrients occur in the water, hence regular water changes; this primarily replenishes the hard nutrients that are macro-nutrients, namely calcium, magnesium, potassium. Water Sprite is a soft water plant naturally, so its uptake of these is likely less than some plants like swords would be, but still they are essential macro nutrients. Then there is the light; more light or longer duration (provided the intensity is sufficient to start with) means more nutrients to balance, otherwise the plants will slow photosynthesis and algae has the advantage.

Floating plants generally require more nutrients because they grow faster. This occurs because they are closer to the light so intensity is rarely a problem, plus they are able to assimilate CO2 directly from the air which gives them a faster supply and more of it.

If I do not add Flourish Comp to my tanks at least once weekly, the Water Sprite (which I have in all but one of my tanks at the moment) begins to fail. It slows in growth, and the leaves begin to break apart. I have experimented over the past year, and with two weekly doses of Flourish Comp it improved significantly. I went to three doses per week, and it improved further again. Just to complete the picture, I've gone back to twice weekly as this results in good response from all my plants.

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Old 01-17-2013, 11:17 AM   #19
 
Well turns out the Watersprite seller on CL hasn't responded, but I found a guy selling Amazon Frogbit. the leaves ar broad and it floats which should provide some shade and security for mbuna. (which Im getting from another CL seller on Sunday)...The frogbit guy is selling some for cheap so Im going to try and get some this weekend. research shows that it grows best up to a ph of 7.5......Im still going to try it in my mod. hard water, 8.0 pH tank.

Byron I'll pick up some Flourish Complete this weekend as well.
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