12-03-2009, 12:04 PM
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As 1077 suggested, use a good water conditioner that will detoxify ammonia, like Prime (and there are others). No need to not use tap water, or resort to expensive RO units.
Understand that Prime and other conditioners detoxify ammonia by changing it to ammonium which is basically harmless to fish. Your test kit will still read ammonium as ammonia, at least most of them do, the API does. So while it shows ammonia at 1 in the tank, it is most probably ammonium which is harmless.
Bacteria will still use ammonium or ammonia to cycle, so no harm there. Use an ammonia detoxifying water conditioner and continue normally. Monitor ammonia and nitrite, the latter will rise as the cycle progresses. Prime claims it also detoxifies nitrite, so that is a good conditioner to use. Cycling takes anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks to work its way through.