Originally Posted by DjBootleg
I'm having high reading of ammonia in my 20 G tank.. So I tested straight from my tap and its reading in the .50 ppm!!!.. I'm using API Master Kit.. I would do a water change but ill just be putting more ammonia in...
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This is easily solved, but it takes live plants and some thought at water changes.
Plants need nitrogen, and they prefer it as ammonium which is a form of ammonia. Plants can take up a fair bit of ammonia. Even simple floating plants work well, as being at the surface near the light and CO2 in the air they grow faster, so they use more ammonia/ammonium than lower plants.
Having ammonia in the tap water means an initial influx of high ammonia at each water change, but this can be handled too.
Use a water conditioner that detoxifies ammonia; some do, it will say on the label. This handles the initial influx and conditioners generally are effective for 24-36 hours. With live plants and the bacteria in the tank, they will have time to take this ammonium up.
You haven't mentioned your pH. Ammonia changes to ammonium in an acidic pH (below 7), and ammonium is basically harmless. This may help you too, if your tank pH is on the acidic side.
Feel free to ask questions on this.