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Brother 12-21-2007 11:38 AM

Ammonia Problems
 
I have a question I hope someone can help me with.

I have had my 55 gallon freshwater tank set up for about 2 months , everytime I tested the water for ammonia I detected between .50 and 1.5 ppm. I was doing tons of partial water changes and the levels never dropped lower then .50ppm I couldn't figure out what was wrong. For the heck of it a few days ago I tested the water straight out of the tap and found the source of the problem, my tap water tests out at .75ppm ammonia.It appears my water changes were pretty much useless. I went and got some Amquel+ and have been treating the water with that. Is there anything better and cost effective I could do to remove the ammonia from the tap water during water changes? I have a Rena XP-3 filter would I be better off running Zeolite in there instead? I have Bio Chem Stars running in the XP-3 but I guess the biological filter isnt established enough to remove so much ammonia by itself.

Age of Aquariums 12-21-2007 11:53 AM

What kind of test kit are you using? Try giving the bio-filter another week w/o a water change, if nothing happens, try using bio-spira.

Brother 12-21-2007 12:04 PM

For testing I'm using the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Master Test Kit with the 2 bottle ammonia test set.

Oldman47 12-22-2007 09:19 AM

I have the same kind of tap water. Mine tests at 1 ppm using the API test kit. The dechlorinators usually have the ability to help keep the ammonia from being toxic because chloramine breaks down into chlorine and ammonia and the dechlorinator needs to make chloramine treated water safe to use. What I do is make smaller partial water changes so my concentration never gets very high and then let my beneficial bacteria convert it through the cycle process. By doing 10% at a time, my 1 ppm tap only results in 0.1 ppm in the tank and I have treate it with prime so its a less toxic form. In a few hours its back down to undetectable levels and my fish seem to be fine with this approach.
Thank goodness I have not had problems that require major water changes. I'm not sure what I could do then to keep damage to a minimum from the ammonia.

Brother 12-22-2007 01:51 PM

I wonder if it would be possible to filter the tap water through Zeolite somehow before putting it into the tank.....hmmm..?

Treating it with Amquel first seems to work OK but I'm not sure how long it takes to neutralize the ammonia. I normally pour the tap water in the tank within 5 minutes of treating it so it might not even be doing anything in such a short time.

Little-Fizz 12-22-2007 02:54 PM

:? Ew ammonia in your tap water? That can't be good... I wouldn't think thats it's good to have ammonia in your tap water... I would call your city people and ask them about that... It can't be to healthy for you?

Holly 12-22-2007 03:26 PM

I wonder also if the master test kit is throwing the levels off. I have to wonder now since my mater kit is dated 2006, I've had it about 1 year, and the ammonia isn't accurate. Humm....

Brother 12-22-2007 04:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little-Fizz
:? Ew ammonia in your tap water? That can't be good... I wouldn't think thats it's good to have ammonia in your tap water... I would call your city people and ask them about that... It can't be to healthy for you?

Yeah, I dont drink tap water I dont care how safe the media says it is. Granted Aquafina, Dasini, etc use tap water from local municipal water supplies at least its filtered.

Ironically, the tap water in my city was voted the best tasting tap water in the US this year. I guess all that ammonia gives it a lil' somethin' somethin'

Oldman47 12-22-2007 07:18 PM

I don't drink my tap water either. It goes through a RO before I drink it. For me the problem is that pure water with almost no minerals is unstable for pH and will stress the fish. Most fish also cannot take straight RO water because it is way too soft so I end up using tap water or a tap and RO mix for my fish.


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