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- - Problem with Ammonia - New Tank (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/problem-ammonia-new-tank-42003/)
Problem with Ammonia - New Tank
Hey everyone, I'm new to the forums and hoping you can help me. I would like to preface this by saying that I am very familiar with the nitrogen cycle (since I anticipate answers telling me to read up on that).
I have a new tank, (20 gal, freshwater) that's been running with fish in it for close to 2 weeks. I only waited 48 hrs before putting fish in, because I had been successful doing that in the past. What I had done the previous times (in a different state) was use water conditioner and bacteria starter. I performed water changes to keep the ammonia levels in check and the fish were healthy from day 1.
This time around, though, I noticed the fish weren't doing so well, so I tested the aquarium water w/ the API ammonia test kit and found that it's 1ppm. After that, I was performing 25% water changes every other day, but the aquarium was still staying at about 1ppm. I finally tested my tap water and found that it has 1ppm of ammonia. I purchased an ammonia neutralizer (Aqueoun ammonia neutralizer), but I don't think the fish are doing well. I already lost 3 neon tetras.
I currently have 3 sunset platies and 3 gold barbs and 1 remaining neon tetra. I feel terrible for making such a rookie mistake, but I never ran into this problem in the past, where the tap water was much cleaner.
What is the best thing to do at this point? I found that if I use the drinking water filter in my kitchen, the ammonia level is reduced to 0.25ppm. There aren't any reputable fish stores in the area for me to talk to about local water chemistry and which supplies they recommend.
Personally, I have seen success for people with ammonia in their tap water if they keep lots of live plants and use a resevoir. The normal procedure for such a resevoir does require extra expense and space, however:
Thanks for the quick response. Unfortunately I live in an apartment where there isn't adequate space for such a reservoir.
I've considered getting a tap water filter, like the one made by API, but I'm not sure if it is more effective than the one under my kitchen sink.
How often do you do water changes and how much per change? Maybe you can use a 5 gl jug of spring water, stored in a closet? Just a thought...
Doesn't spring water contain minerals? I thought for sure that it did. I know distilled doesn't.
I know it's safe as I've used it. I used to have 5 gl jugs delivered to my house until I realized my fish are just fine in my tap water's ph. (ph being something else to consider) Walmart sells it really cheap by the gallon.
Whatever you choose, I would strongly advise against using distiled water as the lack of dissolved substances can wreak havoc on a fish via osmotic imbalances.
I know some LFS here sell fresh water for aquariums. I assume that water would be better than your tap.
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