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-   -   High Ammonia in Tap Water (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/high-ammonia-tap-water-54706/)

Caliban 11-02-2010 01:30 AM

High Ammonia in Tap Water
 
Hello everyone. A friend of mine is setting up a tank, and his tap water comes across with a .5 to 1.0 reading right out of the tap using an API liquid test kit. I witnessed the test of both the tank and tap myself. I'm working on getting the rest of his water perameters, but this is what I have to start with. His water conditioner, stress coat+, does not seem to have any impact on the ammonia. This struck me as... WHAT THE HECK?! I'm terrified, because I've been drinking this. It would take my 10 gallon, which is still cycling with a betta in it, nearly 2 weeks to get that high! Any thoughts on what might cause this or how it could be fixed?

1077 11-02-2010 02:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Caliban (Post 504555)
Hello everyone. A friend of mine is setting up a tank, and his tap water comes across with a .5 to 1.0 reading right out of the tap using an API liquid test kit. I witnessed the test of both the tank and tap myself. I'm working on getting the rest of his water perameters, but this is what I have to start with. His water conditioner, stress coat+, does not seem to have any impact on the ammonia. This struck me as... WHAT THE HECK?! I'm terrified, because I've been drinking this. It would take my 10 gallon, which is still cycling with a betta in it, nearly 2 weeks to get that high! Any thoughts on what might cause this or how it could be fixed?

The first thing I might try is switching to water conditioner such as PRIME or AMQUEL PLUS+. Both of these will address ammonia ,chlorine,chloramines,and nitrites. I am not sure what Stress Coat plus effectively detoxifies.
Product such as ZEOLITE may also be an option but I would not use salt in the aquarium when using this product or products such as ammolock.
there are a couple other options but i would give these a go and report back if they are not helpful.

Caliban 11-02-2010 02:22 AM

stress coat+ claims to effect ammonia, but I will check into these products, thanks.

1077 11-02-2010 02:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Caliban (Post 504567)
stress coat+ claims to effect ammonia, but I will check into these products, thanks.

Would also note that some water conditioners detoxify ammonia and render it a less harmful substance, ammonium. Test kits often measure total ammonia and test results will report ammonia and ammonium.
I personally have not seen this with PRIME but cannot speak for the others.
Also if your friends tank is newly set up and less than six weeks old, the biological filter may still be developing. Once the filter is mature,it too will help process ammonia.

Caliban 11-02-2010 02:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1077 (Post 504570)
Would also note that some water conditioners detoxify ammonia and render it a less harmful substance, ammonium. Test kits often measure total ammonia and test results will report ammonia and ammonium.
I personally have not seen this with PRIME but cannot speak for the others.
Also if your friends tank is newly set up and less than six weeks old, the biological filter may still be developing. Once the filter is mature,it too will help process ammonia.

It is a brand new setup still cycling, but this test was performed on an empty tank and fresh tap water. It's just his water, which is why it freaks me out so much. If it was his uncycled tank with a fish in it, I'd tell him to change his water more often :). There is a goldfish in the tank now... it's being wintered, kinda' a long story. Short version, even this sketchy water is better than where it was living before. This fish has been dubbed The Immortal.

1077 11-02-2010 02:50 AM

Yes, I understand. My meaning is ...That once the filter becomes mature (cycled), then some of the ammonia from the tapwater will be processed by the filter as well as the water conditioner 's or product's mentioned.
If the tank is small, then cutting the tapwater with R/O water (jugs) would further reduce ammonia levels but this should be done in seperate tub before using in the aquarium to see what pH,gh,and kh are rendered in relation to fishes being kept. I might start with 50/50 mix which would not get too expensive in smaller tanks.

Caliban 11-02-2010 02:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1077 (Post 504574)
Yes, I understand. My meaning is ...That once the filter becomes mature (cycled), then some of the ammonia from the tapwater will be processed by the filter as well as the water conditioner 's or product's mentioned.
If the tank is small, then cutting the tapwater with R/O water (jugs) would further reduce ammonia levels but this should be done in seperate tub before using in the aquarium to see what pH,gh,and kh are rendered in relation to fishes being kept. I might start with 50/50 mix which would not get too expensive in smaller tanks.

We had actually discussed jug water, but I didn't want to rush into anything before getting some input from you fine people :). I know he doesn't have a lot of money to spend trying different chemicals. Everyone has good things to say about Prime, so I'll probably suggest he give that a shot, and if that doesn't work, I guess it might be the jug water. The goldfish is pretty tough, but I know once the goldfish is in its permanent home he was hoping for tetras, which are more sensitive. Thank you for giving me somewhere to start with the problem solving. I'm still amazed there's that much ammonia in his drinking water *shakes head*

1077 11-02-2010 03:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Caliban (Post 504575)
We had actually discussed jug water, but I didn't want to rush into anything before getting some input from you fine people :). I know he doesn't have a lot of money to spend trying different chemicals. Everyone has good things to say about Prime, so I'll probably suggest he give that a shot, and if that doesn't work, I guess it might be the jug water. The goldfish is pretty tough, but I know once the goldfish is in its permanent home he was hoping for tetras, which are more sensitive. Thank you for giving me somewhere to start with the problem solving. I'm still amazed there's that much ammonia in his drinking water *shakes head*

That is odd. Perhaps local water company could offer explanation? Wonder if neighbor's water contains similar amount.

Caliban 11-02-2010 03:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1077 (Post 504577)
That is odd. Perhaps local water company could offer explanation? Wonder if neighbor's water contains similar amount.

I suggested he test the water at his mother's house. She's in the same city, different house. If it's different, I'd say he SERIOUSLY needs to have the house's plumbing checked out. No one is sick, though, so I imagine it has something to do with how the town's water is treated. He's not even sure what their water source is. It's worth further investigation.

Caliban 11-02-2010 03:10 AM

Possible explination... an exerpt from the town's dpw water dpt... "In September of 1999 ammonia was added to change the secondary disinfectant to from free chlorine to chloramines. This was done to lower the trihalomethane levels. This adjustment has been very successful."


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