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 chesterfield tap water ammonia

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joenels
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PostSubject: chesterfield tap water ammonia   Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:54 pm

So I rarely test my tap water but have set up a 29 gallon for my discus pair with an undersized sponge filter and wanted to check ammonia.Ammonia in the tank after a recent water change showed on the API test kit as over 1ppm!Its a bare tank so I then tested my tap water and am getting the same thing out of my tap!Fish show no signs of distress and my planted tanks show zero ammonia before weekly water change.In went ahead and di my weekly 50% water changes with prime today one at a time watching for signs of distress and nobody so much as breathed hard.Everybody seems fine including newly hatched brichardi in one tank.I just tested a couple of tanks again and am still showing .50 ppm about ten hours after the change.Whats going on?
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PostSubject: Re: chesterfield tap water ammonia   Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:27 am

Is anyone else in the area seeing high ammonia out of the tap with the API test?And if so what are you doing to control it?
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PostSubject: Re: chesterfield tap water ammonia   Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:18 pm

I have read online. that sometimes tap water does have Ammonia. I would think your bacteria would take care of it once it met your cycled tank. Plus your prime. Although this could make your nitrates go up faster.
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PostSubject: Re: chesterfield tap water ammonia   Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:25 pm

Try testing some water that should have no ammonia (e.g. bottled water, or an established tank with lots of plants). If you get 1 ppm there, then the test reagents are bad.
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PostSubject: Re: chesterfield tap water ammonia   Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:41 pm

So the test on the left is straight out of the tap.The test on the right is my 75 gallon 2 days after a 50 percent water change with the water on the left.I think the test kit is working fine...just not sure about dumping that much ammonia into my tanks every weekend as I do large water changes weekly.

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PostSubject: Re: chesterfield tap water ammonia   Mon Apr 13, 2015 7:36 pm

It may be measuring chloramines, which are added to stabilize chlorine, which is not stable on its own, and is part of water purification. Try testing the tap water after adding dechlorinator, before adding it to the tank?

Edit: I meant that AMMONIA is added to CHLORINE to create CHLORAMINES, a more stable form of chlorine.

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PostSubject: Re: chesterfield tap water ammonia   Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:03 pm

I have tested after adding prime and get basically the same reading. I know prime is supposed to neutralize the ammonia for roughly 24 hours and all my tanks are established but it still makes me nervous.I have some fairly sensitive fish that havent shown any stress from this but all it takes is one careless mistake and there goes a whole tank.
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PostSubject: Re: chesterfield tap water ammonia   Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:07 pm

Not to mention what you're putting into your own body!

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PostSubject: Re: chesterfield tap water ammonia   Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:39 pm

Well I talked to chesterfield utilities today and she said there is no requirement they have to meet regarding ammonia or chloramines.Very unhelpful while being quite pleasant about it.
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PostSubject: Re: chesterfield tap water ammonia   Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:27 pm

It is my understanding that Prime will neutralize the ammonia, making it nontoxic for the fish (especially at neutral or higher pH) but it will still show up on a test kit.

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PostSubject: Re: chesterfield tap water ammonia   Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:19 pm

The federal limit for chloramine in public water systems is 4 ppm (= 4 mg/L).  Most water systems that use chloramine aim to keep it between 3 and 4 ppm.  Prime will react with ammonia to make it essentially non-toxic until the plants and filter bacteria can use it, but it may still show up as ammonia on some ammonia test kits depending on what chemical reagents the test kit uses.

edit: oops i didnt read all the posts ... Liz already said that.

joenels wrote:
Well I talked to chesterfield utilities today and she said there is no requirement they have to meet regarding ammonia or chloramines. Very unhelpful while being quite pleasant about it.
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PostSubject: Re: chesterfield tap water ammonia   Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:25 am

Okay so the main reason this started was due to 2ppm ammonia readings in my new bare bottom 29 gallon with my discus pair.After two weeks from first finding out my water out of the tap is reading 2ppm I am still seeing 2ppm in the discus tank.This is after a week of no water changes with an established sponge filter as well as an ac70 with media both from very established tanks that test 0ppm ammonia. I have been dosing prime every other day to keep it non toxic and the discus pair are showing no signs of distress but I cant understand why fully established filters arent cleaning this up. I have used the same test on the tank the media came from and get 0ppm so the test is working properly. I did try aquacelar ammonia remover inserts day before last and was pleasantly surprised to see a tremendous drop to .25ppm after only a few hours. the next morning it was right back up to 1.5-2ppm with no water changes or other changes. They are larger discus but are the only fish in the tank and I am feeding small portions of live blackworms every day. Not near enough to produce these levels of ammonia regardless of established filters or not. Not sure what to do at this point except keep adding prime and hope my tap water and/or tank water reduces in ammonia.
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PostSubject: Re: chesterfield tap water ammonia   Fri Apr 17, 2015 9:05 am

Hmm. Wonder if the prime is preventing your filters from cycling? Looks like your tank bacteria may have been killed off some how. Maybe take some filter media from another tank and try to kick start it again.
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PostSubject: Re: chesterfield tap water ammonia   Fri Apr 17, 2015 9:08 am

Actually I already tried that without adding any prime I used the sponge from two different ac70's(I have three) and waited 24 hours with no change in ammonia levels.I still have the sponge filter and have also tried adding a biowheel from an emporer 400 floating in there as well.It just wont go down.No nitrites so its not building more bacteria either.
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PostSubject: Re: chesterfield tap water ammonia   Fri Apr 17, 2015 9:47 am

I'm stumped on this one. Those well-established tanks that the filter media was taken from ... are they fish-heavy tanks? If their fish load (really food load) is light relative to plant biomass, then there might not be all that much nitrifying bacteria in the filter media. I use Frogbit (Limnobium) and guppy-grass (Najas) as my primary tools to reduce ammonia quickly.
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PostSubject: Re: chesterfield tap water ammonia   Fri Apr 17, 2015 9:54 am

I have some dwarf water lettuce I have thrown in there as well. The other tanks are heavily planted and heavily stocked and fed heavily as well. Its really weird...and frustrating. I have a ac20 I keep on one of my tanks for hospital/qt tank etc and have that on a bare bottom ten gallon with an apisto agassizzi trio in it and I overfeed them every other day and that tank registers zero ammonia as well.Its like the tank intself is producing ammonia faster than the bacteria(and ammo chips) can eat it but if that were the case I should see SOME decline over time and also some nitrites as the cycle re-establishes.It just stays at 2.0 ppm morning and evening. I am going to try another batch of ammo chips to see if I see a reduction again and not feed tonight.Perhaps I am overfeeding the blackworms(less than one third of a cone feeder) or the fish are just producing a lot.again I should see some change though if that were the case.
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PostSubject: Re: chesterfield tap water ammonia   Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:59 pm

Does your cat piss in it?
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PostSubject: Re: chesterfield tap water ammonia   Fri Apr 17, 2015 2:34 pm

Might be the ghost of one of my cats...he was mean as hell.
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