Ammonia in Tap Water. How to fix?? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-05-2015, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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Ammonia in Tap Water. How to fix??

So I have a 75 gallon freshwater tank and I do frequent water changes (twice a week). I have roughly 5 fish in there right now as well. Each time I do a water change the next day I will test the water. Every time I would test it...the test would show ammonia.

I finally tested the tap water and it has .25 ammonia in it...which is what my tank tests for everytime. I have a fluval 406 filter, it has been cycled, and it also does not ever test positive for nitrate/nitrites. My current bracket layout for my filter is the top 2 compartments are charcoal. The second tier has one ammonia bag and one clearmax. The rest are the bio-max etc for the bottom 4 tiers.

I also use seachem Prime everytime I do a water change. I will add water directly to tank and then dump 2 capfuls into tank (it treats 100 gallons with two capfuls).

My question is what can I do to remove the ammonia from the tap water? Is the seachem making the ammonia non toxic and I should not work about it? My fish do not show any signs of stress with .25 ammonia in it but I have read a lot that any level of ammonia is bad.

Thank you for the help!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-05-2015, 03:09 PM
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I wouldn't really fret over it. My tap sometimes shows 5 ppm Nitrate, and its in my water report too. I just let the plants take care of it. That little bit of ammonia should be taken care of quite quickly by your filter, but prime should take care of it regardless.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-05-2015, 03:24 PM
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Likely a false reading.
Somewhere on this site is a thread by Hoppy on calibrating test kit.
IMO you need to;
If your tap had .25 ammonia it surely should be converted by your cycled filter EASILY in less then 24 hours.So reading it 24 hours later in tank is second indication of inaccurate reading IMO.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-05-2015, 03:40 PM
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Your fine as long as you use Prime on the water changes It locks up the ammonia to harmless but you still get a reading on test kits
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-05-2015, 07:02 PM
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I have seen that trace of ammonia in my tanks, too. Usually within 24 hours of using Prime.
Maybe an interaction with the dechlor? Maybe it is not there at all?

Anyway, if there is some ammonia, the dechlor is keeping it locked up so the tank is safe for fish.

I would remove the ammonia chips from the filter. Ammonia in the tank gets turned into nitrite and nitrate, and plants will remove all 3 of these.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-05-2015, 08:16 PM
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I just experienced this. I would actually suggest that rather than your test kit being inaccurate, it is fine and your water is being treated with Chloramine. I'm far from a chemist, but multiple sources I found suggest Chloramine is partially composed of ammonia molecules and that tap water treated with it would test positive for ammonia.

There's one here that's particularly lengthy, but we'll written: http://www.skepticalaquarist.com/chlorine-chloramine

And a few others that can be located easily.

Prime is likely making the ammonia non-toxic and giving your tank a chance to process it.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-06-2015, 12:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cichjman View Post
My question is what can I do to remove the ammonia from the tap water? Is the seachem making the ammonia non toxic and I should not work about it? My fish do not show any signs of stress with .25 ammonia in it but I have read a lot that any level of ammonia is bad.

Thank you for the help!
Your water is likely treated with chloramine, which adds both chlorine and ammonia to the water (bound together). Once a dechlorinator breaks the bond, you have ammonia, as others have suggested.

That said: don't worry. As long as your tank is well cycled, this should be a non-issue for you.

Prime will keep ammonia from being toxic for 24 hours.. By that time your tanks biological organisms will have broken it down to nitrate. Compared to the ammonia from fish load on a well stocked tank, this is a relatively small amount of extra ammonia.

Test your tank 24 hours after a change to be sure, but it should zero out by then.. if it doesn't you've got cycle issues.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-06-2015, 04:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cichjman View Post
So I have a 75 gallon freshwater tank and I do frequent water changes (twice a week).
...
I also use seachem Prime everytime I do a water change. I will add water directly to tank and then dump 2 capfuls into tank (it treats 100 gallons with two capfuls).
Prime should be dosed by the amount of new water added, not the total tank volume. So, if you do a 20% water change (15g), you dose Prime for 15g (1ml per 10g, so 1.5ml).

About Chloramine & Ammonia, here is an FAQ from http://www.seachem.com/support/FAQs/Prime.html:

Q:I tested my tap water after using Prime and came up with an ammonia reading. Is this because of chloramine? Could you explain how this works in removing chloramine?

A: Prime works by removing chlorine from the water and then binds with ammonia until it can be consumed by your biological filtration (chloramine minus chlorine = ammonia). The bond is not reversible and ammonia is still available for your bacteria to consume. Prime will not halt your cycling process.
I am going to assume that you were using a liquid based reagent test kit (Nessler based, silica). Any type of reducing agent or ammonia binder (dechlorinators, etc) will give you a false positive. You can avoid this by using our Multitest Ammonia kit (not affected by reducing agents) or you can wait to test, Prime dissipates from your system within 24 hours.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-06-2015, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by justin12 View Post
Prime should be dosed by the amount of new water added, not the total tank volume. So, if you do a 20% water change (15g), you dose Prime for 15g (1ml per 10g, so 1.5ml).
While I used to do this without issue, this is not what the product directions say to do when adding prime directly to the tank with untrated water. They explicitly instruct you to dose based on the total tank volume when doing this.

Quote:
If adding directly to aquarium, base dose on aquarium volume.
http://www.seachem.com/Products/prod...ges/Prime.html

Thus for 75 gallons, the dose is 7.5ml, or 1 1/2 capfuls.. the current dosing of 2 capfuls (10ml) is excessive.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-07-2015, 01:10 PM
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I also use seachem Prime everytime I do a water change. I will add water directly to tank and then dump 2 capfuls into tank (it treats 100 gallons with two capfuls).


i usually add prime first then add tap water
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