Do you have ammonia in your tap? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-10-2006, 03:29 AM Thread Starter
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Do you have ammonia in your tap?

Does anyone else have ammonia in their tap? I converted my heavily planted 75G into a Mbuna cichlid tank with only some slow growing anubias, vals, etc. I noticed one of my cichlids acting weird after a very large (~90%) water change.

I checked ammonia levels and they were about .5ppm in the tank. I checked the tap and it was 2ppm.

I have done a few 90% WC before without issue but this was when the tank had heavy plant loads and lots of CO2 and lighting. The ammonia seems to be dropping quickly which is good news.

Our water here is terrible by any stretch of the imagination. It is rock hard and loaded with sulfates which makes it stink and virtually undrinkable (IMO).

My curiosity is whether or not it is common to have this level of ammonia in tap water?

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Robert

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Last edited by Overfloater; 04-10-2006 at 10:51 AM.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-10-2006, 12:40 PM
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If your water is treated with chloramine it will test positive for ammonia. A good water treatment like Seachem Prime with neutralize the ammonia.

However most common ammonia test kits will show a false positive.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-10-2006, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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Rex: Thanks for your input. I do have chloramines in my water. I follow your explanation as it is inline with my theories. I have been reading that the only good kit available is the kit Seachem sells to test for free ammonia.

In the future I will only be doing 50% WC which shouldn't be a problem with Prime.

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Robert

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 12:11 AM
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I have high chloramine as well. I use a dechloraminator filter now which drips into a large plastic storage barrel. It looks like any other cartridge type filter, like an RO for example, and the slower you drip the tapwater through it, the better it removes the chloramine.

Not a cheap filter, but after 10 months it's worked out a lot cheaper than having to triple-dose with Prime all the time. And I'd rather have the chloramine removed completely rather than just broken down into a lot of neutralized ammonia anyway.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 01:31 AM
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But the neutralized ammonia is good food for the plants.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 07:53 AM
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Oh, they still get some. I still have to mix the filtered water (0ppm) with some warm raw tapwater (0.25ppm) anyway to get it up to temp in a ratio of a 1:1.5 ratio hot to cold, so I'm still dosing 0.05ppm ammonia per 50% water change. Despite plants liking it, I'd prefer to be dosing 0, but 0.05 is still a lot better than 0.25ppm. The plastic drum just isn't insulated enough to warrant keeping it heated in the cold basement without wasting a lot of energy.

And that's just the pure ammonia straight out of the tap, without taking into account all the NH extracted from the chloramine as well, so there's more ammonia than I'm actually measuring. Probably double at a guess.

Edited due to poor maths.
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