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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi to All. Trying to research my options. I’ve searched prior postings to avoid wasting anyone’s time but haven’t seen much on how these work. I’d like to use my tap water for the PH and other obvious reasons but I’m getting 2.0 ppm Amonia with my api master test kit ( I can’t believe I used to drink this stuff … ewwww!!!) obviously I’ll start saving my nickels for a RO system. Questions In the meanwhile …does the use of detoxifying water conditioners ( such as Prime or API aqua essentials)

1) still allow the plants to use the “detoxified” amonia and nitrates
2) stall the cycling process
3) does the detox only last temporarily
4) skew test results ? False positives (aqua essentials says will read accurate with their test kit

Any help appreciated 😎
 

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1) still allow the plants to use the “detoxified” amonia and nitrates
Plants will function as normal
2) stall the cycling process
Nope.
3) does the detox only last temporarily
As far as I know, yes. It could also depend if chloromines are used to disinfect tap water.
4) skew test results ? False positives (aqua essentials says will read accurate with their test kit

If your water source has chloramines, it could skew you ammonia test. So I would check that. Also, I would check to see if your ammonia test kit is still good, they do go bad.
 

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Hi to All. Trying to research my options. I’ve searched prior postings to avoid wasting anyone’s time but haven’t seen much on how these work. I’d like to use my tap water for the PH and other obvious reasons but I’m getting 2.0 ppm Amonia with my api master test kit ( I can’t believe I used to drink this stuff … ewwww!!!) obviously I’ll start saving my nickels for a RO system. Questions In the meanwhile …does the use of detoxifying water conditioners ( such as Prime or API aqua essentials)

1) still allow the plants to use the “detoxified” amonia and nitrates
2) stall the cycling process
3) does the detox only last temporarily
4) skew test results ? False positives (aqua essentials says will read accurate with their test kit

Any help appreciated 😎
Is your tap water using chloramine (as opposed to chlorine)? You can check with your local water treatment facility to find out. Typically this information can be found on a website.

Anyway the reason I ask is that chloramine when you use a dechlorinator (like prime, but any of them really) will then show up as ammonia when using a test kit. This does not mean you actually have active ammonia in your water however.

You certainly can use an RODI system, but golly, it does make things a lot harder on yourself. Chances are pretty good you don't actually have 2ppm of ammonia in your water. You would smell it if it were that high.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Is your tap water using chloramine (as opposed to chlorine)? You can check with your local water treatment facility to find out. Typically this information can be found on a website.

Anyway the reason I ask is that chloramine when you use a dechlorinator (like prime, but any of them really) will then show up as ammonia when using a test kit. This does not mean you actually have active ammonia in your water however.

You certainly can use an RODI system, but golly, it does make things a lot harder on yourself. Chances are pretty good you don't actually have 2ppm of ammonia in your water. You would smell it if it were that high.

Thanks so much for your reply. I really debated taking this tank and the hundreds of dollars in chemicals and dropping them at the local high school as a donation! LOL 😂 So I did research with my city water and the do indeed use chloramine. So that being said, does that mean I will not be able to accurately test the amonia levels ? If that is the case, what do you recommend?
 

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Thanks so much for your reply. I really debated taking this tank and the hundreds of dollars in chemicals and dropping them at the local high school as a donation! LOL 😂 So I did research with my city water and the do indeed use chloramine. So that being said, does that mean I will not be able to accurately test the amonia levels ? If that is the case, what do you recommend?
After you do a water change your tank will show ammonia. BUT it should go away after a day or 2 once your tank is cycled. I am not sure where you are at in the setting up process.

When you are new to keeping tanks you might run a full range of tests after every water change etc but once you get a bit more experience you will only occasionally test the water because you will be familiar with the results and your fish's behavior etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That’s just it. It is a new tank (heavily planted with no fish) and I’m trying to gauge where I’m at in the cycle but since using the detoxifier the readings fluctuate I now have no idea. Since the original post I stopped using the detoxifier and my amonia is going back up (1.0 ppm) and nitrites are staying the same (0.25 ppm) and nitrates at staying the same at 20 ppm. Just trying find the best water recipe that I could consistently use to go forward but I don’t know how to use my tap water when it reads 1.0 amonia straight out of the tap. Again … thanks sooooo much for any guidance 💛💛💛
 

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That’s just it. It is a new tank (heavily planted with no fish) and I’m trying to gauge where I’m at in the cycle but since using the detoxifier the readings fluctuate I now have no idea. Since the original post I stopped using the detoxifier and my amonia is going back up (1.0 ppm) and nitrites are staying the same (0.25 ppm) and nitrates at staying the same at 20 ppm. Just trying find the best water recipe that I could consistently use to go forward but I don’t know how to use my tap water when it reads 1.0 amonia straight out of the tap. Again … thanks sooooo much for any guidance 💛💛💛
Note that if you're not treating your tap water, chlorine and chloramine can kill off most species of bacteria. So you are likely doing yourself a disservice on that front, unfortunately.

You'll know your tank is cycled when it can process a fixed amount of ammonia (usually 2-3 PPM but sometimes 4-5, depending upon what you plan to keep) in under 24 hours with no detectible nitrite.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Note that if you're not treating your tap water, chlorine and chloramine can kill off most species of bacteria. So you are likely doing yourself a disservice on that front, unfortunately.

You'll know your tank is cycled when it can process a fixed amount of ammonia (usually 2-3 PPM but sometimes 4-5, depending upon what you plan to keep) in under 24 hours with no detectible nitrite.
Apologies … I should have mentioned that I used the dechlorinator and tap on original set up but since then only using RO water with 15% water changes every few days. I only added the detoxifier to the tank for the nitrites and I was concerned for some pest snails that made their way in there magically (LOL) It is getting costly and cumbersome to tote all these jugs and that is why I was exploring my options. I bought a distiller but have t used it because I know it will need remineralization. Should I just scrap the tap and dechlorination and go down the other rabbit hole for PH ? 😂 your thoughts ?
 

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Should I just scrap the tap and dechlorination and go down the other rabbit hole for PH ?
Chasing pH is not a good idea in your case. Hardness and osmotic pressure (think kH and gH) are more important in this instance. Most of us tend to ignore pH entirely unless we're trying to gauge CO2 saturation.

What are your actual water parameters - including kH and gH?

Remineralization becomes simple and second nature after mixing up water change water a couple times. If you're using RO/DI water that you buy right now? That also requires remineralization. But knowing more about your water parameters would be the only way to determine whether your tap water will work for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Chasing pH is not a good idea in your case. Hardness and osmotic pressure (think kH and gH) are more important in this instance. Most of us tend to ignore pH entirely unless we're trying to gauge CO2 saturation.

What are your actual water parameters - including kH and gH?

Remineralization becomes simple and second nature after mixing up water change water a couple times. If you're using RO/DI water that you buy right now? That also requires remineralization. But knowing more about your water parameters would be the only way to determine whether your tap water will work for you.
OK Doctor … here are the current bloodwork results:

1.0 ppm amonia
0.25 ppm nitrite
10-20 ppm nitrate
2 dkh KH
5 dkh GH
7.6 PH

Diagnosis ? 😎
Thanks again for your time
 

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OK Doctor … here are the current bloodwork results:

1.0 ppm amonia
0.25 ppm nitrite
10-20 ppm nitrate
2 dkh KH
5 dkh GH
7.6 PH

Diagnosis ? 😎
Thanks again for your time
I'd just focus on getting your tank cycled. This is a good primer on the fishless cycle. Though, I'd probably cycle at 2-3 PPM ammonia, which you'll have to add on a regular basis to maintain concentration. Once nitrites disappear and your tank can process a full 2-3 PPM of ammonia in a 24-hour period, you're "cycled" and can do a 100% water change and add your livestock.
 
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