The Planted Tank Forum banner

Tap water has ammonia. Now what?

241 8
Both of my tanks are testing between 0.25 and 0.50 ppm ammonia after a water change with Prime a couple days ago. So I tested my tap water. It comes out 0.25 to 0.50 also. I cant really tell the difference between the colors.

FYI these are both planted tanks and the nitrites test at 0 and the nitrates at 20. I dose ferts but not kno3 because of my high nitrates.

Now what do I do? I live in an apartment so I cant install an r/o system and toting and buying it is out of the question.
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,968 Posts
Prime will temporarily bind the ammonia for a couple days which makes it less harmful to fish but still available to the beneficial bacteria. Your ammonia test kit will still pick up that slight amount of ammonia especially if using a test kit like the API.

You can check out the FAQ section of Seachem's website Here , it's the 4th question down the page.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
530 Posts
Is your tap water treated with chloramine?
Chloramines can give a false reading in your ammonia test kit. Check your local water quality report or call you local water company to confirm. Treating with prime can neutralize this, just follow the manufacturers direction. If i remember right, when you dose prime to tap water treated with chloramine, it is converted to ammonium which is less harmful to fish, but can still register on your API test kit.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
17,854 Posts
Now what do I do?
Just treat with Prime each time you do a water change. Your system will be able to process it.

I live in an apartment so I cant install an r/o system
Of course you can. Just buy a faucet or shower head adapter. I've had RO/DI systems for decades and have never had to permanently install anything. I keep my 6-stage system under my bathroom sink and only connect the tubing to the faucet adapter (it just screws on) when I need to make water. I leave the adapter attached to the faucet when not in use, as it has a bypass switch that I flip up for normal operation. When not in use, I stash the tubing under the sink with my filter. Just tape the tubing down to whatever container I'm using when making water. Works extremely well.

Also have a shower head adapter that I use in the bathroom at my office. It's just an extension that sits between the pipe and shower head - just like the faucet adapter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've got it figured out. It isnt my tap water at all. It is the cup I got out of the dishwasher and put tap water into to put into the tube that had ammonia in it. When I put tap water straight in the tube from the faucet it comes out zero. Makes you wonder what's in Cascade dishwasher detergent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,968 Posts
Was it a glass or plastic cup? I've found that using plastic cups or containers causes some skewed test readings when used to hold sample water.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
It's best to have dedicated aquarium tools that get used for anything else.

People often say that the API ammonia test always reads .25 even when it's zero, but the difference between zero and 0.25 is easy to discern for me. There is clearly a difference. Maybe it comes down to each individual test kit / quality control. I've used API ammonia tests for over a decade and never have had this problem. Of course, the API test kits are not precision instruments.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top