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Ammonia at 2ppm from tap water!!
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Joined: 19 Dec 2006

PostPosted: 2006.12.30(Sat)13:13    Post subject: Ammonia at 2ppm from tap water!! Reply with quote

Hi Group,
I just tested my newly filled 55 gallon tankf or ammonia (there should be none, since there's nothing in it), and it tested out 2.0ppm.

I tested the water straight from the tap and it also registered 2.0ppm. I thought tap water was suppose to be ammonia free!?

I'm using "aquarium pharmaceuticals" ammonia test kit - basically, 5ml of water and 8 drops of both test solutions. I think I tested right. Is it possible for tap water to have a little ammonia?


PS. My tap water also has a really high pH. 7.6, but that's as high as my test will register - which is kinda like double trouble considering the ammonia levels. I think maybe the city makes the pH high so lead won't dissolve as easily into the water? I'm not sure what I should do.
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Joined: 13 Oct 2003

PostPosted: 2006.12.31(Sun)16:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know that most tap water will have a little nitrate in there but there shouldn't be any ammonia in there. I did a quick Google search and apparently there is no EPA regulation on tap water ammonia levels.
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2007.01.01(Mon)0:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes there will be ammonia present in tapwater, I'm not sure why though. If your area is dosing chloramine, treatment of that with most water conditioners will also produce ammonia (I vaguely recall they dose both chlorine and ammonia into the water supply to produce chloramine, could be wrong).

A little bit of ammonia is not usually a problem in established tanks as it is processed by the biofilter quickly, but 2ppm can pose a problem. I suggest you use a water conditioner like Prime which detoxifies ammonia as well as chlorine and chloramine.

I don't know where you live, but hard water with a high pH seems to be rather common in US in particular...before you worry about the pH, check whether the fish that you are going to keep require the pH to be altered in the first place. It might be worth testing with a test kit for high pH (possibly a marine test kit) to find out exactly what the pH is (and determine what your GH/KH too)...
Fishing in the Rivers of Light
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Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Location: Lower Mainland, BC

PostPosted: 2007.01.02(Tue)15:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't add anything that detoxifies ammonia before you start your cycle though, esp. if you are doing a fishless.

myhamster wrote:
My tap water also has a really high pH. 7.6

unissuh is right- you should get a high end pH test (tetratest has a good one), but if it turns out that your pH REALLY is 7.6, or even a smidgen higher, I really wouldn't worry about it. My pH is 8 and I've successfully kept all sorts of tetras, cories, angels, etc in it for years. I am trying to lower it now because I want to keep rams, but that's another story. The truth is, changing your pH is difficult. Unless your KH is right on, you're going to have trouble. If your KH is too low, you run the risk of causing serious fluctuations, and if it's too high you could sit there and dump in pH down 'till you're blue in the face and nothing's going to happen.
You could always just take the easy route and stick with fish that like alkaline water, like african cichlids and livebearers.
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