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Old 12-18-2012, 09:56 AM   #11 
sandybottom
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yes dead plants can spike it. a fish's respiration adds ammo too.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:10 AM   #12 
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Your water conditioner should remove chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals, but if there is ammonia in the tap water, there are only certain conditioners that will temporarily neutralize it. Of course, some conditioners are better than others.
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:53 PM   #13 
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Just did a test, and there is a little bit of ammonia in our well water. Also ordered a 5-gallon tank. My plan is to get the tank set up, add StressZyme and plants, give it some time to get established, and do another water test to make sure there's no ammonia before adding a fish. And do regular water tests since the water changes aren't as helpful as they would otherwise be. I may do the first fill with bottled water just to make sure, though I'll have to double check which kinds of bottled water are okay. I know you don't want distilled, but I think spring is okay... And then keep a gallon on hand so that I can change with ammonia-free water when needed.
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:06 PM   #14 
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Spring water is fine. On the other hand, depending on how many tanks you have, it may be worth looking into a reverse osmosis unit (you can generally find them much cheaper on e-bay than through an aquarium store) which will remove any impurities from you water. It also removes beneficial minerals, however, so you'd need to add these back by using a formulated mineral supplement (the same applies to distilled water, which is just a different name for r/o water). Ultimately, you'd have to do the math to see if the initial cost of the unit would be worth it in the end, but just a thought.
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:45 PM   #15 
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Spring water is fine. On the other hand, depending on how many tanks you have, it may be worth looking into a reverse osmosis unit (you can generally find them much cheaper on e-bay than through an aquarium store) which will remove any impurities from you water. It also removes beneficial minerals, however, so you'd need to add these back by using a formulated mineral supplement (the same applies to distilled water, which is just a different name for r/o water). Ultimately, you'd have to do the math to see if the initial cost of the unit would be worth it in the end, but just a thought.
Yeah, that's definitely something to keep in mind. With one or two little tanks, it's probably not worth it, but if I end up getting more fish and bigger tanks, it's something to consider.
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:23 PM   #16 
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Just did a test, and there is a little bit of ammonia in our well water. Also ordered a 5-gallon tank. My plan is to get the tank set up, add StressZyme and plants, give it some time to get established, and do another water test to make sure there's no ammonia before adding a fish. And do regular water tests since the water changes aren't as helpful as they would otherwise be. I may do the first fill with bottled water just to make sure, though I'll have to double check which kinds of bottled water are okay. I know you don't want distilled, but I think spring is okay... And then keep a gallon on hand so that I can change with ammonia-free water when needed.
How much Ammonia in the tap?

You may be able to save yourself all the trouble (and expense) but using a water conditioner like Seachem Prime. This is one of the rare instances where I recommend using it. It will detoxify the ammonia for ~48 hours which is usually enough time for bacteria and/or plants to use it. It detoxifies it by converting it to Ammonium, which plants actually prefer.
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