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Old 01-09-2011, 06:29 PM   #1 
sjones
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Please help:High ammonia Levels in Tap Water and tanks!!!

Just got my API kit and tested the ammonia levels in our city tap water-It ranges higher than 1 ppm! I also tested a bottle of Poland Spring water which 0ppm.

I just tested my smallest critter keeper that I did a 100% water change yesterday on and it reads between .25 ppm and 5 ppm.
Ph is 6
It has live floating plant (Hornwort and Duckweed)
I use Tetra Aqua Safe water conditioner.
I also have (but haven't used Prime)
At what level is ammonia harmful to fish?
I am wondering if the plants took the ammonia level down?
What to do?

I am currently cycling a ten gallon and it is reading betwen 4-8 ppm Ammonia (day 4)
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Old 01-09-2011, 07:50 PM   #2 
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bump! anyone?
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:17 PM   #3 
soccerdog693
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Most water companies now use chloramine instead of chlorine to clean water. Make sure you get a condtioner that detoxifies chlorine, chloramine, and ammonia. Your conditioner is probably breaking the bond in chloramine to make chlorine and ammonia. If the conditioner also claims to detoxify ammonia, then it turns it from NH3 (ammonia - toxic) to NH4+ (ammonium - less toxic). From what I can tell, the conditioner you are using is only detoxifying the chlorine and chloramine, so you conceivably could have ammonia in your tank from breaking the chloramine bond. Does prime detoxify ammonia to ammonium? If so, ammonium is still read on API kits, even though it is not nearly as toxic as ammonia. If you are use a conditioner that takes care of those 3 things and it stills shows up as having ammonia in your new water (before going in your tank), then use this as your 'base' number as it's probably ammonium, and measure the actual ammonia beyond that number. You can also try to find a kit that tests for NH3 only and not NH4+, although I don't know of any offhand that do that.

Also, you have a very low Ph, which makes the ammonia less toxic than more alkaline water (above 7). I've heard that ammonia gets dangerous above 1 ppm, but that may not be the same for you as you have such a low pH.

Hope that helps :)

Last edited by soccerdog693; 01-09-2011 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:20 PM   #4 
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I should also add that you should make sure your API ammonia test kit is the kind with liquid reagents (two dropper bottles and a glass tube) and not the test strips. I hear they are terribly inaccurate.
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:29 PM   #5 
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it's an API master kit with the droppers.
I here prime destabilizes ammonia but only for 48 hours..hmm thank you for this information!
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