Ammonia levels in tap water

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Poseidon2.0 created the topic: Ammonia levels in tap water

Hello. Perhaps some of you chemistry experts can ease my mind about my ammonia levels in my tap water (or conversely make me more alarmed than I already am)! I should note that I live in Philadelphia in an 7 story building. I have given a bit of a run down on my water stats of my aquariums as well to give you the whole picture.

Both of my aquariums (one 55 gal single oscar tank; one 15 gal community tank) finished cycling after about three weeks and my ammonia levels in both are at about 0-0.25 (having come down from about 1.0 during the cycling process. The nitrites are both at 0 (down from 1.0 during cycling). The nitrates now sit at around 5.0-10.0 in my oscar tank and about 20.0 in community tank (down from about 40-80.0 during the cycling process). Ph is 7.0-7.2 in the oscar tank and about 7.4-7.6 in the community tank.

So everything is looking pretty good over all and everything finished cycling about three weeks ago. I have been still obsessively testing every couple of days and have been experimenting with the devil's ivy for nitrates.

I decided to do tests of my tap water today and got these readings:

ph 7.2
ammonia 1.0 ppm
nitrites 0.0 ppm
nitrates 10-20.0 ppm

I am using the API master kit for all of this.

I am worried about my ammonia levels out of the tap water. How stressed will my fish get if I am changing their water with an ammonia level this high? The tanks seem to nicely absorb the ammonia but I am now reticent to do large water changes very often lest it stress out the fish.

Thoughts?
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Ammonia levels in tap water

A couple of your stats dont make sense. First, 3 weeks is not near enough time to complete a cycle and develop a viable bacteria colony. Reading 40-80 nitrate during the process is basically impossible, as nitrate is the end result of the complete cycle. During the cycling process, you will in the beginning read some ammonia. As the nitrosonomas bacteria develop, you will then see some sign of nitrite. The second bacteria to grow is nitrobacter, which turns nitrite to nitrate. This whole deal takes 8-10 weeks, if starting from scratch. I wonder if your test kit is expired, or perhaps you have done something slightly wrong with the testing? Our Admin, Darth also lives in Philly, and if he had readings from the tap as you do, I fully expect he would be on steps of City Hall, fully prepared to punch out some lights!


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Poseidon2.0 replied the topic: Ammonia levels in tap water

Thanks for the reply!

I understand that the nitrates are the end of the cycling process; these weren't that high until a bit later in the process, which seemed to take about three weeks for me. I should have added that I used maybe 10 gallons of aquarium water from a friend's tank to start everything off in the 55 as well as six giant danios. I assumed that everything had finished cycling because the ammonia levels and the the nitrites dropped right off after a couple of weeks. I am certainly no expert at any of this. Most of my experience with fish was when I was a juvenile and teen, so now just getting back into things as a relative novice.

Where does one even check the expiry date on the test kit? I have looked but found nothing. I bought it maybe a year ago, but never used it until recently when I set the tanks up.
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Poseidon2.0 replied the topic: Ammonia levels in tap water

Ok, well, I guess I am having a monolog at this point, lol, but will post this in case anyone wants to chime in about ammonia levels in tap water.

So I re-tested the tap water with a new API nitrate kit I picked up last weekend because of the daily nitrate tests I have been conducting, and going through it pretty fast. I didn't replace the others in the master kit.

This new nitrate test set has an expiry date on it of 2019 so I know it is good.

The nitrate level out of the tap today is 5.0ppm. So this makes me think the 10-20ppm reading from my other set is faulty and probably means that the ammonia test is too.

I will assume that no one else gets high ammonia readings out of the tap?

I did a little reading up and ammonia levels seem to be one thing that the WHO is not particularly concerned with as it is not linked to serious health issues for humans, not so for the fish, however.

Anyway a new master kit is on the way in the mail and I will double check the ammonia levels out of the tap when it arrives. Hopefully they are just wonky because of a faulty set and I am not stressing out my fish when I do a water change.
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Goranothos replied the topic: Ammonia levels in tap water

"Ok well, I guess I am having a monolog at this point."

Better check your attitude double quick. Word to the wise. :whistle:

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.” -Mike Tyson
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jmunroe replied the topic: Re:Ammonia levels in tap water

Don't forget to shake the bottle #2 of the nitrate test kit really good. Tap it on something as well to make sure it gets mixed well. If you do have ammonia in your tap be sure to use prime when doing water changes which will neutralize it for 48 hours, this will give your bio media in your filter time to process it. There was an article in last months TFH magazine which said the there are other things in municipal water that will show up on the nitrates test kit but is not in fact nitrates. I've been on well water for years and most of my life... I don't miss dealing with city water.

Go do a water change - the solution to pollution is dilution.
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Poseidon2.0 replied the topic: Ammonia levels in tap water

Goranothos wrote: "Ok well, I guess I am having a monolog at this point."

Better check your attitude double quick. Word to the wise. :whistle:


Oh dear, I meant it as a joke, not as a snarky comment. I was feeling more that my issue wasn't that clearly stated and that I was kind drifting off into my own little universe of water testing. I imagine that people have dealt with a lot of issue on here over the years and perhaps, as this wasn't an emergency, it didn't get that much attention, which I am totally ok with. I actually just appreciate having a place to document these specialized issues that I can go back and consult at a future time. And if anyone wants to pipe in I am happy for the extra advice. Again, no snark intended!
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Poseidon2.0 replied the topic: Re:Ammonia levels in tap water

jmunroe wrote: Don't forget to shake the bottle #2 of the nitrate test kit really good. Tap it on something as well to make sure it gets mixed well. If you do have ammonia in your tap be sure to use prime when doing water changes which will neutralize it for 48 hours, this will give your bio media in your filter time to process it. There was an article in last months TFH magazine which said the there are other things in municipal water that will show up on the nitrates test kit but is not in fact nitrates. I've been on well water for years and most of my life... I don't miss dealing with city water.


Thanks for the reference to TFH, I will try to find it, and for the tapping advice. I do shake very well, and time it. My tanks don't seem to have an ammonia issue as the tanks themselves both have 0.0-0.25 readings, much lower than what the tap water was. I have been using Seachem Prime, which may be what is helping the tanks. I didn't realize it did ammonia too! That is good to know.
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purplecandle replied the topic: Ammonia levels in tap water

Use seachem's prime before you add any new water. You can still do large water changes.
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Goranothos replied the topic: Ammonia levels in tap water

Poseidon2.0 wrote:

Goranothos wrote: "Ok well, I guess I am having a monolog at this point."

Better check your attitude double quick. Word to the wise. :whistle:


Oh dear, I meant it as a joke, not as a snarky comment. I was feeling more that my issue wasn't that clearly stated and that I was kind drifting off into my own little universe of water testing. I imagine that people have dealt with a lot of issue on here over the years and perhaps, as this wasn't an emergency, it didn't get that much attention, which I am totally ok with. I actually just appreciate having a place to document these specialized issues that I can go back and consult at a future time. And if anyone wants to pipe in I am happy for the extra advice. Again, no snark intended!


Ok, sorry. I sometimes get a little overprotective of this forum. No harm, no foul. ;)

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