Ammonia In My Source Water Question 

Rob Shannon

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I have 3 small tanks 55, 40 and 30gal. I do 50% WCs weekly. My issue is that my source water has about 1.0ppm NH3. So after a WC my tank will read 0.50ppm NH3. Within 24hrs it’s down to 0. How problematic is this?
 

mattgirl

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As long as you are using Prime as your primary water conditioner it won't be a problem at all. Prime will detox that low amount of ammonia long enough for your bacteria to clear it up.
 

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There are trace amounts of ammonia in my faucet water as well. I use prime a bit more than others who do not have this issue, but I haven't had any big problems. I honestly think my nitrifying bacteria are a bit stronger because of it.
 

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Rob Shannon said:
I have 3 small tanks 55, 40 and 30gal. I do 50% WCs weekly. My issue is that my source water has about 1.0ppm NH3. So after a WC my tank will read 0.50ppm NH3. Within 24hrs it’s down to 0. How problematic is this?
Hello
I have prime, but I stopped using it on new tank set ups because, to me it stops the bb cycle by detoxing ammonia. It gives false readings too. I used seachems ammonia alert, which stays on inside of my tank & tetra startzyme or aquasafe which is water conditioner & bacteria altogether. You can add safestart too.
Also check your filter media, if it’s gross & disgusting brown/black- remove it, put in new carbon & filter floss/pad. A lot of nitrates & stuff build up in filter material & wc won’t affect that long. Think about if your running clean water through a dirty filter in your washer/dishwasher or something, water won’t come out clean. Clean filter impellers as well very so often. Hope this will help you.
 
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Rob Shannon

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tiffani said:
Hello
I have prime, but I stopped using it on new tank set ups because, to me it stops the bb cycle by detoxing ammonia. It gives false readings too. I used seachems ammonia alert, which stays on inside of my tank & tetra startzyme or aquasafe which is water conditioner & bacteria altogether. You can add safestart too.
Also check your filter media, if it’s gross & disgusting brown/black- remove it, put in new carbon & filter floss/pad. A lot of nitrates & stuff build up in filter material & wc won’t affect that long. Think about if your running clean water through a dirty filter in your washer/dishwasher or something, water won’t come out clean. Clean filter impellers as well very so often. Hope this will help you.
My issue is introducing additional NH3 when I add new water so not sure this is relevant but thanks!
 

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tiffani said:
Hello
I have prime, but I stopped using it on new tank set ups because, to me it stops the bb cycle by detoxing ammonia. It gives false readings too. I used seachems ammonia alert, which stays on inside of my tank & tetra startzyme or aquasafe which is water conditioner & bacteria altogether. You can add safestart too.
Also check your filter media, if it’s gross & disgusting brown/black- remove it, put in new carbon & filter floss/pad. A lot of nitrates & stuff build up in filter material & wc won’t affect that long. Think about if your running clean water through a dirty filter in your washer/dishwasher or something, water won’t come out clean. Clean filter impellers as well very so often. Hope this will help you.
I just wanted to mention that Prime does not stop the bb cycle. Prime detoxes ammonia, which means to put it in a state that is non-toxic to fish, but still in a form that will feed the bacteria. Also, Prime does not give false readings. A standard dose of Prime will detox up to 1ppm of ammonia (for 24-48 hours). So if you had .5ppm of ammonia before adding Prime, you will have .5pp of detoxed ammonia after adding it. But your test kit will still read .5ppm of ammonia, because most test kits cannot tell the difference between detoxed and toxic ammonia.
 

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Rob Shannon said:
My issue is introducing additional NH3 when I add new water so not sure this is relevant but thanks!
Hello
Sorry, if it’s coming straight out the tap, maybe you can just add a water filter. Like Aqua pure, PUR, Britta, etc. when I had brackish GSP, I just used my PUR filter water and added instant ocean to it. And my tropical tank id use straight PUR water out the tap, no prime, no stress coat, nothing & tetras, etc. where all perfectly fine. I wasn’t trying to mess with anything else. I forgot to keep buying PUR filter replacements. You can go to EWG's Tap Water Database: What's in Your Drinking Water? and find out what’s in your water by zip code.
 
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Rob Shannon

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tiffani said:
Hello
Sorry, if it’s coming straight out the tap, maybe you can just add a water filter. Like Aqua pure, PUR, Britta, etc. when I had brackish GSP, I just used my PUR filter water and added instant ocean to it. And my tropical tank id use straight PUR water out the tap, no prime, no stress coat, nothing & tetras, etc. where all perfectly fine. I wasn’t trying to mess with anything else. I forgot to keep buying PUR filter replacements. You can go to EWG's Tap Water Database: What's in Your Drinking Water? and find out what’s in your water by zip code.
The water filter is a good idea. Very helpful information. Thank you!
 

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jdhef said:
I just wanted to mention that Prime does not stop the bb cycle. Prime detoxes ammonia, which means to put it in a state that is non-toxic to fish, but still in a form that will feed the bacteria. Also, Prime does not give false readings. A standard dose of Prime will detox up to 1ppm of ammonia (for 24-48 hours). So if you had .5ppm of ammonia before adding Prime, you will have .5pp of detoxed ammonia after adding it. But your test kit will still read .5ppm of ammonia, because most test kits cannot tell the difference between detoxed and toxic ammonia.

IMO- i know prime detoxifies ammonia into ammonium- is what they say.
In my new tank set up, prime interferes with my bb cycle and it stinks. Your right, it gives false ammonia readings too. So, I no longer use it on new set up. It also makes certain medications totally ineffective. So people are treating their sick fish, and it’s not working, it’s because they use prime. So, I do have prime, but I use it in established tank or if I need to. Recently, I been using stability or safestart, startzyme & aquasafe plus when I moved my fish to bigger tank. I should just buy the tap water filters again & eliminate this.
 

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tiffani said:
IMO- i know prime detoxifies ammonia into ammonium- is what they say.
In my new tank set up, prime interferes with my bb cycle and it stinks. Your right, it gives false ammonia readings too. So, I no longer use it on new set up. It also makes certain medications totally ineffective. So people are treating their sick fish, and it’s not working, it’s because they use prime. So, I do have prime, but I use it in established tank or if I need to. Recently, I been using stability or safestart, startzyme & aquasafe plus when I moved my fish to bigger tank. I should just buy the tap water filters again & eliminate this.
I agree that Prime stinks but fortunately the smell is gone as soon as it is in the water. I will have to disagree with the false ammonia reading though. If there is ammonia in a tank the test will pick it up. If there is no ammonia and Prime is used the tests won't show any. Prime doesn't remove the ammonia so it will still show up in the tests even after Prime has been used. It is just in a safer form.

I've never seen it affecting the cycling process. In fact I highly recommend using it when doing a fish in cycle. Bacteria can still process the safer form of ammonia.

I hadn't heard about Prime affecting medications. Can you show me where you have read that happening?

I do understand we each have to decide what works best for our own tanks but a lot of fishes lives have been saved with the use of Prime so I wanted folks to see the other side of the coin.

As always, just my humble opinion.
 

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Rob Shannon said:
I have 3 small tanks 55, 40 and 30gal. I do 50% WCs weekly. My issue is that my source water has about 1.0ppm NH3. So after a WC my tank will read 0.50ppm NH3. Within 24hrs it’s down to 0. How problematic is this?
That amount of ammonia in a tank that is being oxidized within 24 hours (try testing for ammonia 12 hours after a water change and see if it's gone by then) should pose no problem for most aquarium fish. Are you sure it's NH3 and not NH4? What test kit do you use to test it? What is your pH? A low pH will make it even less of a problem. Using Prime is a good idea in any case...my 2 cents...
 

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mattgirl said:
I agree that Prime stinks but fortunately the smell is gone as soon as it is in the water. I will have to disagree with the false ammonia reading though. If there is ammonia in a tank the test will pick it up. If there is no ammonia and Prime is used the tests won't show any. Prime doesn't remove the ammonia so it will still show up in the tests even after Prime has been used. It is just in a safer form.

I've never seen it affecting the cycling process. In fact I highly recommend using it when doing a fish in cycle. Bacteria can still process the safer form of ammonia.

I hadn't heard about Prime affecting medications. Can you show me where you have read that happening?

I do understand we each have to decide what works best for our own tanks but a lot of fishes lives have been saved with the use of Prime so I wanted folks to see the other side of the coin.

As always, just my humble opinion.

Hello
Ammonium doesn’t register on your ammonia test? Cause I thought ammonium would still register on your test. I can be wrong. I use seachem ammonia alert in my tanks. I haven’t used the liquid test kits in years.
You can’t use prime with Seachem Cupramine, Hikari ick x, basically certain ich medications. It’s written on the back of bottle of ich x.
Prime is a good product, it does exactly what it says it does, but I’m not dosing my new tank every 48hrs for a month to keep ammonia in check.
I treated BGA with erythromycin, my tank mini cycled, I was using prime every 2-3 days cause ammonia alert kept turning green for about 2-3weeks. I practically used the whole bottle of prime. What I should have did was buy a bottle of SS & dosed it one time. So when i moved them into new tank, i did this on purpose to see if it was the prime causing the issues last time, I did SS, startzyme & aquasafe plus, no ammonia spikes at all and it’s only been up since August 5th. Water changes I just add startzyme, no ammonia spikes at all. And it doesn’t stink. If you like prime, I love it.

But maybe look into some sort of tap water filter that attaches to your faucet or I believe you can have whole water purification system installed under your sink to eliminate ammonia, chlorine, etc. from tap. I was going to get the system, but I can’t cause of my hot water tank. Hope this helps.
 

Momgoose56

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tiffani said:
Hello
Ammonium doesn’t register on your ammonia test? Cause I thought ammonium would still register on your test. I can be wrong. I use seachem ammonia alert in my tanks.
Some test kits have solutions that measure ammonia (NH3) and ammonium (NH4) -in two different tests. The API Ammonia test doesn't differentiate so tests positive in the presence of either or both. The Seachem ammonia alert only detects the presence of ammonia (NH3).
 

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tiffani said:
Hello
Ammonium doesn’t register on your ammonia test? Cause I thought ammonium would still register on your test. I can be wrong. I use seachem ammonia alert in my tanks. I haven’t used the liquid test kits in years.
You can’t use prime with Seachem Cupramine, Hikari ick x, basically certain ich medications. It’s written on the back of bottle of ich x.
Prime is a good product, it does exactly what it says it does, but I’m not dosing my new tank every 48hrs for a month to keep ammonia in check.
I treated BGA with erythromycin, my tank mini cycled, I was using prime every 2-3 days cause ammonia alert kept turning green for about 2-3weeks. I practically used the whole bottle of prime. What I should have did was buy a bottle of SS & dosed it one time. So when i moved them into new tank, i did this on purpose to see if it was the prime causing the issues last time, I did SS, startzyme & aquasafe plus, no ammonia spikes at all and it’s only been up since August 5th. Water changes I just add startzyme, no ammonia spikes at all. And it doesn’t stink. If you like prime, I love it.

But maybe look into some sort of tap water filter that attaches to your faucet or I believe you can have whole water purification system installed under your sink to eliminate ammonia, chlorine, etc. from tap. I was going to get the system, but I can’t cause of my hot water tank. Hope this helps.
If one is using the API Test kit it doesn't know the difference between ammonia or ammonium. If either is present it will show it to be there. All I am saying is that is not a false positive reading.

Prime isn't a magic pill in liquid form. The first thing one needs to reach for when ammonia/ammonium is present is their water changing equipment. Prime is a band-aid. Water changes are a cure. Sometimes you need the band-aid.

One of the great things about this hobby is there is more than one way to get to our main destination....a healthy cycled tank. I am glad your way worked for you.

Sorry mods...I think we went and derailed another thread.
 
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Rob Shannon

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Momgoose56 said:
That amount of ammonia in a tank that is being oxidized within 24 hours (try testing for ammonia 12 hours after a water change and see if it's gone by then) should pose no problem for most aquarium fish. Are you sure it's NH3 and not NH4? What test kit do you use to test it? What is your pH? A low pH will make it even less of a problem. Using Prime is a good idea in any case...my 2 cents...
If i do a water change in the afternoon the ammonia is gone by the next day. Less than 24hrs but I’m not sure how long it actually takes. My pH stays around 7.3. I use the API master kit. I believe the ammonia in my tap water is NH3 and prime converts it to ammonium NH4.
 

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Rob Shannon said:
If i do a water change in the afternoon the ammonia is gone by the next day. Less than 24hrs but I’m not sure how long it actually takes. My pH stays around 7.3. I use the API master kit. I believe the ammonia in my tap water is NH3 and prime converts it to ammonium NH4.
You could get a Seachem ammonia alert and know if your tank (or tap water) has NH3 in it or not (the alert just sticks on the side of your aquarium with a suction cup) since the API kit doesn't differentiate and the Seachem alert does.
 
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