Constant Ammonia

Cander

Member
Hey everyone. I currently have a 30 gallon tall with 2 mollies 2 guppies few fry and 6 danios. I’m having .25 ammonia every time I checked. 0 nitrites and a little nitrates. I do have ammonia in my well water. I thought that I had this tank fully cycled. Could I be over feeding. Any ideas
 

Tomcat1972

Member
How long have you had fish in the tank?
 

Thunder_o_b

Member
Some questions:

1. What test kit are you using?

2. What are the other readings?

3. What are the readings of your source water?

Over feeding is a very common issue. If the food is not completely consumed in 10 minutes you are over feeding. Feed once a day or every other day. Unless the fry are very small and there are no plants for them to nibble on.
 
  • Thread Starter

Cander

Member
I’m using API...nitrates are 20 nitrites 0 ph 8

I just test my well water and it said that there was .25 ammonia which isn’t right. I did research and it says that it’s uncommon to find ammonia in well water. So I just think that it was the test kit
 

Swampgorilla

Member
Your ammonia is 0. It's 0 in your well water ... it's 0 in your TANK.

This is a common issue. I always have 0 ammonia in all my tanks but if I look at the test vial just the right way I'll swear it's .25.

And there's really nothing wrong with your test kit. Been through DOZENS of test kits and I still find it happens.

My advice ... if you think you have .25 ammonia in the tank - test your tap water. If it comes up looking the same - you have ZERO.
 
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Cander

Member
Swampgorilla said:
Your ammonia is 0. It's 0 in your well water ... it's 0 in your TANK.

This is a common issue. I always have 0 ammonia in all my tanks but if I look at the test vial just the right way I'll swear it's .25.

And there's really nothing wrong with your test kit. Been through DOZENS of test kits and I still find it happens.

My advice ... if you think you have .25 ammonia in the tank - test your tap water. If it comes up looking the same - you have ZERO.
Ok thank you that makes me feel a lot better thank you.
 

danhutchins

Member
Cander said:
I’m using API...nitrates are 20 nitrites 0 ph 8

I just test my well water and it said that there was .25 ammonia which isn’t right. I did research and it says that it’s uncommon to find ammonia in well water. So I just think that it was the test kit
Are you using the test strips? If so those are always going to give false readings. I would go with a master kit.
 

A. Rozhin

Member
I'm curious about this issue -- so the fish are not affected by the ammonia already in the water the same way as the ammonia they create with their waste? Isn't ammonia ammonia?
 
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Cander

Member
A. Rozhin said:
I'm curious about this issue -- so the fish are not affected by the ammonia already in the water the same way as the ammonia they create with their waste? Isn't ammonia ammonia?
For testing ph nitrites and nitrites I use the strips for the ammonia I use the bottles
 

A. Rozhin

Member
Right, I understand that, but you're getting an ammonia reading. Some tap water DOES have ammonia in it, it's a byproduct of a chlorination process. It's a very small amount, but it is ammonia, and we want 0 for our fish. If you get an ammonia reading, the fish don't know where it came from, only that it's there. If you are using the liquid test, that's accurate. If it shows ammonia, you have ammonia.
 

Algonquin

Member
Do a side by side test (at the same time) - one of your tank water, one of your water out of the tap. See how they compare.
 

A. Rozhin

Member
Algonquin said:
Do a side by side test (at the same time) - one of your tank water, one of your water out of the tap. See how they compare.
But, if they both show ammonia, there IS ammonia in the water. You guys are going on the assumption that ammonia in your tap water is some kind of false positive. It's not false.
 

Algonquin

Member
Also, do a test with some bottled water, that you KNOW has no amnonia. See if you get a 0 reading on the test. Have you EVER had a 0 reading on your tap and/or your tank, or has it Always been 0.25?
How old is your test kit?
 
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Cander

Member
Algonquin said:
Also, do a test with some bottled water, that you KNOW has no amnonia. See if you get a 0 reading on the test. Have you EVER had a 0 reading on your tap and/or your tank, or has it Always been 0.25?
How old is your test kit?
The test is pretty new maybe a month old.

There shouldn’t be ammonia in well water tho that’s what I don’t understand
 

Algonquin

Member
Ok, so it's not an old test kit that's long expired or anything like that.
So test some bottled 'pure' water, and confirm that you get a 0 reading. Then test your tap water and you'll see the colour difference. There 'shouldn't be' ammonia in your tap water, but it sounds like there probably is.
 

A. Rozhin

Member
Algonquin said:
Ok, so it's not an old test kit that's long expired or anything like that.
So test some bottled 'pure' water, and confirm that you get a 0 reading. Then test your tap water and you'll see the colour difference. There 'shouldn't be' ammonia in your tap water, but it sounds like there probably is.
There is ammonia in lots of processed tap water. Google is your friend. Find out (spoiler alert: you'll find out there is ammonia in lots of processed tap water), rather than say "there shouldn't be." You don't really know. Why even post, if you can't even do cursory research. I can even tell you WHY there is trace ammonia in a lot of tap water. Not because it "seems right to me," or because I'm a water expert, but because I Googled it.

From a report put out by the World Health Organization (WHO) on US drinking water:

"Natural levels in groundwaters are usually below 0.2 mg of ammonia per litre. Higher natural contents (up to 3 mg/litre) are found in strata rich in humic substances or iron or in forests (8). Surface waters may contain up to 12 mg/litre (1). Ammonia may be present in drinking-water as a result of disinfection with chloramines."

So, yes, some tap water contains ammonia.
 

Algonquin

Member
OP's tap water is from a well, which typically wouldn't contain ammonia - that is why they are surprised to see an ammonia reading.
 

A. Rozhin

Member
And from the Oregon Water Department, who did a national study on well water:

"Nitrogen compounds also can work their way into ground water through fertilizers, manure, and urine from farm animals, sewage, and landfills.

The most common forms in groundwater are ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite."

It's not so much the ignorance here, but the unwillingness to rise above it with just the smallest effort that gets me. And then the willfully ignorant advising other people who just want to learn to keep fish.
 
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Cander

Member
A. Rozhin said:
It's not so much the ignorance here, but the unwillingness to rise above it with just the smallest effort that gets me. And then the willfully ignorant advising other people who just want to learn to keep fish.
Ok so what I’m getting from this is to test bottled water see what the readings are. If I get that there is ammonia in the bottle water I know that my kit is off. But if there turns out to be ammonia in my well water what should I do then.
 

Frozen One

Member
A. Rozhin said:
And from the Oregon Water Department, who did a national study on well water:

"Nitrogen compounds also can work their way into ground water through fertilizers, manure, and urine from farm animals, sewage, and landfills.

The most common forms in groundwater are ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite."

It's not so much the ignorance here, but the unwillingness to rise above it with just the smallest effort that gets me. And then the willfully ignorant advising other people who just want to learn to keep fish.
A. Rozhin is right ladies and gents. The nitrogen cycle doesn’t just refer to aquariums. It happens everywhere. If your well water has ammonia or nitrogen of some form, buy distilled water and use that for your water changes.
 

A. Rozhin

Member
Cander said:
Ok so what I’m getting from this is to test bottled water see what the readings are. If I get that there is ammonia in the bottle water I know that my kit is off. But if there turns out to be ammonia in my well water what should I do then.
The bottled water is your control group. Test bottled, then tap/well, then tank. If it turns out all three shows ammonia, your kit is off. If it turns out tap and tank show ammonia, that's ammonia in your tap water, and the nitrogen cycle will take care of it just as if it came from a fish. You just need to allow for it and watch that it doesn't creep up past that amount, which means you are in a minI cycle. As long as you know your parameters, you can allow for them in your assessment of what to do with your readings. Good luck! I'd like to see how it turns out, the ammonia issue is interesting to me.

Edit: "If it turns out ONLY tap and tank show ammonia, then..."

Jake21 said:
A. Rozhin is right ladies and gents. The nitrogen cycle doesn’t just refer to aquariums. It happens everywhere. If your well water has ammonia or nitrogen of some form, buy distilled water and use that for your water changes.
With respect, you don't want distilled, then you have to end up adding minerals back in. Your best course of action is R/O water (almost all "spring water" in the grocery store is regular water purified with reverse osmosis). Your only issue then is watching that the pH isn't too low (most R/O comes in at about 6.5). IMO, distilled water is a very bad choice.
 

Redshark1

Member
If ammonia is a naturally occurring compound why are we insisting on it being zero? That's not natural.

If fish produce ammonia constantly how can we ever achieve zero ammonia? That would be illogical.

I get the impression people are not using logic when discussing ammonia.

Surely all we need to achieve is total ammonia below the toxic level since we have agreed what level is toxic through scientific study.

The river near my house has total ammonia at 0.3 ppm.

My tap water has total ammonia at 0.25 ppm.

My five tanks have total ammonia at 0.25 ppm (one of them for 24 years).

My water butt (with no fish) has ammonia at much less than 0.25 ppm (yellow).

In my community free ammonia is considered toxic by the authorities at 0.02 ppm.

For my pH and temperature total ammonia becomes toxic at 2.5 ppm (i.e. produces 0.02 ppm free ammonia) if I believe the science.

So I don't worry about 0.25 ppm total ammonia because this is a tenth of the limit given and I have always found this figure when fish are present in my water.
 

A. Rozhin

Member
Redshark1 said:
If ammonia is a naturally occurring compound why are we insisting on it being zero? That's not natural.

If fish produce ammonia constantly how can we ever achieve zero ammonia? That would be illogical.

I get the impression people are not using logic when discussing ammonia.

Surely all we need to achieve is total ammonia below the toxic level since we have agreed what level is toxic through scientific study.

The river near my house has total ammonia at 0.3 ppm.

My tap water has total ammonia at 0.25 ppm.

My five tanks have total ammonia at 0.25 ppm (one of them for 24 years).

My water butt (with no fish) has ammonia at much less than 0.25 ppm (yellow).

In my community free ammonia is considered toxic by the authorities at 0.02 ppm.

For my pH and temperature total ammonia becomes toxic at 2.5 ppm (i.e. produces 0.02 ppm free ammonia) if I believe the science.

So I don't worry about 0.25 ppm total ammonia because this is a tenth of the limit given and I have always found this figure when fish are present in my water.
Fish constantly produce ammonia, but if the biofilter is good, it is almost immediately changed to nitrite, then nitrate. Wherever the ammonia comes from, the biofilter will make these changes, whether endemic in the tap water, produced by fish, combination, etc.

If you test your ammonia in your tank and it does not come up 0, your fish are suffering. If you don't worry about .25 ppm ammonia, that's fine. Some people let their kids sleep in rooms with asbestos ceilings. Some people smoke cigarettes around their kids. It's always your choice, how you care for those who are in your care.
 
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Cander

Member
IMG_1427.JPGIMG_1426.JPGIMG_1424.JPG

Tested today is this 0 or .25 ammonia
 

Algonquin

Member
if you put the vial against the white part of the card it will be easier to tell what colour it is....
 
  • Thread Starter

Cander

Member
Algonquin said:
if you put the vial against the white part of the card it will be easier to tell what colour it is....
Ok I did that And I think that is was 0
 

Baba

Member
A. Rozhin said:
Fish constantly produce ammonia, but if the biofilter is good, it is almost immediately changed to nitrite, then nitrate. Wherever the ammonia comes from, the biofilter will make these changes, whether endemic in the tap water, produced by fish, combination, etc.

If you test your ammonia in your tank and it does not come up 0, your fish are suffering. If you don't worry about .25 ppm ammonia, that's fine. Some people let their kids sleep in rooms with asbestos ceilings. Some people smoke cigarettes around their kids. It's always your choice, how you care for those who are in your care.
I think what Redshark1 wants to say, is that with his pH the free ammonia (NH3) is below the threshold to be considered toxic. The API test kit doesn't discriminate between NH3 or NH4, it will give you the total value. So having a reading of 0.25ppm doesn't necessarily mean you are killing your fish or smoking a cigar in your kid's bedroom while they sip on your moonshine out of asbestos cups.
 

Algonquin

Member
So was the 0 reading on your tank or tap? Did you test some bottled water? If you could take pics with the vials against the white part of the card and post them, you could get a second opinion (and 3rd, 4th, 5th... )

PS. wondering if there is ammonia in moonshine lol
 

Baba

Member
Algonquin said:
PS. wondering if there is ammonia in moonshine lol
It sure is possible but then something went wrong
 

Algonquin

Member
That does not sound delicious. lol :yuck:
 
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