Constant Ammonia Question

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Cander, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. CanderValued MemberMember

    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

  2. Tomcat1972Valued MemberMember

    How long have you had fish in the tank?

  3. Thunder_o_bFishlore VIPMember

    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.

  4. CanderValued MemberMember

    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
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2018
  5. SwampgorillaValued MemberMember

    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.
  6. CanderValued MemberMember

    Ok thank you that makes me feel a lot better thank you.
  7. danhutchinsWell Known MemberMember

    Are you using the test strips? If so those are always going to give false readings. I would go with a master kit.
  8. A. RozhinValued MemberMember

    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?
  9. CanderValued MemberMember

    For testing ph nitrites and nitrites I use the strips for the ammonia I use the bottles
  10. A. RozhinValued MemberMember

    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.
  11. AlgonquinWell Known MemberMember

    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.
  12. A. RozhinValued MemberMember

    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.
  13. AlgonquinWell Known MemberMember

    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?
  14. CanderValued MemberMember

    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
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2018
  15. AlgonquinWell Known MemberMember

    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. :(
  16. A. RozhinValued MemberMember

    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.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2018
  17. AlgonquinWell Known MemberMember

    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.
  18. A. RozhinValued MemberMember

    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.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2018
  19. CanderValued MemberMember

    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.
  20. Frozen OneValued MemberMember

    @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.

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