high ammonia in my tap Help 

red020804

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i finally tested my tap water today with my API water test kit and the reading for my ammonia is 1-2.0. im trying to cycle 3 tanks. i've been cycling my 20 gal since march 20th and cant get rid of the ammonia (stays .25) and couldnt understand why. now i think its because our tap has lots of ammonia in it. what am i supposed to do? i use prime with every water change. Our nitrite is 0 and nitrates is 5-10. i dont know how im supposed to cycle a tank (with fish) with ammonia in our tap. plz help
 

Meenu

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Once your tank is cycled, it should be able to process the ammonia within a day. Right now, while you are cycling, I would suggest adding more media to your filter, if possible, to give your beneficial bacteria more surface on which to grow. You can also consider buying RO water and mixing it with the tapwater for your water changes, but this is expensive.
 
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red020804

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yeah cant afford expensive solutions. what do you mean by media. sorry new to this hobby.
 

jetajockey

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the good news is that if you have a 1-2 ppm ammonia reading in your tap water, and your tank is reading .25ish, then the bacteria is doing it's job. It's just a matter of giving the bacteria a place to settle in and multiply, like Meenu has already previously stated. I highly recommend ceramic rings or bioballs if you have room in your filter for them, if not, just cram more filter floss or whatever you can in there.

One thing you can do to help the bacteria is to try to get up any waste off of the bottom during your water changes. Don't scrub down the surfaces, just lightly vacuum all of the waste/uneaten food, this will help keep the ammonia levels down.
 
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red020804

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well we had 2 filters on our tank at one point but we removed one to put back on our 10 gal so we could put our molly frys in it. when the two filters were on the 20 ammonia read the same as it does now with just one.
 

jetajockey

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it takes time for the bacteria to get established into media. Sometimes I transfer very well cycled filter floss into a cycling tank and it still takes a few days till the ammonia and nitrites start going down.

I don't know the specifics in microbiology but I do know that when the bacteria colony is establishing itself, it helps to give it more of a surface to work with.
 

claudicles

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red020804 said:
on our twenty we have a aqueon brand. uses cartridges.
I have a similar filter on my small tanks and I have found my water to be much more stable by getting rid of the cartridges and adding a small bag of ceramic media. The cartidges have filter floss and carbon and the carbon needs to be changed regularly. It isn't necessary and most people who use carbon use it in addition to other media, rather than instead of it. My filters, Aqua one - they came in a kit - also has a plastic screen that kind of acts like bioballs. It has a large surface area. I left that in. This is one of the big reason people rave about Aquaclear filters. They have a big chamber that you can put any media you want in.
 
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