I have Ammonia in tap water

Kycichlidguy

Hello. New to the forum.
My tank is well established.
Tank amonia at 0 ppm.
Nitrite at 0 ppm.
High nitrates.

I attempt to get nitrates down via water changes, but my tap water comes out at 1 ppm amonia and 5 ppm nitrate. I always have higher nitrates because my tank is constantly converting amonia from tap to nitrate.
I feel like I'm chasing my tail. I do believe prime helps in this case. I have other tanks where I use prime and water changes become effective reducing nitrates and keeping amonia at 0 ppm.
The problem im having is I'm trying the biohome media thing to help reduce nitrates and supposedly prime can halt b.b. growth cycle on the media. It takes awhile to establish the b.b growth needed for nitrate reduction.
I want to just use prime, but I have too much vested and want to see if the media will work. Currently using stress coat on my problem 125 gallon tank. I guess I will do smaller water changes and wait it out.
 

mattgirl

Welcome to Fishlore :)

To be perfectly honest this is the first time I have read about Prime affecting the growth of any types of bacteria. It doesn't lock up ammonia. It simply changes it to a safer form. A form that bacteria can still process through to nitrates.

When you do water changes on this tank how much water do you change? If you have 1ppm ammonia in your tap water a 50% water change will only raise the ammonia level in the tank to .5. Do smaller water changes and the amount of ammonia is even lower. If I am understanding correctly your main concern is the extra nitrates the small amount of ammonia will produce but I have to think the amount produced will be negligible.

I have never grown the bacteria that removes nitrates but I have read about it and it seems it will only grow in an oxygen deprived environment. From what I've read it can even grow in some substrates as long as it is oxygen deprived. I am not sure adding the extra ammonia or ammonia detoxed with Prime will affect its growth. Hopefully someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

If there are specific instructions for using biohome media your best chance at it working as advertised is to follow the instructions for using it. If it specifically says not to use Prime then it might be best not to use it.

If you are having a big problem with keeping nitrates down I have found running nitra-zorb in your filter works well at removing them. It is actually a product I have personally used and it worked well for me.
 

Kycichlidguy

Welcome to Fishlore :)

To be perfectly honest this is the first time I have read about Prime affecting the growth of any types of bacteria. It doesn't lock up ammonia. It simply changes it to a safer form. A form that bacteria can still process through to nitrates.

When you do water changes on this tank how much water do you change? If you have 1ppm ammonia in your tap water a 50% water change will only raise the ammonia level in the tank to .5. Do smaller water changes and the amount of ammonia is even lower. If I am understanding correctly your main concern is the extra nitrates the small amount of ammonia will produce but I have to think the amount produced will be negligible.

I have never grown the bacteria that removes nitrates but I have read about it and it seems it will only grow in an oxygen deprived environment. From what I've read it can even grow in some substrates as long as it is oxygen deprived. I am not sure adding the extra ammonia or ammonia detoxed with Prime will affect its growth. Hopefully someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

If there are specific instructions for using biohome media your best chance at it working as advertised is to follow the instructions for using it. If it specifically says not to use Prime then it might be best not to use it.

If you are having a big problem with keeping nitrates down I have found running nitra-zorb in your filter works well at removing them. It is actually a product I have personally used and it worked well for me.
Nitrates are not horrible depending on who you ask? Between 30 to 60 I believe. It was worse. I do 30% to 50% wc. Did a few close together to get them down initially, then went to once a week. Nitrates seem to stay the same weekly. I really don't know how much nitrates are produced from the amonia during a wc. I just figured it was making a continuous nitrate factory. I have noticed a distinct difference in my tanks with prime albeit they have had a little more maintenance due to size. I also have canisters on my 125 as opposed to hob filters on my smaller tanks, and I have heard they can build up nitrates fast. I will just keep a strict schedule and hopefully dial it in. Don't know if it feels worth it. It can take up to 6 mos to grow that type of bacteria. The fish seem healthy and happy and the water parameters have got a little better. Not overstocked, but larger hap cichlids. I was just afraid of making my water worse with the 1 ppm going in.
 

mattgirl

Lots of folks say it is best to keep the nitrates down to about 20 but I don't think that number is carved in stone. I know mine normally run higher than that. With the liquid ferts I add much higher than that. Normally a 50% water change each weeks keeps mine at what I consider a safe level.

I am not sure the kind of filter we run affects the nitrate level. The amount of ammonia produced in the tank determines that level. The more ammonia, the higher the number will be.

Keep in mind. Unless you do a 100% water change you aren't really raising the ammonia in the tank up to 1ppm. I would continue using the Prime to detox the ammonia long enough for the bacteria to process it out.

In my humble opinion the very best way to keep the nitrates down is with water changes. You can never go wrong keeping your water pets in fresh clean water. :)
 

jtjgg

city water or well water?

biohome along with other biomedia will only help with nitrate if its used in a low flow filter about 50 gph to deplete oxygen and allow the colonization of anaerobic bacteria. what type of fish and is it a planted tank? deeper substrate can establish anaerobic bacteria. but all that takes a few months to establish.

the other option is to use Zeolite. it absorbs ammonia and after a few weeks you can take it out and recharge it with salt.

there's info from another forum, don't think we're allowed to link other forums. but 1ppm ammonia gets converted to about 4ppm nitrate.
 

Kycichlidguy

city water or well water?

biohome along with other biomedia will only help with nitrate if its used in a low flow filter about 50 gph to deplete oxygen and allow the colonization of anaerobic bacteria. what type of fish and is it a planted tank? deeper substrate can establish anaerobic bacteria. but all that takes a few months to establish.

the other option is to use Zeolite. it absorbs ammonia and after a few weeks you can take it out and recharge it with salt.

there's info from another forum, don't think we're allowed to link other forums. but 1ppm ammonia gets converted to about 4ppm nitrate.
Its city water. Supposedly the biohome has so many channels it will be able to colonize anaerobic per spokesman if in the right quantity. Both my canisters are packed with it. So according to the conversion, its barely adding nitrate? Thats not bad and I will stay the course with stress coat for the time being if so. The theory is that prime supposedly starves the bacteria thus stopping the growth cycle. Doesn't really make sense to me, but stress coat is the recommendation. It did have a pretty high nitrate concentration when I started biohome to begin with. Not a very deep sandbed. Eventually adding some. The tanks I use prime in do have deep sand beds. Just did about a 40% water change today. I will later check and see if it took them down some.
 

MasterPython

Could you solve this issue with a tub near the window and a handful of duckweed? I don't have this problem so I don't know how long this would take but duckweed should eat up any nitrogen compounds.
 

Kycichlidguy

Just an update to the issue I was having. Thanks to all that helped and for the welcome. Got them down to a proper level. Just had to step my game up with more wc's. I did small 20% to 25% water changes over 5 days because the nitrates were so high. I was spacing my water changes and filter service too far apart for the bigger fish I have. Adjusted schedule and am good to go. Fish seem way healthier and happier. Hopefully that media eventually works. Going to look into plants outside the tank (i have cichlids) and a deeper sandbed.
 

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