Tap H2o Vs Spring Water

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BBnL

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Have had tap water problem w ammonia .4ppm
20 gal L tank jumped to ammonia .8ppm
Also huge population spike of pest snails I initially ignored
Test strips and hang on tank ammonia not showing trouble, water crystal clear, fish inc fry doing fine
Have gone nuts since discovering, many wc, extra prime, snails gone, gravel well cleaned of much debris.
QUESTION: My tap water still up at ammonia .5ppm, nitrite 0-.25ppm, pH >7.6; spring water is 0ppm for all three
Tank now 20 min after yet another water change of 7 gal, 2 aged tap, 5 spring, plus extra prime, is ammonia 1.5 ppm, nitrite .25 ppm, pH 6.4
I lug water via gal jugs
Buying, bringing home a pain
Would like to keep tanks (not even looking at other today) but frankly am finding this physically exhausting. Would love to use python but do not see how I could with this awful tap water as starting point.
See that prime brings ammonia to .1ppm....does that mean any starting amount? And is that the 'real' amount or just what shows on tests? Recent wc has test @ ammonia 1.5ppm using extra prime with part spring, part tap.
This is long but I am very discouraged. Fish remarkably and thankfully appear ok at this point a week + since big spike but just cannot keep hauling 20 gal of spring water home/week. No idea how/why city water changes, but also had a big spike that I found about 2 months ago. Then here we are again.
(Haven't been doing nitrates...always down when do them so concentrating on more problematic items.)
Fish alive, me not so much.
Thank you for any help....
 

musserump09

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Sad to hear your rap source is no good. Prime will detoxify ammonia and nitrites under 1.0ppm making those harmful chemicals change into a non toxic form ready for your bacteria to feed off it. If you test and read ammonia and nitrites below 1.0ppm you can relax knowing that you will still read the amount but it will be converted instantly.

Your best option and only option in my opinion is other source of water like spring. Just remember minerals are important so they need to be added in order to maintain a good chemistry.
 
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BBnL

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musserump09

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Yes sorry it does silly me.
 

sfsamm

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Caution with spring water.
Different brands vary and many brands change through the year similar to tap and the parameters, especially things like pH, kH and gH.

You also have a ph of 6.4 in the tank, that actually helps your Ammonia situation as it also renders Ammonia to ammonium and hence is less harmful to fish. It is still available to your BB as well but does read on many tests as a positive source of Ammonia (similar to Prime detox still shows positive).

Converting to spring I would expect you to start seeing issues with the pH changes and your fish unless done cautiously. I'd recommend buying a RODI unit and remineralizing if you are going to switch sources as then at least you know your parameters are exactly the same and nothing will change unexpectedly. It's usually cheaper in the long run anyway even though it does require a bit more upfront.
 

Mom2some

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Okay - is your source water 0.4 or 4.0. My source water has fluctuated between 0-2.0 regularly. My tank is mature & can process it in 24-48 hours. So I just slightly over dose when I do a 50% water change (34 gallon tank, but a capful of Prime does up to 50 gal). Then I can dose again the next day if needed. I have only had trouble when the ammonia floated up to 4.0 in my source water - which showed up as a Nitrite spike with the fish being symptomatic.
 
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BBnL

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Yes, 4ppm, may have put .4
Seeing city adds it to keep fluoride in water. Great.
Today, aged tap is 1ppm.
RO a problem as I'm in an apt.
Glad to see how well you do. That is closer to norm for my tank until the tap jumps up, unannounced or expected.
Have found way to begin questioning city. A heads up could be helpful.
And sfsamm:
Thank you for warning on spring water, too. My carbonate runs 0 much of time and alkalinity 0-40, max. General hardness 25-50. Will relax about low pH of 6.4.
SOMEHOW fish remain good. Pure luck. The water parameters confound me.
Will keep Priming and testing and hoping. Do wish for an INSTANT across the board ACCURATE test
Thank you for your help.
 

Mom2some

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If it off gasses to 1.0 ammonia in an ideal world you could do 2 5 gallon water changes per week (won’t quite equal 50%) or less depending on how much water you want to change. You could let the water off gas overnight. Then a dose of Prime will cover the new ammonia until your tank cycles it. Good luck!
 

Woodsman27

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Use marineland zeolite or nitra-zorb by API in your filter. thats what i use and it seems to do the trick.
 
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