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Ammonia in my tap water


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A couple of my goldfish had die recently.  After weeks of trying to find out why and with so many water changes, I wasn't able bring my ammonia below 1ppm.  And when I've decided to test my tap water, it was at 1ppm.   I believe my water company recently change my filtration method in which it resulted in ammonia in the tap water.  My options are either keep pouring Prime on every 48 hours after the water change or just use my RO water filter in my kitchen sink for water change.  My RO is at 0 ammonia but it is at 6 ppm on the TDS tester.

Should I try using my RO water for water change?  I know that the RO stripped many of the minerals in the water in which is vital for fish.

Should I use Seachem Replenish ?  How much ml should I be putting it to my tank?  Should I just use aquarium salt or also with Replenish?

Or is there another solution to this?

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Contact your water company and let them know you have 1 ppm ammonia in the tap water.


water districts add ammonia to the water to combine with added chlorine to create chloramines.

If you test the tap water for chlorine you will likely find it absent.


water districts flush lines until chlorine is detected at appropriate level.  The effectively drops the ammonia.  

your water district will likely raise your streets priority for hydrant flushing. That being said, it may still take several weeks.


in the meantime, using your ro water and adding equilibrium to get the ro water to match the gh of your tap water is a reasonable course of action.

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Just to let you know, the Prime will release from the ammonia after 24 hours. Source:

So you would technically need to dose it every day and not just after water changes to keep the ammonia in a less toxic state. 

I would suggest doing the RO/DI with SeaChem Equilibrium as a short term solution. For a long term solution, you can consider using floating plants or vining plants like Pothos or Philodendron to act as biological sponges of ammonia and other nitrogenous wastes.

Edited by AnimalNerd98
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I currently have 1 ppm ammonia in my tap water.  In a tank with a healthy beneficial bacteria colony this gets metabolized to nitrate in under 12 hours.

I currently also have 1 quarantine tank where the quarantine meds took out the beneficial bacteria.  I am currently doing daily water changes to deal with it.  

I drain water from the quarantine tank, and refill it with water from my main display tank and then add tap water to the main display tank.


somewhere around 2- 2.5 gallons from the 10 gallon tank and that is whatnis replaced into my 29 gallon display tank


personally I do not trust prime or any other water conditioner to do anything whatsoever for ammonia or nitrites. If there was any scientific evidence they actually do what they claim they would loudly proclaim it.    I have not found any scientifically valid lab test report backing up the claim they “lock up” or detoxify either ammonia or nitrite.  I have not read any valid explanation as to how they accomplish what they claim it does.  The only thing I have read is that the process is not well understood and based on anecdotal reports…

Until there is something more conclusive than anonymous anecdotal reports, I will deal with ammonia and nitrite spikes with waterchanges.  As such I always use water conditioner when I do a water change so if there is some benefit I still get it, but I am certainly not going to rely on it.

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