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Weird Tap Readings This Week


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My tap water is odd this week. It has ammonia in it, and the pH is abnormally high. It's never been this way before, though I've not tested it much--only a few times. But I do test my water before and, if I think anything'll change, after the water changes, just to keep an eye on things. This is what happened today:

I tested the water before the water change, and got the following results.

Ammonia: Slightly above zero, probably due to the extra food in the tank left by my recent efforts to get Bop, my fish who has grown skinny, to eat.

Nitrite: 0

Nitrate: 10

pH: 7.9

I hadn't had ammonia since I cycled, and I wanted to see if my water change would take it back down, so I did a full test afterwards, since I was planning on doing nitrates anyways. After the 30% water change, during which I removed all leftover food, I got these results.

Ammonia: .25

Nitrite: 0

Nitrate: 5ish

pH: 8.0

Because of discrepancies in the two readings, I decided to do the following tests on my tap water.

Ammonia: .5

pH: 8.4

This is weird. My water doesn't usually contain ammonia, and the pH is usually 8.0. I am moving back to Lawrence from my parents' house in a few weeks, so I'm not terribly worried about the long term, because that's an entirely different water system, to which I will acclimate my fish gradually, of course. However, I'm wondering if there's anything I should do in the short term? Maybe some sort of ammonia binder? I am currenly using AquaSafe, which I bought because the pet store guy told me to, but I could get some Prime or something. Anything else I don't know about that could happen because of this?

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hmmm well with your pH up that high, ammonia is more toxic, so it would be good to use a water conditioner that detoxes more ammonia than aquasafe does.

Sounds like your city is using chloramine to disinfect the water. chloramine is chlorine and ammonia. Aquasafe breaks the chlorine/ammonia bond and detoxes the ammonia that is released from the chloramine. Prime and amquel detox more ammonia per dose. Amquel says it detoxes 1.2ppm ammonia per dose (compared to prime which detoxes .6ppm ammonia per dose). You should be fine moving to prime for a water conditioner. If you go with amquel, you'll need novaqua as well to deal with heavy metals.

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Thanks. Hopefully my sink won't throw more weird chemicals at me before I move. :)

Also-- something just occurred to me. Is pH 8.4 okay for people? At what point does it become bad for us to drink, shower in, etc?

Edit: I'm assuming my pH is okay for me, as I drink a lot of water and would probably feel sick by now if it wasn't. But I still want to know about pH affecting humans, if anyone has any info.

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My tap has a consistant 1 ppm ammonia. If your tank is cycled, it will be gone within hours of a water change. I do use prime or amquel (depends on the sales) though to help detoxify it. That's my experience with the ammonia. I would watch that pH though. That is really strange.... Wouldn't want it to sneak way up on you.

It just hit me though that my tap varies between 7.5 and 8.0 pH so maybe it is just something you caught this time.

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