high levels of ammonia in tap water...is this safe?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by waterjug, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. waterjug

    waterjug Senior member

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    I live in an apartment that I generally hate, the maintenance company doesn't do shit. My heaters don't even have control knobs on them to turn them on or off, I had to threaten to not pay rent before they actually fixed that. Still don't have a thermostat in the place....(seriously)

    I have a fish tank that I'm struggling with ammonia levels in, and when you have this occur it's not uncommon to change out about 25% of the water every other day. This wasn't working and the ammonia levels were staying up, so I decided to test my tap water; it comes out to between 6-8PPM ammonia; everything I can find states that anything above 0.5PPM is generally unhealthy for people. Can someone confirm this?
     
  2. lxskllr

    lxskllr Lifer

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    Generally speaking ammonia isn't harmful, but I imagine it depends on the exact compound, and concentration. Fun fact, tobacco processing creates ammonia, and it's very noticeable in fresh product. It's also harmless in those concentrations.
     
  3. NikolaeVarius

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    Ammonia is harmless to humans at those concentrations. Not so for fish.
     
  4. Meractik

    Meractik Golden Member

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    I feel compelled to post just because I find it funny your alias is waterjug and your post is about water purity, other than that I have nothing useful to provide.
     
  5. bbhaag

    bbhaag Platinum Member

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    Fresh or salt water tank?
     
  6. DrPizza

    DrPizza Administrator Elite Member Goat Whisperer
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    Get a Brita or Pur connector for your faucet. I'm not sure why you mentioned the maintenance company at all, unless you're on well water. And if you're on well water, regardless, about the only solution available is my first sentence.
     
  7. Leros

    Leros Lifer

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    A Brita/Pur filter is fine for drinking water, but I wouldn't want to use it for an aquarium. Those filters are fairly expensive and only do about 100 gallons each.

    How big is your aquarium? If it's not too big, I would suggest getting some 5 gallon water jugs and buying water at those 25 cent per gallon machines. If your tank is big, I would invest in an RO/DI filtration unit.
     
    #7 Leros, Nov 3, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  8. waterjug

    waterjug Senior member

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    It's a 40 Gallon, freshwater
     
  9. Phoenix86

    Phoenix86 Lifer

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    http://www.ehow.com/facts_5565347_safe-levels-ammonia-drinking-water.html

    Guidelines


    • No guidelines for ammonia levels in drinking water have been issued by the Environmental Protection Agency or the World Health Organization

    Levels


    • WHO has said that natural ammonia levels in drinking water are usually 0.2 parts per million, but this level can be increased by the disinfection process.

     
  10. Gibsons

    Gibsons Lifer

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    For the fish, get a very large water jug/container thing and let the tap water sit in it for 24 hours plus before it goes into the aq. Leave it open to the air. The ammonia levels should go down, you can test to be sure.
     
  11. bbhaag

    bbhaag Platinum Member

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    40g isn't to big. Buying water for top offs and water changes might be the way to go.
    Buying filtered water might keep out other unwanted chems to like PO4.
    Gibsons recommendation might be worth looking into as well. Would be cheaper than buying water.

    As for your heath and getting the maintenance company to do anything about it...you might be sol.
     
  12. DrPizza

    DrPizza Administrator Elite Member Goat Whisperer
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    And this, kids, is why you should pay attention in math class! LMAO!
    Uhh, 25 cents per gallon = $25 for 100 gallons. A Brita filter for the faucet that's good for 100 gallons, including the filter part is $17.88 at Lowes. At a glance, the Pur replacement filters run about $10 per 100 gallons. :p
     
  13. Red Squirrel

    Red Squirrel Lifer

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    Go grab some water out of the nearest lake or river, that's probably the best water for fish. Or you could buy drinking water, but you'll probably want to add certain minerals or bacteria cultures in it...or maybe not... I'm not an expert on this, but I imagine just pure water is not enough.

    You could also put a bit of bleach in it, it should get rid of the ammonia. ;) J/K don't do this... probably would not be harmful at those concentrations though but still a bad idea.
     
  14. Leros

    Leros Lifer

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    Oops, I actually didn't finish my thoughts in that post.

    Brita/Pur filters are designed to improve the taste of water. They don't remove nitrate/nitrite/ammonia or significantly lower TDS (total dissolved solids). An RO/DI filtration will remove ammonia and drop TDS to 0ppm.

    The point that I meant to make is that 25 cent per gallon RO/DI water isn't that much more expensive that using a Brita/Pur filter and you'll get much much better results. In fact the Brita/Pur filter won't do much for aquarium water.
     
  15. Imp

    Imp Lifer

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    If your ammonia levels are high in your water, you may want to look at the nitrate and nitrite levels too. Those are not good for kids and pregnant women.
     
  16. DrPizza

    DrPizza Administrator Elite Member Goat Whisperer
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    If I recall correctly, the information provided with my filter indicated that it does remove nitrates & nitrites. Making it taste better - by removing things! Both Brita & Pur removed VOCs:

    http://www.waterfiltercomparisons.com/water_filter_comparison.php#tabs-2
    Each lists at least 60 different contaminants that are removed. I'm not 100% positive that nitrites and nitrates were on the list (and couldn't find the list for either with a quick google search.)