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Results 11 to 20 of 21
  1. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    I have two filters, the Penguin 350 Power Filter, and the underwater Fluval U3.

    The water in the tank was between 1 and 1.5 ppm, but the water out of the tap seemed like it was over 2 ppm.

    I will add some more prime into the tank and wait and watch.
    55 Gallon Freshwater Tank (semi-planted) 48"x21"x13"

    Video of 55GAL Tank - DEC 2012

  2. #12


    0 Not allowed!
    Adding more Prime will not make the ammonia level go away. It will just help neutralize it from chloramines. Your test will not change.

    Well after searching the net for the last hour, I see this StartSmart is made by some company called TenderLovingCare that I have never heard of in my life. This is also the ONLY thing this company sells. Every testimonial is from an owner of a fish store. Seems to me testimonials would be from people like you and I, as well. Obviously, I am skeptical.

    The dosing is 4 oz per 50 gallons.

    You may want to get something for your filter to help control the ammonia some. Maybe white diamond charcoal. It looks like this.

    It comes loose but you can put it in a filter bag or in a nylon stocking and add to the filter. It won't get rid of all the ammonia but may help lower it.

    I have used two bacteria boosters in the past and both I could recommend. Tetra SafeStart is one and Seachem Stability is another.

    Contary to previous advise to do large water changes, you have got to reverse that to only small ones at least until you can get some bacteria grown. I know of no other solutions other than to buy an R/O unit for your fish tank.

    I should have checked your location sooner. We have seen this problem with Virgina's water in the past. Frankly, I would not be happy with this at all. I'd also call your water company and ask them if this level of ammonia is safe for your kids.....or the health department. I'm sure it's probably fine but it would bug the h--- out of me.

  3. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    I really appreciate your advice. I am not going to add any more fish until I start to see a balance in the tank. And no more water changes for a bit either.

    I will look into the white charcoal you recommended, but for now I will cross fingers and hope for the best.

    I wish there was some better way to get the ammonia and chloramines out of the water before introducing it to the fish tank. Do you think a hardware store charcoal filter would help with that?

    The Smart Start Complete that I am using is from a company called ABI, here is a link to the site.

    Also, here is a link to the utilities water quality page that explains the chloramines.
    Last edited by ddavis1979; 10-20-2012 at 12:04 AM.
    55 Gallon Freshwater Tank (semi-planted) 48"x21"x13"

    Video of 55GAL Tank - DEC 2012

  4. #14


    0 Not allowed!
    That's a very good idea... no more fish until you can at least build enough bacteria to eat up all of the ammonia in your tap. That is crazy... 2ppm?! That is ridiculously unhealthy. As LH said, I would be concerned and contact your water supply company. Looking at their water quality report, it looks like their actionable level for Nitrite + Nitrate = 10ppm. I'm not sure what's normal for a water treatment plant, but that could have something to do with the high amount of ammonia in your water. Do you have high nitrites/nitrates in your water, too?

    You might want to buy some API Ammo Lock or something similar, as well, since you're going to be stuck with high levels of Ammonia for seemingly longer periods of time. Your fish will still need to eat/poop... so add that to the 2ppm ammonia from your water and your biological filter's eating capacity of about 1+ppm. You'll still have between .5-1ppm in there, until your bio filter catches up.
    Adventures in Aquaria - The KevinVA Story

    When in doubt, ask yourself... W.W.L.S (What would Lee Say)?

    Have a fish problem? Fill out and post this completed questionnaire in the General Aquarium Forum, when you start a new thread.

  5. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Yeah, I called the local independent fish shop, who is on the same water as me, and he runs a successful shop off the junky water. His recipe for success was to just use a double or triple dose of prime and let the bacteria eat it up after that.

    He said that my fish would be exposed to some ammonia levels until the biofilter caught up, and during water changes...usually 1ppm for 24 hours was to be expected and dont lose sleep over it.

    Doing some more reading, the EPA regulations for chloramines in drinking water are up to 4ppm, so 2ppm being half that is allowable by the water company.

    So now its a waiting game and I will be testing and updating you all on progress.
    Last edited by ddavis1979; 10-20-2012 at 12:58 AM.
    55 Gallon Freshwater Tank (semi-planted) 48"x21"x13"

    Video of 55GAL Tank - DEC 2012

  6. #16


    0 Not allowed!

    Is this it? The TLC in the bottom corner is the trademark for the manufacturer.

    I almost recommended Ammo-lock, too, but not sure if it would lock your ammonia to that high level or if it should be used perhaps once your ammonia had dropped. I've never used it so not sure how it works.

    Maybe the guy at the fish store would give you some used filter media and help speed up your cycle? Glad the chloramines levels are safe.
    Last edited by Lady Hobbs; 10-20-2012 at 01:09 AM.

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Long Island, N.Y.

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    for your advice and support! - gourami*girl Dude, Thanks from those of us that can only send help. - 850R Have a cool one after helping those around you - Cliff You will probably need a few more of these before you are done - mommy1 Thanks for helping get peoples lives back to normal - mommy1 
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    0 Not allowed!
    RO unit could be an option? Sorry Ammonia in your tap is a fishkeepers worst nightmare
    55 Gal- Fluval 305 & Aqua Clear 70;
    2 Gold Veil Angels, 1 GBR, 1 Gold Nugget Pleco, and 11 pesky Zebra Danio's.

  8. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    It looks like the same product as the TLC, but it doesnt have the TLC logo and its called Start Smart "Complete" instead of just start smart.

    But the logo and branding look almost identical so I dont know how they are related. However, my bottle is a 12 ounce bottle and 1 ounce treats 10 gallons, and the TLC product seems to work differently.
    55 Gallon Freshwater Tank (semi-planted) 48"x21"x13"

    Video of 55GAL Tank - DEC 2012

  9. #19


    0 Not allowed!
    Having a 2 ppm ammonia from the tap is an issue. Forget constant additives - your best bet is, as pointed out, a second tank with a cycled filter that clears the water before you pump it in your main tank.

    I would suggest that you build a water falls algae slump system. Between water changes, you can use that system to keep your nitrates and phosphates zero in the main tank (no normal biological filter can do that without constant additives $$$.) These things are vastly superior to all simple biological filters. Do require a weekly cleaning of the algae rack but that is a minor issue.

    Another advantage of an algae waterfall filter is no cycling issues - the algae grows in days and fully effective after one week and from then on, even after cleaning, performs its job. Still, read up on them before doing this because large units need to be built and commerical units that are inexpensive, are small (could only handle a second tank - not both the main tank and the storage tank.)

    Of course, an R/O system will cure the problem but these aren't cheap and require $$$ to replace the filter systems on a regular bases.

    Aside: I have a small algae scrubber and it is gold for my tank. Mine is an internal unit that uses an air pump, no slump system.

    Best of luck.
    Last edited by Cermet; 10-20-2012 at 12:50 PM.
    Knowledge is fun(damental)

    A 75 gal with eight Discus, fake plants, and a lot of wood also with sand substrate. Clean up crew is down to just two Sterba's Corys. Filters: continuous new water flow; canister w/UV, in-tank algae scrubber!! Finally, junked the nitrate removal unit from hell.

    For Fishless cycling:

  10. #20


    0 Not allowed!
    Get online and find a aquarium club in your area. [This is a good idea anyway]

    Join up & buddy up to the members and get some cycled media [Or from your lfs as mentioned], They will understand your issue completely.

    Also, Call your water dept and ask them if what they have going on right now is typical or if they are doing/adding something extra temporarily. It's worth a call to find out.
    Gas mileage isn't everything OIIIIIIIO
    Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.
    Why pretend there are no stupid questions? Actually, There are many stupid questions: "Should I drink this bleach?" Is just one example.
    Having said that, Just because it's a stupid question doesn't mean that it shouldn't be asked. It's better to know.

    A warm beer is better than a cold beer. Because nothing is better than a cold beer, and a warm beer is better than nothing.

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