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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm on day 32 of a fishless cycle. My nitrites have yet to drop and my ammonia has not seemed to get below 0.25 ppm. I've been wondering about the ammonia reading so I decided to test my tap water and got a reading of 0.5 ppm. I also tested some conditioned water (Prime and baking soda added) that had been sitting in a bucket for a few days. It also gave me a reading of 0.5 ppm.

Toronto water is treated with chlorine and chloramine.

I'm assuming the reading from the straight tap water is the result of the water being chloraminated and that the conditioned water is a false positive reading from the Prime combined with the chloramine.

Are the above reasonable assumptions and do I need to be doing anything else with the water to protect the fish once the tank is cycled?
 

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I’m plagued with chloraminated water as well. I just treat it liberally with Prime before it goes into the tank in a barrel. If you go straight from the faucet to the tank with a python, keep a powerhead running to make sure the new water comes in contact with the prime.

Some background info on this can be found here: When using a python-type system...

And yes, you will still get a positive reading for ammonia after treating with the Prime. The common ammonia tests don’t distinguish between free ammonia and ammonia bound up by using Prime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the very helpful reply and link to the other thread, jrf. I've also set up a system where the water I add during changes will be conditioned in a barrel (actually a Rubbermaid Brute) first. It sounds like that will be sufficient to make the water safe for the fish (despite whatever ammonia readings I get for the clean water).
 

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Once the tank is cycled, it should process that .5ppm of ammonia pretty quickly, although technically, that's added "bioload" for your filters... Preferable would be to get RO/filtered water, but I don't think you'll have too many issues adding .5ppm to a fully stocked tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
dielikemoviestars said:
although technically, that's added "bioload" for your filters...
Does this mean that technically I should stock the tank a little less heavily?
 

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I don’t have any issues with the added load. It’s always processed by my bio-filter within 24 hours. If you have a mini cycle in one of your tanks, the chloramines become a real pain in the behind since you can only ever get the ammonia as low as your tap water base line. Other than that, chloramine in the tap is manageable.
 
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