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    Ammonia in source water

    Discussion in 'Lessons Learned' started by MrsE88, Oct 6, 2017.

    1. MrsE88

      MrsE88 MFK Members

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      Just thought I'd share my stupid mistake.

      I stopped using prime a couple months back on my fish tanks. I've never used it when filling/doing water changes on my pond. Since I have a well(live on a farm) I thought "it's just filtered rain water right?".
      That thinking almost cost me all my fry.
      Normally I service my big tanks first, but yesterday I decided to start with the fry tank. And I'm so glad I did.
      While filling up the tank my water just seemed off. So I tested it and the ammonia was at 4ppm!
      I look at the fry and they are darting to the surface and going nuts!
      I quickly netted them out and into a big net in their parents tank.
      I forgot to test the water before bed last night, but this morning the ammonia in the tank is back to 0.
      My tap is still at 4ppm. Before it was always between 0-.25ppm. And that was never an issue before. The biological filtration was able to handle it just fine and the fish didn't seem bothered at all.
      I really wasn't thinking. We have had such heavy rains this past week and are in for more today and tomorrow. I'm sure the spike is from fertilizer being washed into the well water. (We are surrounded by fields) I will be using prime from now on and watching my source water.
      I didn't lose any fish, but that is my lesson learned.
       
    2. tlindsey

      tlindsey MFK Members

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      Good to hear you found that out about the ammonia right away and saved the fry.
       
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    3. MrsE88

      MrsE88 MFK Members

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      @tlindsey@tlindsey Yes, I am glad that I was quick to figure out what was wrong. It wasn't smart on my part to think I didn't need to at the very least keep prime on hand. I won't make that mistake again.
       
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    4. duanes

      duanes MFK Members

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      You may also want to have the well tested for coliform bacteria (and E coli), if you drink that well water at all.
      A high ammonia level could be an indication that the heavy rains have contaminated the well with an incursion of farm waste runoff.
       
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    5. MrsE88

      MrsE88 MFK Members

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      We do not drink our well water. Even with a softener it is very hard still. We haven't taken the time to have it tested and for that reason we do not drink it.
      I agree that it is more then likely contaminated by run off.
      We will be getting it tested sometime here in the near future.
       
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