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Re: Chloramine

> Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2000 18:03:31 -0500 (EST)
> From: "Richard J. Sexton" <richard at aquaria_net>
> Subject: Chloramine

In response to:

> >Ok Ok, several ppl have emailed me privetly aobut the ammonia/chloramine
> >issue and I stand convinced that there is a problem.
> >But how come I am NOT seeing any ammonia in "control tests" and never
> >see it in my tanks in testing after water changes?  The East Bay DOES
> >use chloramine, does it not?

Some places yes, but I doubt if all do. East Bay water comes from a wild
variety of places and gets different treatment. Contact your specific
supplier for an analysis. Some places use pure Hetch-Hetchy (or other very
pure Sierra water) with no treatment, some use well water, and some use
water from the Delta or a mixture. Here in Fremont we get a mix of local
well water and Hetch-Hetchy with low (usually < 1ppm) chloramine.

The amount of ammonia that can do damage is way below the threshold of the
cheap kits sold in the stores (0.01ppm, for example, can damage gills). The
kits using Nessler's reagent cause mercury to be added to the bay (it really
doesn't need any more) and the salycilate tests are expensive and tedious.
Most have a "least indication" of about 0.25 ppm, which is way too late.

Richard wrote:

> I gnored the great threat of chloramine for about 3 years
> back when I lived in LA and they first started using it
> with absolutley on ill effects.
> Then, one night I did a routine water changes on a tank
> of spectacularly healthy fish and watched a pair of
> Aphyosemion volcanum die in about 10 minutes right
> before my very eyes. Amazing.
> I used amquel after that.

The strength of use often wildly varies, and the strength reaching you also
depends on crud in the pipes between the source and you that can tie up some
of it. I know of a couple of Betta breeders who had near total wipeouts
because they continued to use hypo dechlor when the chloramine dose was
jacked up to handle extra bacteria in the source. In some LA suburbs,
Metropolitan Water District gets it up to 2.5-3 ppm when needed. That's
potentially lethal to nearly any fish, even if treated for the chlorine!

Chloramine was mandated by EPA for two main reasons. It allows another
expansion of police-state intrusion into local affairs that is specifically
forbidden by the 9th and 10th Amendments to the Constitution, but (as
always) for a "good cause."

That "good cause" was the discovery that the chlorine they had previously
been mandating could react with some of that crud in the pipes to produce
carcinogens like chloroform and similar trihalomethanes. 

The chloramine-to-ammonia problem is then aggravated by the mandating of
high pH to stop corrosion of lead and copper from pipes in older
construction. At pH of 7 or below it isn't a problem at all and just makes
good plant food.

Wow! It took a long way to work this thread back on topic, didn't it? (^_^)


Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679  huntleyone at home dot com

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