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Does Stress Coat Remove Ammonia?

With the vast majority of people within the fish keeping community using tap water for their water changes, we see a large number of questions about how you are able to make tap water safe for fish.

We have seen people looking to use bottled water and spring water instead of tap water but good old tap water with a conditioner is still usually the best option for the majority of situations.

One thing that we do commonly see people asking about though is if Stress Coat removed ammonia from tap water.

Not all Stress Coat products will remove or neutralize the ammonia in tap water and this can cause confusion.

There are a number of Stress Coat products in their line-up but Stress Coat + is usually your best option to deal with ammonia in your tap water but Stress Coat does not technically remove the ammonia, it turns it into non-toxic ammonium that is safe for fish.

That said, even though there are a number of different products on the market right now that are all designed to make your tap water safe, Stress Coat + is still probably one of the best options on the market by far.

Just be sure to one of the Stress Coat options that does make ammonia in tap water safe as their baseline product focuses on chlorine and chloramine without doing much to ammonia.

What Does Stress Coat Do?

The Stress Coat formula has been developed to deal with the various chemicals that are added to tap water in most western countries helping to make your tap water as safe as possible for use in a fish tank or pond.

Since then, the Stress Coat product line up has expanded to include a wide range of different products that specialize in slightly different chemicals found in tap water.

Depending on your area, it can be worth researching the chemicals that are actually added to your water supply as some of the newer Stress Coat formulas can be expensive due to what they are designed to treat but the treatments that pump the price up may not be needed for your area.

Many people will be fine with the regular Stress Coat formula or may be Stress Coat + that are thankfully their two cheapest products with there often being no need for their more expensive products due to the chemicals not being in tap water in most areas.

That said though, if you are looking to treat rain water that has been left to stand for a while or a different water source, the more advanced Stress Coat formulas can be worth their weight in gold offering one of the cheapest ways to make those types of water safe for fish.

You also have the formulas designed for use with outdoor ponds rather than fish tanks so if you do keep a pond, you may want to look into using that formula.

Does Stress Coat Remove Ammonia?

Stress Coat + is able to transform ammonia in tap water and other water sources into ammonium that is not toxic for fish.

The Stress Coat formula does not technically remove the ammonia from the water but it causes a chemical reaction to transform it from ammonia into ammonium helping to keep the treatment as cheap as possible.

This is one of the main advantages of the Stress Coat + formula as it essentially transforms the water to the same condition that the treatments that will actually remove the ammonia from the water can but at a much cheaper price tag.

For all intensive purposes, it does “remove” the ammonia from the water as it is transformed into ammonium but in scientific terms, that just means that it is an onium cation obtained by protonation of ammonia so you could argue that the base makeup of the ammonia is still there, it is just safe for your fish.

Now, the thing is, much of the “ammonia” that is reported to be in tap water in most parts of North America and Europe is actually ammonium anyway as it has already been rendered safe for humans so it is surprisingly rare that you will need a product like Stress Coat + as the regular, cheaper Stress Coat formula will also remove the chlorine and chloramine in the water for you.

What Does Ammonia Do To Fish?

Ammonia can cause a number of problems in fish with the more serious problems being potential damage to the gills and internal organs of the fish.

High ammonia levels in your aquarium or pond water can also spike stress and anxiety levels in your fish too that can eventually result in a fatality if the ammonia levels are not reduced.

This is why so many people go to such a length to drastically reduce the ammonia levels in their aquariums.

As we touched on above though, the bulk of the “ammonia” reported in tap water in North America and Europe is actually ammonium with a very small amount of actual ammonia in it.

The problem is, it is extremely difficult to find an accurate breakdown of the ammonium and ammonia ratio in tap water but there are some water test kits available that can offer a rough idea.

If you do use rain water or an external water source that has been left to stand then there is a good chance that it will have high ammonia levels in it though.

This is when you will almost always have to implement some type of ammonia treatment to either remove the ammonia or to transform it into ammonium before you add the water to your fish tank or pond.


That brings our article going over if stress coat removes ammonia from tap water and other water sources to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you but this can quickly become a surprisingly confusing topic due to there being so many little things with much of the needs and requirements depending on what’s actually in your tap water. A large number of will probably not even have to treat their tap water for ammonia due to so much of what is reported as ammonia actually being non-toxic ammonium.