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Old 01-16-2012, 04:01 AM   #1
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Getting a little frustrated with either my API ammonia test or my tank

Hi folks. I don't remember if it was this one or another forum (sorry! I belong to several) where I mentioned having issues with the ammonia readings.

My ten gallon has been set up since October. It has for quite some time now consistently given me 0 readings for nitrite and (apparently) .25 readings for ammonia (nitrates vary between 5 and 20). Someone suggested testing bottled spring water to make sure I was reading the color right. I did so at the same time as I tested the tank water and the tank water was every so slightly greener than the spring water (like a very light spring green with a touch of yellow rather than yellow). The QT tank (insta-cycled with filter media) gives the exact same readings as the ten gallon (well, nitrates vary sometimes *lol*). The 55 gallon is going through a mini-cycle, so I've been through some ammonia spikes and working my way through high nitrites and nitrates, so I'm pretty sure the test kit is working.

So what is going on? Tap water tests the same as the tank water--it's well water, so no chlorine/chloramine so SHOULD be no ammonia. I find it hard to believe that after four months, I still have ammonia, much less ammonia and no nitrites, every single time I test (two or three times a week). I went through an ammonia spike in the ten gallon that, unfortunately, burned the Betta's gills and they are all healed up now. Someone responded and said they got the same results and finally figured that was their 0 ammonia result--I'm about ready to make the same decision myself, but I thought I would ask about. Do the readings make sense? I've not seen anyone post or write an article that has the cycle doing what it appear to be doing in my tank, so....yeah. I am a little confused. *lol*

Any input would be appreciated.

^_^
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Old 01-16-2012, 04:25 PM   #2
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Ok...so when I tested the tap water last, something must have gone wrong. Tested it again today (because I realized that if I continued to insist it was showing the same color and it wasn't, I was going to feel really stupid) and feel kinda stupid. Not the same color. So, the question changes.

With consistent nitrite tests of 0 and nitrates of between 5 and 20, is there a good reason why I have ammonia? Like I said, the color is almost .25 but not quite green enough (at least, I don't think it is). Either way, there's ammonia. The tank is planted, 4 months old, and has 4 fish and a handful of shrimp in it--don't think it's overstocked--and gets a 50% and a 25% water change a week (more if nitrates climb). Any suggestions? Please? *lol*
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Old 01-16-2012, 04:34 PM   #3
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Maybe you can post some pics of your test results on here. We can look at the colors for you.
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Old 01-16-2012, 04:35 PM   #4
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It may be due to over feeding? Try feeding every other day. I had this problem. What was happening is I was throwing in food. It was to much for the fish to eat at once. Some would just float to the bottom. By only feeding every other day it forced them to search for food.
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Old 01-16-2012, 05:26 PM   #5
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I'll try cutting down on the feeding again...it's once a day, and it's usually gone by next day (shrimp and snails scavenge it after the fish are done). I cut down from twice a day already (not because of water parameters--same ones--but because the betta was getting fat *lol*). I can try posting pics--not sure my cellphone camera will do well enough to show color differences, but worth a shot. Thx. ^_^
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:29 PM   #6
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Test results--tap water on left, ten gallon tank on right. Showed up better than I thought it would.



Whatcha think?
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