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Old 11-28-2004, 01:33 PM   #1
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Location: Cornell U, Ithaca
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Confusing Ammonia

I have had my 29 gallon tank set up for about 8 or 9 months now:-

4" DSB
30 -35lbs live rock
Aqua C Remora Skimmer
A Magnum 350 running with carbon and Phos-X
A 65W (maybe more) 50/50 compact
A maxijet power head

All of which is called home by:
Two clowns
A firefish
~15 hermit crabs
~5 snails
A cleaner shrimp
a soon to be traded coral banded shrimp
and a pair of conchs (fighting)
A bubble coral
a bunch of Xenia
A nice flourishing Green Star Polyp
A growing hammer tip coral
Pagoda coral
and a sebae anemone (yeah I know, but we were all young and impulsive once!)

After it cycled, I have had perfect readings on nitrite and nitrate readings of only 10 ppm at the very highest. However, the past three or four months I have seen a constant background level of ammonia, which I am unsure of how to bring down to 0. It never gets above .25, but it used to be 0 and I am worried that I might lose fish because of it.
What is the likely cause, what can I do to change it, and why if there is excess ammonia around do I not see it passed through the cycle with elevated levels of nitrite and nitrate?

Thank you so much for your help!
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Old 11-28-2004, 01:40 PM   #2
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What kind of ammonia test are you using? .25 is a fairly low level and, if you are using one of the less accurate tests, you may be getting a false reading. Try taking a water sample to your LFS and have them test it. Or, try a Seachem or Salifert kit. Another 10-15lbs of LR wouldn't hurt either.
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