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Old 08-03-2011, 05:46 PM   #1
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Perplexing

New 45 Gal Tank.

I have been doing my own test for 2 weeks now using the API Saltwater Master kit. When I saw no cycling, I added some pure ammonia and everything did just as planned.

Here is my problem. Before adding ammonia my readings were consistently .25 on ammonia. When the levels came down after spiking it made it down to what I assume was about .15 because it is between 0 and .25 on the chart. Then, it went back to .25. That is AFTER Nitrite spiked and came back to 0. Nitrate spiked to 160 and was down to 40 last night.

I am wondering why I always get .25 on the ammonia. Am I doing something wrong? Is my test old? Should I even worry about it? I know ammonia is supposed to be 0 but since I now have no nitrite can I trust that I still have some ammonia?
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Old 08-03-2011, 05:55 PM   #2
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My tests never come out as the bright yellow that the chart looks like. It's more of a pale yellowish look. I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 08-03-2011, 07:41 PM   #3
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Hi rdnelson99,
For me, personally, I would definitely worry about ammonia. Although, it's been okay for slitherbomb. But also I have a freshwater aquarium and yours is saltwater, so maybe there is a difference there too. But, to be sure it's safe for your fish and everything else in the tank, think I'd research it a little more.
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Old 08-03-2011, 08:02 PM   #4
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Hi rdnelson99,
For me, personally, I would definitely worry about ammonia. Although, it's been okay for slitherbomb. But also I have a freshwater aquarium and yours is saltwater, so maybe there is a difference there too. But, to be sure it's safe for your fish and everything else in the tank, think I'd research it a little more.
I hear you. From everything I have heard any ammonia is big time bad. That is what makes me so nervous. I just can't figure out why it will not go below (except for that one time) .25. The last time I had an LFS test it I took the sample at 6:30 AM and it was tested at about 2:00 PM by one and 3:00 PM by another. I kept it in my office so it wouldn't get to hot though. They said 0 Ammonia. That was the day I bought the test kit. Took another sample that night about 7:30 and did my own test and it was .25. I don't know who to believe. Mainly because the one LFS brought the result back awful quick and immediately tried to seel me fish and CUC. The other I trust a lot more but he used test strips which I don't think are that good. Having said that, I don't trust myself either. Am I doing something wrong?

The directions on the test kit say to rinse the test tube with aquarium water before running the test. In doing so, my fingers get in the water a bit. Do you think that might skew the results? I wash them with fresh water and no soap first but??????
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Old 08-03-2011, 08:04 PM   #5
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I hear you. From everything I have heard any ammonia is big time bad. That is what makes me so nervous. I just can't figure out why it will not go below (except for that one time) .25. The last time I had an LFS test it I took the sample at 6:30 AM and it was tested at about 2:00 PM by one and 3:00 PM by another. I kept it in my office so it wouldn't get to hot though. They said 0 Ammonia. That was the day I bought the test kit. Took another sample that night about 7:30 and did my own test and it was .25. I don't know who to believe. Mainly because the one LFS brought the result back awful quick and immediately tried to seel me fish and CUC. The other I trust a lot more but he used test strips which I don't think are that good. Having said that, I don't trust myself either. Am I doing something wrong?

The directions on the test kit say to rinse the test tube with aquarium water before running the test. In doing so, my fingers get in the water a bit. Do you think that might skew the results? I wash them with fresh water and no soap first but??????
Thought, when I do my test tonight I will use a syringe to flush the test tube out which will keep my greasy little paws out of the water.
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Old 08-03-2011, 08:06 PM   #6
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Try testing the water straight of your tap and see what it reads on ammonia. That will at least help establish a baseline.
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Old 08-03-2011, 08:15 PM   #7
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Try testing either RO/DI water or bottled water. Those should have 0 ammonia. See what those look like. If it looks like .25 then it's just your test kit. If it looks like 0, then it's your tank.
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Old 08-03-2011, 08:52 PM   #8
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Great ideas guys. I will do that even though I have much better news from this evenings test. Temp 79, Salinity 1.024 (didn't get exact on my 10% PWC last night), PH 8.0, Ammonia 0 (Yeah), Nitrite 0 and Nitrate 20. Last night before the PWC the Nitrate was 40. I assume that I should do one more PWC tomorrow to get it BELOW 40 but should be good to add a couple of clowns on Sat. What do you thin?
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:00 PM   #9
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Sounds promising! If you've been dosing with ammonia, try adding 1tsp and test over the next 24 hours. If your tank is able to convert the ammonia to nitrite and then to nitrate in that time frame, yes, you should be good to go
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:10 PM   #10
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I only dosed once. I added 2 capfuls. The next night Ammonia was off the chart and I started to see Nitrite rise. Here is what the next 3 days looked like.

The first number is the starting point, second is after 19 hours and the third is after another 21 hours.

Temp 79, 79, 79
Salinity 1.0245, 1.0245, 1.0245
PH 7.8, 8, 7.8
Ammonia 8, .15, .10
Nitrite 50, 50, 2.0
Nitrite 10, 10, 10
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