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Old 06-29-2019, 08:44 PM   #1
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Ammonia Levels

Hey everyone, I currently have a 20 gallon tank , with a fluval Aquaclear , im using the filter media that has came with the filter plus I added TopFin filter fiber pads and some fluval cube thingys, then on the bottom of my intake I have a pre filter sponge . Stocking wise I have 7 minnows ( using these fish to jump start the nitrogen cycle quicker and more pocket friendly because each fish was only 16 cents ) I also have 3 ghost shrimp in there to clean up any left over food that the fish don’t eat. In my tank I have gravel and 2 fake plants and 3 rocks that I got from my LFS , I got these things so I can have more surface area for beneficial bacteria. When I first started my tank around a week and a half ago , I added a whole bottle of tetra quick start and the recommended dose for the API quick start . ( I figured why not lol ) and when I test my water my nitrates and nitrites read 0 PPM but my Ammonia is never at 0.
June 23rd
Ammonia - 0 PPM
Nitrite - 0 PPM
Nitrate - around 0 PPM to 5 PPM
PH - 7.6

June 25th
Ammonia - .25 PPM
Nitrite - 0 PPM
Nitrate - 5 PPM
I forgot to write downs today’s parameter readings before I did a 25% water change but everything was 0 besides ammonia which was around .25-.50 PPM

Oh and I must note , last night I noticed a foam on top of my water so that’s why I decided to do a water change ( the foam is now gone )
How can I get my ammonia levels to 0 , or is this a normal part of the nitrogen cycle??
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Old 06-29-2019, 10:19 PM   #2
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.25 ppm isn't unacceptable. Many people do fish in cycles and keep the ammonia between .25 and .50 ppm. If you are using the API freshwater master test kit, sometimes it will throw a .25 reading on ammonia. I've noticed this recently after using a second ammonia test from a different company.
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Old 06-30-2019, 02:03 AM   #3
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I agree that the API ammonia test can be hard to tell what your reading really is. Also, you can use Prime to detoxify the ammonia while you are cycling, but you won't see ammonia at 0 until the colony of bacteria that consumes ammonia is built enough to keep up with the ammonia output of the fish. That doesn't mean your cycle is complete though.
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Old 06-30-2019, 11:40 AM   #4
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I agree that the API ammonia test can be hard to tell what your reading really is. Also, you can use Prime to detoxify the ammonia while you are cycling, but you won't see ammonia at 0 until the colony of bacteria that consumes ammonia is built enough to keep up with the ammonia output of the fish. That doesn't mean your cycle is complete though.
Okay so I added some more API quick start to add more bacteria into my water , so hopefully that fixes my ammonia problem, I’ll do a water test in like 2-3 days to see how everything is reading . But do you recommend any other testing kit that’s more accurate than the API test kit ?
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Old 06-30-2019, 11:41 AM   #5
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.25 ppm isn't unacceptable. Many people do fish in cycles and keep the ammonia between .25 and .50 ppm. If you are using the API freshwater master test kit, sometimes it will throw a .25 reading on ammonia. I've noticed this recently after using a second ammonia test from a different company.
What’s the name of the kit from the other company?
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Old 06-30-2019, 01:06 PM   #6
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I've used a Tetra ammonia test kit in the past that didn't use the yellow to green colors and it was easier to read. I don't know if they still make it like they used to.
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Old 07-02-2019, 12:13 AM   #7
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Seachem. You could also buy a Hanna digital ammonia tester if you really want to get crazy.
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