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Old 02-25-2015, 06:38 AM   #1
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Questions about API master test kit?

Well the Ammonia reading tends to often read 0.25ppm despite being 0.0ppm but this is quite clear. The ammonia test spikes the PH to figure out the ammonia level and with Prime and many other dechlorinators this tends to cause a re-release of ammonium when this happens and the test reads both types at the same time. The API test is salicylate based as said in the manual so you need a something like Seachems ammonia test to measure both types.

The Nitrites for me have always been 0.0ppm but I assume this is normal as long as it's converted to Nitrates.

With nitrates it's the most confusing to me and the real reason I keep feeling I need reassurance on the matter. Plants consume nitrate and I assume newer plants in the tank are extra hungry for nitrates... especially with some form of Co2 and fertilizers present. Thus results in a pretty steady nitrate level for a good while. My tank has never really budged from 5.0ppm except when I did a large water change awhile ago and only then it dropped to like 2.5ppm. But since then it's been more subtle water changes and even after a week it still seems like 5.0ppm. it does seem like a slight shade darker but it's hard to tell after a week.. so I don't really know right now.

But I've also read that plants consume Nitrite and ammonia.. but I'm not sure which it is they consume. Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate or all three... that could use some clarification as well.

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Old 02-25-2015, 12:39 PM   #2
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All aquatic plants consume both NH4 and NO3 and most will do it in that order. I don't think they do anything with NO2 but I could be wrong.

With the NO3 test, you have to REALLY shake those things up to make sure you get an accurate reading.

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Old 02-25-2015, 12:47 PM   #3
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you say theres no ammonia but test 0.25... so there is ammonia? possibly your reading the test wrong?
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Old 02-25-2015, 05:58 PM   #4
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My understanding is that Prime converts ammonia into the less toxic ammonium. API test kit reads the total of both so your ammonia could be at zero but the converted ammonia (ammonium) be at 0.25. Safer for your fish, yes, but in a properly cycled, filtered and stocked tank your ammonia/ammonium reading should be zero or as near as possible. A reading of 0.25 is a warning sign. This may be after the introduction of more fish before the BB population has increased to the higher demand.

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Old 02-25-2015, 06:17 PM   #5
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Your Tank Water

Hello Jf...

Plants use all forms of nitrogen. As for testing your tank water, you should do so daily checking for traces of ammonia and nitrite during the nitrogen cycle. Typically, after a month, you'll have several daily tests with no traces of the above toxins. At this point, the tank is cycled. To maintain, healthy water conditions, you just remove and replace at least half the tank water weekly. If you do this, there's no time for dissolved wastes to build up to toxic levels before you remove them by changing out the water. You'll guarantee stable water conditions for the living things in the tank. This aggressive water change routine makes water testing unnecessary, unless you really enjoy buying the chemicals and performing the test.

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