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Old 02-28-2016, 01:07 AM   #11
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With chloramines its not a false positive. Its chlorine bound with ammonia. Its nore s r able and doesnt degas but when you add dechlorinator it leaves the ammonia.

"The simplest explanation for some phenomenon is more likely to be accurate than more complicated explanations." -Occam's razor
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Old 02-28-2016, 10:09 AM   #12
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Yes, that's a good point about the chloramines. When you add a conditioner like Prime, I am not clear on the underlying chemistry. Some have said that the conditioner just breaks apart the ammonia molecule from the chlorine, and then it's up to the bacteria to break down the ammonia. According to this concept, it seems the chloramines would be producing real ammonia -- not really a false positive.

Also, I purchased the seachem ammonia test kit a while back b/c it's supposed to distinguish between free ammonia and ammonium. However, when I ran the reference test , it did not seem to be working properly; rather disappointing, but ordered it online and would not be worth paying the shipping to return it. I would have to travel a bit of a distance to get to a reputable LFS (rather than a big box store) to ask them to test my water.

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Old 02-29-2016, 09:14 PM   #13
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I came across this Ammonia calculator online:
According to this calculator, free ammonia levels are about .01 to .02 ppm when total ammonia is .25 ( and ph about 6.6 to 6.7/ temp 78F). The comments below the calculator suggest .03 ppm ammonia causes chronic damage to fish. However, playing with the parameters slightly (e.g., raising temp to 79F) can push the free ammonia to .03 or more.

From a practical standpoint, I am thinking that adding a drop of Prime to my tank every 24 to 48 hours should take care of this small amount of ammonia. The standard Prime dose is supposed to detoxify 1ppm NH3, so it would seem that I just need a fraction of the standard dose.

Anyhow, my tank typically can use topping off every 2 or 3 days with about 0.1 to 0.2 gallons water. So I am thinking that the amount of Prime needed to dechlorinate this amount of water should be sufficient to detoxify the .02 free ammonia in the entire tank.

Does this sound logical?

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