Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 04-03-2006, 01:44 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Moscow, ID
Posts: 61
added lots of ammonia, but test kit shows very little

I'm trying to get a fishless cycle started here. I bought some 10% Ammonia at the hardware store. I added a lot to the small, 1 gal tank, but the kit didn't show much ammonia, so I tested the "ammonia" itself, but it shows < than 0.25 ppm ammonia.
What is going on? Is the ammonia not really ammonia? The kit (AP master test kit) doesn't have any problem showing high concentrations (1 ppm) of ammonia from the water my fish is in. (Right now he's in a 1/2 gal bowl. I change the water every or every other day.)
__________________

__________________
europas_ice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2006, 02:05 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Posts: 720
when did you start the cycle? are there any ingredients in the bottle other than Amonia and Water? Have you cleaned the cycling tank or removed any of the water? Have you added things (rocks, decorations, filter media) to the new tank that were in an existing tank before?
__________________

__________________
tbonem91 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2006, 02:15 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Moscow, ID
Posts: 61
Trying to start cycle today.

Admitedly, the bottle doesn't say that there is no soap or other ingredients, but then it doesn't say that there are, either. The bottle doesn't foam up when I shake it. It's Ace brand Ammonia: Janitorial Strength Formula. It does say it contains no phosphates.

The tank was clean and dry this morning. I added washed sand for the substrate, and fake plants, and some filter material for the bacteria to grow on. (I've ordered the filter, it should be arriving this week.) I've also got an air stone in there to keep the water areated.

But even testing the ammonia solution directly doesn't regester any ammonia. I'm starting to conclude that there must be an additive in the ammonia messing with the test kit reading. What do you think?
__________________
europas_ice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2006, 11:01 PM   #4
AA Team Emeritus
 
jsoong's Avatar


 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Posts: 4,222
Maybe the ammonia has soaps & the like that mess with your test (in that case it is NOT good for fish!).

What does the label say about ingredients & its concentration? Janitorial strength can mean anything .... the bottle should state the actual concentration of ammonia and should also say 100% pure ammonia (or USP) to be useful in fishless cycling.
__________________
80 gal FW with 30 gal DIY wet/dry/sump.
9 fancy golds, 1 hillstream loaches, 1 rubber-lip pleco (C. thomasi), 3 SAEs, small school of white cloud minnows, planted.
jsoong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2006, 11:27 AM   #5
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Viperboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Lawrence, KS
Posts: 383
Send a message via AIM to Viperboy
I have that exact same bottle of ammonia and have been using it for my fishless cycle and everything has been going ok for me ... i put some drops in the first day and read some high levels of ammonia ... so maybe look into your testing kit and see if anything is wrong with it or if something else is wrong ... cause im sure that that bottle of ammonia is pure cause i have been using it and my cycle is almost done ...if your curious to see my recent test results check out the thread "fishless cycle ... when will it ever end" ... HTH

Ray
__________________
Viperboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2006, 12:35 AM   #6
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 42
I used that same brand of Ace Hardware Ammonia (It was the Janitorial Stength, 10% solution) for my fishless cycle. The fish are in the tank now and doing fine, so that ammonia is ok to use.

That ammonia is very strong, just a capful (approx 5-5.5 mL) was enough to register around 4 ppm in my 39 gallon tank. How much did you put into the 1 gallon tank? I haven't done any calculations, but I would guess you only need a couple of drops to reach 3-5 ppm ammonia in your tank.

My guess is that the ammonia concentration is so high, the test kit just can't read it. I would try dumping out the water in the tank and refilling it. Add some dechlor, but not any like Prime or Amquel. You don't want to add one that does anything with the ammonia, strictly dechorination and/or heavy metals etc. Then just add a couple of drops (get an eye dropper) of the ammonia. Test and see what you come up with. If necessary, add a few more drops.

Just remember, that ammonia is some strong stuff! If you forget that, just take a whiff near the bottle, you'll remember quickly!

If that doesn't work, the only thing I can suggest is a new test kit. HTH
__________________
UTcolorchangn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2006, 01:36 AM   #7
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Lonewolfblue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Wenatchee, WA
Posts: 8,435
Send a message via ICQ to Lonewolfblue Send a message via Yahoo to Lonewolfblue
I agree, empty the tank and rinse the gravel and fill back up. And yes, you can use Prime while cycling, it's not like other dechlors that bind the ammonia and make it unavailable to the bacteria. Prime still makes it available, just safe for fish. I'd start with 2 drops of the ammonia and see how it registers.
__________________
55G Filstar XP3 - 16" Fire Eel
75G Medium Planted - Filstar XP3 Low Light - Established Feb 2006
Lonewolfblue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2006, 09:52 AM   #8
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: New York
Posts: 280
Re: added lots of ammonia, but test kit shows very little

Quote:
Originally Posted by europas_ice
I added a lot to the small, 1 gal tank, but the kit didn't show much ammonia, so I tested the "ammonia" itself, but it shows < than 0.25 ppm ammonia.
What is going on? Is the ammonia not really ammonia? The kit (AP master test kit) doesn't have any problem showing high concentrations (1 ppm) of ammonia from the water my fish is in. (Right now he's in a 1/2 gal bowl. I change the water every or every other day.)
How much is alot? A few drops should be enough to register in that small tank. I agree with the above posts, start over and only put a very small amount to get to a level of 3 - 4 ppm for cycling without fish.
__________________
Good Luck,
Brian
Macrosill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2006, 09:32 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
TomK2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Glen Ellyn, IL
Posts: 2,085
I did do the calculations, and for the ACE Janitorial Strength 10% ammonia solution it takes 0.34 ml for 1 ppm in ten gal. I then dosed my 10 gal tank with 0.34 ml and got exactly 1 ppm on the ammonia test.

Something is amiss here. I never did an ammonia test on the 10% solution itself, so I don't know if you can be so far over the limit as to get a false test. Does the ammonia bottle smell like ammonia? It should be a powerful ammonia smell. If it smells like ammonia, that rules out that you have a fancy bottle of plain water. Anyone else care to test the 10% solution to see what it does on an AP test kit? If results are different than europas_ice, one might conclude e_i has a bad test bottle.
__________________
TomK2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2006, 09:50 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
TomK2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Glen Ellyn, IL
Posts: 2,085
Don't bother! I could not go to sleep with such a mystery on my mind, so I ran an ammonia test on the 10% solution. Indeed, the color is negative. Nearly blinded myself sniffing the bottle to verify that it still had ammonia in it, a 10% solution can take your eyebrows off!

Thanks eropas_ice, you have taught me an interesting test kit tidbit. It appears that there is an upper limit ammonia level that the test will give a false negative with. Now a 10% solution is something like 100,000 ppm, so I don't think this upper limit false negative is anything you would see in your tank with fish in it. Not live fish for that matter! If I am bored some day, I might dilute out the solution to try and estimate how many ppm it takes to get a false negative, but not tonight.

So, e_i, it seems that your only solution is to drain the tank, clean it, rinse it, rinse it some more, then restart. This time only add one drop of ammonia to the 1 gal tank and see what happens. By my calculations, you should only need 0.1 ml (one tenth of one ml) to get 3 ppm in that one gallon tank.
__________________

__________________
TomK2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
ammonia, test, test kit

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
API Test Kit vs Test Strips--Dead fish--No Refund Jewel Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 6 08-30-2008 11:35 PM
Fishy cycling... how long before ammonia shows up? Trumpee Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 1 01-22-2008 03:35 PM
Phosphate test kit dark blue...range higher than max on kit MyCatsDrool Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 7 02-13-2007 07:20 AM
I got an ammonia test kit and here are my results!!!! Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 4 04-08-2006 10:14 PM
Lost my test kit index card (ammonia) help ?? kidkameleon3 Saltwater Reef Aquaria 6 03-11-2004 09:20 AM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:01 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.