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Old 10-27-2021, 08:55 AM   #1
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I used Ammo Lock- Do I need a different Test Kit?

ok......this is a new tank 25g......going through ammonia problems and I used ammo lock.......and doing water changes.....nothing seems to help.

I have the API master test kit.......I've seen post that this test kit cannot read the ammonia correctly after using ammo lock.

going to clean the gravel and 2o% water change now.

I'm realizing now I probably should have used Prime.......but live and learn.

Do I need to get another test kit? or will this settle out in a week or so?

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Old 10-27-2021, 09:42 AM   #2
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Ammo lock and prime do nothing to remove ammonia, they just temporarily render an amount of it non toxic for a period of time, so your test will still register the ammonia because its still there. The only way to remove ammonia apart from the nitrogen cycle or plant growth is water changes. Changing ammo lock for prime wont make any difference to your ammonia test.

Your water test is reading total ammonia nitrogen (TAN), not ammonia. This is free ammonia + ammonium. Its only the free ammonia that's actually harmful (mostly). Something like the seachem ammonia alert patch which only detects free ammonia will exclude the ammonium from what its detecting and is a more accurate method of testing whether your ammonia is a health risk. The test you currently have is a truer indication of any problems with your cycle because its picking up both the free ammonia and ammonium. I believe seachem also does a liquid test for free ammonia.

The proportion of free ammonia and ammonium in the TAN you are testing for is pH and temperature dependant. An absense of free ammonia will mean you arent dealing with anything toxic, but having ammonium is still a sign you arent cycled.

Couldnt possibly say if it will clear up in a week or so. How much ammonia are we talking about? How far along with your cycle are you? Typically cycling a tank takes a couple of months.
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Old 10-27-2021, 11:50 AM   #3
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jumped the gun

filled the tank on 9-22-21........well its sounding like I jumped the gun.
it went about 4 weeks and I started getting a little nitrates.....about 10ppm.

so the dumb@ss rookie I am I went and bought a 2 fish and some cleanup crew.... 6 snails and 3 hermits.

then the ammonia and nitrites started climbing.....
this morning before my 25% water change were:
ammonia= .50 ppm
nitrite = .50ppm
nitrate = 15-20 ppm

now 1 hour after water change with RO water:
alkalinity = 1.024
Ph = 8.0
ammonia = .25
nitrites = .30
nitrates = 15
temp = 78*-79*

so my readings finally changed some today. I have been adding that Prime Stability daily since Sunday 10-24-21.

I would sure like your suggestions. I was thinking the same that I jumped the gun on adding any livestock.....but whats the best thing to do now?

Run the 7-day course with the Stability?
Keep using ammo lock(every 2 days) and water changes(daily)?
all of above?

my clown fish was gasping air last night and this morning before the change
he was laying on his side on the bottom....but now he seems fine.

I have plenty of flow and the water is crystal clear......I vacuumed the sand during water change and there was some junk.......but I've seen videos that were far worse.

This aquarium stuff is turning into a real job!
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Old 10-27-2021, 12:08 PM   #4
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Im going to start this with....Im not a saltwater person. But the principals of ammonia toxicity and cycling a tank are the same.

At your pH and temperature you are starting to run into ammonia toxicity issues at about 0.5ppm ammonia (and by ammonia i mean TAN. Remember TAN? Thats what your test is reading).

If it where me, and im not a saltwater person, i would keep going as you propose until you are regularly seeing little to no ammonia. Change water regularly to control water quality, dose ammo lock/prime to detoxify what you leave after your water change. Im sure one of the salties will jump on and give you some relevant experience. Saltwater tanks have higher pH than FW tanks which makes managing ammonia more difficult.

Ever thought about a nice simple FW tank?
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Old 10-27-2021, 12:12 PM   #5
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Yes.....everyday lately!.....if these fish die I'm def gonna covert.....

on a scale of 1-10.........10 being the difficulty most see with saltwater tanks.....is a FW tank much easier?
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Old 10-27-2021, 12:23 PM   #6
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Couldnt say as ive never done salt water. You need to learn more skills and there is more equipment. A FW tank is more forgiving of mistakes and can be really basic. Making mistakes with SW fish is much more expensive too.

My impression is that a basic fish only/live rock salt water tank is probably on a par with a low tech planted FW tank. Throwing in corals and you are probably on a par with a high tech planted tank.

No real reason why you cant jump straight into SW if you can get your head round a moderate amount of complexity. Im sure you will be fine.
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Old 10-27-2021, 12:42 PM   #7
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I used Ammo Lock- Do I need a different Test Kit?

Few things here, some new points, some echo-

API will almost always give you an ammonia reading. Invest in a new kit- I recommend Red Sea

Prime will lock the toxicity of ammonia and nitrite for up to 48 hours. This will NOT affect the cycle process, but will let the tank inhabitants survive.

Stability is a dormant bacteria that takes a while to start doing what it needs to do, and requires daily dosing.

I did a fish in cycle using both Prime and Stability, and it took my tank a little over 3 weeks to finish and show diatoms. Youíll need to be diligent about using the Prime.
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Old 10-27-2021, 12:58 PM   #8
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Hereís a little cheat sheet for yaÖ I was successful cycling with this scheduled, dosing per instructions. Feel free to message me with any questions.

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Old 10-27-2021, 02:11 PM   #9
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So, I'm a tad late here. But this is all very simple. The tank isn't cycled. It doesn't matter if it is a saltwater or freshwater tank.
You have mentioned gravel and I'm concerned. This isn't painted aquarium gravel is it? In saltwater, the pH is such that it will degrade this and leach toxins into the water column.

So, to make sure I know what is going on. We know this is a 25 gallon tank. When was the tank cycled? How much live rock is in the tank? How much 'gravel', which is hopefully crushed coral? What fish are in the system? They might not even be suitable for the tank you have them in, which will continue to cause nutrient issues in your tank long term...but we might as well deal with that now while we're finishing a cycle.

Saltwater isn't any more or less hard than freshwater. You're just right and jumped the gun and are misinformed is all. We just need to slow down and not put bandaids on what is going on in the system, and that is all chemicals like ammonia lock and such are.
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Old 11-01-2021, 11:01 PM   #10
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Water Changes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaxon-Waxon View Post
Hereís a little cheat sheet for yaÖ I was successful cycling with this scheduled, dosing per instructions. Feel free to message me with any questions.


Hey Flaxon.......

Thanks for the cheat sheet.....I'm currently finishing my 7 days of Stability.....but I have been using AmmoLock......but just got my Prime today and will start with that every other day.

I have been doing water changes 10-15% daily the last 7 days. And it's really getting old. I was thinking of changing to every other day? Did you do WC during this cycle or did you let the Prime work and let it run it's course?

My water looks great, crystal clear......I can see an algae taking root on the sand and rocks now......

today my ammonia was 1.0, nitrites .50 and nitrates 20.
so looking at your chart, I'd say I'm somewhere in your week #3.

any help will be greatly appreciated!!
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Old 11-02-2021, 08:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mann2021 View Post
Hey Flaxon.......



Thanks for the cheat sheet.....I'm currently finishing my 7 days of Stability.....but I have been using AmmoLock......but just got my Prime today and will start with that every other day.



I have been doing water changes 10-15% daily the last 7 days. And it's really getting old. I was thinking of changing to every other day? Did you do WC during this cycle or did you let the Prime work and let it run it's course?



My water looks great, crystal clear......I can see an algae taking root on the sand and rocks now......



today my ammonia was 1.0, nitrites .50 and nitrates 20.

so looking at your chart, I'd say I'm somewhere in your week #3.



any help will be greatly appreciated!!


Your tank needs the ammonia to finish the cycle, I used the Prime in lieu of water changes. Didnít do any changes until my cycle was complete, I heavily relied on the Prime to detoxify ammonia and nitrite. The Prime stays effective for up to 48 hours, but you also need to be aware that it will skew any ammonia reading. If you are getting algae on the sand bed Iím inclined to think youíre approaching the end of the cycle. I would continue on dosing Stability daily, and personally I would stop water changes and get a Seachem MultiTest Ammonia test kit- this will allow you to get a free and total ammonia reading that will let you see how much ammonia is in your system even with the Prime detoxifying it. Iíll also reiterate the importance of getting better test kits that API.
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Old 11-13-2021, 11:28 AM   #12
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Using Prime

ok last we spoke I got the Prime and have been using it every 2 days along with Stability ............I had algae on the sand, etc, but it seems it has all disappeared pretty much......

finally got the Seachem Ammonia test and its disappointing....ran 2 tests, rinsing etc like directions say and at 15 and 30 ins I got zero change in the wafers.....nothing for Free Ammonia, it's basically saying it's zero. My old API kit says ammonia is off the charts for the last week, but now says 3.0.
nitrites = .25 now........was as high as .50
nitrates = 10 now........was as high as 35

2 days ago water was super cloudy......nitrates were 35 then, I did a 40% water change, mainly because I didn't know for sure what was going on......the water is still hazy some from that...and reapplied both Prime and Stability.


so now with the Seachem test showing:
Free ammonia = 0 ......after 30 mins.
Total Ammonia = .01 ....after 15 mins. it did change colors some
Not sure if it's working?

If I wanted to try to ween off the Prime and Stability.......once these are stopped, how long would it take you think for my API ammonia test take to start giving accurate readings?

Right now, other than the hazy water, the tank is showing to be clean.....minimal algae on the glass and sand, etc. It's almost like the cycle reversed itself? I'm pretty confused here as to what this tank is doing with this cycling.....
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Old 11-14-2021, 08:30 AM   #13
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I read this twice. The end of the day, before your tank wasn't cycled. Today, your tank still isn't cycled.
I don't understand why anything other than a straight ammonia test is necessary. It's there, it is a problem until the tank is cycled. Until that is done, you can't stop managing the ammonia in the tank because there isn't any bacteria in there to do it for you.
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Old 11-15-2021, 10:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniperhank View Post
I read this twice. The end of the day, before your tank wasn't cycled. Today, your tank still isn't cycled.
I don't understand why anything other than a straight ammonia test is necessary. It's there, it is a problem until the tank is cycled. Until that is done, you can't stop managing the ammonia in the tank because there isn't any bacteria in there to do it for you.


A straight ammonia test will not be accurate. Seachem Prime binds the toxicity of ammonia and nitrite, and in turn will not show on a standard colorimeter testing kit. A free/total ammonia differentiated test is the only way to accurately test ammonia.

That said, to the OP- if you have livestock, I would continue on dosing both Prime and Stability as instructed. If your nitrate levels are steadily beginning to rise, that is a good sign of the cycling process maturing. The Prime is effective for 48 hours. You can also take an ammonia reading 48 hours after your last dose, and that will give you an accurate reading with a normal test kit- just be aware that if youíre showing ammonia that way then a dose of Prime will be necessary at that time.
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Old 11-15-2021, 02:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaxon-Waxon View Post
A straight ammonia test will not be accurate. Seachem Prime binds the toxicity of ammonia and nitrite, and in turn will not show on a standard colorimeter testing kit. A free/total ammonia differentiated test is the only way to accurately test ammonia.

That said, to the OP- if you have livestock, I would continue on dosing both Prime and Stability as instructed. If your nitrate levels are steadily beginning to rise, that is a good sign of the cycling process maturing. The Prime is effective for 48 hours. You can also take an ammonia reading 48 hours after your last dose, and that will give you an accurate reading with a normal test kit- just be aware that if youíre showing ammonia that way then a dose of Prime will be necessary at that time.
If that is what it takes to take an accurate reading on where your tank is in terms of the cycling process while using the product to make it non toxic to the tank...then it is the only thing one can do then.
Really firms my belief in fishless cycles just off of continuing to save people's pocketbooks even though I do like Seachem products.
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