confusing ammonia readings - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-01-2013, 04:53 AM Thread Starter
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I retested the 1 cup tap water + conditioner and it's still 0.5ppm. It's been >12 hours. I'll test it again in the morning, but at the moment, I'm thinking that it's not a chloramine to ammonia issue. Also, the conditioner that I've been using does neutralize chloramine, so that should never have been a cause.

I added pure ammonia to the tank last night to raise the tank level back to 3.0ppm. 24 hours later, ammonia is 1.5ppm and nitrItes have raise to 0.25-0.5ppm.

Since both ammonia and nitrItes had previously dropped to zero, I think I've somehow started a mini-cycle.

Can I just say "ARGH!!!"
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-01-2013, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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~12 hours after raising ammonia to 3.0ppm and adding baking soda --
Ammonia: 1.5ppm (that dreaded number again!)
NitrItes: ~3.0-4.0ppm
NitrAtes: ~40ppm (unchanged)
pH 7.6

I'll test again in 12 hrs. Fingers crossed that the ammonia will continue to drop.

EDIT: Baking soda was added based on advice in another forum to raise my pH. It had fallen from 7.5 to 6.5. The lower pH may have contributed to my cycling troubles.

Last edited by jpalimpsest; 01-01-2013 at 06:23 PM. Reason: clarification
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Progress!

Looks like we're making progress!

24 hours ago, I raised the ammonia to 3.0ppm again. After 12 hours it had dropped to 1.5ppm (That number is haunting me ). Nitrites were ~5.0ppm. In frustration, I decided to dose the tank with Seachem Prime. (I had been using Aqueon water conditioner). Within 30 minutes, the ammonia dropped to 1.0ppm.

This morning, another 12 hours later, I'm down to ammonia 0.5ppm. Nitrites holding steady at ~5.0ppm.

Woohoo! Progress.

I added pure ammonia this morning, to raise the tank water to 3.0ppm once more.

Come on bacteria, make like rabbits!
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ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, water parameters

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