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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-19-2012, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Prime and ammonia tests

Does Prime increase the positive readings for API ammonia?
My tap water has a trace color change for ammonia, but my aged water with Prime added (ready to use for a water change) tests .25ppm. My tank meanwhile tests 0ppm.
I retested all three with the same result. What is the chemistry behind this?
Thanks.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-19-2012, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMB View Post
Does Prime increase the positive readings for API ammonia?
My tap water has a trace color change for ammonia, but my aged water with Prime added (ready to use for a water change) tests .25ppm. My tank meanwhile tests 0ppm.
I retested all three with the same result. What is the chemistry behind this?
Thanks.
Most water supplies use chloramine over chlorine now, where cloramine is a chlorine/ammonia molecule that is more stable and doesn't evaporate when exposed to air. When prime comes in contact with chloramine, it breaks that bind and then binds up the chlorine and the ammonia, turning the ammonia into ammonium or something similar that is a non-toxic substance that will give a false reading on a standard drop ammonia test. Tests like the Seachem ammonia test can tell the difference between harmful(free) ammonia and bound ammonia or ammonia based molecules.


^^^or something like that anyways. lol.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-19-2012, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-19-2012, 08:35 PM
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Just a little more information to look into if you are interested.

The type of ammonia test kit you have may also change how you see your ammonia readings. While salicylate test kits have been the norm lately, I do remember using Nessler ammonia test kits less than 10 years ago.

While salicylate can differentiate between ammonia and ammonium, Nessler cannot and will give you a total reading (and may give you a false positive if you are using products that lock up ammonia, etc).

Anthony


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