False Readings? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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False Readings?

So I made a post a while ago about a reading of point .25ppm of Ammonia in my 29 gallon. I've been more detailed check of my old 20g and my new 55. They all have the same color reading of .25ppm.

In my 55g I would not be as surprised if it spike, it is fairly new. However, I have had Kuhli loachs in the 20 for almost two years. I feel like if it spiked randomly or have been high they would have died already. I have not added new fish to that tank since Feb. The only thing I have added was some live plants. I have not lost a fish since I added the new ones in Feb.

I only use distilled water, from Walmart, for my tanks.

Could it be a false test? The results haven't changed after multiple WCs of 4 gallons. (I don't dare do more, because of the live shrimp and snails in the tank)

29g
ph: 7.8
Ammonia: .25
NO2: 0
NO3: 10

55g:
ph: 7.4
Ammonia: .25
NO2: 0
NO3: 0

20g:
ph: 7.4
Ammonia: .25
NO2: 0
NO3: 30 (Added plants to help lower this, as well as larger water changes.)
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 12:16 AM
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If you dosed Prime recently, you'll get a 0.25ppm false reading with the API test kits.

Per Seachem's website:
Quote:
Under the conditions of a salicylate kit the ammonia-Prime complex will be broken down eventually giving a false reading of ammonia (same as with other products like Prime®), so the key with a salicylate kit is to take the reading right away.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 02:17 AM
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Question. Distilled water for make up or for water changes?

Dilution is the solution for the pollution.
Quote me as saying I was misquoted.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 02:31 AM
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My API test kit has always given me a 0.25 ppm reading. It never seems completely yellow and I just quit worrying about it. I have read that the API test kits are notorious for being calibrated badly and there is a method that has been posted here to calibrate, but I have never been concerned enough to do so.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ht=calibration

I have an AQUARIUM.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 06:41 AM
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With your pH, the level of free ammonia is still pretty low.... check this website - http://www.hbuehrer.ch/Rechner/Ammonia.html
I think we get a bit over-anxious about low levels of ammonium/ammonia at times (unless levels are rising....).

I always run a tapwater control sample when I test ammonia, makes spotting significant shades of green easy. I also scaled my tests down - instead of 5mL and 8 drops of the reagents, I use 1.25mL and 2 drops of reagents. Then, even with a control, use half the reagents. I tend to scale all tests down, except ones where you need to check colour looking down through the tube.

Last edited by lee739; 11-20-2014 at 06:44 AM. Reason: didn't read OP post properly!
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraphicGr8s View Post
Question. Distilled water for make up or for water changes?
Both the local water, according to the 2013 survey, is at a ph of 9.0. Not many beginner fish, or fish in general like that. I figured the safest way to go would be Distilled (too much work and too dangerous to try and lower the PH of tap water)
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-21-2014, 12:48 AM
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If you are using ONLY distilled, ZERO tap, then you do not need dechlor.

Test the pure distilled water right out of the bottle.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-21-2014, 01:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightshade259 View Post
Both the local water, according to the 2013 survey, is at a ph of 9.0. Not many beginner fish, or fish in general like that. I figured the safest way to go would be Distilled (too much work and too dangerous to try and lower the PH of tap water)
Are you adding minerals back to the distilled water for your water changes?
You don't need it for makeup water since the minerals are left behind.

Yes, fooling with tap pH is a fool's errand.

Dilution is the solution for the pollution.
Quote me as saying I was misquoted.
Once you get rid of integrity the rest is a piece of cake.
Here's to our wives and sweethearts - may they never meet.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-21-2014, 05:50 AM
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I also always seem to get a .25PPM reading when comparing colours inside the home with artificial lighting. I usually take card and vial outside into real natural light. I place vial and card in shadow of my body, and just roll vial over colour card. The colour on card that seems to disappear will be the true reading.

When I do the above, my suspect .25 inside home, is definitely zero outside.

Also the best time to test is just before your regular water change, not after the change.

Hope this helps.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-22-2014, 03:18 AM Thread Starter
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So I just tested my distilled water and it has the same color as my tanks. That makes me worry a little bit less.
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