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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-14-2015, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
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Ammonia

Will someone help me decipher this ammonia level? I'm about four weeks into a fishless cycle on my 55. The ammonia and nitrite levels are dropping (nitrites are zero) after 24 hours, but the ammonia looks like .25 to me. Nitrates are very high.

The bottle on the right is aquarium water. The bottle on the left is tap water... I wanted a yellow, zero reading comparison color and that's what I got. Is that normal?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-14-2015, 08:02 AM
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im cycling and I get something similar to that with a negative control(tap water). I try to move it to different colors of lighting to see, but it does seem yellow. When i add ammonia to my tank, and retested in an hour, it has a more greener tint than my negative control. And if anything greener than my negative, means ammonia.

And that ammonia level seems to be between 1 and 2 i think.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-14-2015, 08:36 AM
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Good to check the tap first. These kits are known to give a slight reading where no ammonia exist also. But yellow on the tap and green on the tank lets you know it's
not entirely a false reading. If no Neon's are going to be in there you'll be good/w that
level. They are hyper sensitive to a ammonia. They don't even last seconds in a tank/w that reading.
But...you know your tank has finished the cycle because of the nitrates. Ammonia is used by both the beneficial bacteria and the plants.
Time to add fish instead of more ammonia. You can check it again in 24 more hrs and there shouldn't be any by then before you put the fish in if you like to double check it.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-14-2015, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loki9 View Post
Will someone help me decipher this ammonia level? I'm about four weeks into a fishless cycle on my 55. The ammonia and nitrite levels are dropping (nitrites are zero) after 24 hours, but the ammonia looks like .25 to me. Nitrates are very high.

The bottle on the right is aquarium water. The bottle on the left is tap water... I wanted a yellow, zero reading comparison color and that's what I got. Is that normal?
The water from the tap appears to have been treated with chloramine. Chloramine is derived from ammonia by substituting one or more of the hydrogen by chlorine and used by water treatment plants to debug drinking water. Chloramine as it acts reverts back to ammonia. It must be this ammonia in your tap water that you are detecting. Its quite normal, and this is why before you use your tap water for your tank, you must treat it to remove ammonia.

ps:- I think the correct orientation of the picture is as below. You see how it has caused confusion.
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Last edited by essabee; 10-14-2015 at 08:48 AM. Reason: ps
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-14-2015, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by essabee View Post
The water from the tap appears to have been treated with chloramine. Chloramine is derived from ammonia by substituting one or more of the hydrogen by chlorine and used by water treatment plants to debug drinking water. Chloramine as it acts reverts back to ammonia. It must be this ammonia in your tap water that you are detecting. Its quite normal, and this is why before you use your tap water for your tank, you must treat it to remove ammonia.

ps:- I think the correct orientation of the picture is as below. You see how it has caused confusion.
Thanks I couldn't figure out how to rotate it. And thanks for the chloramine explanation. That reading makes sense now.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-14-2015, 10:11 AM
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You can use water conditioners like Seachem Prime to take care of chloramine and chlorine (not all conditioners take out chloramine). Just a heads up though, Prime can give false positives for some tests, 24-48 hours after using, so test after it's affects wear off.
But it still shows you are having some ammonia in the tank water, it might not be done cycling yet. Kind of hard to tell though by the pic, so you would have to use your eyes to judge if it is indeed yellow, or a tinge of green.

For the Nitrate test it can be inaccurate sometimes, which is why people recommend calibrating to see if the test results are correct or way off. There is a article on here on how to calibrate nitrate tests on here by the member Hoppy.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-14-2015, 10:36 AM
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I tried to correct the white balance in Photoshop to give a more accurate color to the test samples. Looks like you definitely have some ammonia in the aquarium water. It should be a bright pure yellow for zero ammonia. Any tinge of green and you have >0.

I've had very good luck with Tetra SafeStart on two aquariums. One was done fishless and the other with fish. It didn't take long for the fishless tank to show zero ammonia 24hrs after dosing. The w/fish was cycled amost immediately.
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