Give me a chemistry lesson re ammonia tests and prime?
Yet another newbie here, and I'm so thankful for the great information and support I'm receiving on these forums. I wondered if some of the more scientifically-minded of you could answer a question for me.
I am currently using a dechlorinator on my (cycling) 5 gal hex tank that only neutralizes chlorine and chloramine. I had heard that using one of the products that "locks up" or "detoxes" ammonia, nitrite, etc. can lead to false test results, and I wanted to be able to monitor the true conditions of my tank. However, I'm hearing rave reviews for Prime all over the forum and am interested in switching when my current (tiny) bottle of dechlorinator runs dry.
My question is twofold:
1) I currently use the API Master Freshwater test kit - the one with the test tubes, etc. If I switch to Prime, will that affect the test results I get with that kit, and if so, what brand kit should I use as an alternate?
2) Can you explain to me the chemistry behind this? How does Prime "lock" ammonia and why does one kind of ammonia test detect it and one doesn't? Chemistry equations are fine in explaining that, if you are the professorial type.