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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! I'm new here but not to aquariums or even planted aquariums. I have several as of now and planning more, just thought I'd share what I have going on with my water. Get more eyes and thoughts I guess.

Tap: ph=~6
1.0-3.0ppm ammonia
0ppm nitrite
0ppm nitrate

Temporary tank: 10 gallon been running for 5 months, 9 galaxy rasboras, planted low/moderate, filter for a 10 gal, ph 6 or less, ammonia 8.0ppm or higher, nitrite barely detectable, nitrate ~40ppm.

Plant Grow Out tank: 10 gallon, top fin 10 gal filter, TONS of assorted plants, 8 cardinal tetras, a single 1 inch albino bn pleco, 2 baby angels a little bigger than a quarter. Almost identical reading of the other tank.

All of my tanks are lightly stocked (for the size) and have tons of plants but I always have "deadly" levels of ammonia, my fish are thriving and breeding. Attached are photos showing results from the plant grow out tank before I did a water change.

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Odd that you have that much ammonia with that many plants..
Anyways "bad" ammonia in red.



This disc shows free ammonia not total as does your test kit.



What is your substrate and do you vacuum it regularily?
 

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Sorry guys! Lost the thread! Substrate is fluval biostratum, test kit is only 6 weeks old, substrate never vacuumed. I bought the disk but found it doesn't work accurately in ph lower than 7ish
Can you explain this?
At pH 7.0 or lower there is little or no free ammonia(the "bad" ammonia) possible soo it will always be yellow unless there is a MAJOR spike in ammonia.

Most test kits show total ammonia so they could "record" tons more ammonia than the disc would (It would still show yellow)
because the disc only responds to the "bad" ammonia.
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Things like this are er "wrong" if the pH is below 7.
If you look at the tank and wood and a little tint of tannins I'd bet the pH was below 7
Doesn't matter if he added 1mL of ammonia. It will not be in the free state at low pH.

Anyways discs are working as designed in my opinion and I've used
them in the past myself btw and had test kits.
At pH of 8.3, free ammonia makes up about
10% of the total. At a pH of 7.0, free ammonia makes up
less than 0.5% of the total.
At "alarm" (.2 ppm and say pH 7) a "normal" test kit would show 40 ppm :eek:
AT a test kits (TAM) 4 ppm the disc would see 0.02 ppm or "safe" at pH 7
Why most think it doesn't "work".

BTW it also changes by temperature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Mine is always yellow, "safe". Even when ammonia by the kit has been off the chart (it turned dark blue instead of green). I assumed by others saying it didn't work in low ph that was accurate. You make a very good point though! Tap test is in the original post, it has ammonia as well
 

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At pH 6 it takes a lot of tan ( total ammonia) to have dangerous levels of free ammonia.
THAT said I've been a bit loose on not considering the ammonia burn from ammonium ion.
Tan at blue would be problematic I assume though the effects may be more long term than immediate. Gill damage vs rapid death type thing.

So I think I understand the reasoning regarding the disc " not working at low pH".
The loose figure is ammonium ion is 1/100 as toxic as free ammonia.
Again keep in mind the below numbers do also change with temperature.
Believe it would take a tan of 83 ppm at pH 6 to even register on the disk as " alert".


So each has a "weakness".
One scares you more than necessary, the other won't warn you at low pH
 
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