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Hi,

So I tested my tap water (after adding water conditioner) a couple days ago and got a result of 0.25 ppm ammonia. I was advised to calibrate my ammonia test, so I got some distilled bottled water and tested it. Then I tested my tap water again, and tested a few more times with various water conditioners. Here are the results:

Distilled water: 0 ppm
Tap water: 0.25 ppm
Tap water with water conditioner (generic brand): 0.25 ppm
Tap water with API Stress Coat: </= 0.25 ppm
Tap water with Prime: 0.25 ppm

Just to be sure that the water conditioner was not bizarrely causing an ammonia reading, I tested the distilled water after adding Prime and got 0 ppm.

What is going on? :help:

I did some searching and found this.

The higher the pH the greater amount of the TAN [ammonia + ammonium] is ammonia. Water with a temperature of 82° F (28° C), a pH of 7.0, and a TAN of 5 ppm has only .03 ppm ammonia. If you are trying to keep Tanganyikan Cichlids in water with a pH of 9.0, that has a TAN of 5 ppm your ammonia level is 2.06 ppm (a deadly danger zone). This is why saltwater fish and African cichlids are thought to be more sensitive to ammonia, these fish are normally maintained in water with a pH of 8.2 or greater. At a pH of 6.0, and 10 ppm of TAN, the ammonia is only .007 ppm. While it looks like the fish mortality should be very high, the fish are doing fine.
My tap water's pH is 8.2.... I suppose that would then make the reading of 0.25 ppm TAN (the ammonia test does say it tests for a combination of ammonia and ammonium) negligible, extrapolating from the graph?

If this is what's going on, how would this affect how I cycle my tank? Would I still be looking for 0 ppm TAN?
 

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I'm not sure about this so don't take it as the gospel truth...

But some products lock up the ammonia.. Like ammo lock.. And make it less harmful. But you'll still detect it in a standard test.. Atleast that's is my understanding is..(someone tell me if I am wrong) Conditioners can't really take anything out only filteration can do that..


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I'm not sure about this so don't take it as the gospel truth...

But some products lock up the ammonia.. Like ammo lock.. And make it less harmful. But you'll still detect it in a standard test.. Atleast that's is my understanding is..(someone tell me if I am wrong) Conditioners can't really take anything out only filteration can do that..
Yes, your understanding is correct. There are some products that will bind up the ammonia, making it harmless to livestock, but still biologically available for bacteria to consume.

Such products will not remove the ammonia, and thus, it can still be detected when a test kit is used.
 
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