5 in 1 test Strips

itiwhetu

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I use these from time to time. Am I correct that if you have zero nitrites and zero nitrates then you must have zero ammonia. I have always assumed that to be the case. Is there a situation where you can have Ammonia but zero nitrites and zero nitrates. In an established tank.
 

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I use these from time to time. Am I correct that if you have zero nitrites and zero nitrates then you must have zero ammonia. I have always assumed that to be the case. Is there a situation where you can have Ammonia but zero nitrites and zero nitrates.
Hypothetically yes. in the case that there is a tank with no nitrifying bacteria, then you can have ammonia and no nitrites or nitrates.
 
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itiwhetu

itiwhetu

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Hypothetically yes. in the case that there is a tank with no nitrifying bacteria, then you can have ammonia and no nitrites or nitrates.
Hypothetically yes. in the case that there is a tank with no nitrifying bacteria, then you can have ammonia and no nitrites or nitrates.
So these strips artificially test for ammonia in an established tank
 

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You can infer that there is no ammonia but you may be wrong, do API make that particular claim? Can't imagine so in this law suit filled age but I'll check the instructions.
Ammonia isn't included on the 5-1 test strip from API as the reagent patch they use needs a longer "dip", so they sell them as a separate pack.
You can have nitrate in water due to it leaching from agriculture run off, quite high in some places, did you see the thread London Nitrates?
 
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itiwhetu

itiwhetu

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You can infer that there is no ammonia but you may be wrong, do API make that particular claim? Can't imagine so in this law suit filled age but I'll check the instructions.
Ammonia isn't included on the 5-1 test strip from API as the reagent patch they use needs a longer "dip", so they sell them as a separate pack.
Exactly and there lies the problem, is my assumption correct tho !
 

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I wouldn't like to put money on it, and I'm sure API won't, but if your happy with the inference.......
 

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I use these from time to time. Am I correct that if you have zero nitrites and zero nitrates then you must have zero ammonia. I have always assumed that to be the case. Is there a situation where you can have Ammonia but zero nitrites and zero nitrates. In an established tank.
No.
You can have ammonia with no nitrite or nitrate.
You can have nitrite with no ammonia or nitrate.
You can have nitrate with no ammonia or nitrite.

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In an established tank, you can have an ammonia reading with 0 nitrite and 0 nitrate. This is usually caused by a dead fish, uneaten food, or filter problems.

The quickest way to deal with an ammonia, nitrite or nitrate reading is to do a big water change.
 
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itiwhetu

itiwhetu

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No.
You can have ammonia with no nitrite or nitrate.
You can have nitrite with no ammonia or nitrate.
You can have nitrate with no ammonia or nitrite.

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In an established tank, you can have an ammonia reading with 0 nitrite and 0 nitrate. This is usually caused by a dead fish, uneaten food, or filter problems.

The quickest way to deal with an ammonia, nitrite or nitrate reading is to do a big water change.
In an acid tank does this still apply, we are talking established tanks
 

kwi

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Thinking about it, now it's not 6am, an ammonia spike is caused by the bacteria getting overwhelmed by ammonia, if there's enough they'll even stop multiplying, but usually in an abundance of food they'll multiply. But until they do ammonia spikes.
But before they do multiply they're still producing nitrite at a rate that doesn't overwhelm the next set of bacteria, so nitrites stay 0. These bacteria in turn are producing nitrates, which may still be below what a heavily planted tank could cope with. So nitrates 0.
Left alone nitrites will start to rise at some point, as the nitrite munching bacteria multiply slower than the ammonia munching ones, but there will be a lag of days, which is too long for livestock.
Not had coffee yet so mistakes may have been made........
 

seangee

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So these strips artificially test for ammonia in an established tank
No. You mentioned acidic tanks. Nitrosomanas cannot survive below pH of 6, and struggles in acidic water. So at a pH of below 6 it is (at least theoretically) impossible to see nitrite and nitrate will always be 0 (assuming it was 0 to start with).

Now this (again theoretically) is not a problem below pH6 because the ammonia will almost all be in the form of ammonium which is not poisonous to fish. But a more interesting question that I have been wondering about recently is what happens to the ammonium if you do not have enough plants to deal with it? Does it just build up indefinitely and does it impact the fish in the long term, even if not immediately poisonous?
 
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itiwhetu

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No. You mentioned acidic tanks. Nitrosomanas cannot survive below pH of 6, and struggles in acidic water. So at a pH of below 6 it is (at least theoretically) impossible to see nitrite and nitrate will always be 0 (assuming it was 0 to start with).

Now this (again theoretically) is not a problem below pH6 because the ammonia will almost all be in the form of ammonium which is not poisonous to fish. But a more interesting question that I have been wondering about recently is what happens to the ammonium if you do not have enough plants to deal with it? Does it just build up indefinitely and does it impact the fish in the long term, even if not immediately poisonous?
What about our tanks that are say 6.8 ph. Then what?
 
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itiwhetu

itiwhetu

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No. You mentioned acidic tanks. Nitrosomanas cannot survive below pH of 6, and struggles in acidic water. So at a pH of below 6 it is (at least theoretically) impossible to see nitrite and nitrate will always be 0 (assuming it was 0 to start with).

Now this (again theoretically) is not a problem below pH6 because the ammonia will almost all be in the form of ammonium which is not poisonous to fish. But a more interesting question that I have been wondering about recently is what happens to the ammonium if you do not have enough plants to deal with it? Does it just build up indefinitely and does it impact the fish in the long term, even if not immediately poisonous?
Plants are so important for our balanced aquariums?
 
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