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ammonia in small ammount

robert1305

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I have a 20gl tank, well planted, two small angels. 4 cardinal, 3 dwarf gourami, and 3 bottom dwellers, problem is I always show a slight ammonia trace although I do a water change once a week,
My tank has a separate filter system at the rear of the tank, with separate compartments large sponge, one bag of charcoal, one bag of silicon and a bag of larva rock heater and pump.
All the other water parameters are OK, I use a liquid test kit, so it should be more accurate than a strip test kit, but when I have it tested with a Tetra ammonia kit it shows zero. ????????????
All comments gratefully received.

Regards Bob
 

Deanasue

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Hi, Bob and welcome. Do you know if your water supplier uses chlorine or chloramine in your tap water? Mine uses chloramine and since they started my ammonia always reads .25ppm. I learned this is actually ammonium, not ammonia which is basically harmless to the fish. I bought a Seachem Free & Total Ammonia Test Kit and it registers 0. I also keep a Seachem ammonia alert in my tanks and it stays in the safe zone. You may want to invest in at least the alert monitor as it is good for one year. Good luck!
 
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Byron

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This question comes up a lot, where members have ammonia testing at a very low number like 0.25 ppm in an established tank. One member suggested this could be due to chloramine in the source water, if your water authority adds chloramine.

EDIT. As I was typing, Deanasue posted with the same point. Bottom line, don't worry as long as the ammonia does not suddenly increase, though frankly this is not very likely. Live plants, especially floating, would eliminate any chance of ammonia being a problem provided you do not overstock, overfeed, and continue the regular substantial water changes.
 

Naughts

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My API liquid test always looks a bit green (0.25) but I have another brand which always shows zero.
I take API 0.25 as 0 now and don’t worry about it.
 
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robert1305

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My API liquid test always looks a bit green (0.25) but I have another brand which always shows zero.
I take API 0.25 as 0 now and don’t worry about it.
Thanks for the replies friends, I have ordered a Seachem ammonia and PH alert monitors, so I will fit them in the tank keep an eye on them and stop worrying :) thanks again for the replies.
Regards Bob
 

Mongo75

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API has an error of 0.25ppm. This is unfortunate, but quite (recently) it is normal to read 0.25ppm.

If you can, run an air stone in a gallon of your source (tap) water for 24 hours and compare the two.
 

seangee

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API has an error of 0.25ppm. This is unfortunate, but quite (recently) it is normal to read 0.25ppm.
I'm not sure that is the case. My established tanks always read 0 (no hint of green).
My new tank had been reading 0.25 all week when I had two sponge filters in there. Yesterday I put in a new HOB filter and put the sponges from one of the sponge filters inside it. I removed the other sponge filter, so in theory I reduced the amount of bacteria.
This morning there was definitely no hint of green. I suspect that in my case I simply wasn't getting enough water flowing through the filters quickly enough, or enough movement at the surface where my plants are.

I have now officially stopped testing on this tank :)
 

Mongo75

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I'm not sure that is the case. My established tanks always read 0 (no hint of green).
My new tank had been reading 0.25 all week when I had two sponge filters in there. Yesterday I put in a new HOB filter and put the sponges from one of the sponge filters inside it. I removed the other sponge filter, so in theory I reduced the amount of bacteria.
This morning there was definitely no hint of green. I suspect that in my case I simply wasn't getting enough water flowing through the filters quickly enough, or enough movement at the surface where my plants are.

I have now officially stopped testing on this tank :)
Not all api test kits have this problem. Mine doesn't. But if you look around on other sources on the internet, many people are getting readings of 0.25ppm on new setups, and on well established tanks too. Google "api ammonia error" or "api ammonia accuracy" and you will see.
 

seangee

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Fair enough. Mine's about a year old, but still well within the expiry date.
 
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