Ammonia Testing

Kerrynic

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I am using testing strips and when I remove from the water, you are checking the little square material to see if it changes colour. A darker greeny blue colour indicates urgent action required and a slight yellow tinge suggest you are safe. My confusion is, when I pull it out the water it is slight yellow on one side but then on the other side which is yellow coloured matrial before you test gets a greeny blue colour on the very edge but does not cover the whole test pad. Hope I am making sense here. I assume this means there is a presence of ammonia so I have put some 'Microbe-lift - Nite Out' just to be on the safe side as I am having to cycle my tank with fish in (which isn't ideal). Can I get some reassurance please that I am doing the right thing?
 

Naughts

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That does sound confusing. Please can you post a picture of the used test strip, with the corresponding colour chart?
 

AmyKieran

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That usually means that the tank isn’t cycled correctly, how long has the tank been running?

Do you know other parameters such as nitrite and nitrate?

What size tank is it?

What fish do you have in?
 
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Kerrynic

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That does sound confusing. Please can you post a picture of the used test strip, with the corresponding colour chart?
This is the test before entering the water.
 

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Kerrynic

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This is the test after 1-2 minutes of leaving the water. Front and back.
 

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Kerrynic

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That usually means that the tank isn’t cycled correctly, how long has the tank been running?

Do you know other parameters such as nitrite and nitrate?

What size tank is it?

What fish do you have in?
Hi Amy, yes I have been testing regularly Nitrate is between 0 - 10, Nitrite is 0. Small tank 14L and two pea puffers who appear to be doing well. It has been running just over a week and has been set up with water from a tank running for approx 8 months and has been treated with bacteria and tap safe products. I have no other concerns other than me noting this line around the outer edge of the test strip pad.
 

AmyKieran

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Hi Amy, yes I have been testing regularly Nitrate is between 0 - 10, Nitrite is 0. Small tank 14L and two pea puffers who appear to be doing well. It has been running just over a week and has been set up with water from a tank running for approx 8 months and has been treated with bacteria and tap safe products. I have no other concerns other than me noting this line around the outer edge of the test strip pad.

Is the filter used a new filter or one that has been used before?
 
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Kerrynic

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Is the filter used a new filter or one that has been used before?
No everything is new although I do have two sponges in my other tank, I'd need to check if they fit and I could may swap them over? I did post that my puffers were not eating the other day but they are now, and go crazy for blood worms.
 

AmyKieran

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No everything is new although I do have two sponges in my other tank, I'd need to check if they fit and I could may swap them over? I did post that my puffers were not eating the other day but they are now, and go crazy for blood worms.

Yeah ide perhaps just swap the sponges over and keep checking water parameters. On a separate issue, I don’t know a lot about pea puffers but 14l seems very small for a pair
 
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Kerrynic

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Yeah ide perhaps just swap the sponges over and keep checking water parameters. On a separate issue, I don’t know a lot about pea puffers but 14l seems very small for a pair
I'll try it and see how we get on. My other tank is due a clean and water change tomorrow which is good timing. Not sure, some say they will be fine, some say not. I will keep an eye on them and if I notice they appear unhappy I'll act on it.
 

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According to the instructions in the back of the tub in the photo, the colour is supposed to be read after 1 minute. Does the greeny blue colour appear at the 1 minute mark, or before or after?
 
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Kerrynic

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According to the instructions in the back of the tub in the photo, the colour is supposed to be read after 1 minute. Does the greeny blue colour appear at the 1 minute mark, or before or after?
You can see it slightly at the 1min mark but barely there and then it appears a bit more after. I said 1-2 mins as it was getting darker as I was trying to get a picture after one min, it was not focusing for me so by the time the photo did take I'd say it was more towards 2 mins+ after leaving the water.
 

Naughts

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From the photo it looks like you have 1ppm of ammonia. If the colour looks the same in reality you should do a 75% water change now, and again on any day the test shows ammonia.
The old tank water that you used will not have helped with the cycle, and the bacteria that you have added may do some good, but not instantly so you will need to keep testing every day for the next few weeks.
Using filter media and substrate from an established tank will work, but be careful to leave enough filter media to keep the cycle going in the other tank too. Maybe you could take a third of the media. If it is sponge it can be cut up to fit in the filter.
Reduce feeding to a couple of times a week, but live food like snails will not add to the ammonia problem so can continue. The addition of some floating plants will be of benefit, if you don't have any.
 
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Kerrynic

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From the photo it looks like you have 1ppm of ammonia. If the colour looks the same in reality you should do a 75% water change now, and again on any day the test shows ammonia.
The old tank water that you used will not have helped with the cycle, and the bacteria that you have added may do some good, but not instantly so you will need to keep testing every day for the next few weeks.
Using filter media and substrate from an established tank will work, but be careful to leave enough filter media to keep the cycle going in the other tank too. Maybe you could take a third of the media. If it is sponge it can be cut up to fit in the filter.
Reduce feeding to a couple of times a week, but live food like snails will not add to the ammonia problem so can continue. The addition of some floating plants will be of benefit, if you don't have any.
Thanks @Naughts it's so odd because the day before the test was fine and I had just done a water change, I'd estimate approx 50% and then the day after the test changed slightly. The only thing I can think of is I put a few bloodworms in and the day before brine shrimp (both frozen) and I always check to see if any didn't get eaten but I couldn't find any so maybe some left over food hasn't helped. I don't have any floating plants, can you recommend a plant please? I'm on tank duty today so I shall see what I can do with the sponges. Can I transfer some of the small rocks I have in my other tank that have algae etc.

I do have a large ornament which is a swim through style one so I might actually remove this and try and add more plants and wood but I need to learn how to plant before I do this as my plants in my other tank are not doing well at all! I cannot for the life of me get them to root in to the substrate (fine black gravel).
 

Naughts

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can you recommend a plant please?
Frog bit (limnobium laevigatum) or water lettuce ( Pistia stratiotes) are good ones to try.

. Can I transfer some of the small rocks I have in my other tank that have algae etc
Of course. Beneficial bacteria live on hard surfaces so rocks/ ornaments will help. I have previously used a mesh bag with gravel/ rocks from the established tank that can be returned after a few weeks.
I cannot for the life of me get them to root in to the substrate (fine black gravel).
Me too! In the gravel tank (others are sand) I use ceramic rings to wedge stem plants in so they can't float away.
 

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