abnormal test results - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-01-2011, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
abnormal test results

I have ammonia returning to my tank every week at increasing levels. Along with this the water quality has become quite foggy/hazy. My latest reading can be seen the the pictures below.The reading has steadily increased over the weeks to numbers (ppm) that no fish can survive in. Yet, my fish are not showing and strange or unusual behavior. They are as active as the day I got them. The only possibility I can think of is a false reading time and time again. What could cause this? I check my tap water and its show 0ppm ammonia. I have had another thread open on the issue but am hoping to add some new life to the issue by opening a new thread. All comments are welcomed.

Old Thread: Water Condition
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-02-2011, 02:13 AM
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Looked at the other thread, and had a possible thought that has not been explored yet. Are you still using the same API master test kit as before? If so how long have you had this test kit and how have you been storing them? What I am wondering is if maybe the regents for your ammonia test has gone bad. I have seen in other posts here on the forum that there is away to figure out how old your stuff is based on the lot number printed on the bottle. Hopefully someone will be able to tell you how to do that. I believe that the test kits have a shelf life of about a year, in which after it's shelf life it is possible to get inaccurate results, and from what I read ammonia tests tend to give a false high reading rather than low when they go bad. Hopefully again someone with more experience maybe able to confirm that. If you haven't tried using another test kit, I would try that to see if you get similar results or not.

Also you had been using ammonia lock. Since you have stopped using this product how many water changes have you done, and about how much water have you changed out when you did? It may be possible that you may be getting a reading of ammonium, which the API test will read ammonia and ammonium as the same thing.

On the foggy/ hazy water, what is the color white or green? If white it is probably a bacterial bloom, which will naturally clear up on its own.
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-02-2011, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
That's a very good point. After you mention it mIght be expired I checked the lot numbers as you suggested. The lot # reads 83C0307 for bottle one and 84B0407 for bottle two. The last four digits tell you the date it was manufactured. I have a part time job in manufacturing and read lot numbers all the time. My lot numbers translate to March 2007 (0307) and April (0407). I'm going to buy a new API Test Kit today and will post an update comparing the two test results.

In response to the water cloudiness, it is a white haze. It has gotten so cloud that the fish are barely visible at times, so I've been changing about 7gal every 3 days out of the 29gal tank.
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-02-2011, 02:01 PM
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The white haze would be a bacterial bloom, which will clear up on its own.
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-02-2011, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
I ran another test with a new API Amonnia liquid test kit from my LFS and I compared the readings to my old one. It confirmed my previous results with a reading of 8.0+ppm (black color instead if yellow). Is there any products proven to contribute to false readings? For example, artificial plants, bubbler systems, filter systems or gravel.
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-02-2011, 04:47 PM
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Since you have done the tests and put this post and the other one up, have you done any water changes? If so how much water have you changed out and how many have you done? You said that you had been using ammonia lock, which would turn the ammonia into ammonium. The test kits read both ammonia and ammonium as the same thing. As far as I know of, things like decorations and gravel should not be giving off ammonia. You said that you tested the water from the tap for ammonia correct?
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-02-2011, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
I have been doing 7gal water changes every 3 days. My last water change was yesterday (7/1/11) and before that was (6/28/11). I havent used any ammonia reducing products in about 2 weeks (including Ammo Lock). As I said before, my fish don't seem affected at all by this, no unusual or strange behavior and they are all eating fine. Should I continue with the water changes? It was my understanding that nothing can live in a tank with a 8.0ppm ammonia reading for over a week. Can I be on the verge of a new super breed of fish that can defy the laws of marine biology (lol)?
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