Why should be test for ammonia/nitrite? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 10-30-2007, 09:04 AM Thread Starter
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Why should be test for ammonia/nitrite?

I would like to know in an established tank (been through fishless cycling and got all the beneficial bactira established and so on);
why would we care about ammonia and nitrite?

In that case, shouldnt our main focus be on NITRATE only? Since ammonia and nitrite should always be 0.

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post #2 of 4 Old 10-30-2007, 10:18 AM
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The only time I test for ammonia and nitrites in an established tank is when something goes wrong. An algae bloom, fin rot or anything else could be caused by an ammonia spike. Green water in itself can cause one when it dies off so we check when there is a problem. I have not checked mine in well over a month, nothing but pH and GH as I have been lucky and not had any problems with the fish nor algae blooms.
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post #3 of 4 Old 10-30-2007, 06:11 PM
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in all honesty, so long as your doing regular water changes, nitrate is the least of your worries because you are constantly dilluting it's concentration, ammonia and nitrite however can spike overnight, even in a fully established tank, all it takes is overfeeding or procrastination on routine maintenance. It is true however that as long as you perform regular maintenance and the tank show's no signs of stress that you can assume your ammonia and nitrite are under control, testing periodically is still a good idea, reason being fish will acclimate to higher levels of ammonia or nitrite over time, often everything seems fine until you decide to bring home a new addition, fish hit's the water........end of story : )
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post #4 of 4 Old 11-06-2007, 05:45 PM
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ammonia and nitrates ar the by product of feeding your fish and the rotting of organic matter in the tank.
it is important to check for nitrates and ammonia every so often as large build ups of these can result in massive die backs of your fish (now you more then likely knew this already) somthing you might not know that i foun d the hard way is that even the tinniest amount of organinic matter allowed to rot in you tank will produce some level of ammonia or nitrates in your water and although it is not visible at first it dose cause stress to your fish which in turn causes them to produce larger amounts of ammonia and nitrates and the cycle continues untill the water is no longer inhabitable by fish or other aquatic life and you then have a massive die back of all life even the nitrifying bacteria that are good for the tank (for as that saying goes "to much of a good thing is a bad thing) and without the bacteria the situation will just get worse and that is why checking for ammonia and nitrates is EXTREMELY important

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