Positive Ammonia test with others negitive - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 02-08-2011, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Question Positive Ammonia test with others negitive

Im getting slight positive ammonia readings .25 - .50 while my nitrite/nitrate continue to be zero. could my kit be malfunctioning?

60 Gal Angel, 4 Mollies, 12 mollie fry, 10 tetras, 1 placo
two amazon swords, 1 bunch anacharis, 1 bunch ludwigia, 1 red arrow leaf bulb
Fluval 305 with carbon, and floss
Hydrosponge IV with air pump
75lbs fourite
2x 40watt 5000k floreccent
10% water change every week
ph 7.8-8.1
KH 14
GH 12
PO4 zero
Tank runnign since october 2010, no fish losses.

API master kit
plus other tests.

20H ~ 6 rescued but cramped Juvenile Convicts 2 Amazon Swords
10 ~ dozens of fry, 2 amazon swords, 1 hydrosponge
60 ~ 1 Angel, 1 Pleco, 4 Mollies, dozens of fry, 10 Neon Tetras, Java fern, Java Moss, 2 Amazon Swords, Anacharis, Ludwigia
10 ~ Invertabratorium~ Red Cherry Shrimp, assassin snail, Java Moss, Java Fern, Amazon Sword
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post #2 of 11 Old 02-08-2011, 05:14 PM
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just try to do a 25% water change i might fix it..

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post #3 of 11 Old 02-08-2011, 06:12 PM
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In a cycled tank you should be getting some sort of reading for nitrate. Are you doing your water changes using tap water? Have you tested your tap for ammonia? My tap tests positive for ammonia. What brand of water conditioner are you using? On a side note, running carbon in a planted tank is counter productive as the carbon sucks minerals and nutrients out of the water that your plants would like to be using. Just a heads up.

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post #4 of 11 Old 02-08-2011, 06:14 PM
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Hey kim my nitrates are 20 in my f.h 55gl & 20 in my green terror tank 75gl is that ok?all otheres are 0 p.h is 7.6

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post #5 of 11 Old 02-08-2011, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbonez View Post
Hey kim my nitrates are 20 in my f.h 55gl & 20 in my green terror tank 75gl is that ok?all otheres are 0 p.h is 7.6
Nitrates of 20 ppm is fine. I would never let any of my tanks go over 40 ppm but with weekly water changes they never exceed 20 ppm anyway. You have no nitrate reading in your 180 and 110??

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post #6 of 11 Old 02-08-2011, 06:42 PM
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Ya the same 20 right now a week ago was 40

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post #7 of 11 Old 02-09-2011, 05:45 AM Thread Starter
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I just recently learned about sponges and the ill effects of carbon in a planted tank. I had a sponge cycled, but needed to use it to cycle another tank. Once the newest one appears to be ready, I'll remove the carbon. I'm a little nervous about having so little filtration in a tank, but from what I've seen on this forum, the sponge should be all I need.

Any advise on the change over? Or is this a just do it moment?
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post #8 of 11 Old 02-09-2011, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8rvendz View Post
I just recently learned about sponges and the ill effects of carbon in a planted tank. I had a sponge cycled, but needed to use it to cycle another tank. Once the newest one appears to be ready, I'll remove the carbon. I'm a little nervous about having so little filtration in a tank, but from what I've seen on this forum, the sponge should be all I need.

Any advise on the change over? Or is this a just do it moment?
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I will assume we are talking about the 60g tank outlined in your initial post in this thread.

The sponge filter will be sufficient. I would remove the HOB filter. [As an aside, carbon wears out, how fast depends upon how much "stuff" it is adsorbing, but at some pint it can hold no more so it becomes ineffective as carbon and needs replacing. But in a planted tank as you've learned, carbon and any form of chemical filtration is unnecessary and probably detrimental to plant growth.]

I would increase the volume of your weekly water changes to 40% of the tank. You don't have anywhere near sufficient plant growth to handle that fish load, and even if you did the benefit of a water change cannot be understated. And this has no direct relation to the filter, just in case you're wondering if leaving more filters will offset this; it won't.

Filters move water around. Mechanical filtration (through media, pads, etc) removes suspended particulate matter from the water as it passes through the filter. Biological filtration handles the nitrogen cycle, nothing more, but in a planted tank this is not really an issue unless the tank is overstocked. Plants consume more ammonium (from ammonia) than nitrosomonas bacteria by being generally quicker at grabbing the ammonia. Nitrifying bacteria in a planted tank are fewer in number than would be the case in the same tank without plants, and this should be encouraged by limiting the biological filtration capability. Which is why the sponge filter is sufficient.

However, substances in the water cannot be removed except by plants [but only when plant growth is heavy with very minimal fish load] and water changes. i realize some low-tech planted tank authors recommend few or no water changes, but that is not my thinking and with 20 years of doing major water changes in heavily-planted tanks, I have seen no detrimental plant growth resulting from the water changes, and I know the fish benefit.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #9 of 11 Old 02-09-2011, 02:53 PM
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well put byron once again the man speaks..;)

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post #10 of 11 Old 02-11-2011, 07:58 AM Thread Starter
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I think I found it!

the lights in my classroom, where the 60 is tested daily by my students, has very cheap florecent lights. I checked samples of my tanks, tap water, and DI water. all showed the same .25 ammonia. When I took the samples into sunlight, the slight green tint was a nice yellow indicating zero. I think the cheap lights are coloring my samples.

Physics is easy, billiards is hard.

20H ~ 6 rescued but cramped Juvenile Convicts 2 Amazon Swords
10 ~ dozens of fry, 2 amazon swords, 1 hydrosponge
60 ~ 1 Angel, 1 Pleco, 4 Mollies, dozens of fry, 10 Neon Tetras, Java fern, Java Moss, 2 Amazon Swords, Anacharis, Ludwigia
10 ~ Invertabratorium~ Red Cherry Shrimp, assassin snail, Java Moss, Java Fern, Amazon Sword
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