Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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iamgray 07-30-2010 11:48 AM

Mardel Live NH3 accuracy?
Does anyone have any feedback on this ammonia monitor? I have read mixed reviews... I also have read one posted on this site awhile ago but am just looking for more insight...

I have had one in my tank for a week or so. When I first put it in I only had one guppy in my 10 gallon tank, and it showed 0 ammonia. I added more fish a few days ago and when I came in the next morning after adding the fish, it showed that the ammonia was at a stress-causing level (.02). So I did a 30% water change on Tuesday, and the reading didn't go down. Did another 30% water change yesterday morning, and I waited until mid-afternoon yesterday to see if the reading would go back down at all, and it never did. So I took it out, put it in a glass of drinking water and by the time I left the office a couple hours later, it still hadn't changed to 0 ammonia. This morning when I came to work, it had finally gone down and showed 0 ammonia. So I put it back in the tank to see what it'll do next... so far it's been back in my tank for almost 3 hours, and it's still showing 0 ammonia.

So... is it not to be trusted, or does it just take its sweet time registering a new reading? I think I am going to get a liquid testing kit soon...

(sorry if I should have posted this in the reviews section... I wasn't sure where I should put it since it's a review combined with a question).

iamgray 07-30-2010 12:40 PM

Oops, just a correction... it was reading .02, which is the "caution" level, not stress causing.

Ponyo 07-30-2010 05:34 PM

I hope one of the experts will respond to your question because I have wondered about the accuracy of those monitors myself. For one thing, they are not cheap. I currently have a Mardel NH3 in my new aquarium and the good news is that the reading has matched with all the water tests I've had done over the last couple weeks. Zero ammonia and in the safe zone. However, I remember when ammonia would go up in my old smaller tank, the monitor would take forever to go down to the safe zone after water changes. Of course, it is possible that ammonia really was that bad (even after the tank was cycled) because of the small size and because it contained some unhealthy Java Moss. Still, my fish were active and seemed happy. I have decided to go ahead and use up the last strip in the Mardel for now, but will not buy any replacements after this. Instead I will rely on my new API test kit for true readings.

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