Ammonia going down but no nitrites. - Page 3 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #21 of 26 Old 01-20-2014, 03:21 PM
ph levels can hide ammonia in the form of ammonium
ammonia test kits test ammonia (not ammonium)

and the chemical swings back and forth as the pH rises or lowers
under 6.5 about (i don't remember exactly), it's almost all ammonium
at about 9.5 it's about 50/50

not sure what test kit you have
i'm not sure how they all work, i only know from my own kit
it's a chart, "your color is X" "what is your pH level in your tank?"
you look at the chart, take the ammonia reading, line it up with the column for your tanks pH, ... and this will tell you if things are dangerous or safe or whatever.

because of that pH thing it makes testing ammonia ... not exactly easy, it's a ratio.

as i said, i don't know much about test kits, ... but ... that random thought i had, ... if your test kit raises the ph to detect more ammonia ... ... the test kit could be reading a higher level of ammonia then what your fish are experiencing in the tank.

have a look through your test kit manual/booklet/sheet/whatever to see how to read the results of your test.

somewhere it's bound to say what it is doing or what to expect, or what's dangerous or whatever else is going on, going to take some reading of your test kits instructions.

at this point worry less about the 0.25 reading, and look through the instructions to see what that means.
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post #22 of 26 Old 01-20-2014, 03:43 PM
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Ammonium won't hurt your fish. Problem is that when you add high ph water to your tank, the ammonium is converted to ammonia and can kill your whole tank quickly. My advice is don't let the ph in your tank drop to a level where a significant portion changes to ammonium. Regular sceduled water changes with your high ph hard water will keep your ph high and stable. Then if your tests find ammonia, you know its the bad kind and you should change some water out to dilute/ remove ammonia.
As water circulates in your tank and is used by fish, plants and bacteria, it becomes depleted of minerals that buffer the water against changes in ph. Ph begins to drop and ammonia is converted to ammonium. That is when water changes seem harmful because adding fresh water changes the ammonium back to ammonia. Really its lack of water changes that caused the problem.
Live plants convert ammonia to ammonium for there own use and can help your tank a lot.

"Be the change you want to see in the world."

Last edited by rsskylight04; 01-20-2014 at 03:47 PM.
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post #23 of 26 Old 01-20-2014, 04:01 PM
i never knew pH was such an issue till i had a swing in my tank - i lost half my fish while panicking and trying to figure out (at first) what was going on, ... followed by what to do about it (ammonia spike due to a pH shift).

as everyone says, stability, your numbers could be whatever they are, that matters so much less than just keep the numbers stable

and with plants & plant nutrient requirements, finding pH affects, ... pretty much everything.

keep things stable and the rest is good
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post #24 of 26 Old 01-20-2014, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
But how do I tell which one it is? ammonia or ammonium? I have the API master test kit which can't tell the difference so..? I have high pH so does that mean it's ammonia?
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post #25 of 26 Old 01-20-2014, 04:51 PM
it's not black & white, high pH only means your ratio is different then if you have a low PH.

read whatever came with your test kit to help you out, it's going to be more accurate to your test kit and your test results to let you know what's going on

yes, reading boring stuff, ... sometimes you need to do the ugly stuff :( studying isn't particularly pretty
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post #26 of 26 Old 01-20-2014, 05:15 PM
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Iwould treat ammonium and ammonia in identicle fashion... try to keep both out of my tank.

"Be the change you want to see in the world."
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ammonia , cycling , nitrate , nitrite , nitrogen cycle

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