Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got my new API ammonia test kit in the mail after several years away from fishkeeping. I rescued 2 bettas recently which are in uncycled 5 gallon quarantine tanks while their new tanks (10 gallons each) cycle. I absolutely hate uncycled tanks, so I've been changing the water quite frequently. Due to medications that I'm using, I just did a 100% water change less than 48 hours ago, and am planning on another 75% water change this evening (yes, I actually made an excel spreadsheet and graph with best-fit equation using projected ammonia output from each fish to calculate the percent daily water change that will keep ammonia from building up to detectible levels - what can I say, I'm a math nerd!). When I checked the ammonia with my new test kit, it seemed to be not quite 0 but not quite 0.25. That surprised me since I've been removing all feces with a turkey baster as soon as I see them (bare bottomed tanks) and I doubt after less than 48 hours a single fish produced .25 ppm of ammonia in a 5 gallon tank. So, being skeptical I tested my tap water and the resulting color was the same (I also thought it may have been a false reading because of the prime water conditioner, but the color is the same straight out of the tap). Now, my tap water has never shown ammonia before so I was still skeptical and tested the distilled water I've been using in a 50/50 mix with my tap water to reduce hardness. The color was the same. Since I seriously doubt there would be ammonia in distilled water, I figured I'd ask if anyone has had a similar experience. I've seen a few similar threads on the internet, but it seems no one went the extra step and tested distilled water. The color on mine is very odd - could look yellow in the right light but could also look slightly green in different lighting. Is this just the "normal" 0 ppm reading?