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Thread: Ammonia/ph issues

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    Default Ammonia/ph issues

    My tank has consistently been at 0.25ppm ammonia since the first water test I conducted in June.
    I've given it months to settle, LFS recommended "Pure Aquarium" balls which should react with the ammonia. This hasn't worked - ammonia levels are still 0.25ppm.
    LFS recommended replacing the sponge and activated carbon part of the filter. This was done at the beginning of November.
    Ammonia is still coming up as 0.25ppm. I also tested my tap water and it's the same. I tested the water from my work, same.
    I'm started to think it's the test. I use the API general testing kit.

    The photo is the tests from the tank before I did anything today, the tap water today, and after I did a water change and pure aquarium treatment.
    10689883_10153333980738989_7687827559278106655_n.jpg
    AAARGH! Any suggestions? Anybody else having this issue with the API tests? Is it maybe just picking up non-harmful ammonia?

    Nitrite/nitrate has always been perfect zeros. But ph has gone up from 7.6 in June to 8.0 now. It's been very gradual, and I've been scared to mess with it - I read that fluctuation is bad bad BAD. Should I be worried about my ph being so high?

    Everybody in the tank seem happy - betta, shrimp and snails. No deaths, just higher stats than I want.

    10304772_10153317904763989_279068276897805057_n.jpg

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    Shrimpy Lover hyoushoku's Avatar
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    Hi Acidic,

    That is total ammonium, not free ammonia.

    Can you tell us more about your setup?
    shrimpydaddy.com

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    You can see from the photograph I posted that the test says "Ammonia" at the top and has the chemical formula for both "Ammonia" and "Ammonium". My apologies.

    It's a 19L Fluval Spec with added heater, resin ornaments, several plants and moss balls. The substrate is JBL sansibar, black sand.
    Tank currently is home to one betta, four red cherry shrimp and approximately twenty assassin snails.

    We currently do 25% water changes weekly which has been reduced from 50% weekly.

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    Shrimpy Lover hyoushoku's Avatar
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    No worries. These test kits always confuse people. There are only a handful of test kits are testing for free ammonia and the rest are total ammonium. I know a online calculator that will help you calculate free ammonia from total ammonium based on pH and temperature. You can use it to do the calculation for you: http://www.hbuehrer.ch/Rechner/Ammonia.html

    Some anti-chlorine has compound ammonium inside to elevate ammonium level for cycling purpose. These sort of ammonium compounds will not be released as free ammonia easily. However, they will skew your total ammonium reading. What kind of anti-chlorine are you using?

    Lastly, tap water usually contains some ammonia/ammonium too. If your tank is well cycled, it should not be a problem. However with your high pH, the chances of ammonium convert into ammonia is very high and the reaction time is almost immediate.

    Don't buy anymore stuffs LFS recommends you. Those stuffs to absorb ammonia is pretty phoney. Even it is absorbing, it will be very slow. If you want fast adsorbing of any organic compound, including ammonia & ammonium, get Purigen from Seachem. This is the best product to perform this task and it is shrimp safe. If you are getting it, remember to wash it thoroughly and soak in de-chlorinated water for at least a day before putting into filter.
    shrimpydaddy.com

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