Help 0.25ppm Ammonia help!

ExtremeBoss

New Member
Member
Messages
25
Reaction score
9
Location
Orwigsburg PA
Experience
1 year
Hello! Today I did an Ammonia test on my 10 gallon tank and the result was light green under yellow, which is 0.25ppm. So the thing is, I want to do a water change to get it back to 0ppm, but I have a question. How much water should I take out and what does that LOOK like. Thanks.
 

BluMan1914

Well Known
Member
Messages
2,434
Reaction score
1,313
Location
Marietta, GA
Experience
More than 10 years
I say do at the least 50%. If you were me, Id do 80%.
With a smaller tank, ammonia builds up quicker than a big tank.
 

ystrout

Well Known
Member
Messages
1,533
Reaction score
924
Location
San Diego
Experience
4 years
I'm guessing your tank isn't cycled. Did you just set it up? If so, read about the nitrogen cycle. There's countless threads on this forum about it and tons of websites explaining it.

The short explanation is that bacteria forms in your filter which consumes ammonia, turning it into nitrite (also toxic), then another bacteria forms and consumes the nitrite and turns it into nitrate which isn't toxic except in high amounts. You do water changes and keep plants to keep nitrate under 20 ppm. It takes about a month to 6 weeks to fully cycle an aquarium.

That said, you don't do a water change to remove .25ppm of ammonia. Since my guess is you're cycling your tank with fish already in it, here's my advice:

1. Keep your ammonia under 1ppm through water changes. You know how much water to remove by just doing the math. If you have 2 ppm in the tank, do a 50% water change to get back down to 1. If you have 3 ppm of ammonia, change out 2/3 of the water.

You actually need some ammonia present for the bacteria to form. So keeping it at .25 to .5 is great. Just don't exceed 1 ppm.

2. Keep ammonia detoxified with SeaChem Prime. Dose the tank every 24 - 36 hours. This is extremely important. Prime actually temporarily converts ammonia into its not toxic form which is harmless to your fish. It only does this for a day then you need to dose more Prime. I think it only works on up to 1ppm of ammonia so that's why you still need to do water changes. Each dose should be enough for the tank's entire volume.

3. Nitrite is also toxic. So do the same when you start seeing that on your test kit.

4. Once you have 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite, your tank is fully cycled. Keep doing water changes to keep nitrate under 20 ppm though. I personally never let mine get over 10 ppm but to each their own.
 

JettsPapa

Fishlore VIP
Member
Messages
4,038
Reaction score
4,545
Location
Grimes County, Texas
Experience
1 year
0.25 ppm is within the margin of error, and if it is accurate I doubt a level that low will harm your fish. A water change certainly can't hurt anything, but I'd keep a close eye on it and don't worry about it too much unless it gets up to 0.5 ppm.
 

UnknownUser

Well Known
Member
Messages
1,748
Reaction score
1,223
Experience
Just started
Test the tap water and a water bottle with the kit. 0.25 is often an error.
 

Gone

Well Known
Member
Messages
1,720
Reaction score
1,551
Location
Minnesota
Experience
More than 10 years
.25 ammonia seems to be a common false positive on the API Master Test Kit. Don't worry unless it reads .5 or more.

I recommend avoiding water changes greater than 50% unless it's an emergency. In fact I used to do 50% once a week, but switched to two 30% changes twice a week. That keeps the parameters from swinging too far, and I've also noticed a big drop in algae growth.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
OP
ExtremeBoss

ExtremeBoss

New Member
Member
Messages
25
Reaction score
9
Location
Orwigsburg PA
Experience
1 year
ystrout said:
I'm guessing your tank isn't cycled. Did you just set it up? If so, read about the nitrogen cycle. There's countless threads on this forum about it and tons of websites explaining it.

The short explanation is that bacteria forms in your filter which consumes ammonia, turning it into nitrite (also toxic), then another bacteria forms and consumes the nitrite and turns it into nitrate which isn't toxic except in high amounts. You do water changes and keep plants to keep nitrate under 20 ppm. It takes about a month to 6 weeks to fully cycle an aquarium.

That said, you don't do a water change to remove .25ppm of ammonia. Since my guess is you're cycling your tank with fish already in it, here's my advice:

1. Keep your ammonia under 1ppm through water changes. You know how much water to remove by just doing the math. If you have 2 ppm in the tank, do a 50% water change to get back down to 1. If you have 3 ppm of ammonia, change out 2/3 of the water.

You actually need some ammonia present for the bacteria to form. So keeping it at .25 to .5 is great. Just don't exceed 1 ppm.

2. Keep ammonia detoxified with SeaChem Prime. Dose the tank every 24 - 36 hours. This is extremely important. Prime actually temporarily converts ammonia into its not toxic form which is harmless to your fish. It only does this for a day then you need to dose more Prime. I think it only works on up to 1ppm of ammonia so that's why you still need to do water changes. Each dose should be enough for the tank's entire volume.

3. Nitrite is also toxic. So do the same when you start seeing that on your test kit.

4. Once you have 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite, your tank is fully cycled. Keep doing water changes to keep nitrate under 20 ppm though. I personally never let mine get over 10 ppm but to each their own.
Actually, I know about the Nitrogen Cycle and it's been cycled awhile ago. Also, my Ammonia source was Dr. Tim's Ammonium Chloride, which worked really great! :)

JettsPapa said:
0.25 ppm is within the margin of error, and if it is accurate I doubt a level that low will harm your fish. A water change certainly can't hurt anything, but I'd keep a close eye on it and don't worry about it too much unless it gets up to 0.5 ppm.
Could it be that I never had Snails before and I JUST got 2 on Saturday?
 

Muskies85

Active Member
Member
Messages
194
Reaction score
100
Don’t worry man. My api test kit for ammonia always comes out .25. It’s got that slight green tint. I’ve never had mine as yellow as the chart shows.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
OP
ExtremeBoss

ExtremeBoss

New Member
Member
Messages
25
Reaction score
9
Location
Orwigsburg PA
Experience
1 year
UnknownUser said:
Test the tap water and a water bottle with the kit. 0.25 is often an error.
I actually tested my tap water yesterday and it read yellow (0ppm).

GuppyDazzle said:
.25 ammonia seems to be a common false positive on the API Master Test Kit. Don't worry unless it reads .5 or more.

I recommend avoiding water changes greater than 50% unless it's an emergency. In fact I used to do 50% once a week, but switched to two 30% changes twice a week. That keeps the parameters from swinging too far, and I've also noticed a big drop in algae growth.
Thanks!

Muskies85 said:
Don’t worry man. My api test kit for ammonia always comes out .25. It’s got that slight green tint. I’ve never had mine as yellow as the chart shows.
Come to think of it, just like you said mine also never got as yellow as the chart and it's always been slight green.
 

BluMan1914

Well Known
Member
Messages
2,434
Reaction score
1,313
Location
Marietta, GA
Experience
More than 10 years
Im to the point that I dont even test my water anymore. If I do any testing, its the tap water. I just want to make sure that the city hasnt made any changes.
As long as you are fully cycled, and do regular maintenance, ammonia should be your last worry.
 

JettsPapa

Fishlore VIP
Member
Messages
4,038
Reaction score
4,545
Location
Grimes County, Texas
Experience
1 year
ExtremeBoss said:
Could it be that I never had Snails before and I JUST got 2 on Saturday?
It's certainly possible that the new snails caused a little ammonia bump. As I said above, a water change certainly won't hurt, but as long as it doesn't get higher I wouldn't be too concerned.
 

ystrout

Well Known
Member
Messages
1,533
Reaction score
924
Location
San Diego
Experience
4 years
ExtremeBoss said:
Actually, I know about the Nitrogen Cycle and it's been cycled awhile ago. Also, my Ammonia source was Dr. Tim's Ammonium Chloride, which worked really great! :)


Could it be that I never had Snails before and I JUST got 2 on Saturday?
Oh, perfect!

Then you have nothing to worry about. Some people get .25 ppm false positives. Test your tap water to see if that's the case for you. If that's not you, maybe you just overfed or something. It will come down soon enough.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
OP
ExtremeBoss

ExtremeBoss

New Member
Member
Messages
25
Reaction score
9
Location
Orwigsburg PA
Experience
1 year
BluMan1914 said:
Im to the point that I dont even test my water anymore. If I do any testing, its the tap water. I just want to make sure that the city hasnt made any changes.
As long as you are fully cycled, and do regular maintenance, ammonia should be your last worry.

Im to the point that I dont even test my water anymore. If I do any testing, its the tap water. I just want to make sure that the city hasnt made any changes.
As long as you are fully cycled, and do regular maintenance, ammonia should be your last worry
Okay, Thanks!
 

New Threads

Similar Threads

Similar Threads

Follow FishLore!

FishLore on Social Media

Online statistics

Members online
227
Guests online
3,305
Total visitors
3,532

Aquarium Photo Contests

Aquarium Calculator

Top Bottom