.25 Ammonia On Api For Cycled Tanks?

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KKM

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I recently bought my first API test kit (I had been doing weekly tests at my LFS to do fishless cycles) and after testing the water in all three of my established and heavily planted tanks, ammonia was .25 ppm and nitrites/nitrates were zero. How is this possible? After some digging, I found many claim that the ammonia reading is a mistake (which would make sense, as my reading was zero before I added fish). Is this true or is there any way I can correct this? Also, is there any reason to perform weekly water changes (aside from gravel/detritus cleaning) when nitrates are 0?
 

junebug

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A slight ammonia reading is really common with the kit. Though I'm surprised your LFS had you trying to cycle planted tanks... you probably have no BB and the plants are eating the ammonia before it ever reached the filter.
 

Ed1957

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Most likely your tank is not cycled. I would think you would have some nitrates unless your so heavily planted that the plants are utilizing all the nitrates.

My opinion is your not cycled.
 

KKM

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A slight ammonia reading is really common with the kit. Though I'm surprised your LFS had you trying to cycle planted tanks... you probably have no BB and the plants are eating the ammonia before it ever reached the filter.
Sorry if my intro was unclear. I added the part about my fishless cycles just to give some background as to why this is my first time using the API test kit. I did not cycle them with plants.
 

junebug

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Right but what I'm saying is that if the tanks are heavily planted, they can't cycle. I therefore wouldn't worry about a slight ammonia reading on your test kit.
 

emma

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What tank size do you have? Have you added fish yet - if so how many?
How many plants & what kind?
Have you tested your tap water for ammonia?
 

KKM

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I might mention, it's not completely zero, more like somewhere between 0 and 5 but leaning towards 0.
 
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