Anyone else always get a .25 ammonia reading?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by LiterallyHydro, Jul 4, 2015.

  1. LiterallyHydroWell Known MemberMember

    I have a heavily planted 5G Spec V Betta tank. I did some testing today with the API Liquid test kits and everything reads fine..

    pH is pretty high at the moment, a bit over 8 so I might add peat to bring it down a bit.
    Ammonia is strangely reading .25
    NItrites are reading 0
    Nitrates are somewhere between 0 and 5ppm (A lot of frogbit and hornwort)

    The tank has been up and running for about 5 months now with nothing new added recently. Could I just have a bad test kit or should I be concerned about this? I did not do a water change yet this week so I don't believe it to be ammonia in my tap water.

    By the way, there are no signs of stress at all.
  2. mg13Well Known MemberMember

    hmmm...have you only tested it once or is this literally ever single time?
  3. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    That is the flaw with the API test kit, it cannot distinguish between ammonium and ammonia. Ammonium is non-toxic whereas ammonia is harmful.

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  4. LiterallyHydroWell Known MemberMember

    It's every time in freshwater tanks. In my reef tank it will properly read 0.
  5. mg13Well Known MemberMember

    are you using the same test for both tanks?! you have to have separate ones, one for saltwater and one for freshwater.
  6. leftswerveWell Known MemberMember

    Use a freshwater test kit and test your tap water (source). Continue to test your tank. In the end it could just be the test kit is off.
  7. LiterallyHydroWell Known MemberMember

    It is a freshwater test kit. And the test results from API test kits between freshwater and saltwater are nearly identical.

    The tap water also reads .25 but since there hasn't been a water change in the last 7 days I would assume that's not the issue.
  8. mg13Well Known MemberMember

    yeah, they sell separate test for saltwater and for freshwater, i think that may be your problem.

    sorry, ninjaed, so yes, if your tap water itself is what is reading .25 than even if the water hasn't been changed in a while it will still mess with the tank. you should try get water that has zero ammonia, cause if that is the case, you are making the tank under go a mini cycle every time you change the water.. :/
  9. LiterallyHydroWell Known MemberMember

    Allow me to refer you to this video first.

    The test kits are nearly identical. And I do own both the freshwater and the saltwater master test kit and I have tested this myself. They read nearly the same.. I just have to use the appropriate color chart.

    And I am using the freshwater test kit in this situation. It's not the problem.

    My issue is why the test kit is reading .25. I don't see any signs of stress on the betta. And if anything, I would expect the cycle to be able to handle .125 ammonia in the tank once a week (50% water change) I don't see how that would create a mini cycle.

    I have an RODI unit that I can test the water on as well. It's impossible for that water to have any ammonia at all.
  10. AquaticBrandonWell Known MemberMember

    I don't think it's your test kit at all. I use a freshwater test kit for both my reef and freshwater tanks. They are both very identical and the only thing different are the color charts.

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  11. mg13Well Known MemberMember

    good video,

    according to my chart, there is almost hardly any difference between 0ppm, and .25ppm. so just like there is hardly any difference between the saltwater and freshwater kits, you can hardly tell between 0 and .25.

    From what you wrote i understood that your tap water already had .25 ammonia in it BEFORE you even had anything to do with the tank, i guess i understood wrong.

    like the others said, it is possible that it is a failure in the kit, you might want to check the expiration date.

    i'm a little tiny bit confused, so if what i said makes sense than i guess that's great... lol
  12. leftswerveWell Known MemberMember

    So your issue is solved, you have a bad kit? If it is a bad kit, then you should get .25 with any source.
    Technically, the cycle is the cycle, ammonia to nitrate, it is just how far along in the process the cycle is in. I think the lingo takes over on the boards and people use "cycle" as the beginning and not the process
  13. LiterallyHydroWell Known MemberMember

    All good. It happens ;D

    I find it peculiar because I did purchase the test kit only about a year ago, brand new as well.
    It's supposed to expire in 2019. I only know it's reading .25 because it's a very distinct .25 here. There's no question that it's not 0. Either that or I'm colorblind.

    I hope that's what it boils down to. I'm under that impression right now. I'm going to test some RODI water to see if it reads 0 or .25.
  14. AquaticBrandonWell Known MemberMember

    Test the water using both test kits

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  15. mg13Well Known MemberMember

    oh no, i hope not, that would suck!

    oh well, i think that since your betta is not showing signs of stress, you shouldn't really worry, but still keep an eye out.

    so the answer to your title, no, i have actually never gotten .25 reading. it was 5 when i started the tank during cycling and now it's 0...

    mind posting a picture of your fellow?
  16. JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    Before you toss the kit, try testing some store-bought, freshly-opened distilled water (less than a dollar for a gallon at most stores).

    It's handy to have around for diluting samples, rinsing out vials, etc., anyhow.
  17. LiterallyHydroWell Known MemberMember

    Bad test kit. The RODI unit also read .25.

    And sure.

    The angle of that shot is a bit awkward though.

    Distilled water and RODI water is virtually identical for our needs. I've essentially just done that with testing the RODI water.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  18. mg13Well Known MemberMember

    wow, beautiful! i love how the plants go with the crowntail! good choice!!!
  19. LiterallyHydroWell Known MemberMember

    Thank you :)

    I need to remove a huge amount of the frobit in the tank.. I removed 75% of it 3 days ago and he already can barely access the surface... ;D Maybe I'll start giving frogbit away on the forums.
  20. mg13Well Known MemberMember

    you should, it's pretty

    make it a contest though, that's way more fun than just giving it away