Defective Api Nitrate Kit? Possibly Purigen?

Tsukkomu
  • #1
I think i've received a defective API Nitrate test that came along with my master test kit. it never registers nitrates. I know all about shaking the will to live out of reagent. I had read about that before I even got the kit. So trust and believe I shake the bottle #2 for well over 60 seconds....follow the directions to a T.

I have a fully cycled 5 gallon Fluval Spec. With a betta and a mystery snail. So I know between the two there are some nitrates going on. I do have Purigen in the bottom of the filter...which filters out precursors to nitrates. But I was under the impression that there would be plenty of nitrates to go around. I also use Seachem Pristine which is known to drop nitrates...but not completely.

I guess I'm wondering if the two combined is enough to completely eliminate nitrate. Which I doubt.

I suppose it's entirely possibly I screwed up the chemical ration in Nitrate test reagent #2...but I don't think so. Like I said I'd read all about the solidified crystal matter in the bottle prior to even doing my first test.

Also, my ammonia reading is never 0. it's always .25ppm...I hope in posting this it doesn't seem redundant. yet another API test kit post. I suppose I felt justified in posting because i'm asking about nitrates and purigen, pristine.

any thoughts would be appreciated. I have ordered a new Nitrate test kit to compare.
 
Rancore
  • #2
I think i've received a defective API Nitrate test that came along with my master test kit. it never registers nitrates. I know all about shaking the will to live out of reagent. I had read about that before I even got the kit. So trust and believe I shake the bottle #2 for well over 60 seconds....follow the directions to a T.

I have a fully cycled 5 gallon Fluval Spec. With a betta and a mystery snail. So I know between the two there are some nitrates going on. I do have Purigen in the bottom of the filter...which filters out precursors to nitrates. But I was under the impression that there would be plenty of nitrates to go around. I also use Seachem Pristine which is known to drop nitrates...but not completely.

I guess I'm wondering if the two combined is enough to completely eliminate nitrate. Which I doubt.

I suppose it's entirely possibly I screwed up the chemical ration in Nitrate test reagent #2...but I don't think so. Like I said I'd read all about the solidified crystal matter in the bottle prior to even doing my first test.

Also, my ammonia reading is never 0. it's always .25ppm...I hope in posting this it doesn't seem redundant. yet another API test kit post. I suppose I felt justified in posting because i'm asking about nitrates and purigen, pristine.

any thoughts would be appreciated. I have ordered a new Nitrate test kit to compare.

If there’s ammonia present the tank isn’t cycled. How often do you water change? Because there’s only a betta and a snail it might not have time to build up to a registered level by the time you water change. Cycled tanks have 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite, how long has your tank been set up?
 
Tsukkomu
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
it's been about 5 weeks. I watched all my levels go up and then drop...I do believe it's cycled. my issue with the ammonia is it's always read slightly green, which a lot of people have also reported on here on Fish Lore. so I am assuming I am included in that group. it's not a definite .25ppm but there is definitely a slight green hue to the ammonia readings.

perhaps my nitrates aren't building up. I was just under the impression that mystery snails had huge bioloads...so I was assuming in a 5 gallon that would build up quickly. I cycled with Seachem Stability which worked great.

I do water changes once every 7 days.
 
Rancore
  • #4
it's been about 5 weeks. I watched all my levels go up and then drop...I do believe it's cycled. my issue with the ammonia is it's always read slightly green, which a lot of people have also reported on here on Fish Lore. so I am assuming I am included in that group. it's not a definite .25ppm but there is definitely a slight green hue to the ammonia readings.

perhaps my nitrates aren't building up. I was just under the impression that mystery snails had huge bioloads...so I was assuming in a 5 gallon that would build up quickly. I cycled with Seachem Stability which worked great.

I do water changes once every 7 days.

It depends on the size of the snail and how much/often you feed the tank
 
Tsukkomu
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
So perhaps if I have no nitrate readings I may go another half week/week without a w/c, just topping up and see what happens there. I never thought about that. I was just assuming my .25ppm was actually 0, considering a lot of other people have had that issue. But maybe not. I think I’m going to go past my 7 day mark on the water change and see how nitrates go. I did get scared and dosed prime for the .25ppm ammonia....but then I read about others having similar situations and kind of relaxed about it.
 
Tsukkomu
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
My betta gets about 8 baby pellets a day, split into two feedings, alternated with bloodworms. They are the betta baby pellets. My snail gets a single pellet of HikarI Crab cuisine. They eat well. I’m
 
Rancore
  • #7
So perhaps if I have no nitrate readings I may go another half week/week without a w/c, just topping up and see what happens there. I never thought about that. I was just assuming my .25ppm was actually 0, considering a lot of other people have had that issue. But maybe not. I think I’m going to go past my 7 day mark on the water change and see how nitrates go. I did get scared and dosed prime for the .25ppm ammonia....but then I read about others having similar situations and kind of relaxed about it.

I used to have that happen after water changes, turned out the tap water had ammonia in it and would take a bit to process when put in the tank. So if I tested the tank after a water change a small amount of ammonia will show. With prime ammonium can sometimes show up as ammonia on the test kit, I think. Since it’s just it’s less toxic form. Not 100% certain, but I think it can happen, so you might be reading ammonium and not ammonia.
 
Tsukkomu
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
I used to have that happen after water changes, turned out the tap water had ammonia in it and would take a bit to process when put in the tank. So if I tested the tank after a water change a small amount of ammonia will show. With prime ammonium can sometimes show up as ammonia on the test kit, I think. Since it’s just it’s less toxic form. Not 100% certain, but I think it can happen, so you might be reading ammonium and not ammonia.

thank you. I'm going to go ahead and go past my 7 day w/c this week and see what happens. you may be correct about the tap water. my water does have .25ppm ammonia in it.
 
JLeeM
  • #9
For starters, it's going to take forever for one betta and a snail to cycle a tank. It took over a month for ammonia to even show up in my 5 gallon betta tank. That's just the start of it.
 
Tsukkomu
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
The ammonia from the mystery snail sped up the cycle considerably. I watched the ammonia levels go from yellow to bright green to back to yellow in 3 weeks.
 
Tsukkomu
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
I'm so confused. my ammonia is not a true .25 and not a pale yellow 0. I have 0 nitrites and I'm going to say trace nitrates....as it's in between 0 and 10. I guess I am doing too frequent of w/c's to be able to register nitrates considering I use Seachem Pristine and Purigen. I dosed Prime up to 1ppm just to be safe....but I am really just going to resign myself to the fact that there is always going to be trace amounts of ammonia in an aquarium. I know nothing is safe over 0...but it is constantly being produced.
 
skilletlicker
  • #12
My 20-gallon fish tank has been running for eight months with two fantail goldfish and one or two mystery snails, filtered primarily by 25 liters of tank water and clay pellets growing herbs and vegetables. API ammonia test always has a greenish tinge registering 0.25 ppm or less. Doesn't seem to be a problem. Once the plants got going good and the fish were still small nitrates tested zero for almost three months. Plants weren't nitrogen deficient but were using up the nitrates as fast as they were produced. The fish, Sara and Maybelle, grew and after seven months I had to start doing water changes to maintain acceptable nitrate levels.

I don't know how much of my experience applies to your situation except that ammonia levels consistently at or below 0.25 ppm does not necessarily mean there is a problem. Partly because I'm eating the plants, I don't use any of the chemicals you mention so no help there.
 
JLeeM
  • #13
I'm so confused. my ammonia is not a true .25 and not a pale yellow 0. I have 0 nitrites and I'm going to say trace nitrates....as it's in between 0 and 10. I guess I am doing too frequent of w/c's to be able to register nitrates considering I use Seachem Pristine and Purigen. I dosed Prime up to 1ppm just to be safe....but I am really just going to resign myself to the fact that there is always going to be trace amounts of ammonia in an aquarium. I know nothing is safe over 0...but it is constantly being produced.
A truly cycled tank WILL have 0 ammonia and nitrite. Even with ammonia in the tap, because a cycled tank should be able to process ammonia all the way through to nitrate phase in 24 hours. When I've cycled tanks that have that last bit of ammonia hanging around, I give a huge dose of Stability with a water change or a huge dose of Tetra SafeStart 24 hours after a water change. It fixes it every time for me.

PS- Any ammonia or especially nitrite IS harmful. If a tank cannot ever process it all then that means you're overstocked.
 
Tsukkomu
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
A truly cycled tank WILL have 0 ammonia and nitrite. Even with ammonia in the tap, because a cycled tank should be able to process ammonia all the way through to nitrate phase in 24 hours. When I've cycled tanks that have that last bit of ammonia hanging around, I give a huge dose of Stability with a water change or a huge dose of Tetra SafeStart 24 hours after a water change. It fixes it every time for me.

PS- Any ammonia or especially nitrite IS harmful. If a tank cannot ever process it all then that means you're overstocked.

I mean this is all possible. The thing is I have no nitrates. I am dosing stability. I dosed prime for to detox the tank. I’m just confused on how I don’t have any nitrate.

And I’m also wondering if my almost .25ppm ammonia reading is in line with the countless other people posting about API ammonia test testing positive for ammonia...
 
Rancore
  • #15
A truly cycled tank WILL have 0 ammonia and nitrite. Even with ammonia in the tap, because a cycled tank should be able to process ammonia all the way through to nitrate phase in 24 hours. When I've cycled tanks that have that last bit of ammonia hanging around, I give a huge dose of Stability with a water change or a huge dose of Tetra SafeStart 24 hours after a water change. It fixes it every time for me.

PS- Any ammonia or especially nitrite IS harmful. If a tank cannot ever process it all then that means you're overstocked.

Or under filtration, rarely the case though.

My 20-gallon fish tank has been running for eight months with two fantail goldfish and one or two mystery snails, filtered primarily by 25 liters of tank water and clay pellets growing herbs and vegetables. API ammonia test always has a greenish tinge registering 0.25 ppm or less. Doesn't seem to be a problem. Once the plants got going good and the fish were still small nitrates tested zero for almost three months. Plants weren't nitrogen deficient but were using up the nitrates as fast as they were produced. The fish, Sara and Maybelle, grew and after seven months I had to start doing water changes to maintain acceptable nitrate levels.

I don't know how much of my experience applies to your situation except that ammonia levels consistently at or below 0.25 ppm does not necessarily mean there is a problem. Partly because I'm eating the plants, I don't use any of the chemicals you mention so no help there.

0.25 ammonia isn’t too much of an issue with goldfish, they’re dirty fish and can shed ammonia through their skin. Any ammonia above 0 can definitely be an issue though for more sensitive fish
 
JLeeM
  • #16
I mean this is all possible. The thing is I have no nitrates. I am dosing stability. I dosed prime for to detox the tank. I’m just confused on how I don’t have any nitrate.

And I’m also wondering if my almost .25ppm ammonia reading is in line with the countless other people posting about API ammonia test testing positive for ammonia...
Honestly, when I had problems getting my own 5 gallon to cycle (couldn't even get ammonia to show) I cut out some water changes. Eventually, I waited a month before doing another. I kept a close eye on my betta and put a few drops of Prime here and there. That did it for me. Some would crucify me for that, but I had no problems with my betta's health, appetite, or fins.
 

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