False Ammonia Readings?

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Luniyn

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I've been trying to cycle my tank with fish in it, and thought to keep the ammonia at a minimum I would do a 20% water change every 2-3 days. I've tested my tap waters PH to be sure it's the same coming out of the tap as it is in the tank (and it is... though it's a bit high at 7.5... at least it's stable). It never occurred to me to test anything else from the tap and I've always just been testing my tank water. That is until this morning. I'm not sure why but I decided to test the ammonia level of the water out of the tap, the ammonia in the bucket after treating it with NovAqua+, and the water in the tank before the change. Out of the tap I got a reading of 1.0ppm. In the bucket after using NovAqua+ (which never said it would remove ammonia, just the chlorine so I didn't expect a change) it seemed a shade lighter then 1.0 but not much (if any). And my tank is what is has always been since I started which is between 0.25ppm and 0.5ppm. I thought the constant water changes would help keep it low, but apparently I'm just making it worse. Is it those Chloramines that are making my ammonia reading here?

At this point I guess I need to start using AmQuel+ along with the NovAqua+ so the ammonia is not toxic right? It won't hurt the cycle process at all correct? I have yet to get a single nitrite reading in almost 2 weeks since I started this process, but I know it's coming one of these days (at least my tap water isn't adding any nitrite or nitrate, so water changes will help in lowering those). Is AmQuel+ the best one to use or has anyone had any better luck with anything else? Also I've seen that using AmQuel+ will make false ammonia readings. I'm using the Liquid Test Kit from API, is there a different test that will allow me to get correct readings so I can continue to monitor my ammonia?
 

genie

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The ammonia is toxic to your fish, but it is what feeds the cycle bacteria. I am not sure about the water changes b/c of your tap. You could try buying bottled water, you can usually get the gallons for $0.30 at Wal-Mart.
 

dfrap

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Prime is a good product to use to take out chlorine & ammonia from tap water. I also have 1.0 ammonia in my tap, and after testing this product, I've found it really does work to remove ammonia from tap water. It hasn't done anything for the ammonia that is already in my tank, but using Prime, I know I'm not just adding more ammonia when I do water changes. Hope this helps
 
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Luniyn

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Yeah after posting this I did some more looking around the forum and pulled bits and pieces of posts together to make me realize that Prime would be a good thing for me to get. Did a search of stores selling it on their site and found one that is actually right around the corner from where I work. Guess I'm checking out a new fish store tonight. Thanks for the posts all.
 
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