first newbie error already

NewbieGirl

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Ok, got tank set up. Tested tap water with API master kit
Ph 7.6
High ph 7.4
Ammonia Nitrite and Nitrate none
then after reading and reading found several people that mentioned Ace Hardware Ammonia. Bought it. When I shook it, no foam just bubbles that dissipated immediately. so thought, no brainer this is it.
Filled bucket and began testing. Kept adding drops (was up to 65) OK I am stubborn. No and I mean NO Ammonia. I then tested the Ace Hardware Janitorial Strength Ammonia, pure out of the bottle into the tube. Guess what, no Ammonia. REALLY. Bottle says it is so either defective or concentration not high. I did the test 3 times (ok, I said I was stubborn).
I do not want to do shrimp due to hearing of smell and this in daughter's room who does have chronic persistent severe asthma (not worth risking an attack).
So, I can feed food which I had wanted to avoid but will do if cannot find the right ammonia.
Or, can someone recommend where else to get ammonia.
Also, is it ok to keep tank up and running while I wait to get ammonia or should I buy food tomorrow and start feeding it while I wait?
As for food, recommendation as to what kind. I am going now to read that part of fishless cycle again. I had decided on ammonia so quit researching the other.
Well, maybe this will be my one glitch, can only hope!!!
Edit:
After reviewed threads I have found that others did well with the type of ammonia i got so either the test is wrong, I am doing it wrong, or the bottle is too old. I did have to literally dust it off.
What do you guys think?
 
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Jrobber

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Not sure about your ammonia method as I have never done that before. However do you have any LFS close by? You could s/ways ask them for some filter media or gravel. If they are nice, they should give you one or the other. With gravel, put it in a new, unwashed pantyhose and stuff it in your filter, if you can. That could be a good start. Just a thought.
 

JustinF

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I've seen it on wal-mart's website, I would guess it's in the store. (Not sure it's pure ammonia maybe someone else can say for sure)



Maybe it will help, other than that sorry I don't know of many other places unless you know an old photo store that works in the old ways that might still have some.
 
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ryanr

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newbiegirl said:
After reviewed threads I have found that others did well with the type of ammonia i got so either the test is wrong, I am doing it wrong, or the bottle is too old. I did have to literally dust it off.
You say bottle, as in singular. Are you using both bottles for the ammonia test. The API kit has 2 bottles to test for ammonia. The first is a clear liquid (bottle #1) and the second is yellowish (bottle #2)

You need to add both reagents in order to get a reaction and thus a colour change in the test.

NB: The nitrite test is a single reagent, the nitrate is 2 bottles, you really need to shake and bang the second bottle for best results.

Just a thought.
 
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NewbieGirl

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You say bottle, as in singular. Are you using both bottles for the ammonia test. The API kit has 2 bottles to test for ammonia. The first is a clear liquid (bottle #1) and the second is yellowish (bottle #2)

You need to add both reagents in order to get a reaction and thus a colour change in the test.

NB: The nitrite test is a single reagent, the nitrate is 2 bottles, you really need to shake and bang the second bottle for best results.

Just a thought.
Yes, used both bottles in API test kit. All I can figure is that there is some kind of shelf life on the ammonia as I said I had to dust it.

As for the other suggestion of gravel was told no by LFS and the other LFS I would not want their gravel. I plan to go back and ask another employee about the gravel again.
thanks for the help I am still trying to locate Ammonia.
 

jetajockey

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did you make sure that your API kit is working properly? Sometimes they are expired also.
 

anunez91

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Yes, used both bottles in API test kit. All I can figure is that there is some kind of shelf life on the ammonia as I said I had to dust it.

As for the other suggestion of gravel was told no by LFS and the other LFS I would not want their gravel. I plan to go back and ask another employee about the gravel again.
thanks for the help I am still trying to locate Ammonia.


its got to be a defective bottle if your testing properly because thats where i got mine from and its still kicking to this day. when you opened the bottle, did it punch you in the face? haha, was it strong? if all else fails, take it back, tell em it didnt work, the worst they could tell you is no, or even ask them to order a new case and have them save a bottle for you, that way its rotated, that happens alot in stores,ammonia does have a shelf life *forgot how long it was* but sometimes stockers, they dont rotate stock and stuff just keeps getting pushed back and back and over time it loses its potency. just a thought.*happens with bleach too* Ive also heard of using granular ammonia or something like that, but i think that would just overcomplicate things for the not so scientific element savy....


also, you dont have anyone you know with an established tank? or an aquatics club in your area? those are also places you could get seeded gravel/filter media.
 
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yallyall1

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If it isn't the ammonia stuff, and it is the kit, maybe while your there you could take a sample of the water along (and generally they do free testing services). That way you can be CERTAIN it is the testing kit.

just my thoughts...
 
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NewbieGirl

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The test kits expire after 3 years and the last 4 digits of the lot number are the date of manufacture. Easy to check
I checked the date and it is 1009 if that is the date it is made and it has 3 years then it is oK.
I redid the test as the Ammonia certainly smells like ammonia.
I put eight drops of first bottle after shaking it silly then eight of 2nd bottle.
This so strange. Tested the pure ammonia and it stayed at between 0 and .25ppm. This is the ammonia straight from the ammonia bottle not diluted. I am taking the kit back and getting another. Maybe it is a bad lot?? I called API but closed this late I will try again when can.

I decided to get strips and I used it. Of course, the color is so dark on pure ammonia. I put 3 drops in 3 gallons and got the highest so lowered the number. I ended up with 20 drops for my 29 gallon tank. about 4 per 5 gallons. I will test again in 1/2 hour to see what level is.
I am going to order another API as you guys are clear that strips are not good and I see why it is hard to judge the color. I just wanted to start this process due to time constraints, need to be cycled by June 19th. I want plenty of lead time.
Sorry so long
 

jetajockey

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when you used the API test , did you let the test sit for 5 minutes before gauging the color?

That's really odd that it's not working right, would even consider exchanging it if its defective.
 
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NewbieGirl

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when you used the API test , did you let the test sit for 5 minutes before gauging the color?

That's really odd that it's not working right, would even consider exchanging it if its defective.
I took it back. Tested with strips after adding the 20 drops and I am between 3-6ppm closer to the 6. I am ordering an API test kit again tonight. I live in ALabama and it was delivered on a day when it was 80+ which means 100 degrees in the mailbox maybe that affected it.
anyway at least my cycle is started and I will just get another kit. If it does it again, then I will know I messed up. The strips though not accurate at least allowed me to get started.
I know it was not me because my LFS tested my water (after adding ammonia) and the ammonia from the bottle and they got results you would expect not 0.
thanks everyone
 
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NewbieGirl

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checked today (using strips) yesterday between 3-6ppm and today it is between .25 and .50. The water is cloudy whitish??? I am waiting for the replacement API test kit to come via mail. I put 20 drops in again. I am taking water in 30 min to LFS.
 
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NewbieGirl

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went to LFS they use liquid API test. The ammonia after 20 drops was 4ppm. I added 5 drops to try to get to the 5ppm-6ppm. I, being new, did not know how much water to take so she could not test anything else (she did give me a container to bring in future). I am not concerned about the others but she gave me a 5 test strip. Tested and the water is very hard top of chart but otherwise what you would expect no Nitrite, Nitrate. Until my API test comes in I plan to go every other day and get them to test. I watched her do the API test and now I am certain mine was defective she did exactly what I did.
Only question.

Why did Ammonia drop from yesterday 3-6 to today .25 and I had to add the 25 drops of Ammonia again to get back to 5???
 
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claudicles

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Ammonia dropping should mean your benefial bacteria are using it! That is a good thing
 

jetajockey

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Ammonia dropping should mean your benefial bacteria are using it! That is a good thing
agreed, I would get it to around 4ppm personally but that's just from my own research, I don't do fishless cycles though so dont listen to me lol.
 
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NewbieGirl

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I got a new API test kit in mail and it is working great. There was a note that indicated the previous test kit was defective and they are looking into it and thus they covered all shipping. Glad to know it was not me.

My tank at present
ammonia 4 ppm (has been yesterday and today)
Nitrite and Nitrate 0

I am doing the add and wait Ammonia method from this forum. The ammonia has gone down but not quickly for sure!!!
 
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