Nh4 Affect Api Ammonia Test ?

gavinmcwalter

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So i am currently fish less cycling my tank
I have ammonia in my tap water ( which i understand is nh4 ) I treat it with API Stress Coat before adding to tank.
All is going well this time ( nitrite present and ammonia going down ) BUT my nitrite has stopped at 1ppm and ammonia is not going down for a few days and is sitting at 0.50 ppm .. Could this be nh4 rather than nh3 ?

i used the API Stress Coat+ which will neutralise the ammonia/um ( for 24 hours ? )
my thinking is maybe there was not enough Nitrifying bacterium to convert the ammonium which was primed and after the 24 hours is why i may have ammonium left in the tank
i have not re dosed ammonia since the first dose as it has never gone down to 0ppm


and this would explain why my ammonia api test results are not going down .
it all makes sense what i mean in my head i promise ha
many thanks in advance
 

-Mak-

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The test kits register both ammonia and ammonium, and give the total of the two. However it shouldn't really matter, because the bacteria use both if I remember correctly.
 

live4wetsleeves

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gavinmcwalter said:
So i am currently fish less cycling my tank
I have ammonia in my tap water ( which i understand is nh4 ) I treat it with API Stress Coat before adding to tank.
All is going well this time ( nitrite present and ammonia going down ) BUT my nitrite has stopped at 1ppm and ammonia is not going down for a few days and is sitting at 0.50 ppm .. Could this be nh4 rather than nh3 ?

i used the API Stress Coat+ which will neutralise the ammonia/um ( for 24 hours ? )
my thinking is maybe there was not enough Nitrifying bacterium to convert the ammonium which was primed and after the 24 hours is why i may have ammonium left in the tank
i have not re dosed ammonia since the first dose as it has never gone down to 0ppm


and this would explain why my ammonia api test results are not going down .
it all makes sense what i mean in my head i promise ha
many thanks in advance
Ammonium (NH4+) — or its uncharged form ammonia (NH3) — is a form of nitrogen which aquatic plants can absorb and incorporate into proteins, amino acids, and other molecules. High concentrations of ammonium can enhance the growth of algae and aquatic plants. Bacteria can also convert high ammonium to nitrate (NO3-) in the process of nitrification, which lowers dissolved oxygen.

Ammonia in water is either un-ionized ammonia or the ammonium ion. Typically, the value reported by tests is the sum of both forms and is reported as total ammonia or simply - ammonia. The relative proportion of the two forms present in water is highly affected by pH.
Un-ionized ammonia is the toxic form and predominates when pH is high. Ammonium ion is relatively non-toxic and predominates when pH is low. In general, less than 10% of ammonia is in the toxic form when pH is less than 8.0 pH units. This proportion increases dramatically as pH increases.
The equilibrium between NH3 and NH4+ is also affected by temperature. At any pH, more toxic ammonia is present in warmer water than in cooler water.
I would say give it a couple days. Different bacteria convert ammonia to nitrite and nitrite to nitrate. It seems you are just waiting for the nitrite-nitrate bacteria to build up. Keep testing daily until you see your nitrites fall and nitrates rise. "API STRESS COAT Aquarium Water Conditioner works instantly as a water conditioner to remove chlorine and chloramines from tap water and neutralize heavy metals. API STRESS COAT Freshwater Aquarium Water Conditioner Treatment contains aloe vera, and it is scientifically proven to reduce fish stress by 40% and heal damaged fish tissue." According to the information provided by API, API stress coat doesn't detoxify ammonia like some products do. If you have ammonia in your tap water than that explains why you're still detecting ammonia. Even if you were able to detoxify your ammonia with a product that advertises it does so, then you'd still detect levels of ammonia. The difference is simply that it's in a "fish friendly" form. The ammonia doesn't go away until it's processed by the bacteria.

I'll be honest, I had a very hard time following your thought train in the original post so hopefully this clears some things up for you.
 
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gavinmcwalter

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So since re dosing ammonia has not dropped and nitrite is still the same .. i tested my nitrate and it was 80 ppm ( checked twice )
I have tested the tap water ( after 24 hours )

Tap water readings are :
nitrate 20 ppm
nitrite - 0 ppm
ammonia 1 ppm

could the nitrate in the tap water affect the cycle and be the reason why it seems to stall ?
 

TexasGuppy

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Nitrate shouldn't hurt the cycle. Check your PH, it's not uncommon for Ph swings during cycling, however if the Ph drops to below 6.5, in particular down to 6, the cycle will stall.
You may need to add some crushed seashells, cuttlebone, or SeaChem Alkalinity buffer to bring the Ph back up. Check the Ph of your tap water also after sitting for 24 hours. May be useful to get a Gh/Kh test kit as well. they can be useful, especially if you get fish that need more specific ranges.
 
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gavinmcwalter

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TexasGuppy said:
Nitrate shouldn't hurt the cycle. Check your PH, it's not uncommon for Ph swings during cycling, however if the Ph drops to below 6.5, in particular down to 6, the cycle will stall.
You may need to add some crushed seashells, cuttlebone, or SeaChem Alkalinity buffer to bring the Ph back up. Check the Ph of your tap water also after sitting for 24 hours. May be useful to get a Gh/Kh test kit as well. they can be useful, especially if you get fish that need more specific ranges.
ph is fine measure out of tap and tank and reading is from memory 8.2 ppm ( checked a few times )
 

live4wetsleeves

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gavinmcwalter said:
ph is fine measure out of tap and tank and reading is from memory 8.2 ppm ( checked a few times )
How long has your cycle been stalled on nitrite? Also, for future reference, the pH spectrum is not measured in parts per million (ppm) so it's just a pH of 8.2.
 
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gavinmcwalter

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TexasGuppy said:
Also, what's the temp? Did you do a water change? Did you allow any untreated water to touch the filter/media?
temp is 28 c
did a water change today to bring the nitrate down as read it stalled in high amounts before i posted on here today .
and no chance of untreated water on filter/media
 

live4wetsleeves

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gavinmcwalter said:
temp is 28 c
did a water change today to bring the nitrate down as read it stalled in high amounts before i posted on here today .
and no chance of untreated water on filter/media
Nitrates are toxic so they will kill bacteria in high amounts. Try to keep them down at least to around 40-50ppm and the bacteria should be fine. I'm not convinced 80ppm would stall the cycle but it's better to keep them down anyway. I'd say still give it more time as long as it hasn't been stalled for a very long time already. What is your nitrite at right now?
 
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gavinmcwalter

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just did a water change hour or so ago so have not tested after but this morning tank readings where
amonia 2ppm
nitrite - 1 - 2ppm
nitrate - 40 - 80 ppm
 

live4wetsleeves

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gavinmcwalter said:
just did a water change hour or so ago so have not tested after but this morning tank readings where
amonia 2ppm
nitrite - 1 - 2ppm
nitrate - 40 - 80 ppm
If your nitrates are that high then your tank has to be processing some ammonia through. Unless you had a significant amount of evaporation then it shouldn't shoot up to 80ppm if your tap is only 20ppm. Keep on the water changes to keep the nitrates down and just keep testing until your nitrites start to drop a bit. You could also temporarily reduce your ammonia dosing as an experiment and see if your tank can process the nitrite within 24-48 hours.
 
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