Warning about Seachem Ammonia Alert

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genie

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Just a general warning--
I have 2 different liquid test kits that read my ammonia above 8. (fishless cycle)
My Seachem ammonia alert still reads "SAFE".
Just a warning to all out there-- it isn't accurate, and I don't use any of those products that "bind up ammonia". Just a dechlorinator.
So if you are using any type of ammonia alert product that just hangs in the tank & is supposed to change color-- be sure to test as well!
 
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genie

genie

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I don't know, and it could just be mine, but I have heard that they are by in large not accurate.
 

Luniyn

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No it might be working just fine. It can only read toxic ammonia in your tank. If you have a low pH then it's really hard to get your "free" ammonia levels high enough for it to read out. You have to have 0.05ppm of toxic ammonia in your tank for it to read "Alert". In order to reach that amount of toxic ammonia even with a total ammonia reading of 8, you would need to have a pH higher then 7 and your tank higher then 77oF. Now if you do have a pH higher then 7 and still don't see a change, then yeah it isn't working. It's really only useful for people with high pH and that aren't using a binder like Prime or Amquel+ (i.e. if you use eigher of those, it won't read out because you will never have any toxic ammonia in your tank).
 
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genie

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Luniyn said:
No it might be working just fine. It can only read toxic ammonia in your tank. If you have a low pH then it's really hard to get your "free" ammonia levels high enough for it to read out. You have to have 0.05ppm of toxic ammonia in your tank for it to read "Alert". In order to reach that amount of toxic ammonia even with a total ammonia reading of 8, you would need to have a pH higher then 7 and your tank higher then 77oF. Now if you do have a pH higher then 7 and still don't see a change, then yeah it isn't working. It's really only useful for people with high pH and that aren't using a binder like Prime or Amquel+ (i.e. if you use eigher of those, it won't read out because you will never have any toxic ammonia in your tank).
Not using either of those products, temp at 84. PH is around 7 so that may be the prob. but the package didn't say anything about that.
 

chickadee

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I have used them and continue to use them in all my tanks and consider them to be a safe and completely accurate product. They are not meant to be the ONLY indication of ammonia that you use. You still need to use the liquid tests on a regular basis. I have noted that every time I have ammonia show up with the liquid test there has been a subtle change of color on the Ammonia Alert. I do know that when I spoke to the people that manufacture them at Seachem about them at one time, they did caution about putting them too close to the aquarium lighting as the light for some reason does affect the accuracy of the Alert. Once I changed this I have had no further problems. When I have had a problem with any equipment, I always notify the manufacturer and let them talk to me about my particular situation and usually we find the problem.

With so many people having had good results with the product, I would call Seachem and see if perhaps they would replace that particular one and see if perhaps they could help you figure out the problem like they did for me.

Rose
 

rsands

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I did read on the liquid test that there is toxic and normal ammonia as the PH will see what the results are. I have moved mine down to the bottom of the tank as far away as possible from the light at the top. hopefully will see it work
 

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There is always, in all tanks (provided you aren't using chemicals) a combination of toxic "free" ammonia (NH3) and non-toxic ammonium (NH4+). The amount depends on water temperature, total level of ammonia, and pH. It's a calculation that can be used to determine weather you would be prone to having toxic ammonia in your tank or if you don't really have to worry. For example, if you have a pH of 7.5, a total ammonia of 1ppm, and are running the tank at 77oF (25oC) then you will have a total of 0.0177ppm of toxic ammonia in your tank. 0.02ppm for any length of time in your tank is harmful to the fish, so this is getting there. However, if you keep the same 1ppm of total ammonia, and leave the temperature t 77oF (25oC), but have a pH of 7.0, then you will only have 0.0057ppm of toxic ammonia in your tank (i.e. it's pretty safe for the fish). In fact, in order for it to become harmful at 0.02ppm for a tank with that 7.0pH and temp, you would have to have a total ammonia count of around 3.6ppm. Hence why people with high pH levels should watch out for total ammonia spikes over people with lower pH. And no, hopefully you won't see it work, because if you do then you have an ammonia problem on your hands which I wouldn't wish on anyone... or their fish.
 

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They are supposed to last one year but mine get changed after about 6 months. I really do not want to get into a chemistry argument here. I am just saying that they are useful to me. It is and remains everyone's own choice to use them or not as each individual chooses, but I have used them since they came out and find them useful and never in conflict with the API NH3 liquid test in telling me when there is Toxic ammonia present. It is a hint and never the final word.

Everyone should make up their own mind now that they have heard your information. You gave them the facts as you see them and some have said they have used them successfully. Now they can make up their own minds. I do not believe that if they are doing regular testing with the liquid tests that the Seachem Alert is causing a life threat to the fish. It may be an unnecessary expense at most.

Rose
 
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