Water Changes + Prime but have ammonia reading

tuffcookie

I’m in the middle of cycling. I did a water change last night and dosed prime + stability to a bucket of water and put the water in the tank. Today I’m seeing ~.5ppm ammonia reading from the API Test Kit. Shouldn’t prime make ammonia go to 0?
 

Sorg67

No, Prime makes ammonia not toxic temporarily, but it still tests positive.
 

Momgoose56

I’m in the middle of cycling. I did a water change last night and dosed prime + stability to a bucket of water and put the water in the tank. Today I’m seeing ~.5ppm ammonia reading from the API Test Kit. Shouldn’t prime make ammonia go to 0?
The API Ammonia test reacts to the toxic form of ammonia (NH3) and the nontoxic ammonium (NH4). Prime converts NH3 to NH4 so the API test will still show a positive ammonia level if either or both is present.
 

tuffcookie

Should I be doing wc based off nitrite then? I’ve been doing it when I see the ammonia lvl rise, oops. So I’ve been doing it every 2 days to dose more prime. I’m getting conflicting information. A really popular and highly rated LFS in my area said to not do any wc at all until the tank is cycled. And I’m reading articles online about small wc every 2 to 3 days
 

vyrille

Should I be doing wc based off nitrite then? I’ve been doing it when I see the ammonia lvl rise, oops. So I’ve been doing it every 2 days to dose more prime
Are you cycling with or without fish? If without you actually want to have ammonia and nitrites in there until it fully cycles..
 

tuffcookie

Are you cycling with or without fish? If without you actually want to have ammonia and nitrites in there until it fully cycles..

Fish in. Didn’t know any better until after I started
 

Momgoose56

Should I be doing wc based off nitrite then? I’ve been doing it when I see the ammonia lvl rise, oops. So I’ve been doing it every 2 days to dose more prime. I’m getting conflicting information. A really popular and highly rated LFS in my area said to not do any wc at all until the tank is cycled. And I’m reading articles online about small wc every 2 to 3 days
With fish in the tank, you need to keep the combined total of ammonia plus nitrites at 1ppm or less, with water changes for Prime to be effective.
 

vyrille

Fish in. Didn’t know any better until after I started
I see, then to answer your question you should be doing water changes based on both ammonia and nitrite, if you see both nearing a combined total of 1ppm within 48hrs of changing water and dosing prime, change water again. I know it's tedious, but that's how it is. Eventually you should find that you'll have more and more days between water changes until it's no different from a weekly water change routine. But until then, keep a close eye on your readings. And the advice of your LFS to not water change during a cycle would be applicable if you had no fish in the tank, that's why I asked. But you're doing a fish-in, so..
 

tuffcookie

Ok thanks so much for the help, it’s at 0.25 nitrite + 0.50 ammonia so I’ll plan on doing a wc tomorrow
IMG_0437.JPG
IMG_0438.JPG
 

tuffcookie

Dosed and did wc yesterday but not sure if I did the API test correctly but I tested water today and the ammonia reading was super high within 24hrs.

Just did a 50% water change.


IMG_0456.JPG
 

vyrille

Dosed and did wc yesterday but not sure if I did the API test correctly but I tested water today and the ammonia reading was super high within 24hrs.

Just did a 50% water change.


IMG_0456.JPG
Are you using products like Ammolock or some other ammonia remover? Do you have synthetic decorations in your tank? Have you checked your tap water parameters? What's your stocking and what size tank? (Apologies if these were asked before, I glossed over the previous posts and did not find them)
 

tuffcookie

Are you using products like Ammolock or some other ammonia remover? Do you have synthetic decorations in your tank? Have you checked your tap water parameters? What's your stocking and what size tank? (Apologies if these were asked before, I glossed over the previous posts and did not find them)

Prime and stability are the ones I used. Haven’t seen ammonia that high until today. My Seachem Ammonia Alert has been at for days, maybe that’s not accurate though. I have 2 little glow in the dark plants, they were from old cycled tank that ran for 1.5 years with my Betta.

16g with 1 Betta 3 tiny albino Cory cats.

I’ve checked tap too, there’s slight nitrite/nitrate I can’t remember, I’ll check again tomorrow but 0 ammonia

I’ll pick up Ammolock tomorrow
 

vyrille

Prime and stability are the ones I used. Haven’t seen ammonia that high until today. My Seachem Ammonia Alert has been at for days, maybe that’s not accurate though. I have 2 little glow in the dark plants, they were from old cycled tank that ran for 1.5 years with my Betta.

16g with 1 Betta 3 tiny albino Cory cats.

I’ve checked tap too, there’s slight nitrite/nitrate I can’t remember, I’ll check again tomorrow but 0 ammonia

I’ll pick up Ammolock tomorrow
I would not strictly recommend using Ammolock. the reason I asked is some members here have used Ammolock and causes their ammonia reading to shoot up for some reason. Prime should be able to detoxify your ammonia for you. What's your pH?
 

tuffcookie

I would not strictly recommend using Ammolock. the reason I asked is some members here have used Ammolock and causes their ammonia reading to shoot up for some reason. Prime should be able to detoxify your ammonia for you. What's your pH?

~7.8 to 8
 

vyrille

~7.8 to 8
What's your current nirite and nitrate then? I cannot rightly say why your ammonia is going crazy like that. What does your seachem ammonia alert say? You left this out in your previous post.
 

tuffcookie

What's your current nirite and nitrate then? I cannot rightly say why your ammonia is going crazy like that. What does your seachem ammonia alert say? You left this out in your previous post.

Seachem ammonia alert has remained at yellow or safe
Nitrite is at 0.25ppm. Nitrate is at 40 ppm
 

vyrille

Seachem ammonia alert has remained at yellow or safe
Nitrite is at 0.25ppm. Nitrate is at 40 ppm
I can only put forward a possibilty: It is possible that your tap has a higher concentration of chloramine than most. In adding prime, you break down chloramine and produce ammonia. Ammonia is then detoxified for a time by prime as well. Now in 24h, the detoxified ammonia, chloramine ammonia, and old ammonia from your previous spike have accumulated to the reading you see now. API test kit does not differentiate between inactivated and free ammonia but your ammonia alert should only register the toxic kind (unless it's defective. But that's easy to test, simply use it on pure ammonia to check)..
 

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