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Hi everyone! I hope your day goes well. I am a Nerm and thought I was doing pretty well. Have some ammonia issues with some new tanks. I think the gravel leached ammonia. At this point,  I am checking everything!

This am, checked my tap water., .5 ppm. Checked my top off bucket that had sat overnight - maybe 24 hours. Test went black green.


Any advice or welcome. I have python but honestly don't like it. Another story. I guess I won't bother letting water stand to release chorine and simply always add Prime or similar.

Another lesson in "Never Assume".

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Yes, I have a bunch of tanks and have been working successfully until recently. Now I am trying to sort out problems between Old Tank Syndrome, possible over feeding,  cycling new tanks and source water quality.


Going a bit nuts. The test kit I am using is not to expire until 2025 but I may get another one to test against.

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The API tests are decent quality. I think they test for total ammonia. With a pH of around 7.5 you could have a fair amount of ammonia but most of it would be non-toxic and only a little of it would be the toxic kind. The danger would be if your pH went up then the amount of bad ammonia would increase.

Are the fish doing okay? I always think that how the fish are doing is the most sensitive and accurate test.

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I just did a couple test for ammonia in one of my aquariums.

Test 1 was the API ammonia test. This test measures total ammonia or NH3 + NH4.


As you can see the result was 1 part per million total ammonia. pH about 7.5

I then repeated the test with a Seneye monitor that only measures NH3, the toxic form of ammonia.


The result was 0.177 parts per million NH3

But just to be sure, I measured again with a completely different Seneye monitor.


The reading on the Felix was 0.168 parts per million NH3

If all these test are accurate then there is 1.0 - 0.173 = 0.827 ppm non-toxic ammonia and 0.173 toxic ammonia.

Checking the pH.


I see the Felix pH's 7.37 and 7.4 and the the Apex pH is 7.61. So a comfortable mid 7 ish on the pH.

The fish in the aquarium are bright and happy and have good appetites. If there were1 ppm toxic ammonia in the aquarium right now the fish likely would show at least some distress.

0.173 toxic ammonia isn't chicken feed either. I suspect this tank is 'cycling' or establishing colonies of beneficial bacteria as I type. The tank has been running for a week and fish were introduced as soon as it had water and plants in it.

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Thank you Daniel! This is all very interesting. This makes me want to invest in some different monitoring. While total ammonia probably drives the cycle, the concern over toxicity is important in the fish in process.

I suspect that tanks may always be micro cycling as factors change. Number of fis, plant decay, water changes. 

I need to put some consideration toward the cause of toxic and non- toxic ammonia.

I truly appreciate your time in providing this tuition!

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