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Thread: API test faulty?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    Qld
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    Default API test faulty?

    My 200ltr tank has been going for 2 weeks. Started out with one guppy and one platy, now has five guppies and the platy for the past week. Tank is not cycled and I am doing water changes every 2-3 days.

    I last did a water change on Sunday. Today I tested the water. I also bought some plants last week that have dropped quite a few leaves. I thought the fish and breakdown of leaves would register at least some ammonia.

    My results with the API kit have always been the same, zero everything. I am following the directions and shaking the poo out of the bottles, waiting 5 mins.

    Temp is at 29C and pH 8.0


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Perth, WA
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    Default

    Maybe add another source of ammonia, fish may not like that tho... can you house them somewhere else and do a fishless cycle, ive always liked the Dr Tims Liquid ammonia, tho most ppl just say add fish food to the level you plan on stocking, could be an option to over feed until you see ammonia. Im not expert on fish tho, I always go fishless cycle, seems easier as you can control the level of Ammonia

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Default

    I reckon it's reading 0.25 ammonia?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Perth
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    37

    Default

    Thats what I thought as well, but put it down to lighting.

  5. #5

    Default

    A 0.25ppm reading with that test kit is the norm even on healthy cycled tanks. Its an "up to" 0.25ppm reading. In freshwater we take note when it gets to 0.5ppm, never want it above that. If you want to increase ammonia to stress the bio filtration to ensure its capable of supporting the desired bioload..... just feed fish food! After all ammonia is broken down protein and fats. And lets be honest, we want to grow the rotting microbes just as much as we want to grow the ammonia and nitrite eaters. Adding raw ammonia skips out a whole layer of the ecosystem we are trying to build.

  6. #6
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    Good point AOA.

    Just feed em - slightly excessively....

    [ The fish-in cycle hurts them. I am not endorsing this but simply saying what needs to be done to increase the ammonia ]

  7. #7
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    Jan 2018
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    Qld
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    It's been another week and I've only done one small water change in that time and I am still getting the same results. I didn't bother testing for nitrates.

    Maybe I am doing the test wrong? How long before I should see nitrites?


  8. #8
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    Usually takes up to 3 weeks to see nitrites.

  9. #9
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    Jan 2018
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    Qld
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    My nitrite test from a week ago which I thought was zero know looks a lot more purple than today's test. So confused.

    The pictures were taken in the same place with the same lights.

  10. #10
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    Yes thats true. The waiting is also very hard when you are cycling. Just enjoy the tank as is. Patience is the most useful thing you will learn from this hobby.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Perth WA
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    The Best way to double check your test kit is to take a fresh sample of your water to your LFS and get them to do a check. Just make sure you ask for the actual numbers or they will give you the standard response "it's all good" and that tells you nothing.
    Personally i would not mention that you are cycling the tank as they will probably then try and pressure you into buying $200 worth of useless products, PH up/down, safe start, insta start, and a little plastic jellyfish.
    As Rebel said.. Patience.

  12. #12
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    Any pics of the tank so far?

  13. #13
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    Jan 2018
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    Qld
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    I am still working on the scaping, I would like to add some driftwood. Two of the plants I bought from a pet store and then sound out they aren't even aquatic plants so I am taking them out tomorrow before they start to rot. Pretty peeved they can get away with selling them.

    My other plants are looking terrible and algae started to grow on the gravel yesterday so I am leaving the light off today.


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Perth WA
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    Leaving the lights off may, and i say may, slow down the algae but it will definitely stop the growth of the plants you do have and they are your best defense against algae.
    Every new tank will go through some algae problems and your best bet is to get the plants to out compete it. Having a balance of light, ferts and CO2 is the way to beat it. You have the light, on a timer i hope, the ferts will be coming from the fish/food and without injected CO2 you are getting what is dissolving from the atmosphere so very low amounts. I would recommend getting some more aquarium plants and just reducing the light to 5h a day or so.
    You ARE still going to have algae issues no mater what you do but they can be dealt with as they come up and will be greatly reduced when the tank matures more.

  15. #15
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    Jan 2018
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    Qld
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    Thanks, I will get some more plants and put the lights back on.

    Nitrate test from last night looks a darker yellow than last time.


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