There are some calculations you have to do to figure it out. I'm horrible at that stuff so I just went ahead and bought the Seachem test kit, altho since my tanks are cycled I hardly use it. Still good to have around tho and I did use it after the hurricane last week.
Here are some links if you are interested in trying to do the calculations:
I'm assuming that the ammonia that's left in my tank isn't really the "toxic" ammonia. All of the calculation pages you gave me were for 1ppm ammonia, and it was virtually nonexistent at my pH and Temperature. So, with that reasoning, I'm assuming there's an even smaller quantity of "dangerous" ammonia in my tank since I'm getting a reading of ~.25ppm.
Actually, according to this, my ammonia reading is about 0.0064 ppm. And while I'm happy it's deemed "safe," will it ever be 0? Or should I just expect my test results to always look as they do in the first post?
If the tank it properly cycled it should be at 0 within a few hours of adding your tap water . It's quite odd that it's not if you're using a standard drop test as they are not all that sensitive. By that I mean that the Seachem test can detect even trace amounts of ammonia. I just did some tests cause this post got me wondering about it all, and on the standard API test it showed 0, the Seachem test for dangerous ammonia was 0, but the Seachem test for total ammonia had a very faint reading that the API test didn't even register.
Maybe your test kit is expired? Try it on something that you know should have 0 ammonia, such as a bottle of Deer Park water (not all bottled waters are created equal, but Deer Park is pretty good) and see what happens.
Oh sorry, I read your post earlier today and completely forgot to respond to it.
My tests aren't supposed to expire until 2017, and when I did a test on a bottle of deer park water, it gave me a similar reading to the one in my first post. It wasn't ABSOLUTELY yellow, but had a sort of greenish tint to it. I'm not really sure what's going on. Maybe it's the lighting in my room or something?
Last edited by colorxmexravyne; 11-11-2012 at 12:54 AM.
I tried experimenting with lighting this time. In both pictures, I tested my tank's water (left vial) and a bottle of deer park water (right vial.) In the left picture, the vials are in front of a white piece of printer paper in front of my tank (without it, the test results are inaccurate) and in the right picture, they're in front the same piece of computer paper, but in front of my window, blinds closed.
edit: Okay, sort of disregard those pictures. After taking them, I looked over at the vials (which were in front of the window) and apparently, the one on the left changed colors. My camera died, and I tried to use my phone, but it couldn't quite capture the difference in colors. So, I had to use my laptop's webcam. Hopefully you all can see what I see.
Last edited by colorxmexravyne; 11-12-2012 at 02:30 PM.
I'm not able to get a good picture of the source water vial. It's night time here so I can't use the window for natural light, and my camera(s) make(s) it look yellow. But in person, it's an unmistakably clear .25ppm.
Also, today's my water change day and my tank is at a definite .5ppm. At the same time, my nitrites are 0 and nitrates are abnormally high at 10ppm (it's usually 5ppm). What's going on?
Last edited by colorxmexravyne; 11-14-2012 at 06:18 PM.
As I research and correspond about nitrite with both experienced and new keepers, I get more...well, confused is too strong, but...
It seems sometimes nitrite-processing bacteria will convert it straight to nitrate without actually reading measurable nitrite. And sometimes nitrites will increase and refuse to reduce and never show nitrates.
A riddle, wrapped in a quandary enmeshed in an enigma.