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Old 05-25-2012, 01:20 PM   #1 
Cattitude
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Test after water change

Today I tested my 26 gal tank for ammonia and it was pretty high (2 ppm)so I did a 50% water change. I use the API Master freshwater kit.

How long should I wait after a water change to retest the water? Is it normal for the ammonia level to take a while to go down? Does the Prime cause false positive ammonia readings?
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:45 AM   #2 
Neil D
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Prime converts ammonia to a less harmful variety for a while, before rereleasing it into the tank. The tests will still detect the ammonia though. You can test right after a water change if you want, but I would wait a little while (10min or so) so everything gets settled. I'm currently cycling my 40g goldfish tank.
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:22 PM   #3 
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Usually it can take about 24-28h after the use of prime to get a true ammonia reading.....

The ammonia neutralizing products like Prime- changes it to ammonium and the test products can't tell the difference....

Test before the water change....then again in 24-28h....you also may need to test your source water if you are getting that high of ammonia reading to rule that out and/or reevaluated your water changes schedule, vacuuming, stocking and feeding.....

If you have chloramine in the source water-this may cause a false ammonia reading as well-since it is a type of ammonia.....Be sure and check the dechlorinator label for proper dosage if you have both chlorine and chloramine in the source water-some instruct double dose.

Watch the fish-if you are having a lot of gill and/or fin issues with the fish or you see them gasping at the surface a lot.....then you may have ammonia issues....otherwise it might be false readings.....
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:20 PM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
Usually it can take about 24-28h after the use of prime to get a true ammonia reading.....

The ammonia neutralizing products like Prime- changes it to ammonium and the test products can't tell the difference....

Test before the water change....then again in 24-28h....you also may need to test your source water if you are getting that high of ammonia reading to rule that out and/or reevaluated your water changes schedule, vacuuming, stocking and feeding.....

If you have chloramine in the source water-this may cause a false ammonia reading as well-since it is a type of ammonia.....Be sure and check the dechlorinator label for proper dosage if you have both chlorine and chloramine in the source water-some instruct double dose.

Watch the fish-if you are having a lot of gill and/or fin issues with the fish or you see them gasping at the surface a lot.....then you may have ammonia issues....otherwise it might be false readings.....
My source water reading is .5. My fish don't seem sick at all, they are active and healthy. I guess I will have to base my water change schedule primarily on how the fish are doing. Currently I'm doing 50% water changes twice a week, vacuuming once a week.
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Old 05-29-2012, 07:50 PM   #5 
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What is the nitrate reading, stocking level and do you have any live plants.....you might be able to cut down on the water changes to weekly 50% with vacuum in a 26gal tank...while that extra water only won't hurt either-may not be needed...
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:09 PM   #6 
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What is the nitrate reading, stocking level and do you have any live plants.....you might be able to cut down on the water changes to weekly 50% with vacuum in a 26gal tank...while that extra water only won't hurt either-may not be needed...
My nitrate reading is at zero. I have a lot of live plants in the tank - wisteria, hornwort, java moss, java fern. My tank is stocked with 5 female bettas, 5 cory cats, and 5 White Cloud minnows.
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