One and Only problem

Discussion in 'DrTim's Aquatics' started by kv2wr1, Jul 31, 2012.

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  1. kv2wr1

    kv2wr1 Astrea Snail

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    I think the API test kits don't give true readings, but just let you know something is there. When I had certain fish in a hospital tank treating for ich with cupramine, it looked like a had an ammonia spike of 0.25 ppm, but the seachem ammonia alert said 0. Seachem said that with certain test kits it will give you a false reading and I think it's because that the API read the ion.
     
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  3. SeminoleB

    SeminoleB Coral Banded Shrimp

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    I know! Took my water test to LFS and he tested 'trites at .40, that is a big difference then what I was reading on API! Always looks that same color of light purple...

    I am just wondering about what Dr Tim said for you to do, add some more ammonia to test the cycle. I did a "fish" cycle and cannot add ammonia. My ammonia has stayed at 0 for a week now and my clown looks and eats well so I'm not sure if my cycle is over. I went through a diatom bloom and now have what looks like cyano starting and I'm wondering about adding some AC and doing a water change
     
  4. DrTim

    DrTim 3reef Sponsor

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    kv2wr1 - test again tomorrow, do a water change and I think you'll be ready for fish. I think your tank is cycled. see next post
     
  5. DrTim

    DrTim 3reef Sponsor

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    Guys - the API nitrite kit is not giving you bad readings. I still trying to figure out how to explain this more easily.

    The API measures in one set of units and has a small range. Think of it as a ruler than is only in millimeters (mm) and only 50 mm long. And you measure and get 50 mm That sounds like a lot 50 mm because our mind is thinking just about the 50!!.

    The LFS test kit more than likely measures in the nitrogen units and has a broader scale. So they measure your sample and the test comes out at 2 inches (continuing my analogy) and you think wow - that's a lot less than my kit's 50!

    But the fact is your 50 mm equals the LFS's 2 inches! They are exactly the same but the two kits uses different units and different scales.

    Does this make sense?
     
  6. kv2wr1

    kv2wr1 Astrea Snail

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    That makes perfect sense. Thank You Dr. Tim.

    I guess the main problem I was having is being able to tell the difference in the color grading using the API test kit for nitrites. It looked like 0.5 ppm and then also kind of like 5 ppm. The older kits were a lot easier to see the difference. They do have a very limitted range. I think API even mentions that in the instructions that if you are above or below a certain level, it will look like maximum or minimum readings on the color chart.

    I just measured ammonia again for the heck of it and it is barely there at all. It's definitely a lot less than 0.25 but greater than 0. You can barely see a difference between the sample an 0 ppm on the color chart. I think when I added some buffer to bring up the pH this morning and opened some windows, that kicked the bacteria into overdrive.
     
  7. SeminoleB

    SeminoleB Coral Banded Shrimp

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    It does make sense. My question is that you asked KV2WR1 to add more drops of ammonia to test his cycle to make sure Nitrites would rise as Ammonia droped, then cycle would be over. But I started with fish and O&O, how will I know if I am trully cycled? When my Nitirtes hit 0?
     
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  9. DrTim

    DrTim 3reef Sponsor

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    KV2WR1 - the bacteria do work better at a higher pH - think things are about ready in your tank

    SeminoleB - yes, when your nitrite is zero you're cycled.
     
  10. kv2wr1

    kv2wr1 Astrea Snail

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    I did a 20% water change last night and here are my results this morning:

    pH 7.8 so I buffered it to 8.3

    Ammonia: 0

    Nitrite: Purple so it could be 0.5, 2 or 5 ppm too hard to tell from this kit.

    nitrates: between 10-20 ppm
     
  11. DrTim

    DrTim 3reef Sponsor

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    Leave everything alone and wait 24 hours - did you take a picture of the nitrite result so you can compare to another reading tomorrow?
     
  12. kv2wr1

    kv2wr1 Astrea Snail

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    Nitrites definitely came down. Yesterday looked like it was between 2 ppm - 5 ppm and today it's between 1 ppm - 2 ppm.

    You were right about the nitrites not being that high. I read an article in reefkeeping magazine and nitrites seem to be more of a problem for freshwater fish than saltwater.