False positive? Ridiculous ammonia readings!

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shloken38

AC Members
Apr 24, 2012
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Hello everyone. I just upgraded my 10 gallon tank to a 29. After TONS of research, I seeded the new tank with decorations from the old, filter media from the old filter and i used the old filter itself (had extra biomedia in the old filter for this reason). My water ended up cloudy one day, so I assumed a mini cycle from distrupting things. I tested for ammonia, and it was 8.0! There is no way this can be accurate, as my fish are all acting normal, and there has been close to zero debris on the bottom.

After more research, I found that certain water conditioners cause false positives with the API testers that I use. So here are my questions (and I am going to switch to Seachem Prime, by the way):

When can I start using Prime? Would it be too soon as I used ammo lock yesterday.

Should I be testing for NH3 only?

Which test kit should I use in conjunction with Prime?

How resilient is BB? Is it possible I killed some off in the process?

I appreciate any and all responses and help. I have been freaking out about this for 2 days. I have started the partial water change process, and still getting the same readings.


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mesto

There's a FISH in the percolator!
Apr 28, 2012
325
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16
What is your water reading out of the tap without any conditioners or chemicals added? If normal without the ammo lock or whatever, what does it read when you add the same chemical you put in your tank? If abnormally high for just straight plain tap water I would suspect ammonia in your tap OR a malfunctioning test kit.

I don't use prime myself yet (still working through my first bottle of WC), but I know lots of people use it here with the API tests without issue. I am using the Aqueon WC and I know for a fact it does not change any of my API readings (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate, GH, KH, high range pH), as I've tested straight tap water and then tap+WC.
 

ppetropulo

AC Members
Jun 14, 2012
692
0
16
Colorado
I agree with the above. You should first check the test kite expiration date, and then you should check you tap water. Good Luck!!!
 

SubRosa

AC Members
Jul 3, 2009
5,643
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62
What's the pH of the tank? If the pH is low enough ammonia is non-toxic.
 

excuzzzeme

Stroke Survivor '05
even using Prime you can get false positives but 8.0 is so unlikely. I would check the date on the test kit. I also wonder if you stored it correctly.
 

shloken38

AC Members
Apr 24, 2012
206
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0
Forgot to mention expiration date.....it's 2016! This is impossible! My tap water does test at around 1.0 for ammonia. I usually treat my water with aquasafe plus and let it sit for awhile. Never had a problem before. I want to switch to Prime and the Seachem test kits because I read that they test for ammonia and n3, without false positives. Just not sure how soon I can use without causing more problems. I'm doing another change today. **** this I'd terrible. I just received my MTS today, now I have to put them with my Betta in a 1.5 until I get this fixed. This is frustrating!


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jpappy789

Plants need meat too
Feb 18, 2007
26,365
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Gainesville, FL
Real Name
Josh
Are you sure you're looking at the right lot numbers? Unless they changed things they show the manufacturing date, not the expiration. Ammonia tests only last for three years so it wouldn't be possible seeing as it would have to had been manufactured in 2013.
 
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