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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So has anyone ever had any issues with this test kit? Everytime I test my water, it gives me very interesting numbers. The tank has been cycled and has two filters running on it, one filter is about a year old and the other is a few months old. Its got some brown algea in it and all that, and just one cichlid. He eats twice a day, morning and night. Cleaning the tank consists of a 35% water change every three days, and a 50% water change twice a month. The fish is healthy, hes always begging for food, hes active, he doesn't hide, only problem is his coloration.. sometimes he'll be more pale than other days.

Anyway, I did a test of the water today and here are the results I got..

ph: 8.0 (this number is always between 7.8 and 8.2)
Ammonia : 0.25 ppm (it never drops to below 0.25)
Nitrite: .50 ppm (also never drops below .50 ppm)
Nitrate: 40ppm (never drops below, and if I let it sit there for 5 or 6 minutes it jumps to above 160 ppm)

Could it be that I have a bogus test kit? Could too much heat or too much coldness mess with the testers? Or could it be as simple as my test tubes are dirty and tainting the test? Or maybe my Polleni is Super Man and is able to tolarate this conditions without any problems? What gives? Can anyone give me any advice?
 

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Could it be that I have a bogus test kit?
Or could it be as simple as my test tubes are dirty and tainting the test?
Or maybe my Polleni is Super Man and is able to tolarate this conditions without any problems?
All are possible. Check the date on the kit. Most are good for 3-4 years. Run a test on a known good source like bottle spring water, etc after making sure you thoroughly rinse the tubes.

If it's the fish and tank in the video, seems unlikely that the filtration can't handle the fish load. I'd suspect an expired test kit first. Check it against a known good water source.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, I'll check some drinking water right now and post the results. Also, the date on the back of the bottles say that its from 2008. Yes, its the same fish, but in the video theres only one filter running. I've added the second since then. Heres a picture of him now

http://img843.imageshack.us/i/img1470c.jpg/
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well test results are in on the drinking water.. I rinsed the test tubes in boiling water before I tried the test on the drinking water. I'm going to rinse them again (hopefully without burning myself this time) and post the results of the tank again..

Drinking Water
Ammonia: 0.25 ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 5.0 ppm

I use API Tap Water Conditioner.
 

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I've never had trouble with this product. I've been through 4 bottles of nitrate test solution. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, I've heard that this test kit is the best kit to use to check water, which is why I've been freaking out for months because every time I test the water it gives me weird results. I will admit that I never did clean the tubes after each use, the most I did was empty them and quickly rinse it. After cleaning the test tubes and testing the water, here are the results..

Ammonia: between 0 and 0.25 ppm I don't understand why I can't keep it at 0..
Nitrite: 0 Thank Goodness
Nitrate: around 40 ppm
 

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Sounds like the problem is starting in your tap water. Maybe less frequent or smaller water changes. I've had good luck with API. I bought a REDSEA test kit that sucks. Worst fish related investment I have made.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'll try to do smaller changes then, 20% instead of 35%. I feel like adding extra chemicals to balance out the tap water is a bad idea right?

EDIT: Also, the only cause of ammonia that I can pinpoint right now is left over plant debris, but would it cause so much ammonia as to raise it to 0.25 ppm? The plant debris is pretty much random little strips floating around here and there.
 

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DrewForDummies said:
I'll try to do smaller changes then, 20% instead of 35%. I feel like adding extra chemicals to balance out the tap water is a bad idea right?
You shouldn't need to. Do you know if you have chloramine in your tap? That would explain the ammonia reading in the tap. Tank should only show this level for a short time after a water change. The biofiltration should quickly drop it to 0.
 

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Check the kit against a source with a known value of 0, like bottled water, not tap water. I'm assuming by 'drinking water' you meant water from the tap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
No I actually have a filter that produces drinking water, at least we were told that. It's got a seperate faucet from the tap water faucet. I haven't tested the exact same water I put into the tank yet. I'll have to do that tomorrow morning. If my main source of water for the fish tank has high amonia I probably shouldn't use it even with the conditioner right? The filter that I have only conditions 55 gallons of water a day and it takes forever to get a gallon of water from it so it isn't really realistic for me to use that.
 

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If their is ammonia in your tap water, you might want to consider using "Prime" as you water conditioner. It binds amonia in a non toxic form for a few days until your bacteria can catch up.

I wonder if you water conditioner is slightly distorting your Ammonia reading. I also sometimes find it difficult to tell if my reading is pure yellow (i.e. 0) or slight tint of green.

Thanks,
Matt
 

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I always use prime during water changes just to be safe; since I fill with a sink siphon I treat for the entire volume of the tank. If I am just topping off a tank I treat the top off water with a more basic water conditioner.

I wanted to add this link to Prime's FQA page that I recently came across. Keep questions 2 & 3 in mind when testing your tank after using prime.

http://www.seachem.com/support/FAQs/Prime.html

Thanks,
Matt
 
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