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One of the first things you want to do is test your water source and see what kind of levels you have there. If you do a water change and add it from the source and do an immediate water change then those numbers will of course be reflecting your source water.

If you have .25 ppm ammonia in tap water and you add a detox chemical such as Prime or AmQuel it seems that the tests still will register it.

In some studies to understand the amount of bio filtration that occurs they add ammonia to raise the level of 4 ppm and then see how long it takes for a filter to bring that down to 0 amm 0 nitrite and then a rise in nitrates.

if you are adding ammonia and seeing zero nitrates that means your nitrogen cycle is not being completed.
 
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