AHHH!!!! Ammonia Spike

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Oceanwave45

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Just tested my water again and
Nitrates are at 0.05
Ammonia is at 0.25
Ph is at 8.0

I think it’s my rodi unit, its the only thing I can think of?
 
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As long as the actual dirty skimmer water isn't going back in the tank than I wouldn't worry. If the brown nasty skimmate is getting back into the tank then it can be a problem. Ammonia spike would mean a mini cycle or the bio load is a bit much and the bacteria need to catch up. No new rock or added fish? Also, why not skim 24-7?

I agree; why not run the skimmer 24x7?
 

PiscesPower

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Hey DSC REEF!!!! How are you? I hope you are staying safe! I haven't added anything, because I was told on one of my last post to keep my tank as is for at least 3 months so it can stabilize. So we haven't added anything!

Our tank is in the Master Bedroom, so its a bit loud, so we have to unplug it at night. Otherwise we would keep it 24/7. Once we can, I will be buying a new protein skimmer.

Andrew
Get a DC motor on that skimmer it will cut the sound right down.
 

FFKiwi

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The best TRUE indicator of ammonia don't forget is your fish's behavior. Fish can adapt to ammonia spikes. If they are swimming around and looking happy and eating, and don't look lethargic and panting strangely, it's probably okay.
 

PiscesPower

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Adding a bottle to Dr Tim's One & Only can't hurt either. I recently had a spike, due to, what I assume to be, an overly aggressive cleaning of my sump and a redesign of my refugium, and even though all the critters were fine I added a bottle of Dr Tim's. It never hurts to boost the nitrifying bacteria in the tank.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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I think for this particular kit, .25 is zero

its not always a bad kit, threads show good kit procedure too. we sometimes find people using freshwater reference cards on saltwater reads, nonshaking of reagents correctly, and fill line inconsistencies and the tests are sensitive to those variables. certain tank additives like Prime also skew results. in the end, false readings are occurring no matter how we want to attribute them.



*API is better suited for identifying large spikes, like a true dead fish or turnover from a bad sandbed incident.

any sustained .25's test readings coming from a system that already nitrifies at least .5-1.0 ppm of ammonia everyday off tank bioload is suspect, not the microbiology. it won’t really be stopping at .25, the filter system is getting all the ammonia

Its hard to know when to doubt a test reading with all the confounds. Your results are not drastically different than other search results using the same numbers
 
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Oceanwave45

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I think for this particular kit, .25 is zero

its not always a bad kit, threads show good kit procedure too. we sometimes find people using freshwater reference cards on saltwater reads, nonshaking of reagents correctly, and fill line inconsistencies and the tests are sensitive to those variables. certain tank additives like Prime also skew results. in the end, false readings are occurring no matter how we want to attribute them.



*API is better suited for identifying large spikes, like a true dead fish or turnover from a bad sandbed incident.

any sustained .25's test readings coming from a system that already nitrifies at least .5-1.0 ppm of ammonia everyday off tank bioload is suspect, not the microbiology. it won’t really be stopping at .25, the filter system is getting all the ammonia

Its hard to know when to doubt a test reading with all the confounds. Your results are not drastically different than other search results using the same numbers
Thank you, I am assuming the same. These Kits SUCK!!! I will never buy API again! However, I am not going to just go out and buy new test kits right, I am kind of on a budget.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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in our cycling threads, we also quit testing for nitrite and nitrate for the same reason. Nitrite because it chemically doesn't matter in a reef tank, might as well be testing argon, and nitrate because its by rule being produced when ammonia is being oxidized- whether or not our nitrate API test kits show it varies (although ammonia is the big debate, the others seem better in post numbers)

if someone must test in a cycling tank, then testing only the bare requirements closes the error gap hugely. all we need to know is ammonia behavior and submersion times to call a cycle completed or not.

I wrote my cycling threads to be test unrelated for the very reason of false .25 readings


by not relying on testing, everyone is getting a cycled tank on the date called out and we have perfect streamlining documented, zero misbehaving cycles...none.


in fact, we know purely off submersion time alone how long it takes to cycle a given system without any testing at all, including ammonia...we factor in the boosters used like ammonia and bottle bac or not, then recall the hundreds of tanks we've collected now which already document with accurate testing when their cycle completed.

Cycles don't vary, these bacteria adhere onto surfaces at the same rate everywhere based on boosters we use or do not use. It was testing error this entire time, for twenty years, that made things seem variable.


*another really big issue in cycling threads was the testing of final wastewater vs clean water. The final water change is a big deal when possible, but testing some water that's had five or ten ammonia additions is a mix of metabolites no telling in what ratios, it means nothing about the actual plated bacteria. Testing post water change indicates what they do
 
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kesh

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i once had an experience with contaminated salt. Did a water change and everything died. Off charts ammonia levels.
 
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Oceanwave45

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Conclusion: It looks like yes, ,there was two problems here. The API test kits are incorrect testing at 0.25. In addition, water sitting in the protein skimmer sitting over night turned off was also the problem here. Due to the water sitting in the protein skimmer when it was off for eight hours, it was indicating there was ammonia.
Two issues here - Yes, API test give false readings. And never let water sit over night in equipment.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Post a non API reading of skimmer body water after it sits overnite am curious at levels


I recall Randy mentioning it was unlikely the skimmer would produce readings when turned off at nite, and online there's hundreds of posts about it working ok. That's living water closed off from circulation, some protein degradation via aerobic bacteria makes sense but we need to levels to put finality to your thread title

The skimmer source needs to read about 5 ppm on a salifert test kit to be the cause, post that confirm reading pls so we can close ends

Skimmate itself didn't even test that high... on your other ammonia source threads for this tank, the posters keep mentioning APi issues its hard for me to see case closed yet

Your tank still showed zero biological signs of ammonia and that massive source would have caused at minimum corals being closed up... the biological part gets no coverage, we're going only off API the entire thread.


Non API readings would shore up your thread vs leave questions.

New challenge: anyone here post a single thread you can find online regarding persistent low level ammonia in a months-old reef tank where APi wasnt the basis for the claim. I know of a couple red Sea ones, but they weren't from eight month tanks



Ammonia seems to be the sole compound that behaves the exact same in every reef tank in the world regardless of design, size, or differences among tanks. Reef tanks across the world vary on calcium command, alk, sr, mg, Fe, so many variances

But not ever ammonia, it behaves the exact same in all reef tanks after a given time period shown in cycling charts online

For your tank to go against that is significant and the source of that is never a mystery... that source will smell so bad you won't need anyone's test kit to confirm it and your anthias will be the first to let you know via it's death. That fish swimming happy in every pic is your no ammonia proof
 
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