So, how do YOU measure ammonia?

How do YOU measure ammonia?

  • API Ammonia Test Kit

    Votes: 12 52.2%
  • Hanna Colorimeter - Checker (how did you make this work with saltwater?)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Red Sea Ammonia Marine Test Kit

    Votes: 2 8.7%
  • Salifert Ammonia Test Kit

    Votes: 2 8.7%
  • Elos Aqua Ammonia Test Kit

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Seachem MultiTest Ammonia Test Kit

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Seneye (specify which)

    Votes: 2 8.7%
  • Other (please specify)

    Votes: 8 34.8%
  • Fluval Ammonia Test Kit

    Votes: 1 4.3%

  • Total voters
    23

Azedenkae

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As per title. How do you in particular measure/test/track ammonia? Choose all the options that you currently are doing. If you have another method/choice not listed, or if you do multiple different tests, feel free to go into detail. :D
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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By a picture of the tank and inhabitants


strictly indirect measure. Looking for fish that are harmed vs normal, gray water due to systems overcame, corals closed up tight, some clean up crew dead or dying, and some constant source for the claimed issue. Inability to control ammonia in a reef tank has stark consequences we can see in pics. This won’t help much in other settings, but in a reef display tank its shockingly accurate when benchmarked against digital meters on the samples visually identified.
 

Mastiffsrule

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By a picture of the tank and inhabitants


strictly indirect measure. Looking for fish that are harmed vs normal, gray water due to systems overcame, corals closed up tight, some clean up crew dead or dying, and some constant source for the claimed issue. Inability to control ammonia in a reef tank has stark consequences we can see in pics. This won’t help much in other settings, but in a reef display tank its shockingly accurate when benchmarked against digital meters on the samples visually identified.

As always great info. Brings up a question I have long forgotten. Who is going to be the most sensitive of the ammonia? The so called canaries in the mine? The fish, inverts, or coral. If we are not measuring.

I am with you, I have not owned a test kit since like ’87, but your thoughts on newer folks concerned with looking for this
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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In my opinion lysmata shrimp are weakest and corals don’t necessarily die but stay closed up, nh3 burns cells and causes withdrawal reactions

fish dart around or flash and rub, too long in the condition operuclar rates increase and lethargy sets in, aerotaxis to the top area for better o2 access

we have been told ammonia is colorless in water aware

but you’ll see in the very few actual tank crashes on file cloudy water is usually associated with ammonia non control because it takes a massive huge insult to overcome what a reef filter can oxidize, and in that wreckage clouding tends to happen in my opinion because nutrient has built up faster than flow and surface contact can manage and production moves to the water column as bac cells bloom in response to the loss cascade. Oxygen gets rapidly depleted and loss cascade grows


I have never in my waking life seen a display reef tank looking normal that couldn’t handle its ammonia.


Id like to think clean up crew margarita snails are good indicators for free ammonia but lots of posters feel they’re tough and can’t be an indicator. no clear verdict on whether snails are good mine canaries.

fanworms of any type are great indicators, they’ll never open in crash conditions or free ammonia noncontrol events. Closed up tight. In tank control pics we can also assess quickly whether they’re using normal surface area or way under par (never seen that in anyone’s display reef) and from that clue we know whether the .5 they’re reporting is accurate once we also discover how many days the system has had water (and if the claimed reading conflicts with the ammonia line from a cycle chart)


all those details and pics can be used to determine free ammonia status in a post cycle reef tank very quickly and accurately. # of days the tank has had water is my second indirect nh3 assessment tool. The decoder ring for the info is the ammonia line from a cycle chart :)

(I know it’s possible to have ammonia causes that can wreck a tank. They’re just so rare I can’t link the last real noncontrol event I saw. It was the young lady who dumped half a gallon of 35% peroxide accidentally all at once, a legit insult for the event)


other than that, if anyone in reefing is posting their tank cant handle ammonia I’m on file as an instant and permanent skeptic.
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Smell is my third indirect assessment tool, I think per reports a reef unable to control free ammonia/ crashing smells bad. I don’t think we can have a crashing, dying gray reef that smells normal. Folks with crashing reefs by and large report a stench for the whole house or at least room.

I have no idea how low of a tolerance detection smell can handle, ranges sniffer to sniffer I’d bet. Jon told me a direct whiff of an entire bottle of Dr Tims ammonium chloride didn’t even smell lol maybe I should retire this option lol I don’t know.

im not a cat owner because my sniffer works entirely too well.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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lets watch unfold based on ramblings above

they report high ammonia, thats instantly accepted as true from all readers when it’s posted, name brand of the test kit doesn’t matter. two clues in the descrip tells me otherwise regarding ammonia... let’s see when it all unfolds.

this is my breakdown even before we get any other details:

anyone who owns that many fish and a cleaner shrimp has a system with at least rocks and more than likely sand owing to any post on any forum for those animals in a glass tank. In any combo, that’s enough surface area to run a reef tank and feed it daily and it stay alive with something as delicate as a lysmata if that’s what he has, tbd.

if he were dealing with an uncycled tank, none of those would be alive now they’d be all dead. Uncycled tanks cannot control life, it dies, in about two days max or sooner.



we already know from intense cycling studies lol there are no half cycles


we are either cycled, and can keep a bioload, or we aren’t cycled, and can’t, there’s no mid ground of half cycle. He’s got a cycled reef. no reefs fail to control ammonia post-cycle barring exceptional events and nothing exceptional has been posted.

ergo, he has no ammonia issue though he reports one and he needs to read up on fallow and qt.

im measuring his ammonia by his statements but whatever he states about the test kit level won’t factor.

unless it’s a tuned seneye them I’m all ears with the notepad out. But it’s not though taking bets on api
 
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taricha

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Wait, this modified API method requires additional components and takes an hour? o.o
um, yeah.
needs a sodium citrate powder like in the red sea kit that prevents precipitation, the full color development takes an hour. read with a digital eyeball, accurate to well better than 0.05.
 
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Azedenkae

Azedenkae

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um, yeah.
needs a sodium citrate powder like in the red sea kit that prevents precipitation, the full color development takes an hour. read with a digital eyeball, accurate to well better than 0.05.
I see. I guess good to know if one ever really, really need to check low range ammonia.
 

attiland

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There is no need to measure ammonia unless you dose it.
I would go as fare not even required during cycle. To me no2 / no3 was an indication that the cycle is ready. I didn’t deliberately put ammonia to the tank yet started to see no3 meaning the bacteria was there.
 
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Azedenkae

Azedenkae

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There is no need to measure ammonia unless you dose it.
I would go as fare not even required during cycle. To me no2 / no3 was an indication that the cycle is ready. I didn’t deliberately put ammonia to the tank yet started to see no3 meaning the bacteria was there.
That's fair, if one does not care how much ammonia the nitrifiers can actually handle, just that there are nitrifiers. For those who wants to be certain nitrifiers can handle a certain amount of ammonia daily though (2ppm, usually) then it would be necessarily to measure ammonia.
 

attiland

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That's fair, if one does not care how much ammonia the nitrifiers can actually handle, just that there are nitrifiers. For those who wants to be certain nitrifiers can handle a certain amount of ammonia daily though (2ppm, usually) then it would be necessarily to measure ammonia.
Why would you care. New tank so it is little. Just go slow.
would 2ppm convert to 3 damsels or 1ppm to 1 clown? At a new tank early stage I think it is irrelevant. You gain nothing by knowing I can handle 2ppm. You will still put in only 1-3 fish in the first few weeks after cycle is configured and only build it up slowly over weeks/months. Well if you have done your homework anyway.
 

Have you ever had a Angelfish in your reef tank?

  • Yes and it was a model citizen (tell us which one)

    Votes: 151 32.9%
  • Yes but it did nip from time to time

    Votes: 64 13.9%
  • Yes but I had to remove it because it went rogue

    Votes: 32 7.0%
  • No but I would like to try one

    Votes: 132 28.8%
  • No and not interested

    Votes: 63 13.7%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 17 3.7%
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