Why test for Ammonia?
Tropical fish continuously release ammonia (NH3) directly into the aquarium through their gills, urine and solid waste. Uneaten food and other decaying organic material also add ammonia to the water. A natural mechanism exists that controls ammonia in the aquarium--the "biological filter," made up of nitrifying bacteria which grow in the gravel bed. As with any natural process, however, imbalances can occur. Testing for the presence of toxic ammonia is essential, so that once detected, steps can be taken to remove it. Otherwise, ammonia in the aquarium will damage delicate gill membranes, and prevent fish from carrying on normal respiration. High levels of ammonia quickly lead to fish death. Even trace amounts can stress fish, suppressing their immune systems and thereby increasing the likelihood of disease and subsequent fish loss.
This kit measures ammonia levels in parts per million (ppm), and can detect concentrations of ammonia from 0 ppm to 8.0 ppm in either freshwater or saltwater aquariums. Thus, there are two ammonia test color charts, one for freshwater aquariums, and one for saltwater aquariums, so be sure to use the correct chart for your type of aquarium when interpreting test results. The freshwater ammonia test color chart is the appropriate chart to use for testing freshwater aquariums to which aquarium salt has been added.
What the Test Results Mean
In a new freshwater or saltwater aquarium, the ammonia level may surge to six ppm or more, and then fall rapidly as the biological filter becomes established. This process may take several weeks. In an established aquarium, the ammonia level should always remain at 0 ppm. The presence of ammonia indicates possible over-feeding, too many fish or inadequate biological filtration. It is important to note that the ammonia level is not an indication of the nitrite level; nitrite is another toxic waste material, and must be tested separately. API Liquid Nitrite Test Kit supplies accurate, convenient testing for nitrite.
Detoxifying Ammonia Using Ammo-Lock 2 in Freshwater and Saltwater Aquariums
API Ammo-Lock 2 is recommended to instantly detoxify, or "lock-up" ammonia. Ammo-Lock 2 does not remove ammonia, it simply converts it to a nontoxic form. Please note that ammonia test kits used on water treated with Ammo-Lock 2 will still test positive for ammonia, even though that ammonia has been rendered nontoxic. The biological filter will eventually consume the detoxified ammonia, converting it to nitrite and finally to nitrate.
Filtering Method to Remove Ammonia in Freshwater Aquariums
To filter aquarium water for removal of ammonia. API Ammo-Carb or Ammo-Chips is recommended. These filtration materials will eliminate ammonia from aquarium water and improve water quality.
Changing 25% of the aquarium water will reduce the ammonia level effectively. In an emergency, a daily water change may be required over several days. Be sure to use a water conditioner, such as Stress Coat or Ammo-Lock 2, when adding tap water to an aquarium.
Monitoring Ammonia Levels
Regular testing is necessary to make sure the ammonia level does not rise. Aquarium water should be tested for ammonia every other day when aquariums are first set up, and once a week after the biological filter has been established (about four to six weeks).
Corrosive, bottle # 2 contains alkali hydroxides and hydrochlorites. Causes severe burns. In case of contact with eyes, rinse immediately with plenty of water. After contact with skin, wash immediately with plenty of water. If swallowed, do not induce vomiting. Call a physician immediately. Keep out of the reach of children.
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