API Ammonia Test Kit
Ammonia, constantly released into the aquarium, is the number one killer of tropical fish. Fast, easy and accurate, this test kit measures ammonia levels from 0 to 7 ppm.
What is ammonia?
Answer: Tropical fish continually release ammonia (NH3) directly into the aquarium through their gills, urine, and solid waste. Uneaten food and other decaying organic matter also add ammonia to the water. High levels of ammonia quickly lead to fish death. Even trace amounts stress fish, suppressing their immune system and thereby increasing the likelihood of disease outbreaks and subsequent fish loss. Ammonia is easily measured with an ammonia test kit.
What causes an ammonia problem?
Answer: A natural mechanism exists that controls ammonia in the aquarium – the biological filter. It is made up of nitrifying bacteria, which live in the gravel bed. However, as with any natural process, imbalances can occur. A newly set-up aquarium will not immediately have the right balance of bacteria and ammonia will build up. Over feeding and keeping too many fish in the aquarium will also cause an ammonia problem. Testing for the presence of toxic ammonia is essential, so that once detected, steps can be taken to remove it.
How do I prevent an ammonia problem?
Answer: In a new freshwater aquarium, the ammonia level may surge to 6 ppm (mg/L) or more, and then fall rapidly as the biological filter becomes established. The ammonia will be converted to nitrite (also toxic), then to nitrate. This process may take several weeks. In an established aquarium, the ammonia level should always remain at 0 ppm (mg/L). The presence of ammonia indicates possible over-feeding, too many fish, or inadequate biological filtration.
I have an ammonia problem. What should I do?
Answer: Overfeeding is a common cause of ammonia build-up. Make sure that all food is eaten within a few minutes. Sinking pellets and wafers should be completely eaten in 30 minutes. Uneaten food decomposes, adding ammonia to the water.
To detoxify ammonia, use API’s AMMO-LOCK to instantly lock up ammonia. AMMO-LOCK does not remove ammonia, it simply converts toxic ammonia to a non-toxic form. Ammonia test kits will still test positive for ammonia, even though it is non-toxic. The biological filter will then consume the non-toxic ammonia, converting it to nitrite (Nitrite is another toxic waste material which must be tested separately) and then to nitrate. If the gravel bed is dirty from accumulated waste and uneaten food, use a gravel siphon to remove the debris.
Changing 25% of the aquarium water will reduce the ammonia level. In an emergency, a daily water change may be required over several days.