Thread: Faulty Test Kit?
07-07-2012, 07:43 PM #1
Faulty Test Kit?
Hi folks! This is my first post here as I'm new to the hobby.
So I've been trying to do a fishless cycle in my new 29 gallon tank. I put a tiny bit of meat in it and then every day added a pinch of fish food. I also added a 70 gallon bottle of tetra safestart.
After two weeks of daily testing with my API Freshwater Master test kit, it always showed zero ammonia/nitrite/nitrate. So I got some Ammonium Chloride with the brand of "DrTim's Aquatics". I added to the tank what should have raised the ammonia level to 4ppm according to the instructions. However, the test kit still showed 0ppm.
I then added a few drops of the ammonium chloride directly into the testing vile along with the proper amount of water and the ammonia test kit drops. Still nothing...
07-07-2012, 07:55 PM #2
testkits do have a shelf-life. most good brands have an expiration date and api is a good brand.
not sure why you would use meat to get ammonia readings. seems to me that would cause much more harm than good?Thar she blows!!!
07-07-2012, 08:14 PM #3
I checked and they do have expiration dates but from 2017.
Regarding the meat, I was just following the book I read to get started. Is the guy wrong?
The Simple Guide to Freshwater Aquariums (second edition):
Step 1: Increase the aeration in the tank by adding an airstone or increasing the filter turnover rate. Add an ammonia source to the tank, such as a piece of meat or shellfish partially buried in the gravel, or a pinch fish food. Leave it in the tank to rot and produce ammonia.
07-07-2012, 08:31 PM #4
I'm thinking the meat left unchecked would foul up the water in other ways than just ammonia. the fishfood you are using should suffice. most here use fishfood or pure ammonia for fishless cycling.Thar she blows!!!
07-07-2012, 11:28 PM #5
+1 to the above
I've also had the best luck using pure ammonia to cycle a tankIf you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
"Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]
07-08-2012, 12:34 AM #6
Alright, I think I'll heed your advices and stick with using pure ammonia for future cycling. Thanks.
For this tank though, i've pretty much switched to using only ammonia as I removed the meat and vacuumed as much of the fish food as I could last week before I added the ammonium chloride.
Problem is I can't tell how much ammonia is in the tank.
My wife was at Walmart today and I had her pick me up some Ammonium Hydroxide. It has a surfactant in it so I won't use it for the tank but I was able to test the test kit with it and no ammonium/ammonia was detected.
So two ammonium sources and no readings from the test kit.
Am I correct in assuming I have a bad test kit and should return it?
Should I just get the same API kit again?
07-08-2012, 06:00 AM #7
So it turns out the problem was the user and not the test kit!
I did not notice the steps for testing ammonia continued to the next page and did not realize bottle #1 and #2 were meant to combine...
I feel kinda of silly...
07-08-2012, 06:20 AM #8
Was just gonna ask if you are following the directions right. But I guess you found out what your mistake was.
Hope you cycle the tank right. Good luck!Da name's Paul. Not Dave. ROFL
Learn to give and take. That's how things should always work.
07-12-2012, 03:18 AM #9Originally Posted by pjaldave
Actually, it is cycled! It apparently was almost finished cycling and I just didn't know it because I was also doing the nitrate test wrong too.
The ammonia consumption has been increasing a lot the last couple of days.
I added enough ammonia yesterday to raise the tank levels to 4ppm ammonia. 24 hours later I have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and an expected increase in nitrates.
I'm going to keep feeding the tank ammonia because we probably wont make it to the lfs until the weekend.
Am I on the right track?
07-12-2012, 03:45 AM #10
Yes, you are on the right track. For a 29g I would only bring the ammonia up to 2ppm until you can stock it. It's a relatively small tank and should be stocked with smaller fish. A huge bio-load is just not necessary. Remember just before you buy your first fish to do a big water change and get some fresh water in the tank for your new fish.If it's called tourist season why can't I shoot them?
Brutal honesty will be shown on this screen.
I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
Tolerance is a great thing to have, so is the ability to shut up.
The truth is not something you hide behind but what you stand on!
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.