In nature, when animals and plants secrete wastes, bacteria break them down so fast that toxic materials such as ammonia will not have time to form. However, in a fish tank, especially for new ones, ammonia can multiply quickly because not enough good bacteria exist to break down the wastes.
Ammonia is a toxic substance to fish. It makes them have a hard time breathing, which makes their gills overworked, which then results to damage to their respiratory system. When ammonia overtakes an aquarium, parasitic algae will form too. In the end, your fish will have breathing problems and parasites sucking the life out of them. That's not where you want your aquarium to end up in.
Luckily, ammonia levels can be monitored easily so that you'll know right away if your aquarium is in danger. The Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Freshwater/Saltwater Ammonia Test Kit from Pet Store
is simple and easy to use -- and quite affordable, too. Each kit has two bottles of test solutions. To test the ammonia level of your aquarium, simply get a test tube, add 5ml of tank water, then add eight drops of each solution to the test tube. After five minutes, a color will appear in the tube. Using the accompanying color chart, you can determine the level of ammonia in your aquarium.
The Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Freshwater/Saltwater Ammonia Test Kit can be used for 130 tests. It gives accurate readings for both saltwater and freshwater tanks
Salicylate test measures ammonia levels in both fresh & saltwater aquariums. Ammonia, the #1 killer of tropical fish, is continually produced in the aquarium from fish waste & uneaten fish food. Tests ammonia levels from 0 to 8 ppm. Test kit of 110 tests.Why test for Ammonia?
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. 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. 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 gill membranes, and prevent fish from carrying on normal respiration. 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.Testing Tips:
This salicylate based ammonia test kit reads the total ammonia level in parts per million (ppm) which are equivalent to milligrams per Liter (mg/L) from 0 ppm to 8.0 ppm (mg/L), in either fresh 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 salt has been added.Directions for Testing Ammonia Levels
What the Test Results Mean:
- Read thoroughly before testing. Do not allow Test Solutions to get into aquarium.
- To remove childproof safety cap: With one hand, push red tab left with thumb while unscrewing cap with free hand.
- Fill a clean test tube with 5 ml of water to be tested (to the line on the tube).
- Add 8 drops from Ammonia Test Solution Bottle #1, holding the dropper bottle upside down in a completely vertical position to assure uniformity of drops added to the water sample.
- Add 8 drops from Ammonia Test Solution Bottle #2, holding the dropper bottle upside down in a completely vertical position to assure uniformity of drops added to the water sample.
- Cap the test tube and shake vigorously for 5 seconds. Do not hold finger over the open end of the tube, as this may affect the test results.
- Wait 5 minutes for the color to develop.
- Read the test results by matching the test solution against the Ammonia Test Color Chart. The tube should be viewed against the white area beside the color chart. Color comparisons are best made in a well-lit area. The closest match indicates the ppm (mg/L) of ammonia in the water sample. Rinse the test tube with clean water after each use.
In a new freshwater or saltwater 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. Use Aquarium Pharmaceuticals STRESS ZYME® to speed up the development of the biological filter. 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.
The ammonia level is not an indication of the nitrite level; nitrite is another toxic waste material which must be tested separately.Monitoring Ammonia Levels:
Regular testing is necessary to make sure the ammonia level is safe. Aquarium water should be tested for ammonia every other day when the aquarium is first set up, and