Many people have been discussing which ammonia detoxifiers are best for use during cycling and for other circumstances like running sicks tanks. I thought it might be helpful to have something pinned for reference.
The following products detoxify ammonia whilst still leaving it available for use by the bio-filter. In other words they won't disrupt the nitrogen cycle.
Prime - Seachem
binds lower levels for up to 24 hours; after this time it will unbind if you have not changed water.
The standard dose detoxifies approximately; 0.8 mg/L ammonia,;1.2 mg/L chloramine; 3.3 mg/L chlorine.
It is possible to double dose if either amm or chlor's are high.
It can also be used to detoxify nitrite in an emergency; up to 5 times normal dose may be used in this instance.
NB. mg/L are more or less equal to ppm.
Kits: Avoid Nessler kits (yellow to brown); they are completely disrupted by the active ingredients and will give you false 'off the charts' results.
Instead, use a salicylate based kit (yellow to green); the key to success is to take the reading right away, as the results will not be reliable after time in the tank.
The best solution of all is to use the Seachem MultiTest: Ammonia kit... it uses a gas exchange sensor system which is not affected by the presence of Prime or other similar products. It also has the added advantage that it can detect the more dangerous free ammonia and distinguish it from total ammonia (which is both the free and ionized forms of ammonia)
Amquel - Kordon
detoxifies ammonia permanently.
The standard dose; up to 3 mg/L chloramines; 1.0 mg/L of all ammonia compounds in fresh or salt water.
Use multiple doses to remove more than 1.0 mg/L ammonia from the water.
As with Prime, a Nessler kit should not be used.
Salicylate kits are preferable with the exception of API which does not work either. The best option is to use Kordon's own brand Aqua-Tru test kits.
As Amquel is, among other things, a dye remover, it should never be used in conjunction with treatments containing chemical dyes (such as methylene blue, acriflavine, potassium permanganate or malachite green) as AmQuel will interfere with their performance.
PH stability :
Under some circumstances (multiple doses at a low end PH) Amquel has been known to lower the pH in the water due to the acidity of its formulation; Kordon do make buffers specifically for use with this product.
Like Amquel, Amquel plus also detoxifies ammonia permanently.
The standard dose will detoxify at least 1.2 mg/L ammonia, at least 2.0 mg/L nitrites, at least 13 ppm nitrates. and amazingly, 33 ppm of all chlorines including those chlorines in chloramines from the water. Detox of compounds normally happens within five minutes, or slightly longer for ammonia in water with a higher pH above 7.5.
As for Amquel.
One exception; AmQuel+ does not affect the water's pH.
Ammo-Lock - API
Like Amquel, it detoxifies ammonia permanently.
Standard dose; 3mg/L ammonia (doubled dose - up to 6mg/L); 7 mg/L chlorine; 5mg/L chloramine.
As with the other conditioners, avoid Nessler kits.
API can also give off the chart ammonia readings.
I suspect a kit using the gas exchange sensor system would be more reliable than a colormetric tester, although I have not had this confirmed by API.
Its effect upon chemical dyes is currently unconfirmed by API. also - I will post up with any further info as and when I receive it.
I hope this info will be helpful.