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I tested the ammonia of my main tank after dosing it with plain ammonia last night, and my reading was.. orange? I have the API master kit, so this was baffling to me. I extra rinsed the test tubes, and used different ones: orange both times. I fairly recently had PP in my tank to sterilize it and then oxidized out the remainder after a 50% WC with hydrogen peroxide. I let it sit with the filters on for several hours before dosing ammonia. I guess a big water change is in order? I was just wondering if anyone had ever seen this and what it might be.
THE SHIMMY Our tap water tests at 40ppm Nitrate and 0.5ppm Ammonia straight out of the faucet! We use the API (drops) test kit. (not expired) We had the city of Philadelphia (where we live) test our water and they said that it tested fine: 2.5ppm Nitrate and 0.1ppm Ammonia. We wrote to API to ask if they ever have any issues with false positives. They replied no and recommended that we shake the bottles for 3 minutes and see if that changes the result. We did this and the results are the same. We just lost our lovely Oranda, Howie (presumably from the tap water conditions) and would like to get another Oranda. But I don't know who to believe the City or API..... I'm inclined to believe the city as they have more advanced testing equipment, but if that is the case, how will I know if my water is safe for a new fish without a reliable way to test the water? I just moved from Seattle to Philadelphia recently and this was not a problem there. I bought a new API test kit in case the kit had gone bad, but both my old and my new API test kits come out with the same reading. QUESTIONS Has this happened to anyone else? Should I believe API or the City of Philadelphia? Is there some kind of additive that is in some tap water that messes up water testing kits? Is there another reliable brand that I can use that may not have the same problems? Is my water safe for another fish? MY TANK Test Results for the Following: * Ammonia Level: 0.5 ppm * Nitrite Level: 0 ppm * Nitrate level: 40-80 ppm * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines): 7.5 * Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines): 7.5 Other Required Info: * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops?: API Drops * Water temperature?: 72F * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?: 20 Gallons 4 months * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)?: Aqueon 20 gallon and Aqueon 10 Gallon filter running at the same time * How often do you change the water and how much?: Usually weekly, but more often when necessary * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change?: Today - 100% * How many fish in the tank and their size?: 0 (just lost our only one) * What kind of water additives or conditioners? Neutral Regulator (also have Prime available if needed, but not currently using) * What do you feed your fish and how often?: when he was alive I fead 2 Hikari Lion Head pellets a day (pre soaked for one minute in tank water) * Any new fish added to the tank?: No * Any medications added to the tank?: Salt - 4 TBS * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. : Salt 4 TBS * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? : Dead * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.?: Death