Ammonia Alert Device Single
This is MANDATORY if your tap water is treated with chloramine
Disclaimer: I am not a scientist; I just took really good notes from one.
I am renting an apartment, so sadly I cannot install a RO filter. My place is on city water. For WEEKS I could not figure out why my ammonia readings were so high! I had the API test kit. Nitrates were present, nitrites were at zero, but my ammonia was reading between 2.0 and 4.0!!! My fish and shrimp should have been long dead! I was panic-stricken, doing water changes every day, but the ammonia just kept creeping up higher and higher.
Ready for the weird part? That tap water tested negative for any ammonia. What the heck?! I emailed the city's water resources department, and they sent me a copy of the water report. I spoke on the phone to a chemist with the city, and this is what he explained to me: They add chloramine-T to treat the water. If you aren't familiar with this process, they bond ammonia and chlorine together. It has a slower evaporation rate than chlorine, and is more efficient than straight chlorine for treating tap water. (At this point, the ammonia is bonded, and not detected by tests). Once you add your conditioner, such as Prime or Stress Coat, it breaks the chloramine down into chlorine and ammonium. The conditioner further neutralizes the chlorine to make it fish safe. Ammonium is completely harmless to your aquatic life. However, it is still detected with the API test kit.
Given that I was getting crazy false-positives with the API, I needed a reliable way to detect ammonia. The Ammonia Alert was recommended, as it only measures free (AKA toxic) ammonia, and not the inert and bonded forms. I ordered one for each of my tanks. I let them sit in the tank for a few hours and checked the results, along with the API test. The Alert device measured less than 0.02 in each one, while the API was still measuring a fatal level of over 4.0. Just to make sure the Alert devices were actually working, I took out an Alert and put it in a bowl of water with a single drop of Windex. Within minutes, I could see the color indicator turn a purple-blue color. Proof enough for me.
If you are like me, and struggle with mysterious and impossible ammonia levels, please try this, especially if you are using tap water. I still use API liquid tests for all my other water parameters, but if it weren't for this device, I likely would have given up on fishkeeping altogether.
August 28, 2014
Product is very easy to use
This product is very easy to use. Simply attach with the included suction cup. The chart is very easy to use and understand so the amount of ammonia in the tank can be monitored.
June 4, 2014
The ammonia alert seems to be a neat little device for monitoring ammonia in saltwater aquariums. I checked it against my ammonia test kit and it looks good. I can't say how well it works in the long run since they have only been in for a few weeks. Easy to install and very easy to read. I put them in all 4 of my tanks!
March 6, 2014
Love this product
I keep several small tanks, 2 uncycled. Doing bi weekly water changes is the usual schedule, but sometimes I get lazy. This nifty device makes sure I don't overdo the laziness! I see that little green tinge come up, and get right on it. It's very accurate, as I have cross-compared with liquid tests. It's a sensible and reliable way to make sure everything is on the up and up. I'd also reccomend it for a new fish-in cycling tank, since doing the liquid tests every other day can be a pain.
February 2, 2014