So I just set up my 40 gallon tank about a week ago and am doing fish-in cycling. I have the API ammonia test strips, and am curious about the readings. I used one this morning and by the green tint, compared to the colors on the box, it was around 2.5-3ppm. I then did about a 75% PWC. I tested again after and the strip seemed more yellow at first reading (after about a minute) but tinged with green just around the edges. After about 5 minutes the pad was all green. I tested some regular tap water and same thing - more yellow after about a minute but the longer it sat the darker green. Is this normal? Are the strips bad? Or does the green come out as the pad dries, regardless of ammonia levels? I just bought them and they're in a sealed tube.
And btw my fish seem just fine. Have only fed them once so far (yesterday), but they don't appear to be in stress.
Thanks for any advice you may have!
Testing strips are not considered to be very reliable, I really recommend you buy the API freshwater master test kit. They are very reliable, I just got one off amazon for half the price they are in the shops, some very good deals online
When your cycling with fish you really need to be able to test the water accurately, I would do daily water changes until you get the kit,that way even if the ammonia is really high you will be able to lower it. A lot of people recommend seachem prime dechloranator for cycling with fish, as this converts ammonia( upto 1ppm I think, you will have to double check that though ) into a safe non toxic form.
Thanks, Josie! Seems the master test kit is recommended by a lot of folks. And you're right - it's all about getting a correct reading as the cycle goes on. And I agree, am all about trying to do this naturally and without other chemical additives if that can be avoided. Thanks again.