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Thread: 8 ppm ammonia after using Epsom Salt

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    Registered Member OrangeG's Avatar
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    Default 8 ppm ammonia after using Epsom Salt

    Did anyone experience high ammonia reading on API ammonia test kit after adding epsom salt to the water?

    I am kind of new to discus keeping and Last time I added Epsom salt I got a reading of 8 ppm ammonia. No idea why..Is this necessarily toxic ammonia?

    As far as the epsom salt, there is no fragrance or additives. I have checked the package.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
    Last edited by OrangeG; 09-16-2020 at 12:23 PM.

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    Default Re: 8 ppm ammonia after using Epsom Salt

    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeG View Post
    Did anyone experience high ammonia reading on API ammonia test kit after adding epsom salt to the water?

    I am kind of new to discus keeping and Last time I added Epsom salt I got a reading of 8 ppm ammonia. No idea why..Is this necessarily toxic ammonia?

    As far as the epsom salt, there is no fragrance or additives. I have checked the package.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
    MgSO4.5H2O or Epsom salt, as you can see, doesn't have any Nitrogen in it. Meaning there's no correlation with any compound that has nitrogen in it.
    Consider it as adding salt to the tank.

    Is it possible that your ammonia was already high and you just happened to test for ammonia after adding Epsom salt? Or did you do a before and after test?

    Do you have sponge filter/canister filter etc. running in the tank which provides biological filtration? Most probably it is just lack of biological filtration.

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    Registered Member OrangeG's Avatar
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    Default Re: 8 ppm ammonia after using Epsom Salt

    Quote Originally Posted by sumer View Post
    MgSO4.5H2O or Epsom salt, as you can see, doesn't have any Nitrogen in it. Meaning there's no correlation with any compound that has nitrogen in it.
    Consider it as adding salt to the tank.

    Is it possible that your ammonia was already high and you just happened to test for ammonia after adding Epsom salt? Or did you do a before and after test?

    Do you have sponge filter/canister filter etc. running in the tank which provides biological filtration? Most probably it is just lack of biological filtration.
    Thanks for your reply sumer

    I kind of thought of the same thing. I did two 50% water change afterwards and the ammonia was zero for many many days. I always had 0 ppm ammonia even before that. This problem occured many days ago. I took my time to see if anything was wrong with the tank. But it wasn't. The discus seemed stressed only after few hours of epsom salt in the tank as they settled to the bottom. All discus are fine tho.

    The problem I had seems like rare and no one seems to have any experience in this regard....I'm not a chemist to experiment and see what went wrong...
    Last edited by OrangeG; 09-17-2020 at 01:09 AM.

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    Default Re: 8 ppm ammonia after using Epsom Salt

    Hi @OrangeG,

    I agree with @sumer, it is highly unlikely that the addition of Epsom Salt had any effect on Ammonia levels in your tank.

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