Resident Aquarium Nerd
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Murfreesboro, TN
You'd need a test kit to test the ammonia levels. Pet stores will also test water samples for you, normally for free.
Ammonia is a toxic waste product that can build up quickly in smaller, unstable tanks. It causes chemical burns, makes animals sick, and can make it difficult for the animals in the tank to breathe. In large, well-maintained aquariums it's rarely a problem because there are colonies of beneficial bacteria that convert it into less-toxic forms (which are removed through water changes). In large aquariums it's also not as dangerous because it gets diluted and takes longer to build up to toxic quantities.
"We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice."
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