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A chemist in the house? or Dechlor, ammonia and formaline

Ieeee.  Who punched the instant kharma button on me?  I nearly killed
two new goldfish in a bucket the other day and the only possiblity is
ammonia.  I was so excited at seeing the listless, droopy fish that I
didnt' think to check the water I threw out, but the bucket I prepared
for them, with sodium thiosulphate (and Prime as an afterthought) did
indeed show a trace of ammonia when I checked it. AS an after thought.

The test gallon I did when this first came up never did show even a
trace of ammonia, and the tanks still don't when I do a water change,
but that is what the trouble has to have been. OR we both forgot to
condition thewater, highly unlikely.

Fish went into an established tank wiht other fairly new fish.

I consulted the Fish Farmacy product booklet on sodium thiosulphate and
the note there said that if you have chloramine in your water, to use
the recommended dose of ST and add one drop of formaline per gallon to
the change water.  Can anyone explain this? What does formalin do to
ammonia or to chloramine?