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[APD] ammonia locking products
OK...everyone jumped on my statement as I knew that they would :o) However, what I said still stands because the average begginer aquarist is not likely to understand how these products work-- nor are they likely to do anything more than read the bottle and take whatever spin the manufactuare put on it as gospel truth. I have seen more problems with newbies using these type of products- mostly because of a false sense of security because of the claims on the lable. They put ammo-lock in and think they no longer have to worry (because the bottle tells them not to), they overfeed while still learning how to feed their fish or again because the fishfood package tells them too (most say to feed 3X a day, and if they have bought more than 1 for variety...well I'm sure you get the picture), if the water gets hazy (from ammonia that the begginer thinks isn't there or from a bacteria bloom) they then either do a huge water change or add some water-clearing product that generally won!
by the time they decide that they need help and bring in a water sample to the LFS all hell has broken loose w/ their water chemistry/biology and death has already occured or is about to begin. The ammonia-locking product that they had been dependant on to keep their fish safe had pooped out because they only added it once or twice then decided that their tank was OK, the ammonia "lock" lasted however long it does (something never mentioned when packages make their glowing claims) then ammonia once again reared it's ugly head- ussually in a rather horrible fashion. Although this same customer might have been good about testing the water they most likely were interpeting it wrong- especially if the test used was the cheaper "drop" kind that can only be read properly over a piece of white paper looking down the tube, not just by gazing at it from the side and by the time ammonia gets going again in their tank they have had a low/negative reading for so long they have stopped !
the water for it saving the chemicals for when they have a "problem" later on. I argue that if this customer had done nothing or perhaps just a couple of small 5 to 10% water changes none of these issues would have come up; they would have kept better track of the ammonia curve going down and the nitrite curve going up, perhaps even learned the consequenses of overfeeding thus sparing the tank from that issue in the future and instead of having a bunch of dead fish or a tank that would take a few more weeks to cycle they would have been halfway there. Since tank cycling is hard on fish my store always recomends small danio species, black tetras or white tetras all of which do fine in the ph our customers get from their tap water 6.5 to 7.4.
Just my 2 cents worth from observing customers for 20+ years
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