Ammonia Alert? detects and continuously monitors free ammonia in marine or freshwater aquaria. Simply place it in the aquarium (using the provided suction cup) and read anytime. It will correctly read free ammonia levels when ammonia removers are in use. The unit consists of a waterproof reference color card and a sensor. The sensor, located in the center of the reference scale, changes reversibly from yellow to green to blue relative to the ammonia concentration. Properly maintained, the sensor has a useful life of over a year.
DIRECTIONS: Remove protective film. Then place the unit visibly anywhere in the aquarium or filter. In the absence of free ammonia the unit will assume a yellow or faint yellow-green color. It is normal for the dry sensor to have a greenish hue. It may take up to a few days for a dry sensor to equilibrate with the water. No sampling of water, chemicals, or test procedures are required. The presence of free ammonia is detectable continuously with a response time of about 15 minutes. Response to decreasing ammonia is slower, requiring about 4 hours to go from TOXIC to SAFE on removal of ammonia. Sensitivity improves with age, provided the unit is not allowed to dry out, however, drying does not permanently impair the unit.
For maximum sensitivity, the unit should be read under natural daylight or simulated daylight. Red enhancing light minimizes green and blue hues, decreasing the apparent sensitivity of the unit. The response of the unit may be checked by holding it briefly over the mouth of an ammonia bottle: color should develop rapidly. INTERPRETATION: As little as 0.02 mg/L of free ammonia will produce a greenish hue on the detector surface. This corresponds to a total ammonia (both ionized and free ammonia) of 0.20 mg/L in marine water at pH 8.3. In freshwater at pH 7.0, this corresponds to 3.6 mg/L total ammonia. Free ammonia is much more toxic than ionized ammonia. The ALERT color corresponds to about 0.05 mg/L free ammonia, ALARM to about 0.20 mg/L, and TOXIC to about 0.50 mg/L. The ALERT concentration is tolerated for several days, ALARM for a few days, and TOXIC is rapidly harmful. This product is not recommended for use below pH 6. CARE: Remove any algae growth from the sensor with a clean, soft material. Do not use bleach, soap, detergents or hard objects to clean the sensor. Avoid touching the sensor with fingers, since skin oils can damage it. Some dye medications may discolor the sensor.