API Ammonia Test Kit

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The API Ammonia Test Kit tests a water sample for the amount of ammonia (NH3 and NH4-).


Ammonia is released into aquarium water by the decay of uneaten food, waste, organic matter and by the release through fish gills, urine and solid waste. The process can test for ammonia up to 8 ppm (mg/l). One test kit will do up to 130 tests. The kit is manufactured by API Fishcare, a subsidiary of Mars, Inc. The kit contents are also available in the API Freshwater Master Test Kit. A drop test such as the API test is considered more accurate than test strips. Note that this test will indicate the level of ionized ammonium radical (NH4+) and un-ionized ammonia (NH3).


The API ammonia test kit comes with a 5 ml test tube, one bottle of test solution number, one bottle of test solution number 2, a color comparison chart, and instructions for the user.


  • Rinse the test tube a couple of times in the water to be tested to clear out any impurities and old water.
  • Fill the tube to the white line (5 ml) with sample water.
  • Holding the bottle of test number 1 upside down over the tube, add 8 drops to the tube.
  • Holding the bottle of test number 2 upside sown over the tube, add 8 drops to the tube.
  • Reinstall the cap and invert the tube over and over for about 5 seconds to thoroughly mix the solution.
  • Let the sample stand for about 5 minutes to allow thorough chemical reaction to take place.
  • Hold the tube next to the color chart so the white area of the page is behind the tube next to the color chart.
  • The color closest to the test water indicates the level of ammonia in the water. Preferred level is 0 ppm (mg/l), but acceptable level is 0.25 ppm. Any higher than that is detrimental to the health of the livestock.
  • When the test is complete, discard the sample water and rinse the test tube several times. I usually keep about 5 ml fresh water in it with the cap on during storage to prevent mineral buildup on the inside of the tube.

See also[edit]

API Ammonia Test Kit

External links[edit]