Seachem Ammonia Alert is an innovative color changing device designed to continuously detect and monitor toxic free ammonia in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums. The incredibly accurate sensor changes reversibly from yellow to green to blue, relative to the specific ammonia concentration inside of the tank. Ammonia is the #1 killer of aquarium inhabitants and the convenient device detects less than 0.05 mg/L (ppm) of free ammonia and alerts aquarium owners so that they can take the proper measures to lower the ammonia levels.
When free ammonia is not present, the unit will take on a yellow or faint yellow-green color and is normal for the dry sensor to have a greenish hue to it. There is no water sampling, chemicals or test procedures needed, but the dry sensor may take up to a few days to properly calibrate with the parameters of your aquarium water and will last over a year with accurate readings. In the aquarium, the presence of free ammonia is detectable continuously with a response time of approximately 15 minutes. Response to decreasing ammonia is significantly slower, requiring about 4 hours to go from TOXIC to SAFE on removal of ammonia. The device is half the size of competitive units, ensuring minimal visual obstruction in the aquarium and lasts over 9 times as long.
Properly caring for this unit is essential in maintaining accuracy and reliability over time. The unit can be effectively cleaned with a clean, soft material, yet avoid touching the sensor with fingers as skin oils can damage it. Drying out does not permanently damage the unit, but sensitivity will improve with age as long as the unit does not fully dry out. For the highest level of sensitivity, the device should be read under natural daylight or a daylight simulating light source. Please note that red enhancing light minimizes the intensity of green and blue hues, decreasing the apparent sensitivity of the unit. Some dye medications may discolor the sensor.
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 0.25 mg/L in marine water at pH 8.3. In freshwater at pH level of 7.0, this corresponds to 3.6 mg/L total ammonia. Free ammonia is much more toxic than ionized ammonia. As free ammonia, the ALERT color corresponds to approximately 0.05 mg/L, ALARM to about 0.2 mg/L, and TOXIC to about 0.5 mg/L. Performing a water change should be considered for any indication other than SAFE. The ALERT concentration is tolerated for 3-5 days, ALARM for 1-3 days, and TOXIC is increasingly harmful, requiring immediate attention.