Unknowingly dosing ammonia? - The Planted Tank Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 755
Unknowingly dosing ammonia?

I live in a nearly hundred year old house in Indiana, so my local tap water is somewhat similar to a limestone slurry with some rust mixed in. Additionally my municipality uses chloramine. To dechlorinate I use Prime. Last fall I started using primarily RO water (reconstituted with GH booster). While things did start growing a bit better, I still am fighting BBA, and an occasional outbreak of long stringy algae. This seems to happen less if I do less water changes, but still fertilize.
My water coming out of the RO unit has ~1PPM ammonia in it. While the Prime does project the fish, is this still the equivalent of giving the plants (and algae) an ammonia dose every week? If so, are there any good ways to get the ammonia out of the RO water other than a DI or extra carbon stage? A while ago someone suggested running an airstone in my RO tank (125 gallon), but I am unsure how quickly that will remove the ammonia.

Tank stats:
On my display tank (75g) I dose EI with tons of CO2, and normally do a 50% water change every week. Lighting is two home-made T5HO bulbs, but with a really crummy reflector (aluminum foil). Most red plants only turn red at the very top of the water, so I doubt I have a ton of light. Filtration is Poret foam sitting in a sump (basically an HMF but in a separate tank).

Always curious.
jccaclimber is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 12:50 AM
Planted Tank Guru
GeToChKn's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,116
ARe you testing the RO water before or after prime? Prime will give a false positive on ammonia test after dosing. With a good RO unit, you shouldn't need prime if there is nothing else in the water.

20g platy, , 2 x 10g shrimp, 3 x 20g shrimp, 7.5g shrimp and 1 great dane/mastiff puppy.

Sump Pimp #2

My Tanks and my shrimps
GeToChKn is offline  
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 755
Testing before, although from my understanding with the API test it shouldn't matter. Seachem makes the claim that the ammonia/ammonium is bound in a form that makes it fish safe for 48 hours, but still available to the bacteria that break it down. It seems to me that if it is available to bacteria, that it will also be available to algae.
RO units don't remove dissolved gasses, including ammonia. I don't have a DI canister after the membrane, so it will pass through.

Always curious.
jccaclimber is offline  
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 12:58 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
fplata's Avatar
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Miami, FL, United States
Posts: 948
You do need a second carbon stage to remove the chloramine.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
fplata is offline  
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 755
At this point I'm more curious about the bound ammonia/algae interaction. If I wasn't using an RO filter, I would still have tap water with Prime, which still results in bound ammonia, with or without the filter. Does this have an effect on algae?

It seems like a way to test this would be to take a cleanly running, higher light, tank in an area with no chloramine, and then dose the tank with ammonia and Prime at the same time.

Always curious.
jccaclimber is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome