I know these soils all leech ammonia at the start but since 99% of us use test kits that test total ammonia and not free ammonia, NH3 only, is the soil really leeching anything harmful or not?
Looking at this chart here
It shows it measured as NH4, ammonium, the harmless form. I went today to buy a Seachem ammonia test kit but they were out. I am currently setting up a tank with Netlea soil, been reading at 4ppm of NH3/NH4+ for 2.5 weeks. Also, have 6 shrimp in there as testers. Haven't lost 1. 3 are crystals and have their white, forage, seem totally fine.
I know at a lower pH, the ammonia is going to grab a free ion from the acidic water and convert to ammonium anyways, but I'm wondering if the stored ammonia in the soils are really NH4 and we keep the pH under 7, is it really harmful during this spike or not? I wished they had the test kit instock today as I would have tested right away and see how much of the 4ppm my API test kit is picking up of NH3 and NH4. I would assume a steady 2.5 week stream of 4ppm of ammonia would kill shrimp, especially for a prolonged time, but they seem fine. I can only conclude, that either A, its converted because of the low pH (6.2 right now) or its a non-harmful form in the first place.
Anyone have a tank they just dumped some ADA or something into and a Seachem free/total ammonia test kit?