Is the ammonia in ADA/Netlea, etc really ammonium? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-20-2011, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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Is the ammonia in ADA/Netlea, etc really ammonium?

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?

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

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-21-2011, 03:28 AM
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Wow, I hadn't seen this chart. From where did it come and do you have a larger image of it (what is the second line down, under the ammonia line)? Does anyone have a link to the nutrient content in each of these different products? I wonder what this chart would look like with the new amazonia on it. How does Malaya and Africana compare to Amazonia in terms of "softness" or "breaking up" (and clouding or spiking)?
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-21-2011, 03:01 PM
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That pic came from aquajournal.net, Ada's magazine.. Here's the direct link to the page with this pic and info:
http://www.aquajournal.net/na/notes/001/index.html
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-21-2011, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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Well I found a Seachem free/total ammonia test online so I am going to do some tests on Monday when it comes in and see what percentage of my 4ppm ammonia is really ammonia and what is ammonium. I'm also going to take a fresh scoop of Netlea soil from the bag and so water and test the pH and free/total ammonia and see how toxic it really is. I've screwed up before and killed 90% of a tank with ammonia at way less than 4ppm, yet I have crystals living in, so it can't be the toxic form.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-18-2012, 01:57 PM
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Hi GeToChKn, did you get more information on this interesting topic? What happened to those CRS you put in the tank with new netlea? I'm considering to get a bag and give it a try. I'm totally sold on Akadama, but the PH is steady at 6.5. I want to try something that can give me lower PH in case I need it.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-18-2012, 02:27 PM
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Part of what you are missing is that when pH drops Ammonia converts to ammonium all by itself....

http://nippyfish.net/bettas-101/all-...er/ph-ammonia/

Quote:
In acidic water ammonia ions (NH3) react with water to create ammonium ions (NH4+) and hydroxyl ions (OH-). When water is basic the reaction goes the opposite way because, as mentioned earlier, there is already an abundance of hydroxyl ions present in basic water. Instead of creating ammonium (NH4+) out of ammonia (NH3) and water (H2O) they hydroxyl ions (OH-) split from ammonium (NH4+) to create ammonia (NH3) and water (H2O)
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randyl View Post
Hi GeToChKn, did you get more information on this interesting topic? What happened to those CRS you put in the tank with new netlea? I'm considering to get a bag and give it a try. I'm totally sold on Akadama, but the PH is steady at 6.5. I want to try something that can give me lower PH in case I need it.
They did fine. In reality, I would have like to let it sit for a month or two before adding them but my other tank crashed, so I didn't have a choice in the matter. The pH is rock solid at 6 (or less, test kit only goes to 6)

Quote:
Originally Posted by OverStocked View Post
Part of what you are missing is that when pH drops Ammonia converts to ammonium all by itself....

http://nippyfish.net/bettas-101/all-...er/ph-ammonia/
I do understand that, that's why I did a test with fresh tap water and netlea in a cup as a test and it tested the same way with my free ammonia kit while the pH buffering was still taking place, so my 7.6pH tap water was still being buffered and only down to 7.0pH or so and it showed ammonium at 4ppm and free at 0ppm.

This is my finding though and like I said, I had no choice, it was either risk it or loose all my crystals as something in their first tank was dropping them like flies, so I don't advocate it until all ammonia is at zero and the tanks had a few months to establish the biofilm, algae, etc.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 01:31 AM
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GeToChKn, on an unrelated topic... you signature says 20G Crystal/Snowball/Golden, you mixed these three in the same tank?
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 02:36 AM
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The ratio of NH4/NH3 is better with lower pH, but both are still toxic, just not as toxic.

I think that would be a better way to think about it.

NH4+ is not harmless.

You can buy (NH4)2SO4 or NH4Cl and see for yourself using peat to lower the pH by using already low KH tank water.

Add some test subjects.

Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 02:50 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randyl View Post
GeToChKn, on an unrelated topic... you signature says 20G Crystal/Snowball/Golden, you mixed these three in the same tank?
Na, my sig is all outdated now. lol. I have to redo it but I'm in the process of moving more around again, so it means nothing. lol.

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

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