Ammonia nuking - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Ammonia nuking

I have a tank where I basicly want to kill everything there but the plants. Leeches have been giving me a headach lately in just this one tank. But I am starting to think I should get a new tank as my hostiptal/holding tank and new everything else just to be safe.

I can remove my fishes, shrimps, and snails no problem but, the plants and substrate seems like an easy place for these things to hide.

Do u think it is possible that I can just pour some ammonia into the tanks to NH4 poisin everything except the plants? Can plants handle high doses of ammonia?

I'm not a doctor in real life but I play one on this forum


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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 12:43 AM
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all the ammonia is likely to trigger some sort of catastrophic algae outbreak


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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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What if I put all the plants in a bucket and NH4 nuke it? I don't really mind the algae as long as I get rid of everything else there. This way I can finally get rid of all my snails.

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 02:22 AM
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how bout nitrite posioning? idk where you can get pure nitrite but it sounds safer since ammonia is deadly to most things. (maybe, just a guess :p)
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 03:03 AM
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Do u think it is possible that I can just pour some ammonia into the tanks to NH4 poisin everything except the plants? Can plants handle high doses of ammonia?
Maracide is a medication that destroys parasites and I think will also kill invertebrates. It's safe for plants, I've used it. Maybe you should try that instead.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 03:16 AM Thread Starter
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how bout nitrite posioning? idk where you can get pure nitrite but it sounds safer since ammonia is deadly to most things. (maybe, just a guess :p)
Nah I can't find pure nitrite. But thats the point. To kill everything else but plants. I figure since u can cycle a tank with plants, it should be ok to put NH4 with plants

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Maracide is a medication that destroys parasites and I think will also kill invertebrates. It's safe for plants, I've used it. Maybe you should try that instead.
Does it have copper? I did a google seach but it doesn't show anything for leeches. Instead its more for Ich. The thing is that these arn't parastic leeches. There are acutally some that are free living. I tried but it does not hunt. Instead it eats garbage in the tank. Which is why its hard to get rid of. I never feed this tank, plant only but still it lives.

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 03:33 AM
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What if I put all the plants in a bucket and NH4 nuke it? I don't really mind the algae as long as I get rid of everything else there. This way I can finally get rid of all my snails.
i guess, but why since you are gonna take all the critters out you want to keep anyway, why not 10X way overdose the tank with co2? seems like that should kill everything, and make the plants very happy too.


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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 03:35 AM Thread Starter
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i guess, but why not 10XWAY overdose the tank with co2? seems like that should kill everything, and make the plants very happy too.
Thats alot of co2 to waste and I need to be 100% sure it killed everything. Im not sure if it will kill everything that lives in the substrate. I want to also finally get rid of my plant worms.

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 03:37 AM
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id stay away from lab produced chemicals if you want to have inverts again.. i just stay away from chemicals all together

idk about a superdose of NH4 cause theres only a small amount in when you cycle a tank, maybe an OD could kill plants too? i guess you could double or triple that amount.

and btw ammonia is NH3 and ammonium is NH4
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 03:40 AM
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i edited my last post slightly...
it might be worth a try, considering how hard it is to get rid of flatworms.
and co2 seems to me to be a fairly safe and cheap option to test provided you take out the things you want to keep.


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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 04:42 PM
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you could use some carbonated bottled water.

a few months ago i thought it would be a great idea to pour half a liter of some sparkling mineral water in my 2 gallon planted nano for some CO2. ya that was pretty bad because all my shrimp died in about 5 seconds.

so it might work to kill anything but the plants.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 07:29 PM
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If the ammonia concentration is high enough to kill parasites it will be high enough to kill your plants and biological filter as well. It seems like about 6ppm will kill bacteria, I'm not sure what the threshold is for plants, I doubt if it's much higher than 6ppm.


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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 09:35 PM
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Just remember that super overdoses of amm (as kornphlake said) and CO2 can kill the biofilter bacteria as well. So if you're planning on saving the tank from algae destruction due to high ammonia levels, CO2 is probably not the answer since it'll likely result in the tank cycling again depending how high you go with it. Bacteria breath oxygen, too.

Removing the plants and treating outside the tank probably won't solve your problem either if your leeches and whatnot are in the substrate. Why not try Levamisole? It kills nematodes, safe for snails, plants and fish. Not sure about leeches, planaria etc, something to consider and research.


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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 10:25 PM
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Ammonia is, in some respects, like antibiotics. It kills a lot of bad stuff but also lots of good stuff.

I can definitely say that 8+ ppm kill snails and let plants survive. After my tank had finished cycling, there were lots of microworms, water flees, and other tiny stuff. I don't know if they survived the poisoning or if they just came back from somewhere.

In any case, there are many ways to get rid of snails and leeches, and unless you are dealing with really nasty (harmful) creatures, I'd leave them alone. A warm healthy body of water attracts life. That's one of nature's oldest laws.


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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 10:32 PM
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Potassium permanganate should take care of living things. It might stain the substrate a bit.


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