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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know the lower the ph the less toxic ammonia is. Is there a chart that would give you the toxicity of ammonia at lower ph's?

The reason, I have just begun a 46g bowfront with ADA PS & AS..I have it planted fairly well..(probably could use some more stems) I dont have my co2 hooked up yet as I need to get my bottle filled. But anyway the AS of course made the ammonia off the charts...and without my co2 I started getting lots of hair algae...so I went to the LFS got some Seachems Stability, and did a massive water change...dosed the stability as directions stated...the next day I did the test and it said ammonia was around .25mg/l. So I decided to go ahead and get some SAE's to combat the algae issue. I ended up with 3 SAE's and 2 Mollies(my wife had to have them). Good news is that the algae is getting under control! Im amazed how much they have eaten in a day! I just checked my ammonia and its higher, at 1.5mg/l today. Im still dosing the stability. The fish arent breathing rapidly, nor are they staying at the top of the tank. The ph is at 6.0...so Im wandering just how toxic the ammonia is at this point?
 

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Children Boogie
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I'm assuming this is a brand new tank and I really don't know what your plant situation is like.... Just Do a 50% water change asap..

Your test kit could be off too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nope test kit isnt off..it is pulling the same results as the lfs' test kits and a friends test kit. Its so easy to recommend a water change without understanding the chemistry of things. Thats not really the answer Im looking for...I already know to do a water change...the question is at what level is ammonia toxic with lower ph's?
 

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Children Boogie
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Toxticity starts at 0.1 mg/l.
your 1.5 mg/l is toxic at any ph. So do a water change.
And if you going to be snotty about it, you can google your info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Comet for the chart! That is exactly what I was looking for...maybe Mistergreen can also take a look at it since he is clearly wrong about his answers..
 

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No, Mistegreen is not wrong about the answer.
But like the answers in the chart, specifics do need addressed.

That chart makes some rather large assumptions, NH4+ is toxic, not as toxic as NH3, but it's toxic.

Don't believe me?
Add NH4Cl to a system at low pH/alkalinity. You'll kill fish pretty quick(much sooner than the chart suggest).

Issue no#2: for what species? At what stage of development?
Catfish like channel cats are tough as nails, while trout fry are extremely sensitive, as are most fry for tropical fish as well.

You cannot make a chart like that for fish issues without discussing which fish and what stage of development they are at, that is huge assumption and one that I would never make.

Experiments have shown that the lethal concentration for a variety of fish species ranges from 0.2 to 2.0 mg/l. Trout appear to be most susceptible of these fish and carp the least susceptible.

At higher levels (>0.1 mg/liter NH3) even relatively short exposures can lead to skin, eye, and gills damage. Slightly elevated ammonia levels falling within the acceptable range may adversely impact aquatic life. Fish may experience a reduction in hatching success, a reduction in growth rates and morphological development and injury to gill tissue (such as hyperplasia), liver, and kidneys. Hyperplasia is gill filaments that are swollen and clumped together, reducing the fish's ability to breath/respire.

Elevated levels can also lead to ammonia poisoning by suppressing normal ammonia excrement from the gills. If fish are unable to excrete this metabolic waste product there is a rise in blood-ammonia levels resulting in damage to internal organs. The fish response to toxic levels would be lethargy, loss of appetite, laying on the pond bottom with clamped fins, or gasping at the water surface if the gills have been affected. Because this response is similar to the response to poor water quality, parasite infestations and other diseases often occur.

I've not had a single disease in about 15 years since I started keeping a large amount of plants in my tanks, prior, I found far less disease correlation when large frequent water changes where done. NH4?
That's the main difference.

Experiments have shown that exposure to un-ionized ammonia concentrations as low as 0.002 mg/l for six weeks causes hyperplasia of gill lining in salmon fry and may lead to bacterial gill disease.

Research might be wrong and gross generalizations that hobbyists make with big assumptions might be correct:cool:

Want more?

http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/criteria/ammonia/ammonia-references.pdf

Read a few and then decide.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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WC and wisteria

I agree about the water changes... you will probably have to do a bunch of them. But I would also throw in a ton of plants. I've found I can really increase my plant load without messing up my new aquascape by floating a bunch of Hygrophila difformis, aka. water wisteria on top. It's cheap and it grows like mad, baby plants form on the leaves and you can pull them loose and discard the larger plants if they are blocking too much light. It can get CO2 from the air. I think it will suck up some of your ammonia. Sure, it shades the plants underneath but on a new tank you usually don't want to overdo the light yet anyway. Aquasoil is such a PIA to uproot things in I found this was a way to add disposable plants easily.
 
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