View Full Version : Nh4

07-19-2006, 12:47 PM
Well, i think cause of this stuffhttp://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y29/burning2nd/Picture3000467.jpg

dieing off, (2 much added at once) made my NH4 go up,

i think ive fixed the problem, i didnt serveral water changes and tests, and im down at 0.

but if this stuff was dieing off, that would cause ammonia?

07-19-2006, 12:56 PM
now, look should i remove the rest of this? or give it a chance to grow?


07-19-2006, 02:01 PM
What is it?? Is that in your sump? Also, was your plan to use it for nutrient export? If so, they only way you can export the excess nutrients is to cut it back as it grows. The excess nitrates and or phosphates will only be bound up in it and won't be removed from the system until you export it by trimming it every so often as it grows:)

07-19-2006, 02:50 PM
ya it sounded good on papper.

im removed all but a little, and now im gonna watch the tank like a hawk

07-19-2006, 09:42 PM
Run your sump light 24/7 so it can not go sexual and die off.

07-20-2006, 06:39 AM
OH......... Were sexual over buddy, the laddies love it.


IM runing 24/7 but i dont think my light is good enought, its like one of the under cabanet lights you get at wall mart (9 bucks) when i get some more money, im gonna go get a 24 inch antic strip from the lfs, there 20 bucks

i dont understand what you mean about the sexual thing? meaning the 2 plants are gonnna do it and make more?

i mean i get it but i dont know whats better. sexual or asexual..

what if i can get that plant to grow in the sump, and let it get big it would export the stuff it needs and the one in the tank would die off?

07-20-2006, 06:40 AM
opps wrong post, disregaurd all that,

the lights are 24/7

07-20-2006, 07:24 AM
For those looking for more info, check out this thread where the algae is IDed: Green Plant (http://www.reeffrontiers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16818).

If the stuff isn't living, then take the rest out. I would be more concerned about nutrients or toxins being released in the tank. Caulerpas toxicity is different compared to other forms of macroalgae toxicity, so IMO it is a poor choice for use. Chaetomorpha sp. is much better, IMO (as noted in the previous thread).

Here is some reading: A warning sign of Caulerpa going sexual by Gene Schwartz (http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-05/nftt/index.htm)

07-20-2006, 09:37 AM
Nice read Nikki.. I think you have a link for everything. :)

07-20-2006, 10:53 AM
i got so meny post going on here, i cant keep track of em all

:-) LOL oh well keep em comeing need more info

07-20-2006, 06:33 PM
Unless this is a FW tank which I doubt (?), stop testing for NH4, it means nothing at higher pH values. Test for NH3- only.


07-21-2006, 12:07 AM

You have that all wrong Bud :D

It does not make any difference. Most kits test for Total Ammonia. It may be "expressed" as Total Ammonia, NH3, NH4+, NH3-N or NH4+-N.. Some due test for Total Ammonia and NH3, like SeaChem but so what, the ammonia is a function of pH and Temp. NSW @ 77F will have 1/10 of its ammonia as NH3 or 1 ppm TAn-N will have 0.1 ppm NH3-N. Most test kits express ammonia as NH3-N. Any ammonia level by any test kit is bad, unless say you are cycling. And some articles seem to think that any ammonia in any of the two froms is toxic.

What expressions mean;
Think of Alk in ppm. It is expressed as CaCO3. The CO3-- means nothing, other than if you had 100ppm CaCO3 and you remove or precip'd out all the Alk and took a Ca++ with it, it would produce 100 ppm Calcite or Aragonite, as a solid. Now look at a GH kit. It is also "expressed" as CaCO3, even though allot of that CaCO3 could be Mg++. If want I can express Alk or Ca++ as Si, TiO2, etc. as CaCO3. It is just a weight think by "expression". I can express it anyway I want.

The MW of

NH3 = ( 1 x 3) + 14 = 17

NH4+ = (1 x 4) +14 = 18

That is a conversion of .94

10 ppm NH3 / .944 = 10.6 NH4+.....not much

If we are dealing with NH3-N or NH4+-N we must subtract the H, as we are only looking at the weight of the N. This give us a conversion of NH4+ : NH4+ - N of 1.2. 1 ppm NH4+N = 1.2 ppm NH4+

How much NH3 there is a function of pH and temp. Knowing what you have, as NH3 or NH4+ is best given by using a calculator.


Why I have issues with the below kits;

Kits in this hobby, namely Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate and Phosphate. The international stds are as N or P values and many hobby kits give them as NO3, PO4 etc..I think it is wrong that the international std is N and P. But many hobby kits go against that std and do the ion thing,, NO3, PO4 etc. So, often people are not on the same page. Some one says their Nitrate is 1 ppm and may get thumbsup, but actually it is almost 5 ppm.

07-21-2006, 05:07 PM
Both are undesirable yes but NH4+ is no where near as toxic as NH3- at higher pH values. While most kits measure total ammonia ((NH3- plus NH4+), free ammonia (NH3-) in a higher pH environment is quite toxic. 10x moreso than ammonium (NH4+). If we where discussing a FW, low to neutral pH environment, I would agree with you. Temurature not being so important as pH but both make NH3- nastiers as they increase.

A ph value of 7.5 with a temp of 20°C @ a total ammonia of 1.5 ppm would yield a 0.019 ppm free ammonia. While a pH of 8.3 and a temp of 27°C at the same total ammonia of 1.5 yields a free ammonia of 0.17 ppm. Quite a bit of difference. Anything above 0.10 ppm free ammonia can be lethal. The values of NH4+ at higher pH values are not toxic to higher marine organisms.


07-21-2006, 05:52 PM
NH4+ is no where near as toxic as NH3- at higher pH values

You missed the point :D I never said NH3 was not toxic or there was not more at higher pH. That is all explained in the paper I posted and is why I posted it. I posted kit functions, expressions and what they mean. I'm quite aware of the toxicity of ammonia at different pH's and temps and what types are yielded. Even salinity plays a minor roll.

I posted all of that as you told him to stop testing for NH4+ and to test for NH3. There is no need for that. Almost all kits test for TAn. It is irrelevant what ammonia kit he has (as long as it is not a FW kit which are not buffered for higher seawater pH) par using a kit that only test for NH3. The ratio of NH3:NH4+ is a pure function of temp and pH. NH4+ at higher pH is still toxic, just not as toxic or lets say much less toxic. If a kit reads 2 ppm ammonia at 25 C or 1 ppm at 25C the NH3 will be 1/10 of that value. Tan in seawater should never get higher than 1 ppm with life form in it.

If on takes a NH3 kit only and compares it against a Tan kit and you use the the calculator posted you will get the same results. The there is the issue how accurate does one think such a only NH3 kit is.

The values of NH4+ at higher pH values are not toxic to higher marine organisms.

Ref. papers in Spotte will disagree with that.

1.5 yields a free ammonia of 0.17 ppm.

I already said that 1/10 of the reading @ 25 C. 1.5 x .1- = 0.15, if at 25C and if @ 27C = 0.17.

I would agree with you.

What are you disagreeing on ;)