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Re: dechlorinators & ammonia "burst"

> ------------------------------
> Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 20:06:59 EDT
> From: Wubba2u at aol_com
> Subject: dechlorinators & ammonia "burst"
> << Chlorine and ammonia (e.g., chloramines) are the first things to suspect.
>  Both should always test at zero in any water you add to your tank. Don't try
>  to use dechlorinators (hypo, sodium thiosulphate) if your supplier has
>  switched to chloramine. You *must* remove the burst of ammonium/ammonia if
>  your pH ever goes much above 7.5 or they will get severe gill burns. >>
> Does this mean that using a product designed to remove chlorine and 
> chloramine is not sufficient? Can someone please explain this?

No. It means you *must* use such a product (dechlorAMinator) and not an
old-style dechlorinator. ["Amquel" instead of "Novaqua" to use one popular
supplier's two well-known products.] 

Old-style dechlorinators remove the chlorine but leave ammonium/ammonia in

Such products, based on sodium thiosulphate, claim to "break the chlorine
ammonium bond," but do absolutely nothing to bind up the ammonium/ammonia.
They are maybe OK if you know your pH cannot get far above neutral, but can
be deadly otherwise. They are also a ripoff, because plain photographer's
hypo (sodium thiosulphate) does that job at about 1% the price the LFS

"Prime" and "Ammo lock 2" also bind the ammonium until the plants can use
it, much like "Amquel." There are others that do a similar job of keeping
the ammonia under control.

If you have chloramines (either on purpose to stabilize chlorine, or due to
agricultural contamination of chlorinated water) do not use simple dechlor
products. Use one guaranteeing it locks up the ammonia, too. [I usually use
slow carbon filtering that removes all the chlorine and ammonium.]


Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679  wright at killi dot net


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