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Ammonium and carbon (was Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V4 #975)

> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 13:55:29 -0600
> From: Chuck Gadd <cgadd at cfxc_com>
> Subject: Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V4 #975
> Wright wrote:
> > I usually use slow carbon filtering that removes all the chlorine and ammonium.
> I wasn't aware that carbon would ever remove ammonia...   In fact, several
> water filter manufacturers suggested using seperate ammonia absorbing
> resins along with carbon to properly treat for chloramine.

I think they are being overly conservative. Certainly, I do not think
ammonium/ammonia alone is effectively removed by carbon filtering. 

The process is removing the compound chloramine, OK, though. All I can say
is that it tests zero for *both* chlorine and ammonium/ammonia as long as I
trickle the water through the filter(s) slowly enough.

If a bit of ammonium leaks through, it can no doubt be slowly dissipated in
the storage tank, I guess. While our LFS tests for ammonium are way too
insensitive to be able to detect damaging amounts, I have never detected the
smallest amounts in my stored water, nor has it had any observable effect on
baby fish (the most sensitive test).

The truly retentive could be sure by adding an ion-exchange filter to get
the ammonium. A simple sodium-dosed zeolite bed might do it, wouldn't it?


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


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