I'm about ready to re-enroll in college to find the answer to this one.
There's a young pond-builder-nursery owner on the water garden message board
of AOL who claims that aeration breaks the bond of ammonia. He says that
"water in its entirety has more affinity to oxygen than it does to ammonia.
Ammonia is pushed out with the introduction of oxygen, with the water being
cold during the winter the chain reaction from cracking the ammonia loose is
one benefit, the other is the actual cracking of the ammonia molecule itself
into the two gasses that it is made up of. The byproduct of this is plain
old nigrogen which is gobbled up by the first algae bloom in the spring,
before the bio-filter kicks in. Cold water holds more air and less ammonia
by nature. The introduction of the air forces out the ammonia, the
instability of the ammonia from the separation causes it to crack again into
the two gasses which are carried out by the water bubbles to the outside."
He has stated that he has smelled ammonia in the water, tested positive for
ammonia, heavily aerated, then retested negatively. What is the scientific
explanation of why or why not aeration breaks the bond of the ammonia
molecule and allows its removal from the water naturally?
Thanks for your help with this quest for some real science!