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I have received some very interesting posts on the subject of ammonium/
ammonia and it would seem that I have oversimplified the chemical processes
involved. I neglected to mention temperature and dissolved organics for
example and as Karen implied the balance between ammonium/ ammonia is not
clear cut. For practical fishkeeping purposes my generalization holds true.
Perhaps the authors of books do have an obligation to elaborate more on
some of the chemical exchange processes as it greatly affects the outcome
in such a small biotope as an aquarium.
I stand corrected and will not answer in the future any questions that
involve a PHD on this highly technical discussion group. I'm glad that it
is because the books aren't helping all that much it seems.