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Re: hydra removal

Bob Dixon writes:

> Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 19:20:03 EST
> From: IDMiamiBob at aol_com
> Subject: Re: Live Foods Digest V2 #352
> George writes:
> > It surprised me, that nobody mentioned the old stand-by ammonium nitrate
> >  (NH4NO3, available in garden supply stores) that is mentioned by W.T.
> >  Innes.

We know a lot about fish, now, that Innes didn't know, then.

> >
> >  The dosage recommended is 5 grains/US gallon, or 85 milligrams/liter,
> >  added dissolved in a small amount of water. It is said to be safe for
> >  fish and plants. In 24 hours the hydra are gone.
> If the pH in my tank were much above 7.8, I would be terrified to add that
> much ammonia to my tank.  Best get it down to below 7.0 before trying this.
> Or would that make the treatment ineffective?

Best get it *way* below 7. [That is, don't do it!] The ratio of ammonia
(deadly) to ammonium (relatively harmless) drops with pH, but doesn't
really go to effectively to zero until about pH=4 or so. It is
significant at 6, if such high doses are present.

Only 0.1ppm of ammonia does permanent gill damage to fish. We know that,
now. [See Spotte, for example.] They survive it but stunting and other
growth and behaviour abnormalities continue throughout their life. The
levels suggested are sure to damage all but the hardiest of fish --
maybe even them.

At very low pH, the nitrites produced by the bacteria in the tank might
become significant (and at their deadliest). That is, a monster "cycling
spike" could happen if there is significant biofiltering present.

Bottom line: 

Ammonium Nitrate is fine fertilizer, but not a very good idea for
aquaria, IMO.


Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679  huntley1 at home dot com
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