Product: Tropic Marin 28110 - Ammonia/ammonium Test sea and freshwater
What is the meaning of ammonia/ammonium total concentration?
The ammonium ion is the result of nitrogen mineralization. The organically bound nitrogen(for example in proteins) in food leftovers and excrements is converted by protein splitting bacteria and released in the form of inorganic ammonium, ions. Depending on the pH-value there is an equilibrium between ammonium ions, NH4+ and ammonia NH3 in the water. If the pH-value is smaller than 7,the ammonium ions predominate, while at a pH-value greater than 7 more and more ammonia will occur. Ammonia is very dangerous because it impairs the respiration of the aquatic animals. It easily penetrates into the cells which raises the pH-value and blocks vital functions. The ammonium ion is nitrogen source for aquatic plants. In a healthy and a well prepared basin the ammonium ions are rapidly oxidized by nitrifying bacteria over nitrite to nitrate. If this process is disturbed, a sudden increase of the ammonium-ion concentration may occur.
What are safe values for the total ammonia concentration?
In fresh water under normal conditions, an ammonia/ammonium total concentration of 0.1 mg/l is considered normal, an upper limit of 0.5 mg/l should not be exceeded. In sea water the ammonia/ammonium total concentration should be below0.05 mg/l; it should not be detectable by the test. Crucial is the total ammonia concentration which is the result of the ammonia/ammonium total concentration depending on the temperature and the pH-value.
How can the ammonia/ammonium total concentration rapidly and accurately be determined?
The new Tropic Marine ammonia/ammonium test can be used in fresh water as well as in sea water. The ammonia/ammonium total concentration can be determined with the help of a finely tuned color chart which includes a concentration range from 0.01-5 mg/l.
- Shake the dropping bottle before each use!
- First rinse the vial with tap water and then several times with aquarium water. Now use the metering syringe to fill the vial up to the 5 ml mark.
- Now add 5 drops each of the ammonia/ammonium test reagents A,B and C, sharking after each addition.
- After 5 minutes developing time place the open vial on the white interior circles of the color areas of the color chart. By looking from above into open vial the color of the solutions can be compared with the surrounding color field. The ammonia/ammonium total concentration is read below the matching color field.
A slight cloudiness with sea water samples does not influence the result of the test.
If the ammonia/ammonium total concentration is too high, we recommend:
- Examination and, if necessary, reduction of the amount of feed
- Partial water exchange*
- cleaning of the basin and removal of dead organisms
- use of an ammonium adsorbent
When doing a water change to bring down high ammonia levels ALWAYS test for the pH levels first. At lower pH values loose ammonia in the aquarium will mostly be in the form of NH4+ which is only slightly toxic. A large water change may raise the pH to normal levels of 8.0-8.4. At these pH values much or the remaining NH4+ will convert to highly toxic NH3.
Proteins are one of the main sources for increased ammonia/ammonium concentration. As a precaution we therefore recommend o regularly control the protein concentration with the Tropic Marin Protein Test. This enables you to take timely counter-measures in case the protein values are too high even before a toxic ammonia concentration has developed through protein decomposition.
- Keep out of the reach of children.
- Ammonia/ammonium test reagent B contains soda Iye. Causes sever burns. Should there be contact with skin or eyes, rinse thoroughly with fresh water.
- In case of accident or illness consult a physician immediately and show the package.
- The reagent can be used for 12 months after the first use.