What is Ammonia?
Ammonia is the most toxic nitrogenous waste found in the aquarium and is capable of quickly killing fish.
- Increased mucous production
- Red, bleeding, irritated gills
- Body colour darkens
- Struggling to breath, breaking the surface of the water
- Lowered immunity
You have carried out an Ammonia test you have a result. It should be 0 mg/l. If not carry out the First Aid listed below, then come back and read what it means.
The Ammonia test kits, gives you what is called the TAN (Total Ammonia Nitrogen) levels in your tank water. The test kit can not differentiate between the 2 types of Ammonia in your tank, One which is mostly harmless (Ionized Ammonia NH4+), the other is highly toxic to fish (Unionized Ammonia NH3)
The relationship between Good and Bad Ammonia depends on the PH Level and the Temperature of the water at the time.
Wait, that is a lot of numbers, if like me, you just want something to take away from that table, then the warmer and higher the PH in the water sample the more of the toxic Non Ionized Ammonia will be present! So what levels are we talking about that are going to be a fish? well that is a good question. Un-ionized ammonia begins causing gill damage at approximately 0.02 mg/L and death at approximately .05 mg/L.
Green is OK
Yellow is Risk of Injury to the Fish
Red is Risk of Death
- Dilute the water. (do a water change 25 – 50%)
- Add filtration
- activated charcoal (for freshwater or marine tanks)
- zeolite (for freshwater tanks).
- Add Anti Ammonia treatment (e.g. Ammo-Lock)
- using chemistry magic the toxic Ammonia(NH3) and change it to non-toxic Ammonium (NH4+).
- Depending on your PH level, try to lower it with PH Down
- Depending on your Water Temperature is to lower it.