nitrogen cycle water quality - Page 2
Tropical Fish

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources » Freshwater Fish and Aquariums » Advanced Freshwater Discussion » nitrogen cycle water quality

nitrogen cycle water quality

This is a discussion on nitrogen cycle water quality within the Advanced Freshwater Discussion forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Thank you hallyx for the excellent post and informative link. I am a perfectionist when it comes to my fishtanks. I don't just want ...

Check out these freshwater fish profiles
Silver Dollar
Silver Dollar
Black Bellied Limia
Black Bellied Limia
Like Tree5Likes

Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools vBmenu Seperating Image Search this Thread vBmenu Seperating Image
nitrogen cycle water quality
Old 11-26-2013, 04:18 PM   #11
 
rsskylight04's Avatar
 
just what I was looking for!

Thank you hallyx for the excellent post and informative link. I am a perfectionist when it comes to my fishtanks. I don't just want to know what to do, I want to know why I'm doing it and exactly what is happening to make it work. Ive often wondered if plants in the tank take nutrients from bacteria-your information confirms that this is true. Also, info on temp and hardness/ph is very useful to me. Your wisdom is very well appreciated.

Last edited by rsskylight04; 11-26-2013 at 04:23 PM..
rsskylight04 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2013, 04:45 PM   #12
 
Hallyx's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsskylight04 View Post
I don't just want to know what to do, I want to know why I'm doing it and exactly what is happening to make it work.
Exactly so. I couldn't agree with you more.
rsskylight04 and Forestfish like this.
Hallyx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2013, 05:04 PM   #13
 
Hallyx,

yup, i found the PH problem first hand, that was devastating :( i lost half my fish when the PH shifted from below 6.5 to above.

prior to that my aim was to have PH 7.0-7.5 (concerned about snails)
i was familiar with ammonium, but wasn't aware i was dealing with any
at the time i had just removed 2 shopping bags worth of plants i had let get beyond overgrown when i trimmed everything down

i had heard that darkness helps the cycle, but had forgotten what part of the nitrogen cycle it's key too, ... and a refresher is good. prior to that i was thinking of sand-blasting glass beads, only to realize later (after farther reading) it will inhibit the nitrogen cycle due to being transparent (would look neat though :)

i am on the fence about plants and ammonia, in the hobby i have seen a lack of recognition about ammonium, which has left me in doubt when people say plants absorb ammonia

i had not thought about the bacteria colony vs. how heavy the tank is planted, ... good to keep that in mind.
i had no knowledge of what optimum parameters was for developing the bacteria colony, thank you so much :)

i dono about all nitrous toxins at 0, nitrates i have only heard they are good for plants and up to 40ppm is optimal.
Flear is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Flear For This Useful Post:
rsskylight04 (11-26-2013)
Old 11-27-2013, 04:47 AM   #14
 
Hallyx's Avatar
 
Ammonia (NH3) converts to ammonium (NH4) by grabbing a hydrogen ion (H+) from the water at lower pH. It loses that ion at higher pH becoming toxic free ammonia, as you found out, Flear.

Here's a chart which shows the percentage of ammonium versus free ammonia relative to pH and temperature, which is also a factor..
CNYKOI - Ammonia calculator


Plants absorb ammonia in preference to other nitrogen compounds and convert it to ammonium to provide energy to break the C from the CO2 to build plant mass, releasing O2 which your nitrifying bacteria need. How it does this in conjunction with photosynthesis is something I'm not quite clear on. Rickey knows this stuff really well.

You lost lot of ammonia/ammonium processing capacity from your system when you (over)-trimmed your plants. When your pH went up, ammonium reverted to free ammonia and decimated your fish.

It's not that the bacteria need darkness so much as they need less UV radiation. Darkness seems to help the cycle a little. Not as much as O2 and warmth (~84*)

Sand-blasting glass beads seems to me to be an interesting choice as substrate. Is that what you mean? Being on the bottom, it wouldn't matter regarding darkness. They're out of the way, as it were.

In a plantless tank, all the ammonia is oxidized by the nitrifying bacteria. In a NPT all the ammonia is consumed by the plants. Anywhere along that spectrum, the dominant factor gets dibs, the leftovers go the other.

I'm under the impression that nitrate is converted to ammonia before it's used. I'm having a hard time getting accurate confirmation of this. But, if your plants are absorbing all the ammonia, you won't see nitrate at all. Nitrate is an end product of the nitrogen cycle.

Nitrate may be good for plants, but no amount of nitrate is optimal for livestock.

Last edited by Hallyx; 11-27-2013 at 04:58 AM..
Hallyx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2013, 12:07 PM   #15
 
rsskylight04's Avatar
 
Hallyx, the link you provided in previous post is exceptional, I'm going to have to re read a few times... long time scince I took any chemistry. Great stuff! I think every aquarist should read that. Again, thanks for the help.
rsskylight04 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2013, 12:33 PM   #16
 
sandblasting glass beads are an over-kill for substrate use.

they're round for delicate fish
they're fine (like play-sand)
make compacting impossible due to their shape
lots of pore-space for water to keep O2 levels high inside the substrate

the company that manufactures them also produces a ceramic bead for foundry casting, ... but i don't know where they sell it to, ... that i think is white, but opaque, solving translucency issues (if any)

the issues with the glass beads would be translucency, allowing light to pass through, sure glass inhibits UV to a degree, but it doesn't block it, if that's an important factor, an opaque substrate becomes of higher value.

---

as for ammonia/ammonium & nitrates

bits i've come across don't talk about ammonia, makes me a little confused

they talk about nitrates & ammonium
plants prefer ammonium, failing that their next choice is nitrates that they convert to ammonium

i wish i could find information on ammonia vs ammonium for plant uptake

---

when it comes to nitrates, the option is to follow what reef tanks are doing with live rock
dead coral rock is great as it allows the bacteria to live safely in O2 deprived water deeper inside the live rock there it can process nitrates into N2, completing the nitrogen cycle, for freshwater if your PH is high (for a chichlid tank sure) can go the same route, ... if your PH is lower then lava-rock would do the job i think (that info is really hard to find
Flear is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Flear For This Useful Post:
rsskylight04 (11-27-2013)
Old 11-27-2013, 02:42 PM   #17
 
rsskylight04's Avatar
 
question

I have very hard water, does that keep ph low? Is it good for bacteria?
rsskylight04 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2013, 07:38 AM   #18
 
Hallyx's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flear View Post
the issues with the glass beads would be translucency, allowing light to pass through, ... an opaque substrate becomes of higher value.
The transparency of the substrate doesn't matter. It's down-sun of the system. I run bare-bottom tanks. I just mentioned darkness as a minor cycling aid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flear View Post
... failing that their next choice is nitrates that they convert to ammonium

i wish i could find information on ammonia vs ammonium for plant uptake
I bet the members over at the "Advanced Planted Tank" section of this forum could answer that question.

Not many freshwater keepers use live rock. Strohnmeyer discuses how to complete the cycle through to N2 outgassing in his article I referred to. For Betta, it's just easier to do water changes. Lava rock is sometimes used to raise KH (hardness) causing a rise in pH.

Hard water (high GH and/or KH) keeps pH high and stable, hard to manipulate up or down. Hard water is good for the growth of nitrifying bacteria.

Last edited by Hallyx; 11-28-2013 at 07:44 AM..
Hallyx is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Hallyx For This Useful Post:
rsskylight04 (11-29-2013)
Old 11-28-2013, 08:38 AM   #19
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flear View Post
as for ammonia/ammonium & nitrates

bits i've come across don't talk about ammonia, makes me a little confused

they talk about nitrates & ammonium
plants prefer ammonium, failing that their next choice is nitrates that they convert to ammonium

i wish i could find information on ammonia vs ammonium for plant uptake
I can pull some articles relating to the chemistry if want them, I'll pull them at work so we don't have to buy for them, but I can quarentee a headache before you get it all figured out.
R
Forestfish likes this.
rickey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2013, 06:45 AM   #20
 
Forestfish's Avatar
 
Wow, this is an amazing post !
Forestfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Nitrogen Cycle Aqua Hound Beginner Freshwater Aquarium 2 09-23-2013 07:10 PM
Nitrogen cycle?? vlssgrouppa Beginner Freshwater Aquarium 5 03-20-2011 01:58 PM
nitrogen cycle testing mullinsd2 Water Chemistry 24 06-18-2009 08:07 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:54 PM.