Aquatic Plant Forum banner
21 - 27 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Hi @3.142craft

Thanks for your feedback.

Indeed, the Seachem website does say "This product is not recommended for use at acid pH". And, I suspect that Seachem are saying this because of the relationship between the toxic, free ammonia (NH3) and the non-toxic ammonium form (NH4). Together, we often loosely refer to this combination as 'ammonia'. I have sometimes seen it referenced as 'TAN', which is an abbreviation for 'Total Ammonia Nitrogen'. The relative proportions of NH3 and NH4 are determined by the water pH as shown below:

Sorry if all this is very familiar to you. Now, to your point. Why am I using the Seachem Ammonia Alert? If the water pH exceeds 6.7, any further increase may produce free NH3. So, in conjunction with the pH being constantly monitored, the Seachem Alert is proving to be handy. I monitor TAN using the JBL NH4 test kit.

Apologies for the long-winded answer!

Yorkie
@Yorkie.
Thanks for your reply.
It is familiar but it’s good to know we are on the same page.
My point was more to your NH4+ levels, as per my original involvement with your posts.
‘I’m interested because I have plans for a low pH setup and consequently nitrogen in the NH4+ form. I’m pondering using Najas Guadalupensis (Guppy grass) in a sump to take up the ammonium. Your discussion is a good start for me.’
I’m trying to establish whether or not your Java Fern is taking up the NH4+ and if so to what degree. I’d be interested in your TAN readings because it would guide me with making a decision. I’m thinking the fern would grow too slowly for the uptake I’d need, I’m also looking into using Pothos as another alternative. Do you have any thoughts on alternative plants?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I’m trying to establish whether or not your Java Fern is taking up the NH4+ and if so to what degree. I’d be interested in your TAN readings because it would guide me with making a decision.
Hi @3.142craft

Good to hear from you again.

Latest measurements are as follows:

JBL TAN << 0.05 ppm

JBL Nitrite < 0.01 ppm

Aquacare Nitrate = 0 ppm

pH = 6.4 +/- 0.1

In order to verify that it's the Java Fern/plants taking up the nitrogen compounds and not nitrifying bacteria, you could duplicate a setup that I once tried. In order to reduce the likelihood of bacterial interference, I briefly sterilized the tank contents before adding any fish. Then, I used remineralized RODI water. I ran a UV-C sterilizer in the tank to kill off any waterborne bacteria.

How does that sound?

As for alternative plants, you could try a floating plant such as Lemna Minor. Since it will have access to atmospheric CO2, it should grow quite rapidly.

Please keep me updated and good luck!

Yorkie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Hi @3.142craft

Good to hear from you again.

Latest measurements are as follows:

JBL TAN << 0.05 ppm

JBL Nitrite < 0.01 ppm

Aquacare Nitrate = 0 ppm

pH = 6.4 +/- 0.1

In order to verify that it's the Java Fern/plants taking up the nitrogen compounds and not nitrifying bacteria, you could duplicate a setup that I once tried. In order to reduce the likelihood of bacterial interference, I briefly sterilized the tank contents before adding any fish. Then, I used remineralized RODI water. I ran a UV-C sterilizer in the tank to kill off any waterborne bacteria.

How does that sound?

As for alternative plants, you could try a floating plant such as Lemna Minor. Since it will have access to atmospheric CO2, it should grow quite rapidly.

Please keep me updated and good luck!

Yorkie
Hi Yorkie.
Good and very positive results. It’s interesting that at a pH of 6.4 you have a nitrite reading but also no nitrate reading. That’s going to take some thinking about and probably a whole new thread,

Thanks for the floating plants suggestion, I was pondering Pistia Stratiotes or Limnobium Laevigatum, easier to thin out than Lemna Minor but I may still trial it in one of the tanks just for comparison. I’m still unsure if any of them are ok in a very low pH and whether they prefer to take up ammonium or nitrates. I read Pothos prefers to take up ammonium, again I’m just not sure about the low pH.

As much as I’d find it interesting I probably won’t have the time to replicate your trials, I’m returning to the UK in early 2023 and would like to get straight to work setting up the aquariums, hence my need to research now. I’m trying to contact the UK rep for the Parosphromenus Project, who I hope has all the answers, but no response yet.

Thanks for your help, information and suggestions, it’s very much appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #24 · (Edited)
It’s interesting that at a pH of 6.4 you have a nitrite reading but also no nitrate reading.
Hi @3.142craft

The nitrite measurement showed < 0.01 ppm, which is another way of writing less than 0.01 ppm, this being the lowest reading of which the JBL test is capable. For all practical purposes, you can read this as zero ppm. The TAN reading was << 0.05 ppm, which is another way of writing very much less than 0.05 ppm. Again, for all practical purposes, you can read this as zero ppm. Nitrate was also 0 ppm. In other words, for all practical purposes, TAN, nitrite and nitrate are all zero ppm.

I’m still unsure if any of them are ok in a very low pH...
What pH figure are we talking about?

I’m returning to the UK in early 2023...
You will see from the column alongside that I'm in the UK. Please keep in touch.

I’m trying to contact the UK rep for the Parosphromenus Project...
Interesting project.

Best,

Yorkie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Hi @3.142craft

The nitrite measurement showed < 0.01 ppm, which is another way of writing less than 0.01 ppm, this being the lowest reading of which the JBL test is capable. For all practical purposes, you can read this as zero ppm. The TAN reading was << 0.05 ppm, which is another way of writing very much less than 0.05 ppm. Again, for all practical purposes, you can read this as zero ppm. Nitrate was also 0 ppm. In other words, for all practical purposes, TAN, nitrite and nitrate are all zero ppm.



What pH figure are we talking about?



You will see from the column alongside that I'm in the UK. Please keep in touch.



Interesting project.

Best,

Yorkie
Hi Yorkie
Thanks for that, the readings make much more sense to me now and are very encouraging for where I’m heading.

What pH figure are we talking about?
Initially I’m looking at starting around a pH of 5 to 5.5 but if things progress well it I could potentially run some tanks as low as 3.
The wild Bettas I’m looking at and some of the easier to care for Parosphromenus prefer around the 5 to 5.5 pH level. At the other end of the scale there are Bettas and Parosphromenus that do well in a pH of 3 but I would be daft to think I can just jump in the deep end first. I’ve been a keen aquarist for about 50 years now but I’ve never delved so low, in general I always found neutral to work well unless breeding species with a specific requirement. I lived in Malaysia and Singapore in the early to mid 90s (only just pre palm oil) and was amazed at the beauty of the live aquarium fish found in the local markets but it never dawned on me they would be under such a massive threat. Now I’m coming up to retirement time and settling back in Essex (😖) I want to do something beneficial with my aquarium knowledge but I just have to adapt it to the lower pH first.

You will see from the column alongside that I'm in the UK. Please keep in touch.
I did see that and although it’ll take a while to get back, set up and get anything aquarium related worth mentioning I’ll certainly keep in touch. I appreciate you taking the time to explain your findings, it will definitely be of benefit.
Take care.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Hi @3.142craft

It has been a real privilege to meet you online and I'd dearly like to keep in touch with you - particularly when you return to the UK. I'd also be very interested in knowing how things progress with the Bettas and Parosphromenus. I would be more than happy to let you have my email address. It may well be the easier way to communicate in future. But, it's entirely up to you.

I hope everything goes as you wish.

Take care, my friend.

Yorkie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Hi @3.142craft

It has been a real privilege to meet you online and I'd dearly like to keep in touch with you - particularly when you return to the UK. I'd also be very interested in knowing how things progress with the Bettas and Parosphromenus. I would be more than happy to let you have my email address. It may well be the easier way to communicate in future. But, it's entirely up to you.

I hope everything goes as you wish.

Take care, my friend.

Yorkie
Hi Yorkie.
Likewise!
Hi @3.142craft

It has been a real privilege to meet you online and I'd dearly like to keep in touch with you - particularly when you return to the UK. I'd also be very interested in knowing how things progress with the Bettas and Parosphromenus. I would be more than happy to let you have my email address. It may well be the easier way to communicate in future. But, it's entirely up to you.

I hope everything goes as you wish.

Take care, my friend.

Yorkie
Hi Yorkie.
Likewise!
I agree, following a discussion thread will be difficult, this is my aquarist email:
[email protected]
I hope it goes smoothly too, I’ve moved so many times you’d think I’d be good at it now but it just gets harder. I’m not looking forward to it.
Happy aquariuming!
 
21 - 27 of 27 Posts
Top