DIY Ammonia dosing for low nitrate systems

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Randy Holmes-Farley

Randy Holmes-Farley

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I believe that Ammonia is a better energy source for Coral then Nitrate.

I don't have objection at all, like I said, it's simply a post I never expected to see :)

What I'm asking is whether you compared nitrate dosing alone to ammonium nitrate dosing in your system, and if so, what differences if any, did you detect?
 

gbroadbridge

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They are already on the shelf of LFS from decades - Dr. Tim's Ammonium chloride for example, they are cheap and with known concentration which is so rare in this business.
I believe Dr Tims dosing instructions miss the bit about suitable for feeding Coral, and restrict the suitability to fishless cycling.
 

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What I'm asking is whether you compared nitrate dosing alone to ammonium nitrate dosing in your system, and if so, what differences if any, did you detect?
Well, I continued to dose Calcium Nitrate (which has measurable ammonia as well) otherwise Nitrate always reads zero and I have no idea how quickly the Ammonia is consumed.

I use measurable Nitrate as a safety net.

In terms of coral health/color I can't say I see any difference.
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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Well, I continued to dose Calcium Nitrate (which has measurable ammonia as well) otherwise Nitrate always reads zero and I have no idea how quickly the Ammonia is consumed.

I use measurable Nitrate as a safety net.

In terms of coral health/color I can't say I see any difference.

OK, thanks. :)
 

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That would be adding about 0.4 ppm ammonia over the day. That should be fine, but as suggested above, there's no reason to not start more slowly since not that many folks have dosed ammonia. :)
That’s likely what I will do. I was going to put the solution into a 500 ml bottle to dispense over the course of the day.
 

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You mentioned ammonia evaporating from the containers. I would say that the smell of ammonia is not trivial and also may be pretty toxic. I prefer amino acids, but the cost is an issue here. What about MSG? Inexpensive, always comes as food grade. The question is if dosing will affect the overall Na concentration.
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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You mentioned ammonia evaporating from the containers. I would say that the smell of ammonia is not trivial and also may be pretty toxic. I prefer amino acids, but the cost is an issue here. What about MSG? Inexpensive, always comes as food grade. The question is if dosing will affect the overall Na concentration.

These solutions (0.43% ammonia) are nowhere near as concentrated as household ammonia solutions (5-10% ammonia), so the smell, especially from the ammonium chloride should not be problematic.

Amino acids may also be a great way to go, but could tend to drive cyano or other bacteria.

There's no concern about altering the sodium concentration with such additives, IMO, as you aren't dosing enough.
 

vahegan

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You mentioned ammonia evaporating from the containers. I would say that the smell of ammonia is not trivial and also may be pretty toxic. I prefer amino acids, but the cost is an issue here. What about MSG? Inexpensive, always comes as food grade. The question is if dosing will affect the overall Na concentration.
As I have already posted in this thread, I tried to dose amino acids in amounts sufficient to satisfy the nitrogen requirements in a virtually fishless tank. This resulted in a big dyno outbreak which was hard to overcome.
 

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Related...I just fishless cycled rock in a 100 gal bin while waiting for custom tank/stand. Used a dormant bacteria (AquaVitro Seed) and ammonium chloride (Fritz Pro, powder form). The Fritz stuff is pretty cheap with clear mixing/concentration directions and now I have what I thought was a lifetime supply. :)

I was wondering about using it later to dose and build up/check bacteria population once rock moved to a tank (before animals). @Randy Holmes-Farley, thanks for giving me a starting point for safe dosing if needed with animals present later!
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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Related...I just fishless cycled rock in a 100 gal bin while waiting for custom tank/stand. Used a dormant bacteria (AquaVitro Seed) and ammonium chloride (Fritz Pro, powder form). The Fritz stuff is pretty cheap with clear mixing/concentration directions and now I have what I thought was a lifetime supply. :)

I was wondering about using it later to dose and build up/check bacteria population once rock moved to a tank (before animals). @Randy Holmes-Farley, thanks for giving me a starting point for safe dosing if needed with animals present later!

You're welcome and Happy reefing!
 

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13.5 grams of ammonium chloride (about 3 - 4.6 teaspoons, varies by brand) in 1 L RO/DI water.

Some calculations and different concentrations:

Randy's - 13.5 grams of ammonium chloride to 1 L RO/DI water - 2.2ml of it in 100 L (26 gal) tank water will rise NH4/NH3 with 0.1 ppm

30 grams
of ammonium chloride to 1 L RO/DI water - 1ml of it in 100 L (26 gal) tank water will rise NH4/NH3 with 0.1 ppm

113 grams
(4 Ounces bottle Loudwolf) of ammonium chloride to 1 L RO/DI water - 0.26ml of it in 100 L (26 gal) tank water will rise NH4/NH3 with 0.1 ppm

113 grams
(4 Ounces bottle Loudwolf) of ammonium chloride to 760 ml RO/DI water - 0.2ml of it in 100 L (26 gal) tank water will rise NH4/NH3 with 0.1 ppm

Dr. Tim's
ammonium chloride - 0.2ml of it in 100 L (26 gal) tank water will rise NH4/NH3 with 0.1 ppm

I am using 30 gr/ 1L water because for me is easier to remember 1 ml /100 L /0.1 ppm NH4/NH3 :)
 

LadAShark

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Speaking of ammonia, betaine is a quaternary ammonium compound that was shown to be found in elevated quantities in scleractian corals and tridacnids, it's feasible that it may be worth testing dosing via a human supplement. Fairly cheap too.
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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Speaking of ammonia, betaine is a quaternary ammonium compound that was shown to be found in elevated quantities in scleractian corals and tridacnids, it's feasible that it may be worth testing dosing via a human supplement. Fairly cheap too.

That might be an interesting experiment. Like other amino acids, it also has the potential to boost bacterial growth,
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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This thread brought back memories of working at a LFS and catching my old boss peeing in the rock tanks and I legitimatly thought that's what this thread would be about.

lol

As an aside, there's really not much ammonia in human urine. If there is, it's a health problem. Mostly the N component is urea.
 

taricha

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As an aside, there's really not much ammonia in human urine. If there is, it's a health problem. Mostly the N component is urea.
Really? wow.
I'm going to have to re-evaluate my estimate of the likelihood of "someone in your house peed in the tank" as a mechanism for inexplicable ammonia spikes. (I do believe that has happened a non-zero number of times on this forum.)
 

A_Blind_Reefer

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This thread brought back memories of working at a LFS and catching my old boss peeing in the rock tanks and I legitimatly thought that's what this thread would be about.
Better than catching them taking a dookie I guess! I’m guessing there were a few empty beer bottles laying around as well
 

Enderg60

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Really? wow.
I'm going to have to re-evaluate my estimate of the likelihood of "someone in your house peed in the tank" as a mechanism for inexplicable ammonia spikes. (I do believe that has happened a non-zero number of times on this forum.)

you didnt have a tank in college and it shows.
 

LadAShark

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Really? wow.
I'm going to have to re-evaluate my estimate of the likelihood of "someone in your house peed in the tank" as a mechanism for inexplicable ammonia spikes. (I do believe that has happened a non-zero number of times on this forum.)
Think of it more simply: ammonia is the core component of amino acids and nucleic acids. Generally, the body tries to waste as little of that as possible, and most of what needs to be disposed of is disposed of through the intestines. The human body also disposes of nitrogen as ammonia through your lungs and as urea in sweat. What's left is what your kidneys filter out and flush through your urine. High nitrogen content in urine or blood is actually something we screen for in medicine.

Another thing: urea is also slightly a carbon source. Still mostly a nitrogen source, but definitely also a carbon source.
 

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