I have a few questions regarding ammonia at different pHs.
To my understanding......Ammonia is affected by the pH (dissolved hydrogen ions) of the water. When the pH is above neutral (greater than 7.0), it is primarily in the toxic or unionized form (NH3
). If the pH is below 7.0, a significant portion of the ammonia will be ionized and basically non toxic to the fish (ammonium - NH4
+). Ammonia is especially harmful to marine fish since saltwater aquariums are almost always maintained at a pH of between 8.1 and 8.4.
So can it be assumed that there is less "ammonia-eating" bacteria at lower pHs because there is less ammonia (NH3
) at lower pHs? I also was once told that ammonia is not effectively broken down at low pHs. Is this true? If it is true, how do the Discus and Angel guys keep their pH so low without running into problems? Do they rely heavily on water changes? Also, does anything break down ammonium (NH4
+) in the aquarium?
Sorry if I was confusing...any help appreciated!