3.  How does ammonia affect my aquarium?

Ammonia poisoning is one of the biggest killers of aquarium fish. Toxic levels of ammonia occur most often when an aquarium is newly set up. Known as "New Tank Syndrome" these fish are poisoned by high levels of ammonia (NH3) that is produced by the bacterial mineralization of fish wastes, excess food, and the decomposition of animal and plant tissues. Additional ammonia is excreted directly into the water by the fish themselves. However, it can also occur in an established aquarium when high amounts of livestock are added (overwhelming the existing biological filter), flter failure due to power or mechanical failure, or if bacterial colonies die off due to the use of medications or sudden change in water conditions. The effects of ammonia poisoning in fish are well documented. These effects include: extensive damage to tissues, especially the gills and kidney; physiological imbalances; impaired growth; decreased resistance to disease, and; death.

Independent Studies

California State, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, University of Nevada Las Vegas

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