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lyndon

Removing soap from cloudy ammonia.

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Hi All, I have been after some ammonia without soap in it for some time now and have not found it any where. I tried to make a makeshift still from a Kmart kettle with the thermo removed and some jars and tube. This was not an overly successful venture. Then today it occurred to me activated carbon will absorb surfactants like soap but not ammonia. So in theory it should give me what I want.

has anyone here used carbon to get soapless ammonia from cloudy ammonia. Or does anyone have a better knowledge of chemistry that could confirm this. I'm a little worried about destroying perfectly good carbon and killing all my bacteria.

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http://m.ebay.com.au/itm/200g-Ammonium-Chloride-Sal-Ammoniac-NH4Cl-suitable-for-animal-consumption-/191900744520?_trkparms=aid%253D222007%2526algo%253DSIC.MBE%2526ao%253D1%2526asc%253D20150519202357%2526meid%253D4f46f84ab7de4d39bddf45e4edfff7a6%2526pid%253D100408%2526rk%253D1%2526rkt%253D2%2526sd%253D191841488142&_trksid=p2056116.c100408.m2460

The link above is a common alternative, but there isn't anything wrong with using cloudy ammonia (just a little soap). Otherwise, any ammonia source will do including garden fertilisers, urine, decaying fish food, etc.

Once your filters are cycled, you can water change impurities out. The bacteria colonies will be established.

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I have used the cloudy stuff before with no drama but maybe i got lucky.

I have been wanting to try out cooking ammonia aka ammonium bicarbonate.... but never have.

Imho its best to use a small pinch of the food you plan to feed anyway. That way we get all the microbes needed to rot down organics and not just the ammonia/nitrite converters.

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You can get clear ammonia (25%) from most chemical supply places but bacteria colonies will establish regardless. Most fish keepers/some shops are happy to provide a handful of substrate/filter media as well.

Don't be afraid to cycle your filter in a bucket if you are worried about getting soap or other chemicals into your tank.

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thanks all, I have tried a few chem places to no avail. I will try a few more.

I have established media but I am interested in maintaining empty tanks. I just like the ease of liquid ammonia. just squirt X amount into tank every 2-3 days and everythings happy. I've been using the food method but it looks messy and I worry about the fungus on the decaying food, plus its alot harder to hit a target like 4ppm then see it go, though your probably right about the microbes Donny.

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You can try to find baker's ammonia. This is ammonium bicarbonate, a solid that is an excellent substitute for pure ammonia. You can find it in some stores that specialise in European foods, e.g. a delicatessen

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I just like the ease of liquid ammonia. just squirt X amount into tank every 2-3 days and everythings happy.

The powder I linked to is just as easy. You can dissolve some to make a stock solution or simply add dry powder to an empty tank.

25% liquid ammonia is much more expensive.

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I have some you could have. Bought it from the tech den for anyone interested.

wow I didn't realise the tech den sold it. I swear i checked their site before but I checked again and there it was. Thanks!

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The powder I linked to is just as easy. You can dissolve some to make a stock solution or simply add dry powder to an empty tank.

25% liquid ammonia is much more expensive.

Too right its expensive 2.5L $62 excl. GST, I think ill go with the powder.

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for those that are Interested I tried the carbon method just out of curiosity. I filled a funnel with carbon then poured the cloudy ammonia from bottle to bottle and repeated it over and over again. I think a longer narrower tube would have worked better than a funnel but it would have been more effort. I repeated it about 10 times. the ammonia was less cloudy than when I started and didn't froth when shaken any more but it still wasn't clear.

End result was about $15 wasted and some slightly less cloudy ammonia. (plus theres the $7.50 wasted on my original Kmart kettle still idea)

so for $22.50 I got about 19g of semi useful ammonia as opposed to the 200g of ammonium chloride available for $14 as suggested by aquaholic99.

but at least I know now.

Thanks everyone you have been really helpful :)

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Very hard to remove soap without the right tools. Distillation rather than mechanical filtration. But as mentioned, bacteria don't care how impure the ammonia is. Cloudy ammonia on its own is sufficient for $1.80 .

Money you spent is great for the experience though. However, with a little more experience, you will realise any ammonia will do. (Not ammonium). Surprised no one is admitting to peeing into tanks. I do for my larger systems. Quite satisfying for some reason.

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Surprised no one is admitting to peeing into tanks.

You know no fishkeeper or aquarium shop staff will ever let you out of their sight when visiting them now, right? :P

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Very hard to remove soap without the right tools. Distillation rather than mechanical filtration. But as mentioned, bacteria don't care how impure the ammonia is. Cloudy ammonia on its own is sufficient for $1.80 .

Money you spent is great for the experience though. However, with a little more experience, you will realise any ammonia will do. (Not ammonium). Surprised no one is admitting to peeing into tanks. I do for my larger systems. Quite satisfying for some reason.

When you say "not ammonium" that excludes the ammonium chloride you recommended right?

I've been reading articles about water chemistry for years now and just when I start to think I have a reasonable knowledge for what I need for the hobby I stumble across an article that slaps a dunce hat on me and sits me facing the corner.

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