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drip method

The one and only caveat I've ever heard with the "drip" method I thought
was kind of fascinating: Let's say you take home a bag of fish with low
hardness (say R/O) water.  The residual fish waste in the water weakly
acidifies the water. Now you take the bag and start to drip in harder
tapwater.  Even a small bit of the buffered water will start to raise the
pH.  As the pH is raised, the nitrogenous waste in the form of ammonium
(NH4+) starts getting converted to the deadly ammonia (NH3), possibly at a
faster rate than the old water is diluted by the incoming clean water.  

So, I am curious, I have heard this particular bit of theoretical
chemistry a few times.  Has anyone actually experienced this when bringing
a fish home?

  - Erik

Erik Olson
erik at thekrib dot com

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