Olympus is Calling.

jaypeecee

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Honestly you can't conclude that.
Hi Darrel,

It's neither what I expected nor what I had wanted to be the outcome. That's why I invite others to repeat the experiment - perhaps with faster-growing plants. Then, I guess the end result may well be different.
...it is almost impossible to get a microbe free system, even in the lab

And that is what my experiment demonstrates.

JPC
 

jaypeecee

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Because they are epiphytes? Duckweed (Lemna minor) would be more suitable, just because of its faster growth rate and aerial advantage. It would also get around any complexity offered by root/substrate interactions.
Hi Darrel,

I forgot to mention that there was no substrate in my setup.

JPC
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
It's neither what I expected nor what I had wanted to be the outcome. That's why I invite others to repeat the experiment - perhaps with faster-growing plants. Then, I guess the end result may well be different.
I honestly don't know what happened to the ammonia you had added. It may have undergone nitrification etc. , but there are all sorts of questions. Did you start with RO water? If you did? What other nutrients did you add to it? etc.

If a study has been published as a peer reviewed scientific paper, then it is likely to be much more accurate and much more rigorous than anything that I could accomplish.

It is a bit like the <"Archaea papers">, I can't independently verify them, if you like it is a "faith position", based on a faith on the <"scientific method">.

cheers Darrel
 
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jaypeecee

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Hi @dw1305

I am in little doubt that the ammonia had undergone nitrification. Hence the measurable nitrite and nitrate after a few days. I used remineralized rainwater. Conductivity was ~200microS/cm. To this I added 0.3 ml of Flourish Fe, 0.4 ml of Flourish P and 0.8 ml of Flourish Trace. Alkalinity was 2.5 dKH and General Hardness was 3.5 dGH. I didn't measure pH as my pH probe was out of action.
If a study has been published as a peer reviewed scientific paper, then it is likely to be much more accurate and much more rigorous than anything that I could accomplish.
As a (retired!) scientist myself, I always refer to peer-reviewed papers, when available (and preferably free). That's why my Dropbox is bursting at the seams with them! But, the research that has been carried out on ammonium uptake by plants doesn't invalidate my results, or does it? OK, I don't have thousands of pounds of analytical equipment but it's not necessary to measure TAN, NO2- and NO3- to +/- 2% accuracy in the experiment that I have conducted.

In short, I would like to repeat this experiment sometime using fast-growing plants. Unfortunately, I am unable to nip out to my local MA during the current pandemic. And I haven't seen any members of the local aquarist society since February of this year - so I can't nab some plants from them. I also have in mind including Urea in the ferts mixture. Like yourself, I hadn't realized how non-toxic this is to fish.

JPC
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
But, the research that has been carried out on ammonium uptake by plants doesn't invalidate my results, or does it?
No, it definitely doesn't invalidate your result, whatever happens you have contributed to the sum of human knowledge. If people try similar experiments, and come up with similar results, then we know that our present view of ammonia uptake in plant/microbe systems isn't right.
As a (retired!) scientist myself,
I am in little doubt that the ammonia had undergone nitrification.
But that is really the point, I'm <"always in doubt, about pretty much everything">. I'm not saying that you are right or wrong, but I don't think that you can conclude all that scientific work, on phytoremediation and ammonia uptake is wrong, based on your experiment. Have a look at <"Ammonium and Nitrate Uptake by the Floating Plant Landoltia punctata">.

As a wider point, from my point of view I don't really care where, why or how nitrification takes place, as long as <"ammonia and nitrite are removed from the aquarium rapidly"> and efficiently I'm not that bothered, what the process is. If you like, it's more the <"destination that interests me">, rather than the journey.

I'd really like to be able to quantify all the processes that are occurring in the aquarium, but I'm not sure it is an achievable aim.

cheers Darrel
 

jaypeecee

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...I don't think that you can conclude all that scientific work, on phytoremediation and ammonia uptake is wrong, based on your experiment. Have a look at <"Ammonium and Nitrate Uptake by the Floating Plant Landoltia punctata">.
Hi Darrel

Oh, I didn't mean to dismiss the scientific work carried out on phytoremediation and ammonia. Sorry if I gave that impression. No, no, thrice no! I bow down to their superior knowledge and research excellence. I just did a simple experiment and made a few measurements. I wasn't expecting to detect any nitrite or nitrate. In my naivety, I was expecting the plants to gobble up the ammonium but that didn't happen.

I will check out the paper you referenced. In fact, I think I already have a copy.

JPC
 
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