Ammonium Nitrate, Pure
CAS Number 6484-52-2
EC Number 229-347-8
Chemical formula NH4NO3
Solubility in water 1500g/l (20 °C)
90g NH4NO3 + 500ml water, 1ml solution per 100 l of tank water yields a concentration of 0.4 NH4 and 1.4 NO3 ppm
50g NH4NO3 + 500ml water, 1ml solution per 100 l of tank water yields a concentration of 0.2 NH4 and 0.8 NO3 ppm
90g NH4NO3 should last for about 350 dni (for a 100L aquarium)
Store in dark place, in room temperature.
In order to measure the required amount you can either use a scale, a measuring jug (with milliliters), a teaspoon or a tablespoon. If you want to use spoons, it is important that you use the same spoon for all of your mixtures. The size of the spoon is not that important – it is the maintenance of the proportions of all of the ingredients that matters.
Just to give a rough guide: 1 teaspoon = approximately 5g, 1 tablespoon = approximately 15g.
What also needs to be remembered is that every chemical compound has different maximum solubility in water and that the values given above are accurate for distilled water. The maximum solubility in RO water will be slightly lower; solubility in boiled water will be even lower (if you want to use boiled water, we recommend you to boil it for 3min and than let it drop to room temperature).
It is worth mentioning that saturation of a solution of one salt will decrease the solubility of another salt added to the same solution.
Good To Know
Nitrogen is a macroelement, it makes about 1.5% of a dry plant. Nitrate is a component of proteins, nucleic acid and chlorophyll. Nitrate is a mobile element (can transfer from one part of the plant to another), therefore symptoms of its deficiency occur in older leaves first. Plants absorb nitrate in the form of ions NO3-, NO2-, NH4+ and urea. Water plants absorb nitrate first of all in the form of ammonium cation, as its absorption requires the least energy. Ions NH4+, however, are toxic for fish and stimulate the growth of many algies therefore are not recommended for use in planted aquariums. The most commonly used source of nitrate is KNO3 (Potassium Nitrate). The recommended level of nitrates is 5-30 ppm. The nitrate level needs to be monitored regularly (at least in the first few months since the aquarium’s set up).
Well-lit aquariums with CO2 injection (even in those with a big fish population) often need nitrate supplementation. The usual dosing ranges from 5 to 25 ppm NO3- a week.
In planted tanks nitrate deficiency is quite common. Low nitrate level (close to deficiency level) in red plants leads to intensified colours. In case of moderate deficiency usually the only symptom is an impeded growth of the plants. In case of more severe deficiencies the growth is completely blocked. Also, smaller leaves, smaller propagation and general chlorosis of older, and with time younger, leaves (indicated by light-green to yellow colour) are typical symptoms of nitrate deficiency. In more severe deficiencies, necrosis and fall of leaves occur. Leaves and stems of some plant species become red or orange. In case of some plants (e.g., water millfoil, hornwort, ditch moss) stem fragmentation may also occur.
In planted tanks excess of nitrate is quite unlikely. Possible symptoms of excess levels of nitrate can be visible on the whole plant. Leaves become dark-brown and blossoming is inhibited.
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