Testing Progress of Ammonia to Nitrate Bio-Reactor.


To follow the progress of NH4+ to NO3- conversion I purchased three aquarium chemical test kits, one for ammonia(um), another for nitrite, and the third for nitrate. The concentrations of ions in this reactor was often much higher than the detection range of the aquarium kits. To get around this I diluted the samples to a readable range and then corrected for the dilution factor.
The starting solution contains no organics.
Among other non-organics (recipe to follow) it also contains 3 grams ammonium sulfate per liter.
As expected, initial testing of the starting media for ammonia is off the scale:


So to get a value within the kit's range I did a 1/1000 dilution into plain water and retested:


Looks like about 1 mg/L
So doing the math 1 mg/L X 1000 gives 1 gram ammonium(-a) per liter.
How does this compare to what I actually added ?

We know I put in 3 grams/liter (NH4)2-SO4, but only 27% of ammonium sulfate is the ammonium portion.
So 3 grams times 27% equals 0.81 grams per liter 0.81 grams/liter NH3/NH4+ versus 1.0 grams/liter. Not bad correlation for these purposes.

Next I tested for starting nitrates.
It is only day one so expect the result to be zero:

Sure - Nuff !

Now after some days of incubation here's what I get for nitrates:

Wahoo ! The bacteria are alive and working and we have a test kit system to follow the progress.

Now to see the chemical data over time go to the  reactor results page.


Note: As can be seen in the nitrate test images above: To save reagents I now test a smaller aliquot of sample.
The kit calls for using 10 drops of reagent one and 10 drops of reagent two into 5 mls of water sample.
By cutting the sample size down to one ml. I only need two drops of each reagent.
So now my 90 test kit will be able to do 450 tests.

reactor vessel page.

reactor media page.

reactor results page.

reactor harvesting page.


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