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  • #16

    Originally posted by JasPR View Post
    I could see this type of [anaerobic] mix easily set up in a BB, but I have trouble appreciating it occurs in a TT MORE than in a mulm rich BB? JR
    Couldn't agree more -- which is why I discounted his theory and waved the far-infared carrot.
    Don Chandler
    Member: AKCA, ZNA, KoiUSA


    • #17

      Interesting conversation.

      The "leaks" is a thought, but the reduction in nitrate is so dramatic that the leaks must be more like a puncture. Then, there is the smell... the organic odor notable near any shower, aeration point. It may be that chemically only a very small amount of volatization can occur, but does this consider the frequency of atmospheric exposure in a TT or other super-aeration schemes?


      • #18

        That is true Mike. I always bring up the odor at a koi show on Sunday morning as a living example of one stage of nitrogen leaking- ammonia. As you know, the smell can be quite strong and that is only with aggressive aeration. Is it only 2% of the actual TAN we are smelling?
        The point of the observation is to say, if you start out with less ammonia, and as a result ,will have less nitrIte, then you will naturally have less nitrAte. if you leak several species of nitrogen along the way, you have significant change in NitrAte at the end.


        • #19

          I've spent way too much time reviewing literature on ammonia today. I've not come across a study that fits koi pond dynamics. However, I have come across enough to believe there is reason to believe volatilization is potentially significant. Un-ionized ammonia... the ammonia that is deadly to fish ... is said to be relatively volatile. The pH of the water is a major factor. At a pH above 8.0, un-ionized ammonia volatilizes rather readily. Below pH 7.0 volatilization is practically nil. However, I have not been able to find materials giving data for a rate of volatilization.

          I have come across some studies involving soil applications. D.C. Whitehead and N. Raistrick have an article in the July 1991 issue of the journal Biology And Fertility of Soils in which simulated livestock urine was applied to soils. At a temperature of 20C, 38% of total nitrogen volatilized when there was a continuous flow of air. They found that the water content of the soil and humidity had little effect on volatilization.

          In Aquaculture CRSP 22d Annual Technical Report, 2005, there is an article entitled "Co-Culture of Lotus and Hybrid Catfish To Recycle Waste From Intensive Feeding" the authors found that they could not account for up to 49% of total nitrogen. Their thought was that it had entered the atmosphere either through volatilization of ammonia or denitrification in the submerged soils.

          Lot more to read, but my brain can take only so much in a day.
          Last edited by MikeM; 01-29-2015, 09:30 AM. Reason: correct typo


          • #20

            I'm familiar with the dynamics of volitatilization of ammonia from soil. If you pick up a college microbiology text book there is usually a reference to this fact. One such reference reads " Because ammonia is volatile, some loss can occur from soils by vaporization, and major looses of ammonia to the atmosphere occur in areas of dense animal populations such as cattle feedlots. On a global basis, 15% of nitrogen is released to the atmosphere"
            - JR


            • #21

              Late night reading... there is an Environmental Protection Agency publication dealing with application of liquid livestock wastes in which it is noted that in certain tests involving surface application on soil, when the liquid was directly applied there was a loss of 10%-25% of total nitrogen through volatilization. When the liquid was applied by sprinklers, the loss was 15%-40%. Apparently the only difference was the spraying of the liquid rather than pouring... but not entirely clear. I want to track down an article in the Journal of Environmental Quality, 1997, by R.R. Sharpe and L.A. Harper entitled: "Ammonia and Nitrous Oxide Emissions From Sprinkler Irrigation of Swine Effluent." ... Sounds exciting, no?


              • #22

                "Ammonia and Nitrous Oxide Emissions From Sprinkler Irrigation of Swine Effluent." ... Sounds exciting, no?

                God help us both------ Yes. Best, JR


                • #23

                  Originally posted by JasPR View Post
                  "Ammonia and Nitrous Oxide Emissions From Sprinkler Irrigation of Swine Effluent." ... Sounds exciting, no?

                  God help us both------ Yes. Best, JR
                  And all the other readers


                  • #24

                    Nitrous Oxide? are you sure it was Nitrous.... gas

                    What you could do is study Nitrosomonous bacteria to find the ideal conditions for its growth and work backwards. It seems to have its likes and dislikes. Ex.

                    Converts ammonia to Nitrite
                    Avoids light if at all possible-hides under slime
                    Has an aerobic metabolism
                    In order to cell divide, it requires vast amounts of ammonia
                    Becomes dormant when starved
                    Significant time and energy required to re-activate
                    Premature commitment to short Ammonia source can kill bacteria
                    When dormant becomes mobile or free-float
                    Can not tolerate anaerobic bacteria (hydrogen sulphide)
                    Requires some Oxygen but loves Ammonia


                    • #25

                      yep, as in laughing gas. it is a natural byproduct of that biological process.

                      Not sure I grasp you point about nitrifiers ( you might have the wrong species there to begin with?) . Our curiosity is regarding declining nitrAte in aerobic filters when performed in TTs. If you are suggesting that somehow the nitrifiers are struggling then we would see nitrIte and ammonia rise? Is that what you are saying? JR


                      • #26

                        I've found the Journal of Environmental Quality in the libraries of a couple of agricultural colleges with whom I get access through an inter-library service. The article will be faxed tomorrow if 4th of July vacation schedules don't get in the way. It truly is crazy to be eager to learn intimate details of PS. But, it will likely be disappointing.


                        • #27

                          The Sharpe & Harper article is only 5 pages long, but it is 5 pages requiring focused study to fully comprehend, and I am not at that point, yet. The general findings are worthwhile, nonetheless. The study was conducted at a swine production facility in Georgia with a capacity of 10,000 animals. Waste "was deposited by the animals into a below-floor temporary sump that was pumped into the primary (no. 1) lagoon about every 15 min." The lagoon system was unique in that effluent proceeded sequentially through a series of four lagoons before use from the no. 4 lagoon, either for flushing the house floors or for irrigation..." The irrigation system was one which sprayed the effluent water above the crop, which was oats. (For animal feed, no doubt!) Irrigation used 29,000 cubic meters of effluent. "Micrometeorological instrumentation" was used to capture data on wind direction and wind profiles, and a range of other conditions were recorded. Effluent sprayed on the crop was captured in glass containers for measurement. Nitrogen levels were measured at the irrigation spigots (sprayheads). Soil water was tested at 4 locations at 4 separate depths at each location, with the probes providing measurements every 15 minutes over the course of the measuring period. Atmospheric ammonia concentrations were sampled and measured. Nitrous oxide concentrations were measured continually during and after irrigations "using tunable laser spectroscopy". The tests were conducted on three occasions, with each testing period lasting multiple days. .... I report all of this simply to convey the thoroughness of Sharpe & Harper.

                          Their findings include:

                          1) 13% of NH4-N in the effluent was lost as NH3 volatilization before reaching the crop or soil surface.

                          2) Within a 24-hour period, 82% of NH4-N was lost to the atmosphere.

                          3) "After accounting for gaseous losses of NH3... and N2O ...only about 24% of the total N (4% of NH3) remained in the soil.... Such large losses make it difficult to base effluent irrigation recommendations on N concentrations."

                          4) "These data indicate that NH3 emissions made a greater contribution to atmospheric N-loading pollution than N2O emissions."

                          It appears that warmer temperatures and higher wind speeds increase the loss of nitrogen to the atmosphere. Compared to prior studies involving soil application of slurries, the total loss of nitrogen to the atmosphere was greater and more rapid. The authors suggest a probability that overhead spraying of liquid results in rapid volatilization of the nitrogeneous compounds compared to other methods.

                          I need to read over the study a few more times before posting more. But, first I need 2 aspirin and a rest.
                          Last edited by MikeM; 07-03-2007, 02:52 PM. Reason: correct typo


                          • #28

                            I need to read over the study a few more times before posting more. But, first I need 2 aspirin and a rest.[/quote]
                            There was an article in Rinko and it concluded that if at least 10% water change was done daily there would not be a problem with Nitrate build up .
                            That is good enough for me as I also flush vortec daily as well as water is run through a canal with bare root plants . Nitrate is not relly that harmfull with small spikes as the biggest harm is the skin quality . In no way are concentrations like on a pig farm .


                            • #29

                              Yep, Eugene. If we all did 10% per day water changes, we would not need the sophisticated filter systems we use. Constant flow is even better.

                              Since my nitrate levels are below 5ppm most days, I have no real reason to be concerned either. But, I'm a curious sort of person. You would not believe the time I spent trying to understand the material differences in the construction of the petals of Tillandsia and Vriesea, which only became worse when the genus Alcantarea was carved out of Vriesea... worthless knowledge that comes to mind whenever I'm working in the shadehouse. .... a few small differences enriching life.
                              Attached Files


                              • #30

                                just a little background

                                Pig vs. Fish .....round 1 of Urea vs. Ammonia
                                Just so there is some understanding of the basic chemistry of waste, it might make the pain easier to handle.
                                Fish release nitrogen as free Ammonia (NH3) which is very toxic and would kill a land organism if not promptly removed. Fish are the only members of the animal kingdom to excrete nitrogen this way. Since they are surrounded by water, they can convert the amino group to Ammonia and then release it via the gills into their environment.
                                Pigs, along with all land animals, deal with nitrogen in a completely different way. To avoid the toxic Ammonia, they convert the amino group into Urea via the liver. Once synthesized, it is then released from the pig as urea or (NH2)2CO. This is a combination of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen.
                                Now we are trying to compare the volatility of Ammonia to Urea as it enters the atmosphere. Could there be any correlation drawn...I don't know.


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