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Old 02-14-2013, 12:30 PM   #1 
finnfinnfriend
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Question about ammonia...

Why is it that, say, a hamster can be in its cage with its poop until cleaning day and it's fine, but when the poop is from a fish, in water, it's this horrible toxic substance? At least without a filter...
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:37 PM   #2 
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a hamster cage has air vents for which the smell and fumes from its poop can escape away from the hamster

a fish on the other hand, the poop is in the water with nowhere to escape to become harmless.
It would be the equivalent of someone living in a small windowless, ventless room and someone's constantly smoking in it.

eventually the water quality becomes harmful to live in.
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:39 PM   #3 
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The ammonia can't evaporate out of the water, right?
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:47 PM   #4 
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I'm pretty sure, otherwise it wouldn't build up so bad if you don't clean the tank at least once a week.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:28 PM   #5 
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No, ammonia will not evaporate out of the water. It is highly soluble in water, and it simply just remains, dissolved in the water.

You can get rid of it by doing water changes, or you can add live plants which will utilize it to grow.
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