In this study, the ammonia removal efficiency for high ammonia-containing wastewaters was evaluated via partial nitrification. A nitrifier biocommunity was first enriched in a fill-and-draw batch reactor with a specific ammonium oxidation rate of 0.1 mg NH(4) (-)-N/mg VSS.h. Partial nitrification was established in a chemostat at a hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 1.15 days, which was equal to the sludge retention time (SRT). The results showed that the critical HRT (SRT) was 1.0 day for the system. A maximum specific ammonium oxidation rate was achieved as 0.280 mg NH(4) (-)-N/mg VSS.h, which is 2.8-fold higher than that obtained in the fill-and-draw reactor, indicating that more adaptive and highly active ammonium oxidizers were enriched in the chemostat. Dynamic modeling of partial nitrification showed that the maximum growth rate for ammonium oxidizers was found to be 1.22 day(-1). Modeling studies also validated the recovery period as 10 days.