Ammonia In Tap And PH Issue. - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-31-2009, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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Ammonia In Tap And PH Issue.

Okay, so there is slight ammonia .25 that reads in tap. I have one tank that's cycled or supposedly cycled nitrites are at 0 tank was running for 2 weeks now with seeded material. There is still a slight ammonia reading of .25 no matter what. Since my tap has ammonia and I use "PRIME" to condition I was told two different things. Since tap has ammonia I will always get an ammonia reading of .25 even if it's cycled. True or False??

Now another tank I set up hasn't fully cycled yet. For some weird reason the PH went to 6, MY tap is at 7.2... the other tanks PH is fine. I had to get stabilizer to bring it up over 2 days and it's finally almost at 7.. No fish have died yet, not over stocked, not over feeding..

The one tank thats cycled is a 6 gallon nano cube. The other tank is a 5 gallon set up with sponge filter...

Am I better off buying water from the fish store that has a ph of 7 and is declorinated with no ammonia preset.... It's not that much money, but I'm looking for advice am I better off using the fish stores water free of ammonia. Or can I use my water with the slight ammonia showing in the tap. I use "Prime" to declorinate was told that was the better stuff to use. Any advice or info on this? And what would cause that ph to drop so law baffles me, and I'm just glad the PH is getting higher so the bacteria can grow more and finish the cycle quickly.

PS - the 6 gallon nano cube has a normal ph of 7.2 just like the tap. So... that's where the strange part comes in.. Any insight is appreciated. Trying to see if others had something like this going on and resolved it or what the best outcome was. I used to have issues in the past keeping fish, but this time I finally feel like I'm on the verge of doing good and having everything turn out perfect. Just a couple set backs like normal.
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post #2 of 9 Old 02-01-2009, 12:01 AM
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The answer to the first question is false, unless you are testing shortly after adding water to the tank. Your biofilter will remove the ammonia as long as you are using a dechlorinator (Prime is fine) to separate the ammonia from the chlorine in the tapwater. Since the tank hasnt been up long, I would guess the biofilter isnt up to snuff yet, so keep an eye on things.Even after cycling has completed, it takes a while for the filter to fully mature. Seachem says Prime can cause a false positive with some tests for 24 hrs after being used, so this is a possibility.

I see no reason to get water from the lfs. Tapwater with Prime should be fine unless there is something else wrong with the water in your area.
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post #3 of 9 Old 02-01-2009, 08:06 AM
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For the mysterious PH issue, you might want to verify what your KH is. Carbonate hardness tells you how "hard" or "soft" your water is. If your KH is *very* low, like <1, then the PH can crash into the 6 ranges within a couple of hours.

Look for things in your tank that might be causing the KH to fall. In my case, it was rocks that I had taken from my garden. They were dissolving in the water and I finally had a PH crash. Any mineral that might be dissolving could cause the discrepancy (are you bubbling over your rocks? etc.) One thing to do is get some white vinager and throw a sample of each of the minerals in your tank - gravel, rocks, etc. If it bubbles, it can dissolve, and if it can dissolve, it can change your water params.

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post #4 of 9 Old 02-02-2009, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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The only thing was gravel and seeded filter floss. I altered the PH with a stabilizer that brings it to 7.0 supposedly... It rose to about 6.8 and I added the live bacteria the referidgerator kind. I was a bit hesitant but it was my last option before starting fresh. The nitrites are coming down it seems and things are going smoother. So I hope after some water changes the pH adjusts.... If it cycles my cycle won't restart if the ph drops to 6 again will it?? All this chemistry weirds me out sometimes and is what drove me nuts year ago when I kept trying to keep the fish alive. It's always something, and the one tank seems great while the other one is almost there "I hope"... Probably after 2-3 more weeks and things settle everything will adjust itself and be perfect.
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post #5 of 9 Old 02-12-2009, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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did a 20% water change after nitrites were at practically 0. This time didn't add ph stabilizer. U guessed it, my PH went way down towards 6 again. My ammonia and nitrites both rised. Not above 1, but I had to add the PH 7.0 stabilizer again and do a slight water change. This is ridiculous and does not make sense at all. Why do I have to do this for this one tank and not the other, why is the PH going so much lower than what it should be. This is so frustrating, I guess I have to alter this PH for this tank any time I add new fresh water. Or else my cycle will die and I will have to start from scratch. I hope the fish make it through this crap again, this is ridiculously making no sense. It's upsetting, cause I almost think I'm done with this, and then it pops up again.
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post #6 of 9 Old 02-13-2009, 12:07 AM
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welcome to the forum.

a stable pH is better then one that changes frequent. pH buffers seem to increase the pH only to shortly have them drop, bouncing your pH all over the place. what kind of fish do you keep? you can try adding crushed coral/shells in a pouch to your filter to buffer the pH more naturally.
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post #7 of 9 Old 02-13-2009, 04:50 AM
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Throw this so-called pH stabilizer and test your KH. If it is below 3 degrees, increase it using baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) or calcium chloride. You can put crushed corals or oyster shells in your filter. Other alternatives are aragonite and marble chips.

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post #8 of 9 Old 02-13-2009, 05:18 AM
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Your water must be pretty soft to be able to drop pH like that. Baking soda is an inexpensive and effective way to raise and buffer. Rocks should make water harder, not softer. Good rocks do nothing of course, but I mean if the rocks are dissolving, then that makes the water harder by definition. Carbon dioxide can lower the pH, too, so if there's no surface agitation then maybe you are getting CO2 buildup. That would be great if you were doing live plants. You could also just go with the flow and put some nice south american acid loving fish in there, like tetras or angelfish if the tank is a larger.
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post #9 of 9 Old 02-13-2009, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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I just want the guppies, but I guess maybe I should take water and test the KH in the tank to see if thats the issue...

What is the baking soda method? And you need to add it everytime u add some fresh water apparently as if I don't it will stop and the PH may drop again even though it shouldn't.. What the co2 issue? Is it not enough bubbles from the air pump, I have put a valve on there to quiet it down and make it so I can't hear it but plenty of bubbles still reach the surface.
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