lower pH and ammonia?
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lower pH and ammonia?

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lower pH and ammonia?
Old 05-30-2011, 03:38 PM   #1
 
lower pH and ammonia?

Hey guys!

I did a re-testing today after doing 30%-40% water change yesterday. Added water conditioner to the new water with ammonia detoxifier.

Temp: 78 degrees
pH: 7.6 ppm
High pH: 8.0 ppm
Ammonia: .25 ppm
Nitrite- 0 ppm
Nitrate- 0ppm
Hardiness come out to about 150 ppm

I've had plants in the tank for a while now; got them when it was really small and now, they are grown as you can see in the picture below.
I also have 4 albino algae eaters..with a few pond snails. I used to have an adequate number of pond/bladder snails in my tank..but I only see very few which are on the plants instead of the glass.
Also have some brown algae and the algae eaters seem to be taking care of that so far.

I knew i had to get an ammonia detoxifier because my tap water contains ammonia, and I have been adding this to the water. But the number seems not to change.

I guess the real question is, is there a way i could lower the pH and ammonia levels? Is this sustainable for the algae eaters I have right now?

Thanks!
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:44 PM   #2
 
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:18 PM   #3
 
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First, I'd like to welcome you to Tropical Fish Keeping forum. I see you joined this month, and I don't think I've welcomed you yet. Doesn't matter, a second welcome won't hurt.

On the ammonia. Don't know which ammonia detoxifier you used, but most detoxify ammonia by changing it to the less harmful form ammonium. This is basically non-toxic to fish and plants, and in fact plants prefer ammonium as their source of nitrogen. Test kits such as API's read ammonia/ammonium as ammonia, so while it will show ammonia the form is actually ammonium. Not to worry there.

I'd like to know which ammonia product you are using, just in case. And what is the ammonia level in your tap water, is it .25 or something else? May have more when I know these answers.

On the pH. Hardness of the tap water is linked to the pH, the harder the water, the more carbonates it contains, and the more it will "buffer" the pH to prevent it shifting. Efforts to lower it via chemicals--never a good idea anyway--will not work because the buffering capacity of the water will restore the pH and the resulting fluctuating pH is far worse on the fish and can kill them if significant. Your water at 150ppm which equates to about 8 dGH is quite good for most fish. It will buffer the pH a bit, keeping it stable.

The pH will naturally want to lower due to the natural biological processes. Organics (fish waste, uneaten food, any dead plant or fish or snail, dead bacteria, etc) will be broken down by bacteria and as they decompose CO2 is produced and this causes carbonic acid which will lower the pH. The rate at which this occurs is determined by the buffering capacity of the water, the bio load, plants, and bacteria.

My next a question would be why you want to lower it? This obviously depends upon the fish you want to have in the aquarium, and while some require soft slightly acidic water, many are fine with what you have, and some even prefer it. When I know your intended fish, I can comment further on how to change (lower) the pH naturally and safely.

Albino algae eaters. I assume these are the common Chinese Algae Eater which is available in an albino form. I must warn you about this fish. It gets large, 6-8 inches but can reach 12 inches, and as it matures it can become very aggressive to other fish. It also eats less and less algae as it grows. Your tank looks from the photo like perhaps a 10g or 20g, and this fish will outgrow this space in no time, aside from the aggressive issue, causing a real load biologically, they produce a lot of waste. I would return them. You can read more in our profile of the Chinese Algae Eater, click on the shaded name.

Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 05-30-2011 at 07:20 PM..
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Old 05-31-2011, 02:01 AM   #4
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
First, I'd like to welcome you to Tropical Fish Keeping forum. I see you joined this month, and I don't think I've welcomed you yet. Doesn't matter, a second welcome won't hurt.

On the ammonia. Don't know which ammonia detoxifier you used, but most detoxify ammonia by changing it to the less harmful form ammonium. This is basically non-toxic to fish and plants, and in fact plants prefer ammonium as their source of nitrogen. Test kits such as API's read ammonia/ammonium as ammonia, so while it will show ammonia the form is actually ammonium. Not to worry there.

I'd like to know which ammonia product you are using, just in case. And what is the ammonia level in your tap water, is it .25 or something else? May have more when I know these answers.

On the pH. Hardness of the tap water is linked to the pH, the harder the water, the more carbonates it contains, and the more it will "buffer" the pH to prevent it shifting. Efforts to lower it via chemicals--never a good idea anyway--will not work because the buffering capacity of the water will restore the pH and the resulting fluctuating pH is far worse on the fish and can kill them if significant. Your water at 150ppm which equates to about 8 dGH is quite good for most fish. It will buffer the pH a bit, keeping it stable.

The pH will naturally want to lower due to the natural biological processes. Organics (fish waste, uneaten food, any dead plant or fish or snail, dead bacteria, etc) will be broken down by bacteria and as they decompose CO2 is produced and this causes carbonic acid which will lower the pH. The rate at which this occurs is determined by the buffering capacity of the water, the bio load, plants, and bacteria.

My next a question would be why you want to lower it? This obviously depends upon the fish you want to have in the aquarium, and while some require soft slightly acidic water, many are fine with what you have, and some even prefer it. When I know your intended fish, I can comment further on how to change (lower) the pH naturally and safely.

Albino algae eaters. I assume these are the common Chinese Algae Eater which is available in an albino form. I must warn you about this fish. It gets large, 6-8 inches but can reach 12 inches, and as it matures it can become very aggressive to other fish. It also eats less and less algae as it grows. Your tank looks from the photo like perhaps a 10g or 20g, and this fish will outgrow this space in no time, aside from the aggressive issue, causing a real load biologically, they produce a lot of waste. I would return them. You can read more in our profile of the Chinese Algae Eater, click on the shaded name.

Byron.
You have welcomed me before, but a second welcome is always great! Thank you.

But, on the ammonia in the tap water itself, it is .5 ppm. I am using Kordon AmQuel Plus Ammonia Detoxifier. It only brings the ammonia level down to .25 ppm (using API liquid master test kit).

At first before starting this post, I thought I should lower the pH because I have read somewhere that it CAN be harmful to fish especially if the water is hard.

On the other thread you also posted on, yes this is a 10 gal tank. I mentioned that I do not plan on keeping the CAE for long. I actually got fish today, which is red wag platy and some otos. So that is what I have in my tank right now except for CAE (which is in a holding tank for now until I find them a new home). Tank is fully stocked.

Fed the platy some brine shrimp while the otos feeds on the algae. Platy went crazy for the shrimp!

Although it does look like one of my female platy is pregnant?

Please excuse her poo lol

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Old 05-31-2011, 03:22 AM   #5
 
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The fish you have are fine with your PH and hardness (Goldfish, platy's).You just need to reduce the number of fishes in the ten gallon tank.
Too many fish =too much poop from feedings, and ammonia levels that will be very difficult to manage with the number's of fish you have in relatively small volume of water.
Situation will only get worse as fishes continue to grow.
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:20 AM   #6
 
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Agree. And I wouldn't worry about the ammonia, it is being detoxified as I previously explained.
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Old 05-31-2011, 12:22 PM   #7
 
Thanks.

So is the female platy pregnant from the picture in the last post?
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