Good Afternoon, Everyone.
I posted a few weeks ago regarding my 20 gallon tall. Since then I've removed all of the plastic decorations and replaced them with live plants (except the artificial wood in the center). The fish adore the new plants, the tank looks fantastic, and I've never been prouder.
However, there's been an issue I have a hard time figuring out the cause of. We change 25% of the water per week. We have a Mardel pH and Ammonia kit attached to the inside of the tank that shows us in 'real time' what our pH and Ammonia is. When the Ammonia goes up we make sure we change enough water to lower it to a safe and healthy level. Each week (regardless) we change, at least, 25% of the water in the tank. When we do this the pH bottoms out within 12 hours. The last time I stabilized the tank by changing small amounts daily until the pH reached 6.5, however the ammonia rose and we were forced to change the water 25% (per week) as usual. Once I stabilize the pH it is time for a water change and it bottoms out yet again.
Is it possible that I have too many plants per fish ratio? Everything I've read said that no, that is impossible. Fish:
- 1 Dwarf Gourami
- 1 Silver Lyretail Molly
- 1 Dalmation Lyretail Molly
- 2 Golden Panda Lyretail Mollies
- 1 Emerald Cory
- 1 Julii Cory
- 1 Albino Cory
- Wisteria (throughout the tank)
- Spears (three total, two on each side and a marble by the filter)
- Grasses (two in front)
- Cabomba (all around rear and sides - just replaced a few pieces in the front right which isn't shown in the picture)
When we tested the tank late last week the pH was 6.5/7.0 and once we changed the water on Sunday the pH bottomed out at 5 (didn't register on the test strip) come Monday evening.
The local pet store suggested small daily water changes and pH up (only a few drops) after each water change to slowly (very slowly) stabilize the water.