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post #1 of 3 Old 07-17-2009, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Results of tank overhaul

Yesterday I spent a long time working on my 25 gallon tank. It had basically gotten away from me in all respects. Algae like you wouldn't believe. Levels off the chart. It was ugly.

I've got it today looking extremely good. Algae mess is gone. Water is crisp and clear. Fish seem very happy.

Below are the test results from before the overhaul and from just 15 minutes ago. The ammonia is still present...how do I get that down to 0?

Two Days Ago
pH: 6
High Range pH: 7.4
Nitrate: 160
Nitrite: .50
Ammonia: .25
Temperature: 76 deg. F

15 Minutes Ago
pH: 7.6 (up)
High Range pH: 7.8 (up)
Nitrate: 5 (way down)
Nitrite: 0 (perfect)
Ammonia: .25 (no change)
Temperature: 75 deg. F (down but ok)
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post #2 of 3 Old 07-17-2009, 07:09 PM
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Thats a great improvement!
I would do daily 20% water changes till you get that zero ammonia reading.
Once the ammonia keeps a stable zero, weekly 20-25% water changes should keep everything in check.
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post #3 of 3 Old 07-18-2009, 08:23 AM
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I agree with Twistersmom, and will exlain below why this is critical.

The conflicting pH readings of 6 and 7.4 puzzle me...one of these tests can't be correct, probably the high range. If you normally maintain your tank mid 7's I would get a more standard range pH test kit (pH 6 to 7.8 or something) so you can easily see when/if the pH drops.

And a note on that, be very careful. If the ph actually fell to 6.0, the nitrosomonas bacteria that convert ammonia to nitrite would be very limited; as the pH drops this bacteria is less able to function. Doing a water change that raises the pH above 7.0 in such a situation is dangerous. At an acidic pH, ammonia becomes ammonium which is basically harmless to fish (unlike true ammonia). When the pH of the water suddenly becomes alkaline after the water change, the ammonium immediately converts back to ammonia. The nitrosomonas bacteria need time to multiply to a level where they can handle it. Thus, monitor the ammonia and do the partial water changes. Also might be good to use a declorinator that also detoxifies ammonia. And/or add "Cycle" or "Stability" to the tank; these are biological supplements to jumpstart the bacteria and are safe.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

Last edited by Byron; 07-18-2009 at 08:25 AM.
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