new plants - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 12 Old 08-10-2011, 11:58 AM
redchigh's Avatar
Well buffers work, but you don't really want to use one. Fish and plants tend to not 'like' them. The bacteria in your tank will eventually convert ammonia into nitrite, and then nitrate. This is called the nitrogen cycle.

If you have ammonia in your tap, you can also use a water conditioner that detox's ammonia.. Seachem's Prime is a good one.

Originally Posted by Christople View Post
^^ genius

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post #12 of 12 Old 08-10-2011, 05:48 PM
Byron's Avatar
And with livebearers you do not want to be lowering the pH, they need harder water with a pH above 7.

What your grandpa is talking about, and quite correctly, is that in acidic water ammonia basically converts to ammonium. But this won't happen in basic water, which again you need for livebearers.

Fortunately, plants have the ability to change ammonia to ammonium themselves, so they will handle most of the ammonia produced naturally in the aquarium. This is from fish and bacteria processes, but should never be high enough to measure with test kits.

I'm assuming your reference to ammonia is in your tap water, and redchigh's suggestion to use a conditioner that detoxifies ammonia is the way to deal with this. By the time the conditioner is no longer effective, the plants and bacteria will have the extra ammonia from a water change under control.


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 you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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