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If patience is the challenge… well, challenge accepted!

This is a discussion on If patience is the challenge… well, challenge accepted! within the Freshwater Journals forums, part of the Aquarium Photography category; --> May I insert a quibble here to clarify some thinking. As pH goes down, ammonia NH3 is converted to ammonium NH4 by binding an ...

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If patience is the challenge… well, challenge accepted!
Old 01-27-2014, 07:43 AM   #131
 
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May I insert a quibble here to clarify some thinking. As pH goes down, ammonia NH3 is converted to ammonium NH4 by binding an extra H+ (hydrogen ion). The API test kit reads total ammonia, a combination of the two. It's not that it can't read one or the other.

The Seachem ammonia test reads free ammonia NH3 but not bound ammonia NH4 (ammonium).

As the NH3/NH4 relationship is pH dependent (also temperature), this chart may be useful in understanding that.

CNYKOI - Ammonia calculator
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Old 01-27-2014, 08:42 AM   #132
 
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Thanks for the clarification, Hal! As simple as the cycle is - it so isn't! Always more to learn. . .

For more clarification, I copy/pasted the last few of Carlos' readings here, it's easier to chart when the numbers are all together. . .
(think I got 'em right, let me know if not!)

01-20-2014
Ph:7.0
Ammonia:0.50 ppm
NitrIte:0ppm
NitrAte:0ppm
kh: is at 2̊ 35.8 ppm
gh: 179 ppm

1-21-2014
Ph:7.0 (raised)
Ammonia:0.50 ppm
NitrIte:0.25ppm
NitrAte:0 ppm

1-22-2014
Ph:7.0
Ammonia:0.25 ppm
NitrIte:0 ppm
NitrAte:0 ppm

1-23-2014
Ph: 6.0
Ammonia:0.50ppm
NitrIte:0 ppm
NitrAte:0 ppm

1-24-2014
pH: 6.4
Ammonia 0.50 ppm
NitrIte: 1.0ppm
NitrAte 5.0ppm

1-25-2014
pH: 6.4
Ammonia:0.50ppm
NitrIte:0.25ppm
NitrAte:5.0 ppm

1-26-2014
ph is at 7.6
Ammonia: 0.50 ppm
NitrIte:0.25ppm
NitrAte:5.0 ppm


Quote:
Originally Posted by carlos puron View Post
. . .now it seems confusing what if ph rockets up Way too high
Maybe someone better with chemistry can clarify this - but you're still showing a reading for nitrAte, so you're getting there!
As the bacteria is using up the KH, which is affecting your pH - I wouldn't think it would raise *too* quickly as long as the bacteria is back in action and burning up the KH. Perhaps things got a little bit wobbly when it dropped down to 6-6.4 for a couple of days. Keep a close eye on it, ensure the pH stays as close to 7 as you are able. . .it looks (to this newbie) like you're on the right track!
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Last edited by Chesh; 01-27-2014 at 08:46 AM..
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:12 PM   #133
 
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Thanks Hallyx something new to learn today Today's test showed ammonia at 1.0ppm nitrite .25ppm nitrate 5.0 and ph 7.0

I wanted to share a pic of one of my decorations I bet that Buddha is peacefully meditating
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Old 01-28-2014, 01:31 AM   #134
 
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Love your buddah. Symbol of balance and stability, just what we are looking for in our tanks.
Nice to see that your producing nitrate!
More time and stable ph should set you straight.
Hope it all settles down for you soon.


Here's a symbol from Thai buddism of balance and relaxed peacfulness, in hopes that it will bring good luck to you and your tank.
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:39 AM   #135
 
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As I understand it, the bacteria doesn't effect the KH. What it does do is produce lots of H+ ions which acidifies the water, lowering the pH. More and faster if the KH buffer is low, like yours is, Carlos. Go back and read what Rickey had to say about this. I'm going to in a while.

I thought you put some calcium things in your filter, coral or Cuttle-bone or dried eggshell to slowly raise your KH. When did you do that last? I know you don't want to keep dosing a pinch of baking soda every other day.

Just to confuse everybody on this thread, as well as myself. A 6.0 - 6.4pH is really nice for Betta. There are keepers on here, many of them breeders, who have naturally low pH and prefer it. It's really better for soft-water fish like Betta, Tetra, Gourami and other jungle fish whose water has very low mineral content and lots of rotting vegetation..

The only downside I see to using soft water and low pH, is in the unlikely event that you cause the pH to spike by putting in water with a much higher pH, during a water change for example. This causes any ammonium to instantly revert to ammonia, which can be hazardous.

See LittleBettaFish's Wild Betta Journal. She talks about having near 0.0KH and still using IAL to keep her pH low, around 6.0pH.
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Last edited by Hallyx; 01-28-2014 at 06:49 AM..
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:58 AM   #136
 
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I placed seashells in the filter some crushed I haven't raised ph recently I think I only did it a couple of times I know I don't want to be adding baking soda very often it may shock them even if it's slowly
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:04 AM   #137
 
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I placed seashells in the filter some crushed I haven't raised ph recently I think I only did it a couple of times I know I don't want to be adding baking soda very often it may shock them even if it's slowly
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I tried all those and even in a semi controlled way.

Bottom line IME was growing plants increased the pH trumping all else.

my .02
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:53 AM   #138
 
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But it doesn't increase the KH. Soft-water allows large pH swings even during plant expiration. This is normal, but can be quite stressful depending on the species.

And not everyone is capable of nor interested in caring for plants. I, for one, have my hands full caring for my stock.
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Old 01-28-2014, 12:39 PM   #139
 
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But it doesn't increase the KH. Soft-water allows large pH swings even during plant expiration. This is normal, but can be quite stressful depending on the species.

And not everyone is capable of nor interested in caring for plants. I, for one, have my hands full caring for my stock.
Actually plants can increase kH. plants (and anarobic bacteria) return kH to the system in the same level the forward aerobic process used up that kh. At least according to one article I read years and years ago.

But plants can also use kh (carbonate) for carbon when co2 is at low levels. So it is possible the plants could lower kh also.

Plants can cause higher pH fluxuations. But in my experience after adding macro algaes, the lowest pH after macros was still much higher then the higest before. So the overall co2 levels were much lower even with the higher pH fluxuations.


my .02
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Old 01-28-2014, 01:42 PM   #140
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallyx View Post
But it doesn't increase the KH. Soft-water allows large pH swings even during plant expiration. This is normal, but can be quite stressful depending on the species.

And not everyone is capable of nor interested in caring for plants. I, for one, have my hands full caring for my stock.
I agree hallyx. I always loved the look of live plants but I resisted the urge to get them because I knew nothing about how to keep them alive. Only after joining this forum did I gain the confidence and knowledge neccessary to care for live plants. For someone having problems, I would say take care of the problems first, then look into live plants.

On the other side, I do agree that live plants have a huge positive impact on the stability of my tanks. I was producing 20 ppm nitrate/week before plants, now with plants its 5ppm /week.

Whatever you decide carlos, I wish you the best of luck and many years of happiness and relaxation with your new tank.
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