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hayvennsfish 01-12-2007 05:40 PM

Low/different ph in two tanks
Hi, i'm a totally newbie here, so any advice would be much appreciated. I have one 10 and one 29 gallon tank, both freshwater, both with fake plants and driftwood. I had my water tested today at the lfs ... the ph in both my tanks is different, and both are low. The ph in my tapwater is about 6.2 ... the tanks were only a little better than that. Any advice for bringing the ph back up? all other readings were ok except .25 ammonia, which i'm dealing with using Prime by seachem. Water is at 80-81 in both tanks.

Lupin 01-12-2007 07:36 PM

Hi and welcome aboard.:wave:

Your driftwood is the cause of low pH as they leach tannins in your tank.:) What are your fish? Most of the fish will tolerate low pH. If your fish are mostly livebearers, that's bad news as most of them don't thrive long. Don't fiddle with the pH without knowing what your fish are.

hayvennsfish 01-12-2007 08:29 PM

fish are
I'm currently housing 2 Dwarf Gouramis (one in 10 gallon alone and other in the 29) also in the 29 are 2 mollies (1 reg. and one lyretail, both dalmations) 1 rosy barb 5 zebra danios, and 1 albino cory cat.
I sort of suspected the driftwood ... though I do love the look of it, I won't keep it if it's harming my fish. What about using crushed shell in my filter instead of removing the driftwood? Though I think I'd have to moniter the ph far too much ....
One more thing... still sort of on topic.... i had my tap water tested at my local lfs .... it showed a .25 ammonia rate. I bought some prime... and did a water change today, but my ammonia is still reading a bit high. I use the two bottle tests. Any advice?
Thanks a bunch!!! REALLY love the site!!!

Lupin 01-12-2007 08:46 PM

Only your mollies will not tolerate the low pH long-term.:) You can use crushed oyster shells. Be sure to monitor the pH when increasing it. I'd put the pH at 7-7.5. Shame your cory would love the low pH but with the mollies?:dunno:

As for your ammonia, I'd do water changes only. It helps even without the use of chemicals.

Good luck.:wave:

St6_Devgru 01-12-2007 09:41 PM

yes blue has the right idea. also driftwood makes your water soft =). yes water changes are the best remedy to lower ammonia.also you should have a filter with activated carbon and biological filtering also because it will soak up the chems in your tank and the biological filter will grow good bacteria that will convert your ammonia in to nitrates. then they will be further converted to nitrites. ammonia is bad in little concentrations, nitrates are ok in a little, and nitruites are ok at higher levels. so keep this in mind. too much ammonia and nitrates are bad.

hayvennsfish 01-13-2007 11:36 AM

As I said my tapwater has it's own ammonia level of .25 (water changes will NOT change that level).... which is why I asked about using Prime.
I already have adequate filtration (50 gallon HOB and UGF on the 29 and a 20 gal HOB on the 10), both of which are properly maintained (cleaned regularly and vacuumed with each water change) and I am careful not to overfeed.
Also, from all my research over the last 6 months I was under the impression that nitrItes were bad, not nitrAtes (as long as it's 0-20 or so)
As for the crushed shell in my filter... I'd prefer not to have to monitor the ph constantly (in case the shell makes it too high) .... i'll just have to adjust my stock accordingly
Thanks for all the help!!! What a great site.

Lupin 01-14-2007 04:44 PM

There's one way to get rid of ammonia. Try to ask for your lfs or friend's established gravel and filter media so there will be enough bacteria to break the ammonia into nitrites and finally into harmless nitrates(not exceeding 40 ppm).

hayvennsfish 01-14-2007 05:46 PM

Well, thanks to all who responded. Turns out, the woman at petsmart who tested my water in the first place is a bit stupid. My tap water does NOT have ammonia in it. All in all, when I had the tests redone at my LFS the next day, almost NONE of what petsmart told me about my water was correct. Go figure.
My 29 was seeded with 5 cups of gravel and two large rocks from my established tank, more than enough to establish the filtration I need. I also removed my UGF this morning, which hopefully will help keep the levels a little steadier without the extra "muck" under it. The 50 Gallon Aquaclear should do the trick just fine, along with regualr maintanance.
Again, thanks to all. Great site!! Really nice to know there are places to go for help!!

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