Ammonia and Ph Issue - Help please

Stoneyturtle

Member
I have a 40 gallon community tank that just 3 days ago my ph was reading at 7.2 and my ammonia was reading 0 ppm but this morning the ammonia spiked to 8.0 ppm and my ph now will not register on the test strips nor on my master test kit, I did a 30% water change and the level raised up to 7.0 for my ph and my ammonia dropped but then a couple hours go by and the ph won't register again. I've tried using proper ph 7.0, ph up, even increasing the oxygen going through the air stones and no difference. One of my plecos my ghost catfish and last little otocinclus bit the dust and now my other fish are all acting strange. Any ideas on how to fix this?
 

JettsPapa

Member
It sounds like your tank wasn't cycled before adding fish, and now the fish waste is producing ammonia faster than the bacteria can convert it to nitrites, and then nitrates. Please read up on the nitrogen cycle. For now, don't worry about the ph.

Are there any fish left alive in the tank? If yes, you need to do another water change, large enough to get the combined ammonia and nitrites below 1.0 ppm. It may require multiple water changes.
 
  • Thread Starter

Stoneyturtle

Member
All of everything in my tank was placed in and I left it running for 3 days before I added fish and even then it's the same gravel decorations and filters from my previous tank, I have had the tank for about a month running perfectly until the random drop today, including weekly gravel vacuuming and water changes.
 
  • Thread Starter

Stoneyturtle

Member
And my nitrites are zeros out my nitrates are zero as well. The only levels that have changed really was the ph and ammonia. Which after doing another test on it before posting the ammonia was reading at a 2.0 ppm but still dropping but ph is indicating it's too low to read, the fish store near me tested my water as well and couldn't pick up on a ph
 

JettsPapa

Member
  1. What kinds and how many fish are still in the tank?
  2. Just moving gravel and decorations from an established tank probably wasn't enough to maintain the cycle. While there is some beneficial bacteria on all surfaces of a cycled tank, much of it is on the filter media.
  3. What changes were made to the tank in the last two weeks?
  4. Did you do another water change to get the combined ammonia and nitrites below 1.0, like I said earlier?
 
  • Thread Starter

Stoneyturtle

Member
The filter is also from the previous tank, I have 2 balas one pleco one powder blue dwarf guaramI 2 red fire dwarf guaramI 2 clown loaches and 4 glo tetras in the tank, I'm already aware of how big they all are going to get for the balas clown loaches and pleco, once I notice them stop growing or slow down compared to normal rate I'm going to up the tank size. I have made no changes to the tank what so ever aside from replacing the filter cartridge same fish same decor same filters
 
  • Thread Starter

Stoneyturtle

Member
And I did a water change last night and it had went down from 8.0 to between 1 and 2 ppm I'm still lowering it down but trying not to stress the fish out too bad with changes in the levels or temp
 

bogmummy

Member
Yeah, your tank is not cycled. Do a water change immediately then see if you can get your hands on some seachem stability.
 

JettsPapa

Member
Stoneyturtle said:
And I did a water change last night and it had went down from 8.0 to between 1 and 2 ppm I'm still lowering it down but trying not to stress the fish out too bad with changes in the levels or temp
I'd be more concerned with high ammonia levels than possible stress caused by water changes.
 
  • Thread Starter

Stoneyturtle

Member
I mean yes the high ammonia levels are my biggest issue I'm trying to fix but for my ph to go from 7.2 to below 6.0 when my tap water has a 8.4 ph as is, that is another raise for concern I just performed a 50 % water change and conditioned all water before adding into the tank as usual. I have almost every water treatment chemical the local petsmart sells including stability. my filters already were pre established with bacteria as was everything else in the tank so I truly don't believe it's the cycling that is the issue
 
Top Bottom