can someone help me. i feel stupid

  1. k9z3boys Member Member

    in a nutshell.... how can I have really high ammonia and zero nitrites?
    I upped the Ph so the good bacteria can take care of the ammonia- I hope. I hope its not too up.... corys and danios like it low. everyone else has less preference.

    did a 20% water change yesterday

    I went ahead and prime dosed it... I wont be home tomorrow and part of Tuesday hate to come home to croaked fish....

    I don't like feeling stupid
    I know chemistry is not one of my strong suits.... but I am learning.....sort of
     
  2. Rivieraneo Moderator Moderator Member

    Hello, this is because your bacteria that oxidizes ammonia have not established yet. Also, what was your original PH reading and how did you up your PH ? Please be careful with PH swings, they can cause alot of stress on your fish.
     

  3. k9z3boys Member Member

    can you give me an estimate on how long that might take?

    the Ph yesterday before the water change was 6...maybe...that's the lowest no on the test kit..

    we normally get water --how to explain this...from a machine that has taken the city water and made it drinkable.....reverse osmosis..charcoal, etc good filtering. we normally use that it has a very low Ph to start with. we have used that in all the tanks cause the city water is scary.
    So yesterday when we did the water change, we used tap water, which tested at about 7.4 to 7.6 so no buffers, no chemicals.
    does that make sense?
    I didn't mind the low Ph but if the cycle stalled.... I know its tricky to adjust it.. seems like a catch .22
    and I hope by 'fixing' it I didn't make it worse, or create other problems.

    is it two different bacteria that take the nitrites and the ammonia? can it be that simple?
     
  4. Rivieraneo Moderator Moderator Member

    Yes, nitrosomonas oxidize ammonia into nitrite, nitrobacter oxidize nitrite into nitrate.

    When you mentioned you city water parameters were scary, what do you mean by this, did you have high levels of ammonia, nitrite or nitrate ?

    If you are using RO water, Seachem makes products like Equilibrium and Replenish that can be used to establish a more stable PH by raising the waters GH. Both these beneficial bacteria need a PH of 7.0 or above to be able to reproduce and oxidize, you can also try mixing parts of tap water and RO. Best of luck.
     

  5. Thai Aquarium owner Well Known Member Member

    As a plus to Rivs post, just be very careful that your low Ph from the RO, does not drop the Kh in the tank below a reading of 3 , as this could cause your Ph to swing wildly
     
  6. k9z3boys Member Member

    I mean its brown and tastes like a lake.... its cloudy and smelly.
    we don't drink it any more than we have to. I haven't done any testing on it beyond the Ph


    so my fishies that need a lower Ph will be ok until the nitrosomas get established?

    thank you for clarifying
     
  7. Rivieraneo Moderator Moderator Member

    Tap water is usually treated at a treatment plant before it goes out to customers unless you have your own well, the only time ive had experience with smelly and tinged water was in an older home that had galvanized steel pipes for water supply. I would continue to use your RO water but take care to reminieralize to a neutral PH taking care to acclimate your fish. From what I know about zebra danios and cory's, both do fine in a neutral pH of 7.0.