High Ph, Ammonia, Nitrites In Tap Water

Loachland

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Hello everyone! This isn't solely a pH concern, so this might belong in a different thread, but I had to choose one and pH is my biggest problem.

So, I'm setting up a QT tank and I need to fill it with water before I cycle it using established filter media. In my established tank, I use RO water from my LFS, but I figured I'd condition tap water to use in the QT and save myself some money and travel time. However, I just tested my tap water, and it's reading:
- pH 8.3
- Ammonia 1.0 ppm
- Nitrite 0.50 ppm

I also tested for GH (7), KH (4), and nitrate (5.0 ppm), but none of these were unexpected or bad. I used API Liquid Test Kit to obtain these results.

So, I have a few questions:

1. What can I do about the pH? I own products like Equilibrium and Alkaline Buffer to get pH up, but none to lower it, weirdly (the hard-water supplements are left over from a previous tank). The fish going in the QT would be Kuhlis, as I'm trying to build a shoal for my currently solitary guy, and they're soft-water fish. My running tank is around 7.2 pH, and it seems to work for everyone.

2. I can detoxify the nitrites, but if there's already nitrites in the tap water, would that prevent the tank from cycling successfully? Would 0.5 ppm nitrites prevent the usual nitrite spike from happening?

As for conditioning products, I own Tetra Dechlorinator (sodium thiosulfate) and some rather old Seachem Prime, which I'm pretty sure still works.
 

nikm128

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The PH will be fine actually, "soft water fish" can adjust to harder water because they still have all the minerals and things they need to use in the water. It will all exist in higher amounts, but they only use what they need so it will really make no difference once they've adjusted.
As for your ammonia and nitrite issue, I would just cycle the tank to process 2+ ppm of ammonia in 24 hours instead of the usual 1ppm in 24 hours, an established cycle will be able to make both of those readings zero pretty easily.
 

mattgirl

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Since you are going to be using established media to instantly cycle this tank it should process the ammonia and nitrites in your tap water quickly so having those in your source water should not pose a problem.When using established media you shouldn't have a nitrite spike.

The thing about the higher PH can be worked around. When the fish are ready to come out of quarantine you just need to slowly acclimate them to the PH of the main tank.

I just had a thought that might be doable and might work out well. If the nitrates aren't overly high in the water you remove when doing a water change on your main tank you may want to do a water change on the quarantine tank at the same time. Each time you do it add half fresh tap water and half ro water pulled from the main tank to the QT.

This should get the water in the QT close to the same as the main tank over time so less of a shock to the fish when it is time to move to their forever home.
 

Loachland

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That's really smart, thanks! And my main tank is very understocked and well-planted, so it actually has the same or less nitrates than my tap water, believe it or not. I can add a bit of fresh RO water too when I get more. Thank you!
 
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