Low Ph and some nitrates - help

Discussion in 'pH' started by MMoorehouse, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. MMoorehouseValued MemberMember

    Our 75 freshwater tank was started on April 16. It is pretty heavily planted and using Flourish and root tabs for plant fertilizer, all low light, low maintenance plants. They are doing great, have to trim pretty heavily about every 2 weeks.

    Substrate is Eco Complete and the Tahitian moon sand on top for the Corys.

    Filters are a SunSun HW-404B and bio sponge filter.

    Initially my Ph was 7.4-7.6, even right out of the faucet. Decided to not fight the Ph and try to just work with what I had. Everything seemed pretty stable and tank cycled although didn't seem to be a "big" cycle hopefully due to all the plants.

    Used the SafeStart to cycle. Use Prime when do water changes. Do 25-30% water changes weekly. A couple times has been two weeks due to vacation but overall weekly. The last two water changes my Ph has been 6.0. Tested out of the faucet and it was about 6.4 out of faucet. Am wondering if I need to call the water company and ask if they have changed their water treatment or something.

    What else could cause the Ph to be so low and will my fish be ok? I do have two large pieces of aged driftwood and a native slate rock cave. Test kit is an API master test kit and also used an API 5 in 1 test strip to back up results. Both show the following: Ph - 6.0, ammonia - 0 (golden yellow color), nitrite - 0 (very blue color), and nitrate - 20 ppm (very orange color). The test strip shows: GH - 0, KH - 0, Ph - 6.0, NO2 - 0 and NO3 - 20. I shook the test drops vigorously and about twice as long as recommended since I've read numbers posts that say to really shake the bottles before adding the drops. My other concern is the nitrates. They've not been any higher ever than 20 ppm and until just recently always registered 0. I just did a 30% water change two days ago.

    Do I need to get the nitrates down or just continue to monitor every other day? If so, what do I do to get the nitrates down? I had read somewhere you can use 5x the dose of Prime and that might work but don't know if that is safe or not.

    What's in my tank - Celestial Pearl Danios, Endler Livebearers, Neon Tetras, False Julii and Cory Habrosus, a few cherry red shrimp and snails. I have had an explosion of pond snails. I thought I had gotten rid of all the possible snail eggs when I bought plants but had noticed the snails and started picking them out, then when we went on vacation my tank sitter did a great job feeding the fish for me but would not pick out the snails so when got back had a big snail explosion of the pond snails. Could that also be affecting the tank somehow or is the snail bioload low? Thanks in advance
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2015
  2. MtnTigerWell Known MemberMember

    From my experience fish can handle pH variations as long as they are not sudden. I would think that your nitrate level would drop if you ran your test after a WC.

    I blame most of my nitrate spikes on over feeding.
  3. Et tuValued MemberMember

    I blame most of my nitrate spikes on over feeding.[/QUOTE]
    So true, and a snail explosion is usually the end result of overfeeding.
  4. Bijou88Well Known MemberMember

    Your nitrates are just fine if they only raise to 20, that's actually pretty good. I wouldn't worry about them, just your usual water changes will be sufficient.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  5. MMoorehouseValued MemberMember

    Thanks for the replies, will cut back on the feeding and hopefully that will then reduce the snails and nitrates! Everything else is looking good and all the fish are bright and healthy looking :)
  6. AquaristFishlore LegendMember


    I have edited your post #1 above and created paragraphs for easier reading. One big block of text is difficult to read for many members. I want you to receive as many responses as possible.



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