Ph 6.0, nitrate, nitrite, and Ammonia are 0

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MariB

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Everything g was perfect then my ammonia went up so I rinsed my filter sponge, vacuumed and did a 25% water change thinking the elevated ammonia was from food or fish waste. It has been over 24 hours and now my Ph is 6.0 (I added Tetra Easy Balance just now), and my ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are 0. What is going on with my tank?
 

Bluestreakfl

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Id first recommend testing the ph from your tap. Once right from the tap, and test again on some that's had a chance to sit for a good 24 hours and let gas off. Any kind of chemical that alters ph (such as easy balance) can often cause more harm than good. Also if you have a GH and KH test kit, you should check your numbers. KH or Carbonate Hardness, is what helps buffer your water and keeps PH stable. Low KH could be causing your PH to drop. GH or General Hardness in part determines ph to some degree. Higher GH will sometimes mean higher PH. The two factors work hand in hand. Hope I'm not confusing you with my jibber jabber. I wish toosie was around I know she might be able to make sense of it. Jsigmo may also be able to offer some solid advice.
 
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I found a post on here about this and I banged the #2 nitrate bottle off the table and it worked. I tried to delete this post but I couldn't. Sorry.
 

Bluestreakfl

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Well Nitrates wouldnt have anything to do with your PH doing a nosedive. there's definitely something else going on.
 

Dom90

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You said you rinsed your filter sponge. Did you rinse with old tank water?


 
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My Ph is still 6.0, I have a test strip for KH and GH. I got a 140 on GH, and a 0 for KH. My KH was 40. So how can I fix that? Will it fix my Ph? I tested my water out of tap Ph 7.6 and sit for 24 hours Ph read 7.2. Should I do another water change straight from tap to bring Ph up. I'm worried about my fish.
 
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MariB

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No tap water.
 

Dom90

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You probably killed off your bacteria by doing that.


 

Bluestreakfl

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The best way to bring your PH back up safely for now is going to be small frequent water changes. Id start with maybe 20% daily and monitor your tanks ph. I know a short term solution for bringing up KH is adding some baking soda but I'm not sure what the correct amount is. The reason I say small and frequent for water changes is you don't want to shock your fish by bringing PH up too fast. By doing say 20% per day youll gradually bring it up safely. Make sure you arent using straight tap water, but rather tap water treated with a water conditioner like Prime, Amquel, Aquasafe etc.

What is your normal water change routine? Frequency and %?
 
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I have two HOB, I changed the one filter cometely it was a month old. I rinsed it but it still had so much discolor that I just say it to the side ( I still have it), and decided to go with a new filter because my tank was cloudy. The second HOB is only 2 weeks old, I decided to rinse it 2 days after I changed the firt one so it wouldn't get so dirty. Can sit the filter in the tank, should it help? I thought the BB was in the unit it's self and cleaning the filter/changing it was fine as long as I didn't scrub the inside of the HOB unit.
 

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Bluestreakfl

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No, the Bacteria mainly lives on the filter media (cartridges, sponge, ceramic rings or whatever other type of media you may have) and by replacing a cartridge you threw away some of your bacteria. The best thing to do with filter cartridges is to put them in a container of some tank water and squeeze them and wring them out really good a few times. They won't look white like new, but theyre still good and will last some time. I'm still using the same cartridge on 6 months now and I just occasionally take it out and squish it really good in some tank water in a container several times.
 
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I change water once a week unless it gets nasty from food and fish waste. I usually do 25% water change from water that I set aside days before. Some I have conditioners in and some I don't. Should I use the water without the conditioner in it, or straight tap water without sitting?
 
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Can I just put the old filter back in, or is it ruined because it's dry?
 

Bluestreakfl

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Your old filter cartridge is not going to have any live bacteria on it by now. Also, never use plain tap water, always tap water that has been treated with a conditioner. The chlorine in tap water can kill your bacteria, as well as plants and fish.
 
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So I will do daily water changes testing the water befor each 20% change. How long will I have to do this?
 

Bluestreakfl

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It just depends on how long it takes your tank to stabilize. Maybe a week? Also check your Gh/Kh after changes too to see if your KH comes back up.
 
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YNitrate 5.0, Nitrite .25, Ph 6.6, Ammonia .25. Should I still do daily water changes or just keep testing the water? Should I add something for Ammonia or just keep testing it and dose my water if it gets higher?
 

Bluestreakfl

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Id still do water changes daily for 2-3 more days just to be safe.
 
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Now my nitrates and nitrite are 0, my Ph is 7.4, my ammonia is 1.0, and my tank is cloudy.
 
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