Tracking Ammonia

Discussion in 'Aquarium Water' started by dfisherman, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. dfishermanValued MemberMember

    I,m on day 6 of cycling a 10 gallon tank. I have 3 guppies in it. My ammonia level is starting to rise as it should, but I just discovered my tap water has 0.5 - 1.0 ppm. So I started using Prime with my water changes. But when I tested my water before adding it to the tank, it still test positive. How can I track my accurate ammonia level when it does this? Also my ph level is to low 6.0 should I let it be or try to adjust with crushed coral?
  2. Prince PowderWell Known MemberMember

    Hello and welcome to Fishlore!

    Prime detoxifies ammonia it does not remove it so your bacteria can still feed on it. For the most accurate readings do your tests just before a water change and at least 24 hours after adding Prime. When cycling with fish you will need to do daily water changes. The changes will keep your toxin levels low and the Prime will keep them detoxified for the 24 hours between each change. With a pH of 6.0 your tank will take a long time to cycle. Anything below 7.0 significantly slows the reproduction process of your beneficial bacteria. I'm fortunate to have never had to adjust my pH so I can't really advise you how to raise it safely. I only know that it is very unwise to use chemicals as they leave the pH unstable and that it would need to be raised very slowly so as not to shock the fish. There are a number of members who have experience raising their pH and they can give you some advice on that.

    Good luck with your tank!
  3. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    welcome to fishlore. I would not adjust the pH - it is normal for pH to fluctuate greatly in a cycling tank.
  4. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    +1 on Meenu's post.

    Wait for the cycle to finish before worrying about pH levels. You may want to also consider adding some Tetra Safe Start, which will help kick start the growth of beneficial bacteria colony. Continue to use Prime to treat your tap water.

    As for your tap water containing ammonia, you could boil your water, which I believe should remove most of the ammonia, there are other methods that are probably more expensive, but boiling might work.

    Also, what's the pH of your tap water? I tend to just let my tank run at 'tap water pH' so I don't have to worry about treating it, but if it's too low for your liking, you can add crushed coral/sea shells to your substrate. But again, wait until the cycle is complete, and then see where things settle at.
  5. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    To get an accurate test on your tapwater's pH, you should let it sit for 24 hours before testing.
  6. dfishermanValued MemberMember

    My thanks to every one for your comments & suggestions.

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