Water parameter advice and other fish questions

Poseidontheaxolotl

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Hello!

I was wondering if anyone had any advice for me on my water parameters. I test usually once a week - but sometimes don't get around to doing it. I have a 20 gallon high tank, with 1 gold gourami, 3 cobra guppies (one just passed a few days ago) 3 kuhli loaches, 1 spiny eel and 2 glass catfish. I am planning on getting 3 or 4 more cats as they do better in groups of at least 5, and I am planning on getting another guppy.

Onto the parameters. I do a water change every 1-2 weeks. Here are my recent testing results: (they are always the same)

Ph - 7.7
High range ph - 8.2
Ammonia - 0.25
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 5 to 10
Temperature: 80 (I know its high but I don't know how to lower it - heater has to be unplugged).

I am a little worried and concerned that my ph is too high, and I know that kuhli loaches need a much lower ph, so I don't want the ph to affect them and make them sick ): I am not really an expert at water parameters, and I just don't want any of my fish to die due to me not being able to keep up and take care of them. Does anyone know how I can lower my nitrates, ph and ammonia? I heard driftwood helps with ph and I have a piece in there, but I don't know if it's helping.

While I am writing this I may as well ask a few more questions that have been bugging me for a while.

1. One of my glass catfish seems to be a little bit bigger - by bigger I mean he looks bloated but not much. He seemed to grow a little bit over the past week and I am worried about him because my guppy unfortunately died to bloat and fin rot, so I don't want another fish to die from it, because then I know that something is probably wrong with the tank.
2. This isn't a big problem, but do kuhli loaches like to rest a lot and not really move around much during the day? My biggest one seems to like to lay around a lot and "sleep" while the others hide but come out at feeding and go a little crazy. I just want to make sure that he isn't getting too tired and if this behavior is normal. He doesn't lay on his side or upside down at all - don't worry! He occasionally looses a bit of color however but not very often.
3. Is a lot of algae so bad? The ornaments and plants in the tank seem to have a lot of it. So do the sides of the tank, which makes it look a little dirty but I don't want to clean it off due to the beneficial bacteria on it. The light is always kept off. Any suggestions on how to contain it? Or should I leave it as it is and wipe down the glass?

Any advice or answers would be very useful and hopefully take the weight off my shoulders about worrying. I just want to try to be the best fish keeper for my pets!
Thanks!
 
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Poseidontheaxolotl

Poseidontheaxolotl

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NBettas83 said:
I wouldn't be worrying as much about PH as I would be the Ammonia. It's too high. Is your tank cycled? You can lower Ammonia and such by doing water changes, you should normally change 25%-50% a week on most tanks.
My tank is cycled, I am not so knowledgable about cycling tanks, but I do do a 25% water change each week and sometimes a 50% if I need to.
 

Mike1995

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Poseidontheaxolotl said:
My tank is cycled, I am not so knowledgable about cycling tanks, but I do do a 25% water change each week and sometimes a 50% if I need to.
I would work on getting the ammonia down first before anything
 

JettsPapa

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NBettas83 said:
I wouldn't be worrying as much about PH as I would be the Ammonia. It's too high. Is your tank cycled? You can lower Ammonia and such by doing water changes, you should normally change 25%-50% a week on most tanks.
Are you sure about that? It's my understanding that 0.25 ppm is within the margin of error. I wouldn't worry about it, especially since Poseidontheaxolotl said it's always the same.
 
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Poseidontheaxolotl

Poseidontheaxolotl

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Mike1995 said:
I would work on getting the ammonia down first before anything
Do you have any suggestions on how to bring it down? I have been trying for months but nothings working ):
 

Sorg67

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Poseidontheaxolotl said:
Do you have any suggestions on how to bring it down? I have been trying for months but nothings working ):
I would not worry about it. See comment by JettsPapa above. Lots of false 0.25 ppm ammonia readings. Given that everything else is good, I would bet your true ammonia is zero.
 

mattgirl

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I can't comment on your fish but I can tell you that you can scrape the algae off your glass without disrupting your cycle. There should be sufficient bacteria on your filter media to keep your cycle strong.

As to the .25 ammonia. It seems to be normal now to see ,25 ammonia. Some folks that use the API test never see a true zero reading.

You may want to consider doing bigger water changes. Change out no less than 50% of the water each time. Fresh clean water is the very best thing you can give your water pets.
 
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Poseidontheaxolotl

Poseidontheaxolotl

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Sorg67 said:
I would not worry about it. See comment by JettsPapa above. Lots of false 0.25 ppm ammonia readings. Given that everything else is good, I would bet your true ammonia is zero.
Hmm, that is very good to know and very useful. Thank you!
 
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Poseidontheaxolotl

Poseidontheaxolotl

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mattgirl said:
I can't comment on your fish but I can tell you that you can scrape the algae off your glass without disrupting your cycle. There should be sufficient bacteria on your filter media to keep your cycle strong.

As to the .25 ammonia. It seems to be normal now to see ,25 ammonia. Some folks that use the API test never see a true zero reading.

You may want to consider doing bigger water changes. Change out no less than 50% of the water each time. Fresh clean water is the very best thing you can give your water pets.
Thanks for the good advice - all info is taken into account! I would've thought that the ammonia would change overtime but it has stayed at .25 for maybe 6 months. So I think it should be okay. I will do bigger water changes as that sounds like a good plan.
 

NBettas83

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JettsPapa said:
Are you sure about that? It's my understanding that 0.25 ppm is within the margin of error. I wouldn't worry about it, especially since Poseidontheaxolotl said it's always the same.
Well, I'm not the most knowledgable with all the factors that decide wether parameters are safe or not. I never knew .25ppm was okay.
 

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