View Full Version : tank cycling question
09-09-2006, 02:09 AM
Day 4 - Is this about the time I'll start to see my ammonia spike? I've been feeding what the eight 1" tetras can eat in about three minutes twice a day.
Here's my stats as of now (two hours after 30% change):
buffering capacity 180
How's that looking? I know that ammonia level is high. Should I do another water change? Another 40%?
(55 gallon, Top Fin 60 power filter, no live plants or rocks)
09-09-2006, 03:44 AM
I'm no expert but I believe your PH is to high. Try to get it down to 7.0
09-09-2006, 03:51 AM
I'm in the process of another 40% change. I don't know how else to get that ammonia down without chemicals. (I don't want to use too many chemicals). I put some pH decrease a few minutes ago, so about a couple of hours after my water change is done, I'll retest that ammonia and pH.
Unless someone can tell me how to do this better?
09-09-2006, 05:26 AM
has your tank had a bacterial bloom yet? (it will get really cloudy then clear the next day or so). I don't like to use the pH down or pH up chemicals. They will ultimately effect some other balance in the tank. What is the pH of the water out of the tap?
09-09-2006, 06:23 AM
The pH out of the tap is about an 8.0 which is probably way too high for my guys.
Maybe I should try to just keep fish that like a high pH and moderately hard water instead of me trying to change all of it. I have no idea, though, about any fish that like that high pH. Do you guys know some?
After that massive water change (first a 30%, then another 40% in the same day) my ammonia is still reading a .50. I thought I might have had a bacterial bloom, but after further research, I discovered my water was over oxygenated. I removed the large aerator and now my water is clear. So I guess I haven't had my bacterial bloom yet.
09-09-2006, 05:01 PM
ok. This is what I would do with high pH tap.
I would either:
1) Buy malawi cichlids, they like high pH, and there are many beautiful species. The water in lake Malawi is typically alkaline with a pH of 7.7 - 8.6. The lake water is generally warm having a surface temperature that ranges from 24 - 29 °C (75 - 84 °F) and a deep level temperature of 22 °C (71.6 °F)
2) Buy Tanganyika cichlids, they also like high pH, and are many pretty species too. It has an average surface temperature of 25°C and a pH averaging 8.4.
3) Buy lake Victoria cichlids, they like high pH too, and there are over 500 species. The water in Lake Victoria is much less clear than that in Lakes Malawi and Tanganyika. Transparency has been measured between less than 4 and 10 feet in inshore areas. The pH is alkaline, ranging from 7.2 to 8.6. The temperature can be as low as 70 degrees at the surface during the dry season and reaches 81 degrees during the wet season.
Or: (if you insist on keeping fish that like a lower pH than your tap water)
4) I would buy CO2 tablets. They are mostly organic, as they are produced from minerals rather than chemicals, and they will make your tank more acidic.(lower pH). These "tablets" will improve the CO2 for your plants as well. I do however suggest adding more O2 to your set-up as your fish will need extra O2 with the CO2 addition. This means add more bubbles.(airstones, bubble wands, etc.)
I would choose option 1-3 because it is more "natural". The more you mess with the natural order of things(opt.4) the harder it is to reach a stable balance long term. I hate using chemicals and un"organic" methods. But that is my opinion. I think natural tanks are more beautiful and showcase both the species instinctual behavior better and the physical characteristics as well.
I think you said this was a really new tank too, so as ammonia increases in the tank it will have a small effect on pH too. Driving it down slightly to more acidic. At least until the tank has fully cycled.
P.S. Bleeding Heart Tetras like a pH of about 6.8. Which is considered very slightly acidic. I think you should do what you can to get the water pH down at least to 7(neutral) soon!
Hope this helps.
09-10-2006, 02:23 AM
Central american cichlids and live bearers are also options despite the high pH.
09-10-2006, 03:51 AM
Thanks everyone. I was able to lower my ammonia level to about .3, which is great. I've been slowly reducing my pH everyday about .3 or .4 points. I read that it's good to lower it slowly. It's currently at 7.4, so it's getting there.
I was looking up those cichlids, and it seems that I should probably go with that type instead of trying to work against my water conditions. Also, the warmer temperatures help since our cold tap water comes out at about 85 F. Why make things harder on myself by adding ice to my water buckets and chemicals to my water?
So this is what my plan is: I shall research cichlids and the environment they love including proper housing and decorations. I'll finish cycling my tank with the tetras because they really are doing very well so far. Even some of their nipped fins are starting to grow back!
You guys are giving me great advice, and I will be taking it. Thanks you all so much for helping me through the learning process. I appreciate the info about the cichlids because I'll be going with that sort of aquarium.
Thanks, again! :D
09-11-2006, 01:40 PM
to increase your pH you need to add sodium bicarbonate (aka Baking soda) which in turn increases your alkalinity which buffers your pH
thought i would share
09-11-2006, 05:22 PM
Thanks for sharing. He is trying to lower his Ph though.
09-11-2006, 05:34 PM
I know...but just incase anyone else is having the exact opposite problem with the pH that is coming out of there tap...that could be used...i don't i guess i wanted to sound smart.
09-12-2006, 04:14 AM
Thanks, lindsay. That info will come in handy when I start keeping my african cichlids.
09-12-2006, 12:29 PM
yay i'm useful....LOL
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