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06-12-2013, 07:04 AM #31Member Swordtails
- Join Date
- Mar 2013
The bacteria that eat ammonia and nitrite are made of organic carbon. So to divide they need carbonates or bicarbonates from the water.
Bicarbonates (like sodium bicarbonate) can be pH buffers, reacting with acids to produce a weak base.
So the (bi)carbonates in your water (KH level) will buffer your pH to prevent it falling, but the bacteria are eating it. When they consume enough the pH can start to crash.
This pH drop can be aggravated if nitrite levels are high as nitrite can convert to nitric acid in small amounts dropping the pH.
You can water change to replace the buffers and give the bacteria more KH to consume or you can dose with sodium bicarbonate (Baking soda, NOT baking powder!). 1 teaspoon per 50 litres should give you a KH of around +100ppm and stabilize the pH around 8.0-8.2.
The KH will continue to fall for a while, while you are cycling, as you are adding the ammonia in batches, so there are spikes everyday and the bacteria start to divide to consume it. When you add fish the ammonia will be added slowly over the entire day and the bacteria numbers will stabilize and the KH will also stabilize.... causing the pH to stabilize.
06-12-2013, 03:28 PM #32
Thanks very much for that excellent information! Exactly what I was looking for!
This morning ammonia and nitrItes are back to zero again. NitrAtes are up some more, maybe 80ppm. I'm getting ready to do a big water change right now. If the nitrAtes are low enough I may get some fish tomorrow! If not, then I'll do another water change tomorrow and go from there.
Thanks again to everyone for your feedback!
Last edited by Bruce N; 06-12-2013 at 03:42 PM. Reason: Accidentally a letter
06-12-2013, 03:35 PM #33
06-13-2013, 05:06 PM #34
I did a big water change yesterday around noon, that brought nitrAtes down to about 25ppm. Then I did another big water change last night. This morning ammonia and nitrItes were still zero and nitrAtes were less than 10ppm.
12 Rummynose Tetras are being drip acclimated even as I type!
06-13-2013, 05:28 PM #35
06-16-2013, 04:36 PM #36
Well, everything is going great!. The rummys are happily zooming around. I also picked up 6 oto cats on Saturday. Here's pic right before I started adding fish and a link to an imgur album.
Last edited by Bruce N; 06-16-2013 at 04:40 PM.
06-16-2013, 04:52 PM #37
06-16-2013, 08:18 PM #38
Yeah, when they hold still long enough!
06-16-2013, 08:55 PM #39