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Old 06-21-2013, 08:05 PM   #121 
JoyLightfoot
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PH question

I have a question about ph in my tank.
The strip test that I used said my water is 8.4 alkaline and I have had a few fish die on me today. Walmart didn't have any ammonia test kits and I won't get my master test kit until Monday or Tuesday. I bought the ammonia fizz corrector, but I am nervous about using it without having tested the ammonia levels first. I know that you said that bettas can adapt to most ph levels, so should I assume the problem is ammonia? Test strip showed:
Nitrate no3 was 20
Nitrate no2 was between 0 and .5
Total hardness was 75 (soft)
Total Alkalinity was 300 (very high)
pH was 8.4

Thanks!
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:39 AM   #122 
Hallyx
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Your readings are reasonable depending on the accuracy of your test. NO2 is nitrite, NO3 is nitrate. Your pH is high, and not likely to move much with that alkalinity. Don't know why your (GH) hardness is so low, but it's not unique.

I don't think your ammonia is that high. Prime conditioner (by Seachem) detoxifies ammonia for a couple of days. Use 2 drops/gal every two days for safety until your liquid test kit arrives.

Do not mess with your pH.
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:01 AM   #123 
PNWBettakeeper
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Question about Nitrites

First of all, thank you so much for this thread. After being very confused about how to cycle with a betta in tank, this has been a life saver. I have been cycling for about 10 days and I know I need to be patient. I have a question that I hope you can help with. I have no ammonia showing, and no Nitrates showing but the Nitrite reading seems to remain between 2.0 and 3.0 ppm even when I change out water. I know it may be a few more weeks before I see that reading go to zero. I am wondering how much stress it is putting on my betta though. He is a very friendly and active fish. He plays, hides in his rocks and always rushes out in the morning to greet me. I also have 2 African Dwarf frogs and a couple of snails in the tank. Just worried that the nitirite reading may be harmful to my betta.

Thanks for your advice.
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:32 AM   #124 
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>2.0ppm nitrite is dangerously high. Not sure how you can get that reading without ammonia. Nitrite comes from ammonia...only. Test your sourcewater.

Never let nitrite or ammonia get >0.25ppm. Change water until you get that. Don't be afraid of large water changes >50%. Cut back on feeding. Get some live plants.

Last edited by Hallyx; 08-15-2013 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 08-15-2013, 12:25 PM   #125 
shellieca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNWBettakeeper View Post
First of all, thank you so much for this thread. After being very confused about how to cycle with a betta in tank, this has been a life saver. I have been cycling for about 10 days and I know I need to be patient. I have a question that I hope you can help with. I have no ammonia showing, and no Nitrates showing but the Nitrite reading seems to remain between 2.0 and 3.0 ppm even when I change out water. I know it may be a few more weeks before I see that reading go to zero. I am wondering how much stress it is putting on my betta though. He is a very friendly and active fish. He plays, hides in his rocks and always rushes out in the morning to greet me. I also have 2 African Dwarf frogs and a couple of snails in the tank. Just worried that the nitirite reading may be harmful to my betta.

Thanks for your advice.
+1 with hallyx.
Out of curiosity how big is your tank? Are you using a liquid test kit or strips? Have you seen ANY ammonia in the 10 days the tank has been cycling?
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Old 08-15-2013, 12:55 PM   #126 
Oldfishlady
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNWBettakeeper View Post
First of all, thank you so much for this thread. After being very confused about how to cycle with a betta in tank, this has been a life saver. I have been cycling for about 10 days and I know I need to be patient. I have a question that I hope you can help with. I have no ammonia showing, and no Nitrates showing but the Nitrite reading seems to remain between 2.0 and 3.0 ppm even when I change out water. I know it may be a few more weeks before I see that reading go to zero. I am wondering how much stress it is putting on my betta though. He is a very friendly and active fish. He plays, hides in his rocks and always rushes out in the morning to greet me. I also have 2 African Dwarf frogs and a couple of snails in the tank. Just worried that the nitirite reading may be harmful to my betta.

Thanks for your advice.
My first thought when I see reading like this...is some type of error-be it with the testing product, the tester...etc.....Or it could be a result of an interaction of some type.

When you get skewed readings like this and your fish are otherwise acting/behaving like they normally do....Your results are most likely a false result-That said, we needs some more info to be sure all is okay...

What size tank, type of filter, type of additives used, any live plants, type of substrate. What kind of testing products, what is your source water, test results on the source water with and without the regular additives used. To be clear-this tank has been running for 10 day with 1 Betta and 2 ADF's...correct.
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Old 08-15-2013, 03:44 PM   #127 
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Thanks for the quick reply, Oldfishlady.

yes, I have a Betta and 2 ADFs in the tank and they have been in for around 10 days now. The tank is one that combines the aquarium and hydroponics so its an interesting set up called an Aqua Farm. The tank is a 5 gallon tank and has a system that uses a pump to cycle water from the bottom to a tray on the top which is where there are 5 pots of wheat grass growing hydroponically. The theory is the the plants use the Nitrate to grow and the water that returns to the tank is cleaned by the plants. In addition I have 4 aquatic plants in the 5 gallon aquarium. All the plants are looking very healthy and I am seeing significant new growth on the plants.

The system cycles the water from bottom to top, but does not have a specific filtration system. I think the tray where there wheat grass roots are spread is most likely where the good bacteria would collect and in examining the tray it looks like there is a slightly slimy surface which leads me to believe that there is an active colony there.

Additives used are Tidy Tank sludge eradicator and a product called Zym-Bac - both made by Kordon. (these products came with the kit and are supposed to make bacteria grow more rapidly in the tank) The substrate is standard small aquarium gravel . The source water comes from the filter system in the office and I have tested that for chlorine and there is none in the water. Just to be safe, I add betta-safe to the water before I add to the tank. I have also tested the water before adding to the tank and this is what I get:

Nitrate 0
Nitrite 0
Hardness 75
Chlorine 0
Alkalinity 140
PH - 7.8

I am using Tetra Easy Strips

I just tested the water and got this reading

Nitrate 20
Nitrite 3.0
Hardness 150
Chlorine 0
Alkalinity 180
PH 8.4

I purchased a separate Ammonia test kit and got a zero reading from that so at least I know there is no Ammonia in the water.

Sorry for the long response - hope that covers it. I am more than willing to be patient, just worried that the Nitrites could be bad for the fish.
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:06 PM   #128 
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Picture of tank

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Old 08-15-2013, 07:55 PM   #129 
PNWBettakeeper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shellieca View Post
+1 with hallyx.
Out of curiosity how big is your tank? Are you using a liquid test kit or strips? Have you seen ANY ammonia in the 10 days the tank has been cycling?
Strangely I have not seen any ammonia during the process. I was new to this so I did not test for it until yesterday for the first time. The test strips I purchased did not include Ammonia so I purchased a test kit yesterday.

The results I am getting and the tank size etc are all below.

Thanks
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:51 AM   #130 
Oldfishlady
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What a neat little tank....The last test is that from the tank, if so, most likely what you are seeing is the results from the chemical additives and shouldn't cause any problems for the livestock as evident by the fish and frogs themselves as well as the plant growth...lol....

IMO/E-plants as filtration systems are one of the best and most efficient filtration systems you can have.
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