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Old 03-11-2013, 10:50 AM   #1 
slug61
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pH and Ammonia levels???

I've had my 2.5g minibow with filter for 18 days with 1 betta named "Finn".
I have plastic plants.
I change 50% water 2 times per week and gravel suction 1 time per week.

I feed Omega One pellets - 4 per day, fast on Sunday
I have API liquid test kit, and use PRIME.

readings have been:
0.5 ammonia
0.0 nitrite
0.0 nitrate
pH usually 7.4

tap water has pH of 7.2, todays tank reading was pH of 7.8(tested 2times)
changed water 50% today
ammonia is now 0.25
pH is 7.4 after water change

question: is this too much of a fluctuation in pH??
water temp is between 79/80 F

Thanks
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:10 PM   #2 
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It's a little odd, but there isn't really a whole bunch you can do about, save for using live plants, which I've noticed stabilised my pH.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:13 PM   #3 
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It is odd it's gone up.. what do you have in the tank? What type of gravel, etc. Some types of gravel and some types of decor (like rocks and shells) will do this..

I am more concerned with your ammonia level and water change routine. .5ppm is far too high. Even as little as .25ppm requires an extra 50% water change. The twice a week changes you are doing just aren't enough.

Most people will tell you that you can't ever fully cycle a tank this small, despite your filter, and you will alawys need regular twice weekly changes of 50% and 100%.. you can try, but careful daily monitoring and reliable test kits should be used. You need to be testing daily with a reliable drops kit for ammonia and nitrite and doing an extra 50% change any time you see either. In addition to this a weekly 50% with siphon or new fresh turkey baster that has never seen chems is needed to remove poop and other debris from the gravel. It is not enough to just scoop water off the top ever. I actually suggest a turkey baster or very small siphon because your tank is so small an average siphon will remove water too quickly.

First you will see ammonia, then nitrite. Eventually, hopefully, you will see ammonia fall and stay at 0 even after a week of no water changes, and finally nitrite. At this point you will be left with only nitrates after a full week of no changes and these can be kept <20ppm by twice weekly 50% change with baster/siphon. However, cycling will take up to two months to complete and many if not most people will tell you that you can't cycle a tank of this size and you will always need twice weekly 50% and 100% water changes or you will always see ammonia continuing to build and the cycle will never finish..
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:54 PM   #4 
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[quote=callistra;1464573]It is odd it's gone up.. what do you have in the tank?
i have just 5 plastic plants and aquarium gravel.

I am more concerned with your ammonia level and water change routine. .5ppm is far too high. Even as little as .25ppm requires an extra 50% water change. The twice a week changes you are doing just aren't enough.
I was already told that 2 50% changes are enough?? now i'm confused.

You need to be testing daily with a reliable drops kit for ammonia and nitrite and doing an extra 50% change any time you see either.
i do test every other day with API master test kit. Nitrite has always been 0. ammonia varies between .25 and .5.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:30 PM   #5 
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Have you tested your tap water? It is possible you have ammonia in it, in which case you should get hold of some Prime and use it to deytoxify your tank regularly.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:51 PM   #6 
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Some gravel does effect ph. What kind did you get?

I agree you should test your tap but since you're not doing 50% change it just may not be enough.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:57 PM   #7 
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Dissolved CO2 in your tap water will lower your pH until the water has sat out for a while. .2 is not a huge change - I wouldn't personally worry about it.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:01 PM   #8 
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It's a .6 change between 7.2 and the 7.8.

yeah that's true.. some tap water is unstable. You can test that by filling up water jugs and let it sit for a day or so and retest. You may need to let it sit for a day.. mine had to sit 3 to stabilize so it depends.. but if you do that you will have to find a way to reheat it before adding to the tank. You can use buckets with a separate heater.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:10 PM   #9 
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Have you tested your tap water? It is possible you have ammonia in it, in which case you should get hold of some Prime and use it to deytoxify your tank regularly.

Yes, i already said i use PRIME and the tap water does NOT have ammonia.
Tap water pH is always 7.2, but in the tank it can be anywhere from 7.4 to 7.8

Last edited by slug61; 03-11-2013 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:15 PM   #10 
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If your tap water doesn't have ammonia then you're just not doing enough water changes. If you follow my guide above your fish will be okay.

Sometimes when water sits for a while, like days, the ph will shift. Have you ever filled a bucket or jug of water up and then let it sit a day or even 3 and retested? This can change.
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