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Old 04-13-2012, 07:38 AM   #1 
hmckin20
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What to make of test results?

So I got the *actual* master test kit yesterday with my tax refunds (yay!) and I just finished testing my first tank.

pH: 6.0
Ammonia: whopping 4.0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0

So since I'm new at this, can someone translate and tell me if this is good or not?

The ammonia isn't good.. I have to go do a water change. But does the high ammonia level and low nitrite/nitrate levels mean the tank isn't cycled? anddd the pH is a lot more acidic than the instruction thing says, what should I do about that?

Also, how much of a water change should I do for this tank (and how often) to safely bring it down?
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:19 AM   #2 
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Well...its good and bad....good that the pH is 6 since this will cause the ammonia to be ammonium-but if the pH goes above 6 the ammonium will convert back to ammonia and at 4ppm could be deadly....

Be sure and follow the directions to the "T" especially shaking between reagents, time lines and reading results.
The #2 nitrate reagent-shake, bang and shake some more before use-it tends to settle and can give skewed readings....
Test both high and low pH

Test your source water-both with and without additives to get a base line

Some additives can cause skewed reading....

What size is the tank, filter, live plants, stocking, how long has the tank been running.
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:04 AM   #3 
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Yeah, the instructions manual had bolded like five lines concerning the nitrate test, haha.

Okay, I'll test the high pH too, and the regular water that we use when I do a water change today.

The tank is a 10g, with a sponge filter and heater, no live plants, three bettas divided, and the tank has been running for a few weeks/ months. I don't recall the last time I did a 100% on it.

I also use API Stress coat & Seachem Prime for conditioner.
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:33 AM   #4 
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Prime can sometimes cause skewed ammonia readings-by testing the source water without any of the additives will help tell you if that is the cause.

If your source water pH is 6 too-you may not be able to establish the nitrogen cycle since the bacteria can't colonize in low pH

You may need to also check your KH/GH and see what kind of buffering you have. If this is low you may need to add crushed corral to raise it and make the pH stable.

Since you have a filter-I wouldn't recommend 100% water changes-even without an established nitrogen cycle.

Source water-is this coming from the tap and if so, are you using a home water softening unit or anything like that-if so, you need to by-pass it for the tank water.
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:27 PM   #5 
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okay, i went and tested another tank with similar results.

then i went and tested the source water- the pH is 7.6 on the low pH one. the ammonia is about .25, though. nitrate/nitrites are both 0.

how could pH shift from 7.6 to 6 in my tank? o.o (read: what am i doing wrong?!)

also, yeah, straight from the tap, no equipment (that i'm aware of).
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:38 PM   #6 
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also, i bought some api ammo lock and api proper ph 7.0 justtt in case. would the ammo lock be a good idea to put in there?
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:40 PM   #7 
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Prime basically does what ammo lock does - converts it into a less harmful form. :)
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:29 AM   #8 
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This should explain it.....
http://ion.chem.usu.edu/~sbialkow/Classes/3650/Carbonate/Carbonic%20Acid.html
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:56 PM   #9 
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okay great, thank you (:


OFL, i'm nooot certain what that means.
so if carbon dioxide made my water acidic, is there something i can do to prevent/fix it? or is it completely normal? since my aquarium water and my source water is so different in pH level, should i change the way i do water changes? should i use the api proper pH? do a 100% and then adjust the pH? or since i'm using these things for ammonia, would it be okay to alter the pH? is the low pH bad for my fish?
should i be doing more water changes?

generally, what should i do?

Last edited by hmckin20; 04-14-2012 at 06:03 PM.
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:09 PM   #10 
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@OFL: I think that link was a bit confusing to us lol. Well to me anyway. Can you break it down?
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