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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Texas, USA
Posts: 71

I am having a serious problem. Both of my tanks, which were cycled and ready to go, are now reading:

ammonia: 4ppm
nitrites: 0
nitrates: 5ppm
GH: 0
KH: 0
pH: 6.0

I just tested my tap water and it's:
ammonia: .5ppm
GH: 0
KH: 0
pH: 6.5

I've lost one guppy out of one tank, but all of the rest of the fish are doing just fine. I am using Prime and Stability with each water change. I've cut down on feeding to every 3rd day, thinking that maybe I was overfeeding even though there was never food left at the bottom. Water is crystal clear. The man at my LFS gave me Seachem Neutral Regulator to adjust my params, but no matter how many water changes I do, I can't get the ammonia down to raise the pH, GH, KH. I know that with the pH so low, the nitrifying bacteria can't do their job. I also know that with the pH so low the ammonia isn't in its toxic form. I have a Seachem ammonia alert hanging in one of the tanks and it shows "safe" but I know I need to change things. What do I do?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 03:39 PM
Algae Grower
Join Date: May 2011
Location: st.louis,missouri
Posts: 135
What are you testing with?
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Texas, USA
Posts: 71
I am testing ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate with the API masterkit, and GH and KH with the API test strips since they were the only things I could find to test those two.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 05:29 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Toronto/Singapore
Posts: 10,184
I would not say that your pH is particularly low; definitely not low enough to inhibit nitrifying bacteria from doing their job.

Since your aquarium was already cycled, the presence of the ammonia indicates a problem with overfeeding (which you have ruled out) or something large that is decaying. I would go over your substrate with a siphon/vacuum and try to see if there are any dead fish and/or clumps of decaying food, etc.


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Texas, USA
Posts: 71
No, there's nothing dead. Everyone is accounted for. I've been siphoning the bottom every time I change the water to get rid of waste, too, so it's clean. I'm really at a dead end, here. I just went to another LFS and he gave me some seeded crushed coral from his tanks to add to my filter. I guess I'll see how that goes.
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