Planted Tank Obsessed
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Last night before bed I noticed that the pH had dropped below 7 again. I didn't actually have baking soda so I had used a lot of the "pH Up" from the API pH test kit, so I added more (24 drops), I'm guessing harder water holds the pH increase better?
Woke up this morning and Nitrites were about 2.0 and pH was about 6.4. I suspect something is buffering pH in the tank (spider wood?) and that seems like a lot of nitrites from 1.0 ammonia. Entirely possible that the water hadn't really mixed well yet when I tested, however -- I imagine the water in the substrate takes a bit to mix in with no direct flow on it.
I used distilled water yesterday for the water change (there are no fish so I felt comfortable using distilled to remove variables) and tested the ph and nitrite for 2 of the bottles just in case -- tested neutral -- so it's not the water.
After the water change I added a 1ml dose of Flourish to make up for the lack of minerals in the water, added ammonia (ACE brand) to ~1ppm (0.25ml), added ~1ml Excel. Tested parameters after an hour, probably not enough time as I noted.
In case it matters, the tank has no livestock, plants are a java fern mat, micro swords narrow leaf, three kinds of crypt. Hardscape is a few river stones and a piece of spider wood, substrate is a full bag of eco complete in a 5 gallon tank, water to substrate surface is almost exactly 4 gallons, but of course there is a half gallon or so mixed in with the substrate. Some clear slime has infested the wood that I think is from the high nitrites. Filtration system is the built in filter (Fluval Spec V), with the charcoal replaced with Purigen.
Tonight I'll do another(!) water change and use baking soda.
Okay, 4 hours after my third 85% water change in about 24 hours -- and the second with distilled water -- as well as the addition of 1/4 tsp of baking soda, my pH is at 6.8 and Nitrites are at about 2.0!! Where are these nitrites coming from? Is it leaching from the eco-complete somehow? Are there nitrites in Flourish that I don't know about? Am I somehow purple-colorblind?
I added another 1/4 tsp of baking soda and will test pH in the morning as well as Nitrites. The testing kit measures 0ppm nitrites in bottled water so it seems to be a working test kit. I'm quite frustrated and confused.
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Last edited by Darkblade48; 04-13-2016 at 12:26 PM.
Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner