Substrate PH change. Cycle lost. Now I'm dealing with ammonium. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 04-08-2018, 03:46 AM Thread Starter
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This isn't a substrate question. But a ammonium question.

So I've had a interesting experience changing substrate this past weekend followed by a lost cycle... I changed my old gravel in my planted tank with seachem flourite. My old gravel locked my pH at 7.6 for 5 or more years regardless what pH water was put in the tank. After switching to the flourite my ph dropped and locked to 6.6 over a few days. I'm not asking for info or topics related to the substrate, but related to the bacteria lost from the old gravel and pH change shocking my filter. My total ammonia is roughly 1.25ppm however my pH is 6.6. At this pH most of the total ammonia is ammonium right? I've heard at 6.5ph all ammonia is actually ammonium, which is dramatically less harmful as its not a soluble gas as ammonia is. I've also read this ph change means new bacteria will have to form in my filter and obviously my new substrate, and that new bacteria won't be as efficient at this ph at first and ammonium is also not as good as a food for the bacteria. But it will adapt and be fine after right?

Is all this correct? At what point should I be concerned for how much ammonium I have in my water? I can easily keep it down to .25ppm total ammonia but that would drastically slow down this re-cycle right? Thank you for your time reading this and hope some of the more knowledgeable members here can share your input.

Temp is 74f-76f and I read ammonium also is absorbed by plants too? So much confusing info on the forums on the Internet.

Last edited by Darkblade48; 04-08-2018 at 03:58 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 04-08-2018, 08:36 PM
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You're right on all counts, but it matters less than you think.
The low pH means your fish won't stress much, but the bacteria will be slower.
Your temps are working in your favor too, hotter is faster.

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