Very low pH and KH
Iím in the process of moving and I temporarily moved my planted tank from a 20g to a 10g for a few months when they go to their final 125g home. In the mean time, I moved all of the inhabitants (2 angels (quarter sized), 2 flying foxes and a clown loach (2inch) plus the plants. (This tank has only the single fluorescent light it came with so I have not added any fertilizer.) I considered the tank to be cycled because I used the same filter media and gravel (fluorite). This was about 6-8 weeks ago. I changed 3.5g of water, last month, and another 3.5g, 2 days ago. I also tested the water because the loach hasnít seemed himself the last few days. I was surprised the KH and pH were extremely low!!! The values were as follows:
pH 5-5.5 (test kit is not very accurate at this range..will verify w/pH meter)
KH Ė one drop and the water changed colors so 1dH or less??
GH Ė 9 dH
NH3/NH 0.75 mg/l
Temp Ė 80 C
(Using tetra test kit)
Will check NO2 and phophates tonight...
Iím going to double check the pH of my tap water and tank water tomorrow via a pH meter. And do a water change tonight (3.5g). Then another water change Friday (Iíll be going out of town for the next week.)
Iím hoping the water changes will help to clear this up but if not: should I use sodium carbonate (washing soda is the generic name I think) to help raise the pH and increase the KH?
Or is sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) better or some other buffer ???
Iíd like to do this when I come back so that I can monitor it more closely or is this serious enough that I should add buffer now?