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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just recently noticed that my tanks ammonia has risen to about 4ppm. I have done a 40% water change the past two days, while cleaning the gravel. The Ammonia has dropped a little, but I tested the PH and it has dropped through the floor to about 6.5 (regularly it is at 7.6). I have done a bunch of reading up online about the top and some people say drastic things like I should change 100% of the water and then other people are saying I should do nothing but 75% water change max and that this raise in ammonia and drop in PH is normal. Looking for some advise as I am unsure what to do. The fish are acting quite normal and the only change was that one of the smaller Mpanga's died about a week ago.

I am probably going to do a 75% water change tomorrow, but I am debating if that is an unwise move or not. Any suggestions are welcome.

Nitrates= 0
Nitrite= 0
Ammonia= 4
PH= 6.5
Tap water PH= 7.6
55 Gallon
Eheim 2213
Aquaclear 100

Stocking list
2 Afra
7 Labs
5 Rustys
5 Elongatus Mpanga's
(All are juveniles).
 

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Do the water change, but make it a smaller change, and do several over the course of a day. Like 20% every two hours. Do this so you don't shock your fish with sudden changes in their water.

At the moment, the ammonia is slowly killing your fish. It has to come down. Sudden changes will kill them too, though.
 

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I would want to raise pH by 0.2 daily, so that would mean daily water changes starting with 20% and increasing daily...like 20, 30, 35, 45 etc.

It sounds like your tank is not cycled since you have ammonia and no nitrates.

Maybe you should get some Dr. Tim's One and Only to kick-start your bacteria colony?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The tank is cycled and it has been established for about 4 months, so I do not think that is a concern.

HAHA, I wish I had the ability to do a water change every 2 hours. The joys of work.

I read that when the PH is low it lowers to toxicity of Ammonia and thus the main concern should be water changes and eliminating the ammonia. My thought is that the dead fish caused a spike in the Ammonia. Otherwise I am at a loss because I do water changes once a week and the fish are not overfeed.
 

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If you had a fish die a week ago and you removed the corpse I am surprised that the ammonia is still high now. I would think that in a healthy tank the ammonia spike should have gone down quickly when the source was removed. Have you verified that all your other fish are ok? If your tank is cycled and there is no new source of pollution to cause production of ammonia then the level should not be able to remain high.

Due to the toxicity of the ammonia I would think the first concern should be to reduce that level. Maybe you should treat your tank with a product like Prime or AmQuel that claims to lock up ammonia. Then I would investigate the source and whether the tank is truly cycled or not. Maybe something killed off your good bacteria. This could be the reason your fish died last week.
 

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I don't see how an established tank could have all those fish and no nitrates. Something doesn't add up.

The easiest thing to do in re: pH would be to do as DJRansome mentions and raise your pH slowly by adding baking soda. It'll raise KH which will both increase pH and more importantly buffer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ooops. It does have nitrates, I just made an error in my message. I forget the amount, but it definitely has a level of Nitrates.

I did a check on Sunday to ensure all fish were alive and well.

My plan was to get some prime and a water change a day. Somewhere around a 20-40% change each day. I like the idea of slowly increasing the amount of water changed.
 

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Ah yes, the typo. It's hard in text format to see these little mistakes that would be obvious in face to face conversation.

Is it possible that the nitrates are really high? That might account for the high pH as nitrates are acidic. Water changes and baking soda to raise KH (and therefore pH) will likely fix your problem.

The ammonia spike may very well have been due to the dead fish and will likely fix itself in a relatively short time. Water changes will both control the current ammonia spike and help get rid of nitrates that will result.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks to everyone for the help.

Question about Dr.Tim's. Is there anything comparable to it on the market? I am not sure it is available in Canada and most people recommend Stability in its place. Any thoughts?
 

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I have used a dry powder product called 'Biozyme' that I believe performs the same function as Dr. Tim's (kick-start the bacteria culture). I have no basis for comparing effectiveness though.
 
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