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Biological filter crash/low ph?
Had a recent puzzling phenomena occur in a tank set up about a year, very
lightly populated with small gouramis (chocolate & dwarf croaking). Moderate
planting with water sprite, wisteria, heavy java moss coverage on the bottom.
I use lots of peat granules in filtration to acidify/soften the water to
accommodate the fish. I use filtered water combined with some distilled
during water changes. I typically also add a pH adjuster or some
acidifier/water softener to adjust pH to match that of the tank. Thus far, no
problems. The other day during a water change, I removed the biopad, thinking
it unnecessary for this tank (besides which, there was not a visible slime
colony on this pad.) The following day, I did some random tank water testing
on various tanks (I'm not very religious about testing). Curious after
removing the biopad from this tank, I checked ammonia, nitrites and nitrates
on this tank, among some other measures.
I was quite surprised to find ammonia & nitrites, approx. .5 ammonia, about
.1 nitrite. 5 ppm nitrates--not surprised. pH was 6.0, possibly below. dKH 2,
dGH 3-4,. I can't detect a pH lower than 6.0, due to test kit limitation. I'm
assuming I did not have an ammonia and nitrite problem previously. I threw in
a nitra-zorb filter media I had laying around. Next day, I'm still finding
ammonia and nitrites.
So, I'm wondering whether I should work on getting the pH up. I recall
reading about biological filter crashes when the pH drops too low. Has anyone
ever had experience with this? I've had another tank pH drop quite low when
pumping in CO2 with no ammonia and nitrite detected (I did test), but I'd
guess if the bio. filter crashed on that tank, the heavy planting combined
with co2 would have utilized all the ammonia?
p.s. Regarding Cynthia Power's post:
<< I am posting from the right address. You're a moron. Fix it. >>
Sounds like a moron wrote it. Anyone who would send this note to the person
(Cynthia) providing this service (it's not an obligatory job) doesn't belong
subscribing to, reading, or posting to the list anyway. If you're reading,
get a book on etiquette and/or manners.