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High ammonia and ph, how to lower?

This is a discussion on High ammonia and ph, how to lower? within the Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Okay so my ph in my tank right now is about 8.2 and my ammonia levels are 1 ppm which ...

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Old 12th July 2016   #1 (permalink)
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Default High ammonia and ph, how to lower?

Okay so my ph in my tank right now is about 8.2 and my ammonia levels are 1 ppm which I know is super high, but my nitrite and nitrate levels are both at 0 now, so I'm not sure how I should go about lowering? My tank is relatively new (started cycling last week of May, so its about 6 weeks old) and got my two axolotls about 3/4 weeks ago. I use a liquid water test that's pretty accurate it seems (although for ammonia it tests generally for NH3 and NH4+), I have a Fluvial 102 canister filter with one of the filtering things being for specifically lowering ammonia, they're both in a 20 gallon tank together, I feed them daily, I clean up any leftover food and/or poop I find daily, I treat water before I put it in my tank with TopFin Water Conditioner and add TopFin's Bacteria Supplement 15 minutes afterwards (like suggested), I do 20% water changes every week (and did it twice a week before when I first got the axolotls), I used the TopFin Redstart Nitrifying Bacteria Starter when I first started cycling the tank (would adding more of this now help at all?), and I rinse off the filter parts once a week and either replace or rinse off one of the filter's actual filtration items once a week (staggered to prevent losing all beneficial bacteria). I've tested the water before putting it in the tank and it comes out of my faucet at about 7.8 ph and 0 ppm ammonia, so I don't know what to do exactly to lower it, as I don't want to stress them out but know these conditions aren't safe. They don't seem stressed now and always eat up well for me and don't nip each other ever from what I've seen (but I make sure they're well fed so that doesn't happen). Any advice would be appreciated!! Thanks!



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Old 13th July 2016   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: High ammonia and ph, how to lower?

Hi LaurenMB and welcome to the forum.

It looks as if your tank has not finished cycling. It might be worth removing your axolotls and putting them into a smaller container with 100% daily water changes with dechlorinated water while your tank completes it's cycle.
When you rinse anything, make sure it is in old tank water. Also, is there a reason why your replace parts on your filter so often? Manufacturers will say that things need replacing when a quick rinse in old tank water is sufficient. This obviously increases profits, but makes it quite costly for the customer. I have internal filters on my 200L axolotl tanks. The manufacturers say to replace the entire filter cartridge once a month. I rinse the filter cartridge sponge weekly and, so far, have been using the same sponge cartridge in the filter for 4 months, and it still working well enough to give results of 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 40 nitrate (same as tap water) during my weekly water tests with the API mater test kit. Unless there is a good reason to replace filter parts sometimes maintenance is much better and cheaper.
As for the pH issue, is there anything in your tank that may be raising the ph? Something like limestone perhaps? The faucet pH of 7.8 is great for axolotls, so you may have to work out why it is going up.
I hope this helps for now, and please do not hesitate to get in touch with more questions.



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axolotl, axolotl advice, beneficial bacteria, help and advice needed, help axis, high ammonia, high ph, new tank, tank cycling

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