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-   -   Ammonium levels and nitrate levels (

paul 16th September 2005 10:48

hi all, i recently aquired an axolotl and tested the nitrate and ammonium levels today, the nitrate result was clear, however the ammonium level returned yellow, i understand this is critical however unsure how to lower, i have been lowering the ph...

joan 16th September 2005 11:07

Water changes! That's the best way to lower any bad water quality reading. If it's in the critical level, I recommend a 50% water change. Then test again. If it's still bad, try another 10%, but if the tank is already cycled/still cycling, do not remove all the water.

If you're using solutions to lower the pH, I'd stop. Those pH 'up' and 'down' solutions can cause wild swings in your pH, and do not work over long term. If you want to buffer against pH, use crushed limestone or calcium, such as sea shells, or calci-sand.

paul 16th September 2005 11:24

i was informed by a respectable pet shop that white vinegar is good at lowering ph from the alkaline/basic level and that ph down/sodium biphosphate is not i only just did a 25percent water change 2 days ago...

paul 16th September 2005 11:24

my reading for ammonium was 0

cynthia 18th September 2005 00:01

Paul what is your ph reading before any kind of treatment?

paul 18th September 2005 01:18

around 8 or more i have been trying to lower this as i know a higher ph increases ammonium

cynthia 18th September 2005 02:46

Paul - Your ph is ok at 8. A high ph makes ammonia more toxic, but you should not have the axolotls in a tank where ammonia is present in high concentrations.

If your tank is not cycled remove the axolotls until it is.

I would advise to leave the ph alone and focus more on keeping the tank balanced through regular maintenance, and frequent monitoring. Your ph will probably go down a little as the tank ages naturally.

I'm not sure if you meant that high ph causes ammonia. But just incase you did, ph does not cause ammonia - waste causes ammonia.

(Message edited by cynorita on September 18, 2005)

edward 18th September 2005 13:53

Vinegar will lower the pH for a short period of time, but then the acetate portion of the acid will be utilized as a food source by the bacteria (increasing the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate). This decomposition by the bacteria is why this does not work for a longer period of time a the vinegar is removed before it can act as a buffer. Not to knock the pet store but there are a lot of "home remedies" out there that work in the short term.

When there are problems with high pH it means that there is some source of a alkaline buffer (usually some source of carbonate) in the tank. This can be from many sources such as but not limited to limestone, marble, corals, and other carbonate based substrates. These decorations need to be identified and removed if you want the pH to be lower.
Or an alternative source is a contaminated or inaccurate test kit...


jennifer 19th September 2005 02:37

My tap water is naturally pH 8. It does not seem to be a problem for axolotls, as mine have always thrived here. I would suggest just leaving the pH alone. Lowering it with vinegar will only result in pH "rebound" (it will just go back to 8), which is more stressful than a consistent pH of 8.

stipe 25th September 2005 12:41

my axolotles do fine in tap water, i tested my ph level and its around 8

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