Help with PH

Lachlan McKillo

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Hi and thanks for reading.

This is my situation, my tanks PH is sitting at a consistent 7.6 which as far as I know is livable but not optimal for Axolotls.

I have been trying to lower it with PH down to no avail it does not budge at all.

So I did some research and found that the active carbon I had in the filter may have been causing the PH to rise, And also probably sucking the PH down out of the water so I removed that, Now about 4 days later after a 40% water change and a few doses of PH down the PH is still 7.6, Maybe I'm being to hasty in expecting results?

My KH was pretty low as I have read axolotls like harder water but there does not seem to be much info on what that actually means in terms of ppm, So I have been keeping it at around 125 ppm. I have been doing this with baking soda for a week or two and it seems to work pretty well.
I believe this is supposed to raise PH by a small amount but keep it more stable.

The PH of the water that comes out of my tap is about 7.2 so the question is why is my PH rising by 0.4?

I'll give a run down of what is in the tank.
2 Resin fake logs, 3 fake plants 2 silk 1 plastic, richgro play sand from bunnings.
In the filter there is the 3 foam filter sponges, 2 lots of ceramic rings.

Ammonia is slightly above 0ppm and has been going down from 0.25ppm I expect it to be 0ppm tomorrow (I put a bit too many fish in there after finding out I was getting 4 Axolotls instead of 3 so there may be a micro cycle happening). Nitrites are 0ppm Nitrates are 40ppm-80ppm.

Any advice would be awesome, Thanks!!
 

Skudo09

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Your PH doesn't seem alarmingly high at 7.6. I would not worry too much in regards to PH. However your nitrates are a bit high and I would suggest some water changes to bring it down to a safer level (below 40ppm). live plants can assist a little with nitrates as well.

Here is a link on water requirements

Axolotls - Requirements & Water Conditions in Captivity

What type of fish do you have with your axolotls? It is generally advised against keeping other species such as fish with axolotls as they will either get eaten or can damage the slime coat or gills on the axolotl. They also can carry parasites and other nasty bugs (have they been quarantined?)
 

Lachlan McKillo

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No fish, I was using mollies from the turtle pond to cycle the tank they are all back in the pond now. I'll start doing daily nitrate tests to find out optimal times to do water changes, I have been doing it once a week, And now that the enormous amount of molly **** is cleaned out it will probable be enough to keep it low.

I see that site says 7.4 - 7.6 is ideal well that's good heh

This is a bit unrelated but I have been thawing and squirting 3 blood worm cubes into the tank to feed them as I wait for my pellets to arrive is 3 cubes every 2 days enough to feed 4 10cm axolotls? I just leave it in there and by the time I'm home from work they have eaten it all.
 

leandrah

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My PH is on 7.4 and i have no problems, as long as its below 8 its fine
 

Skudo09

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Ok no worries :)

Do you have a feeding jar or bowl the bloodworm is on? This prevents axolotls from eating too much sand compared to feeding directly on the sand. At that size I would transition them to earthworms. Bloodworm is not nutritious enough to maintain axolotls though they are ok for juveniles. Though I don't think three cubes would be sufficient for 4 axolotls of that size either. Earthworms are far more nutritious and are far less messy as well. A good guide to use is to aim for the axolotls belly to be as wide as their head.
 

Lachlan McKillo

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I'm going to move to pellets in a few days when they arrive could be tomorrow, And stick with that for a little while so I have some time to build up a worm farm. I'll probably feed them a mix of pellets and earthworms.

Pellet Nutritional Information, This should be fine they are axolotl pellets after all.

Crude Protein: Min 38%
Crude Fat: Min 5%
Crude Fiber: Max 6%
Moisture: Max 8%

Only feed them 3 times now two times on the sand and most recent feeding I placed them in a side turned cup thought two got in there and stirred it all up.
 

Skudo09

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Sounds like you have it all pretty well planned out :) worms farms don't take long to set up :)
 

Skudo09

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I would monitor it daily and do water changes if gets to 0.5 ammonia max. You don't want to let it too high due to its toxicity. Although if you are using the API freshwater master kit, you may find the ammonia reading will never read zero. I find it always sits just above zero (though not quite at 0.25).
 

Lachlan McKillo

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I do use the API master kit but when I was doing tests before I added Axolotls I did get 0 reading.

It is a pretty well established filter had about 16 Mollies in there to cycle it. So I don't think 4 smallish Axolotls will add to much pressure on it.

During the original cycle it went from 0.25 ppm to 2 ppm overnight and then to 4 ppm the next day this has not been as fierce a curve so far so i'm hoping it wont get too extreme.
 

rachel1

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Your pH seems fine, but as a general rule it is better to have stable chemistry a bit outside the "ideal" pH than to have swings in pH by adding chemicals. Every time water chemistry changes, aquatic animals have to adjust their blood chemistry to match the environment, which causes stress on the animal. Living in an environment that is way beyond their natural range will also cause long term stress, but if it is just a bit high or low, I would leave it alone as they have probably already adapted.
 

Boomsloth

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I do use the API master kit but when I was doing tests before I added Axolotls I did get 0 reading.

It is a pretty well established filter had about 16 Mollies in there to cycle it. So I don't think 4 smallish Axolotls will add to much pressure on it.

During the original cycle it went from 0.25 ppm to 2 ppm overnight and then to 4 ppm the next day this has not been as fierce a curve so far so i'm hoping it wont get too extreme.
You'd be surprised at how much waste those 4 axolotls will produce. They are messy regardless of size but your filter seems to be adjusting to them. You'll probably still need to do water changes since the ammonia will build slowly as the bacteria tries to catch up. It'll probably be a week before you see the tank stabilize.
 
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