Cherry barbsDoesn’t it ever take a time? And a worry?

It’s been 31 days now, but something does seem to be happening at last. Ammonia levels are still at 3mg/l, which is very high, but I think they are starting to think about coming down a little as the colour is at the paler end of the colour band. Meanwhile, nitrite levels are up to 0.8mg/l, which suggests that ammonia-eater population growth is outstripping the nitrite-eater colony’s ability to process nitrite, and therefore that growth in the nitrite-eater colony will soon be stimulated. Yay!

In other news, I did wonder whether the fact that my fish seem unbothered by the high levels of ammonia might be down to an increased proportion of ionised ammonia due to increased acidity of the water due to leaching of tannic acid from my bogwood… (are you following this?)

To test this theory, I did a pH test and it came out as 8.0, even more alkaline than the 7.5 it was before! I assume, therefore, that the effect of the alkaline ammonia in the water is outweighing the effect of any tannic acid. Although what that means for my theory, I don’t know, because it is still possible that the water would be even more alkaline were it not for the bogwood and hence the proportion of ionised ammonia is still potentially being affected by the bogwood, only the effect is masked by the ammonia itself. Or something. I’m no water chemist, so I’m just speculating. Ho hum.

In any case, I’m going to spend a little time observing my fish for ill effects, especially given that the nitrite spike seems to be kicking off now (which they did NOT like last time around) to see whether I think I need to do a water change.

Edit: Fish seemed a bit lethargic, so I gave them a clean bucket of water, and they seem more sprightly now, pottering about as usual. Yay!