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I have not been watching my PH, Ammonia and Nitrate for a few weeks and found that 1 of my fish systems is way over 8 on ammonia, 0 on Nitrite and my PH is at 6 or lower. 

The water is real dirty and the pump is working great.  I stopped feeding the fish and have tried to raise the PH with Potassium bicarbonate. It could be fish food or fish waist in the tank but not sure.

I have another system and will test it by adding ammonia to make sure that it is still cycling but it had no fish in it for 3 weeks and may not be working.

I have Perch and Catfish in the system and they are doing good but yesterday I saw a few swimming a little funny so I increased the air to that system and that is when I did the tests and found everything.

I can do a water exchange but the new water will be at 45 and they are in 65 so I can't give them too much.

My main concern is I am leaving on a business trip on Monday and have no one that can do anything.

How long can they go without feeding them? I will be gone a week.

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Hey Joe...(where you goin' with that gun in your...sorry, couldn't resist...) 

About one teaspoon (roughly 6 grams) of either sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) or potassium bicarbonate (KHCO3) per 50 liters of water will increase KH by 4 degrees...You can figure figure out "ounces and gallons" and imperial measurements  from there...
Yeah that seems like a valid concern...big change in pH for the fish...Who knows, maybe they'd survive..? Probably not really advisable though, guess you could always find out as long as you don't mind potentially losing some fish.

Joe Bifano said:

How many ounces for a 2500 gallon system?

Where did you get the siphon?

Joe, that much ph change on your fish could be hard on them, like very bad unless you wantt fish for supper.
Joe Bifano said:

I have a second system without fish in it exactly the same as the one I am having trouble with. yesterday 24 hours ago I added enough ammonia to get a reading of 4 or higher and I tested it just now and 24 hours latter it was .5. The PH is 7.4 I am thinking that I could transfer all of the fish to this system but my only concern is the PH is lower than 6 on the one they are in and they would go into a 7.4 PH.

Would that hurt them that much of a change?

Update.. It has been a while since I came back from my trip.  I was not able to do anything while I was gone. When I returned I had only 1 dead fish. I tested the Ammonia and it was 4 and the PH still below 6.

I have been adding 2 ounces of Potassium Bi-carbonate per day for about 10 days now and the PH has still not gone up to 6.2.  I have 2500 gallons and 2 ounces is a lot but still no change.

The Ammonia is at .5 today and the water is really clear. I would think that my filtration is working or it would not be that good from where it was. I am feeding every other day right now.

Besides Potassium Bi-carbonate what else can be used to raise my PH?

Hi Joe,

Yup, your bacteria are still working up to this point. You can use Hydrated lime for buffering PH. See here

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