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Cycle Issues - Ph Keeps Dropping

Discussion in 'Tropical Discussion' started by Rorie, Feb 6, 2011.

  1. Rorie

    Rorie Member

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    My Cycle has already stalled once before, and the cause was (we imagine) the PH dropping to near 6.5.

    My water keeps evaporating, so previously i kept topping it up. This was making my PH worse due to some chemistry reason :p The answer was to do a water change - remove the left over stuff and replace it with new, 'level' PH. This worked the first couple times just fine. The PH leveled out just below 8 and stayed that way.

    However, last night my PH dropped right down again, so i did a water change. 50%. But my PH has only gone up to about 7 (not enough for cycling). So, what do i do? I also tried adding a load of bicarb of soda, and that aint helped much either....well it has a bit, but not very much.

    BUT while chatting to BIG BAD BARRY, he mentioned that doing a water change could screw up my cycle, as i am removing nitrate which is part of the process of creating my biological filter! So if its not advisable to change water.....what can i do?!
     
  2. BIG BAD BARRY

    BIG BAD BARRY Member

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    It is nitrite i am referring to:

    If you are fishless cycling then you need to be careful when you do your water changes as you dont want to be removing ammonia and the resulting nitrite. The bacteria in the filter need to be able to process them consistently in order for the filter to be cycled properly. You may end up getting false readings and a weaker bacteria colony than expected.
    So i am guessing here but you should really change any water once your dosed ammonia has been processed to 0ppm and the resulting nitrite is 0ppm as well. Just confirm this on the forum.

    Otherwise, if the water changes are too often and interupt the the processing of ammonia and nitrite it woul be like fish in cycling where the water gets changed regularly to stop poisoning the fish but the filter bacteria only process smaller ammounts of ammonia and nitrite.
     
  3. Harlequins

    Harlequins ***Corydora Crazy***

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    Waterchanges in a fishless cycle isn't neccessary unless it stalls etc...,has Barry said above,too many w/c will slow the process down and keep knocking back the cycle...

    I still think its your substrate causing your ph issues... try putting some dechlorinated water in a bucket for 24 hours and see if the ph drops so much like in your tank,if it does then you know its the tap water,if not then try eliminating from the rocks etc in you tank,put these in a bucket one at a time and leave again seeing if the ph drops.

    And Or remove all rocks/wood out of the tank except the substrate,do a waterchange and see if the ph drops with just the substrate,if it does then you know your peat based substrate is causing the ph issues.

    I hope this makes sense.
     
  4. Rorie

    Rorie Member

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    Sorry Barry, must have miss-read that part :p

    I think you are right about it being my substrate and bogwood. It is obviously a pain for cycling, but is it going to cause me issues when it comes to running my tank nrmally? Surely this super expensive substrate cant have a major design flaw in that it keeps the PH stupidly low?
     
  5. BIG BAD BARRY

    BIG BAD BARRY Member

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    Thats cool mate!
    I want to see photos of fish swimming in that cracking looking tank of yours!
    Detailed post to date of where you are and a cycling log are vital now so that you can get some expert advice.

    You will get there!
    :nod:
     
  6. Rorie

    Rorie Member

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    Haha, I think i want to see some fish in this tank more than you do! I have had it for about 6 months now, but had to wait until i moved into a bigger place before i could set it up!

    Details, em, well, I ran the tank for a couple weeks while adding bacteria boosting stuff. But i soon decided that i did not want to do that method as for one, it was taking a whole bottle to treat my tank each dosing! So after the 2 weeks, i added a new layer of ADA substrate, as the stuff that was in there was at least a year old. I then started running the ammonia cycle.

    The cycle went to plan to start with - took a good week before the ammonia was processed. The cycle then stalled. I did a water change, added bicarb, and was then under way again. The Ammnia is now being processed in less than 24 hours. I add ammonia almost twice a day. My Nitrite is now 'off the chart', so i am on the second stage.

    My PH drops down to about 7, so i do the odd water change to pump that back up. I guess i just need to wait a couple more weeks for the Nitrite to drop. I have Nitrate present, which, after reading the artical on here about fishless cycling, is a good sign as my Nitrite is now being processed.
     
  7. Skins

    Skins A new swimmer in the tank

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    Hello Rorie,
    You only want to dose with h/h ammonia ONCE every 24hrs and when your in stage two(nitrIte spike)of your cycle, lower your h/h ammonia dose from 4/5ppm to 2/3ppm preventing a mass build up of nitrogen in your waters chemistry. When your nitrIte drops to 0ppm then you can increase your h/h ammonia dose back up to 4/5ppm.

    Keith.
     
  8. Rorie

    Rorie Member

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    ah, ok, so even though the ammonia has gone, i should still wait as the Nitrite needs to process? I gather my Nitrite will stay 'off the chart' while dosing once a day with ammonia? Then when my nitrite drops to 0, i then go back up to 4/5ppm of ammonia, once a day, until both nitrite and ammonia are processed within 12 hours?
     
  9. BIG BAD BARRY

    BIG BAD BARRY Member

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    As Keith has stated, during the nitrite spike (nitrite drops turn purple straight away in the bottom of the test tube) stage, dose to 2-3ppm ammonia at the 24hr mark if the ammonia is 0ppm which at this stage it should be. This is called add & wait. The other method is add daily.
    Yes, you then go back up to 4-5ppm ammonia dosing once both ammonia and nitrite are 0ppm at 24hrs. You continue with this dosing level until your filter is cycled.

    Wheres your cycling log? :lol: nag, nag, nag!
     

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