Welcome to Our Community

Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.

Help! Ph Crash What Do I Do?

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by dant1875, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. dant1875

    dant1875 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2009
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Birmingham
    Hi, I'm well into the cycling process (or so i thought), but today I've done my water checks & I still have ammonia (although just a trace), hardly any nitrites & although my nitrates are still quite high, my pH has dropped to in between 5.0 & 5.5 :shout: . My normal pH is between 7.0 & 7.5, so I'm going to get all the questions out of the way in 1 go:
    1: Should I have been changing my water during the cycling process? I didn't as I assumed I needed the nitrate spikes to indcate all was going well?
    2: How do I get my pH back up to normal? I'm also assuming this is via water changes to bring it up?
    3: Does this now mean I have to start all over again???
    4: Do you HAVE to leave water 24hrs to de-chlorinate or will the tapsafe sort it out so I can do the water change straight away?
    Many thanks in advance for the help :)
     
  2. TigerIssey

    TigerIssey Queen TI

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Messages:
    3,584
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Forest of Bowland, Lancashire
    What is the KH of your water?
    What figure is your nitrate test showing
     
  3. waterdrop

    waterdrop Enthusiastic "Re-Beginner"

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Messages:
    13,813
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC, USA
    Hi dant,

    Sorry to hear about your pH crash. I'm going to answer assuming you mean a fishless cycle, as you don't say...
    1) No, you don't normally need to do water changes, but you do need to test for pH and watch out for what happened to you. The N products are acidic.
    2) To bring pH back up via water changes, you do as large a watch change (90% etc.) as you can, recharge with ammonia and then run your tests in a half hour or so and see what you accomplished. You can repeat the 90% if you want to lower NO3 further and try to get pH even higher, then recharge with ammonia again of course.
    3) I've not heard reports of people having bacterial populations die completely off from a pH drop, usually the process comes back just fine once pH is raised again. It is true that we hear talk of a pH below 5.5 being able to kill the colony, but I've not really heard of it happening as I say. In the future though, you want to act at 6.2 and not let it get that low!
    4) Letting water sit? Absolutely not! Conditioner is instantaneous. A quick swirl in the water and its done its job.

    Depending on their experience, people do water tests at different frequencies, but I usually recommend to beginners that they test morning and evening, certainly once the second phase (nitrite spike phase) gets underway, just so that they will have a better watch over pH. If your tap water has enough hardness and its pH is in the 7's or 8's then you should be fine with the water change and watching the pH. If this problem repeats itself almost immediately and becomes frustrating then you might have to talk to us about using some bicarb, but don't worry about that until you see if the need is there.

    ~~waterdrop~~
     
  4. dant1875

    dant1875 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2009
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Birmingham
    The KH has come right down - it's showing pretty much 0, nitrates are showing at about 200mg/l
    I'm going to start on the water changes now & try again tonight - fingers crossed :sad:
     
  5. dant1875

    dant1875 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2009
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Birmingham
    Thanks waterdrop, sorry - was in a bit of a muddle when I posted :S . Yes - it's a fishless cycle, going to go & start on water changes now & get the ammonia back in ASAP. I have been adding the ammonia at about 10pm, then testing at around 10am, although I work shifts so some days it's been a bit out of sync. I'm off to start changing water & hopefully I'll have some good news to report later!
     
  6. dant1875

    dant1875 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2009
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Birmingham
    OK - the pH has gone back up to between 7.5 & 8.0, and the ammonia after 30 minutes is reading at 4.9 - when I test again in 12 hours do I just test for ammonia & nitrites, or pH as well?
     
  7. OldMan47

    OldMan47 Livebearer fanatic
    Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    16,890
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    Forsyth, Illinois, USA
    Until you know how your tank reacts, I would keep a check on pH. An extra test or two could save you a day or two of cycling time if it lets you avoid another pH stall.
     
  8. dant1875

    dant1875 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2009
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Birmingham
    Right - will do, thanks :)
     
  9. dant1875

    dant1875 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2009
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Birmingham
    Did the tests 12 hours afterwards & things look to be back to 'normal' yayy :D . Ammonia back to 0, pH is between 7.0 & 7.5 & nitrites are showing again, although only at 0.8 mg/l. Staying RIGHT on top of it all now - want some fishies...........
     
  10. waterdrop

    waterdrop Enthusiastic "Re-Beginner"

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Messages:
    13,813
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC, USA
    So here it looks like we've got a case of a fishless cycle that had pH drop way down to a measure between 5.0 and 5.5 and still the bacteria bounced back and were ok. I plan to file this away and remember it as "counter" info when we're worrying about a pH below 5.5 supposedly killing the bacterial populations. Probably time would be a factor too, but at least we've got another case of sorts. Agree, OM47?

    ~~waterdrop~~
     

Share This Page