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PH too low?

Discussion in 'Cycle your Tank' started by Tylor, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. Tylor

    Tylor New Member

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    I will leave another sample out overnight and test tomorrow with normal range. I checked my water companies page online for readings but did not see GH and KH. I am using the API kit, but it didn’t come with anything to measure those. Any recommended kits I should pickup for that? I also did not see anything online about PH being added.
     
  2. Byron

    Byron Member

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    I don't like recommending the purchase of a GH/KH kit that you will only use once. You could take a sample to the fish store, if you do make sure you get the number and the unit of measurement. Or post the link to the water authority site, one of us may be able to find it.
     
  3. Tylor

    Tylor New Member

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    https://www.aacounty.org/departments/public-works/utilities/
     
  4. Tylor

    Tylor New Member

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    Any suggestion if I should do anything tonight? Dose ammonia again and check tomorrow?
     
  5. Jan Cavalieri

    Jan Cavalieri Fishaholic
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    Keep in mind that the average PH for our city's tap water is 9.4 so with every large water change I get a huge increase in PH.

    For my 5 gallon tank my temperature is 30 degrees Celcius, PH after last water change was 8.9, it is now about 6.0. Because I have a sick fish in there I don't want to mess with the PH too much. My other tanks also are 8.9 or higher after a large water change. I use PH down but then typically overshoot it a little and the PH will drop to 6.0, add PH up and all is well.

    My other tanks all will be over 8.9 after a large water change, adding PHdown gets it close - I now aim for 8.0 knowing it's going to continue to drop over the next few days - I can usually get it back in the range of 6.8-7.2 - perfect PH for my fish. I try to keep the temperature at 78 degrees Farenheight. Sometimes the PH continues to drop but by then it's time to do another water change which will push the PH up about 8.9 (highest my kit will measure).

    Do you think this is what is responsible for those of us having problems getting ammonia to convert to nitrites? I had beautifully cycled tanks for a month or too then I suspect I added too many fish and it all went to hell.

    I just started added Purigen (by Seachem) and for the first time in ages I'm getting ammonium levels dropping and nitrites increasing. I've also got the clearest looking tanks I've ever seen (other than the slight algae problems). My LAZY Pleoco's who used to eat up algae faster than the tank could make it have turned into lazy slobs that barely even try to remove the algae in the walls of the tank or off the leaves of the plants. LOL. I guess I need to back off on the algae tabs and make them work for it.
     
  6. Jan Cavalieri

    Jan Cavalieri Fishaholic
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    Back to the OP's questions. I don't' believe his tank is fully cycled. Perhaps one or two more rounds of ammonia and I bet he'll start seeing zero ammonia and nitrates. THEN do the water change - that's because adding new water may change your PH significantly and mess up your cycling - so I wouldn't worry about PH until the tank is cycled. The if the PH is too high or two low he/she can deal with the PH issues separately from the cycling issues.

    Again - check the PH of your tap water to get some insight as to what's going to happen once you do a big water change - if you city water has a reasonable PH then all will be well but if (like in my city) you have average PH of 9.4 you are going to have PH issues and have to decide what to do. Many on the forums object to using any kind of chemical adjustment but for me I felt I had no choice since the PH was WAY too high for tropical fish. I had to get that PH down before adding fish. Unfortunately, due to KH issues it then took it down even further so then I'm fighting too low of PH - I've lived and learned not to lower it by too much knowing it's going to continue to get lower over time. I've just about got it down to a fine art. Regardless of my terrible mistakes I have not killed any fish yet when adjusting PH. I just mix all chemicals with about 1 quart to one gallon of water to make surer no fish gets hit directly with a bunch of nasty chemicals.
     
  7. Byron

    Byron Member

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    I cannot find any mention of GH, other than their explanation that water assimilates dissolved mienrals over which it flows. Perhaps you could call them and ask for the GH.

    The do also mention adding lime to adjust the pH. This would suggest the pH may be naturally acidic and they raise it above 7 to prevent corrosion of pipes, etc.
     
  8. Tylor

    Tylor New Member

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    Well, here is today’s update.

    last night I completed a 90% water change. Afterwards, I dosed it with ammonia back to 2-3ppm.

    Todays readings:
    Temp 81
    PH 7.2
    Ammonia 2
    Nitrites 0
    Nitrates 5
     
  9. Tylor

    Tylor New Member

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    I’m completely stumped at this point. Here are my readings today.

    Temp 81
    PH 7.0
    Ammonia 2
    Nitrites 0
    Nitrates 10

    essentially zero change from yesterday. It’s like the cycle has completely halted at this point. I’m starting to think this is a pointless process...
     
  10. essjay

    essjay Moderator
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    Have you used a bacterial starter at all? If you haven't maybe now is the time to try one. The ones with the best reputations are Dr Tim's One & Only and Tetra Safe Start.

    The other option is to put a lot of live plants in the tank, wait till they are showing signs of active growth, then get the first batch from your fish wish-list. Check ammonia and nitrite daily for several days, then if they stay ate zero get the next batch, and so on.
    Plants use ammonia as fertiliser, and they don't turn it into nitrite or nitrate. Floating plants are particularly good because being on the surface they can get their other needs - carbon dioxide and light - in greater quantity than plants lower down in the water so they take up ammonia faster. And most of the fish we buy will appreciate the cover that floating plants provide. Look at water sprite which can be planted or used as a floating plant.


    A few years ago I did a fishless cycle just to see what it's like. It took 7 weeks.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Tylor

    Tylor New Member

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    Here are today’s readings.

    temp 81
    Ph 6.6
    Ammonia 0.50
    Nitrite 0.25
    Nitrate 20

    So today I am back to registering some nitrite again. The ammonia is slowly dropping. The last time I dosed any ammonia was on 11/20 when I had brought it up to 2. It looks like the tank is going back to cycling all over again?
     
  12. essjay

    essjay Moderator
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    If ammonia has dropped from 2 to 0.5, and nitrite is only 0.25 it means you must have some of both bacteria, they just need to grow some more of them. 1.5 ppm ammonia has gone somewhere and that can only be to nitrite. But 1.5 ppm ammonia makes about 4 ppm nitrite and the actual level is nowhere near that so there must be some nitrite eaters converting it to nitrate.

    So it's not starting over, just going slowly.
     
  13. Tylor

    Tylor New Member

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    It’s just weird how it went through all of this several weeks ago. Then suddenly no nitrites appeared anymore and it seemed like I was close to finishing. And now I am back to both nitrites and nitrates appearing. Do I wait for the ammonia to drop more and then dose it back to 2 again? Also, with my PH levels starting to drop again, should I do another water change when it drops below 6.5?
     
  14. Tylor

    Tylor New Member

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    Could really use some help on next steps here.

    On Thursday my readings were

    Temp 81
    Ph 6.6
    Ammonia 0
    Nitrite 0.25
    Nitrate 20

    I dosed ammonia back up to 2-3ppm Thursday night.

    Today’s readings

    temp 80
    Ph 6.4
    Ammonia 0.25
    Nitrite 2.0
    Nitrate 40


    My PH continues to drop after the last, large water change on the 21st. Do I need to conduct another water change again to bring it up? Or do I leave it and dose ammonia back to 2-3?
     

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