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Thread: Fishless Cycle Question - Low PH

  1. #1
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    Default Fishless Cycle Question - Low PH

    Hi All,

    On my second tank I'm doing another fishless cycle and kicked it off using API Quick Start, the same as I did with my first tank and had good results, this time around it's a little different.

    Day 3:
    PH: < 6 it's very light yellow maybe under 6
    Ammonia: 3.0ppm
    Nitrite: 0
    Nitrate: 0

    So my understanding is that ammonia should start dropping and it should then I should be able to read Nitrite in the tank before it being converted to Nitrate and once everything is 0 we're happily cycled.

    My concern is the low PH, I've turned down the Co2 injection just to make sure that wasn't giving me a huge swing. Any suggestions or should I ride it out for a few more days?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    How long has the cycle been going for? Rwmemebr it can take up to 6 weeks.

    What's your source of ammonia in the tank?

    The PH is likely a separate issue imo, measure your tap water and then check what the difference is in your tank water. What kind of soil, rocks and and wood are you using?

  3. #3
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    How bigs the tank? I would add some bicarb until your ph comes up around 7 or slightly more. Otherwise march on with the cycle.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
    How bigs the tank? I would add some bicarb until your ph comes up around 7 or slightly more. Otherwise march on with the cycle.
    120 long, so roughly 180L. Yeah I thought about adding some but wasn't sure while it was still cycling.

    Quote Originally Posted by sweefu View Post
    How long has the cycle been going for? Rwmemebr it can take up to 6 weeks.

    What's your source of ammonia in the tank?

    The PH is likely a separate issue imo, measure your tap water and then check what the difference is in your tank water. What kind of soil, rocks and and wood are you using?
    Only 3 days.

    I've used the API Quick Start to jump start the cycle.

    Yeah two water is normally 7.2 right out of the tap. Soil is the Cal Aqua Black Earth, no wood, and there's dragon stone.

  5. #5
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    Add one teaspoon of bicarb and retest.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
    Add one teaspoon of bicarb and retest.
    Added some bicarb this afternoon, will check a little later tonight and tomorrow. Thanks Rebel

  7. #7
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    Checked the Ph and hasn't shown much of a change, I have also tested the Ammonia to give an idea of the Ph colour. Ammonia hasn't started dropping either yet. Am I doing everything right?

    At this stage I have added another teaspoon of Bicarb.


  8. #8
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    Its most likely the black earth buffering your ph down. Also get some crushed coral or similar ready as you might want to add some to your filter or sub. Ime it will ecentually stabilise. For my tank it hangs around 7.6 and drops to 6.6 with co2. Loving your test tube holder!

  9. #9
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    That was my thought, but didn't think it could buffer it down that much considering what the tap water is (7.2-7.6). Guess I was wrong and plus with Co2 it would drop further.

    Just waiting for the Ammonia to start dropping. This is the worst part about cycling a tank haha. Need more patience

    Thanks mate. The benefits of having a parent that works in a school. I'll see if there are some left over and let you know if you want one.

    Edit: Also an suggestions on sourcing crushed coral? Thanks in advance
    Last edited by Sup3rFly; 27-06-17 at 10:26 AM.

  10. #10
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    Shell grit
    http://shop.coles.com.au/online/mobi...ill-shell-grit
    Also useful if you have a bird...apparently...


    With your pH test liquid, they are pretty inaccurate so your pH could be 4 or so and it will still read yellow. So with the bicarb, it may have come up to 5.5 and it will still be yellow. Do you have a kH test kit? That is also useful as kH of 4 is a good range for a planted tank.

  11. #11
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    Thanks Rebel. Haha interesting fact.

    Whats the best thing to place the shell grit into?

    Ah that would make sense why I wouldn't see much of a change. I'll test Kh and Ph when I'm home and report back in.

  12. #12
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    Update:

    Ph: It's looking the same as the other day. I've added another teaspoon of bicarb, hopefully this will be the last one.

    Kh: 3-4 - Hard to tell, 3 it's almost completely yellow, but once it's 4 it's very much yellow. Even the first drop is almost a yellow though, very, very light blue.

    On the plus side, the cloudiness is dying off finally haha. Had to do a top up of about 8l due to evaporation, treated this with prime, hoping that was the right thing to do.

  13. #13
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    Update:

    Going to get some coral today to buffer the Ph, Bi-carb isn't doing the job sadly.

    Tested Ammonia and it's still around 2.5 I'm assuming this is normal for a tank under 2 weeks. The canister filter had a carbon pad added so it doesn't seem to have affected the cycle either.

    Guess patience isn't my strong point

  14. #14
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    Update: For those that are reading -

    Ph is now up to 6.4 with Co2 which is great. This is after adding some coral.

    Kh is 3ppm

    Ammonia sadly is still around 1ppm or 2ppm. Patience isn't my strongest. Guessing this is all normal or any suggestions?

    Nitrite is 0

    Maybe some green hair algae is appearing but I'll shorten the photoperiod now, until i can add a cleanup crew.

    Thanks for all the help and advice!
    Last edited by Sup3rFly; 05-07-17 at 04:34 PM.

  15. #15
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    Guys!!!

    After 5 weeks we have some progress!!! The one on the far right is Kh, please ignore!

    Ph - Ammonia - Nitrite - Nitrate



    I do a water change once everything is 0 correct?
    Last edited by Sup3rFly; 27-07-17 at 04:13 PM.

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