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senegal927 12-12-2012 01:35 AM

PH\Cycle Problem
3 Attachment(s)
Hello all

I just got a 40g tank all setup a week and a half ago with four pristella tetras. But am having a problem keeping the PH up. I've done water changes (30%) three times so far and I manage to get the PH up to 7.8 but the next morning it will bottom out to 6.0. The API test kit i have shows 6.0 as the lowest possible reading. So it may even be lower.

So my problem is I am not sure if my tank is cycled or semi-cycled due to the low PH. I say that because I know nitrifying bacteria stop reproducing once you go lower then 6.8PH. I also don't know why my PH keeps crashing. Also i think the ADA is still leeching ammonia so i'm scared to add any more fish. Based on my log it looks like a semi cycle went through and it's just left over ammonia from the ADA. Anyways any tips or advice is much appreciated. My plan is to eventually put in some Apistos!


ADA Aquasoil New Amazonia
1 inch of sand under the ADA
Coralife Aqualight 18w T5's x2
Two large pieces of malaysian driftwood
22 plant cuttings planted (medium planted tank)
Aquatop cf-400UV canister filter (with seeded material)
Skimmer hooked up to a small powerhead.

[B]API Test Kit Reading
Day PH Ammonia Nitrite Nitrate

2 6.5 5.0 0.0 0
5 7.8(Water Change) 4-5.0 .25 0
6 6.0 2.0 2.0 0-5.0
7 7.8(water change) 1.5 .25 0-5.0
8 6.0 1.0 0.0 0-5.0
9 Just did a water change so i'll wait to post tomorrow.

Everyonee loves pictures! I was messing with the skimmer which is why you see lots of bubbles. [/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/I]

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Attachment 58749

GeToChKn 12-12-2012 02:17 AM

ADA is supposed to lower pH. Don't use ADA if you don't want a low pH.

With that said, why are you trying to raise it? Most plants/fish will do fine in the 6pH tank. And bacteria don't stop producing in less that 6.8pH. They may slow down but they still take a hold. I use Netlea soil which lowers my water to 5 to 5.5pH, 6pH if I use tap water and I have cycled all my tanks and don't have a problem with fish in it.

senegal927 12-12-2012 02:28 AM

Hey thanks for the response.

I am just making sure it isn't doing any harm. Since you've used it did you wait a long time to add more fish? I feel since its holding at 1.0 ppm I don't want to risk it. But does it ever stop leeching?

This is my first planted tank so please keep that in mind.

ony 12-12-2012 11:31 AM

I don't like the sound of that TBH. Do you know your KH?

I really wouldn't add fish with such high ammonia levels, wait till it drops and you will get off to a much better start.

senegal927 12-12-2012 02:05 PM

What don't you like Ony? The PH crashing or something else?

Todays Readings

PH 6.4 (Was much higher yesterday after the WC)
Ammonia 1.0 (never moves)
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0.0 - 5.0

As stated before I already had my Nitrite spike to 2.0 then drop to 0 and a small show of Nitrates, which led me to believe the tank was cycled but the ammonia always holding at 1.0 is puzzling me.

Just want to make sure i am doing things right. Thanks again!

GeToChKn 12-12-2012 02:17 PM

How long has it been setup ADA soil is known to leech ammonia for 4-8 weeks before it stops?

somewhatshocked 12-12-2012 02:24 PM

It's probably going to take you a month to get through your cycle so buckle up for the long haul. It will be worth it.

You also may want to do some reading in the substrate section of the forum so you better understand your Aquasoil.

senegal927 12-13-2012 12:48 AM

Well even if it does continually leech out ammonia wouldn't the nitrogen cycle/bacteria compensate and null it out?

Also today i was told by my LFS that i can actually start stocking it since it seems to be cycled and that even though my ammonia is at 1.0 since my PH is at around 6.0 it's not toxic and safe for fish.

My current fish seem to be just fine....

Any one agree/disagree?

Diana 12-13-2012 02:23 AM

DO not stock this tank.
Return the Tetras.

ADA soils will continue to leach ammonia for roughly a month. During this time the nitrifying bacteria is growing, but it is not fast growing bacteria. It will take time until the population is up to dealing with the amount of ammonia the soil can produce.

The nitrifying bacteria grow better when the pH is over 6.5, the GH and KH over 3 German degrees of hardness.

What I would do:
Add some baking soda or other source of carbonates to keep the KH about 3 degrees.
If you want the bacteria to grow faster add some. Look for Nitrospira species of bacteria. Do not waste your money on anything else.
If you are OK waiting, then just monitor the parameters.
Do water changes if the ammonia or nitrite are over 5 ppm.
As the ammonia production gets less and less in the soil you may have to add some ammonia to keep feeding the bacteria.

Here is a quick rundown of the fishless cycle:
Test daily.
Add ammonia to keep it at 3 ppm once a day.
Do water changes if the ammonia or nitrite are over 5 ppm.
When you add ammonia one day, and the next day (24 hours later) both the ammonia and nitrite are zero it is cycled.

senegal927 12-13-2012 06:24 PM

Ok so patience it sounds like....

Along with your plan of action Diana would you add any other plants? I hear some people saying to heavily plant ADA tanks.

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