So I have been trying to cycle my two new 10 gallons tanks now for a couple weeks. I have never done a fishless cycle and have done all kinds of research on it. Now here is what my setup consists of two 10 gallon tanks(Both tanks identical)
Substrate is Controsoil(Buffering Substrate)
Temp 84 in both tanks. Lots of surface movement with the Filters.
With the Substrate its doing its job with 0KH and I have the GH at 6 exactly(Salty ShrimP GH+. Now the Substrate takes the PH to around 6.2-6.3. Now this is normal for this substrate and I am not the only one using it. My question is this. How the heck are you guys cycling your tank with a 0KH and a very low 6's PH? Everything I have read states that the Nitrifying bacteria have a VERY hard time in 0KH and a low PH. Many say anything in the low to straight 6 will pretty much cause the Bacteria to go dormant and possibly die. Now how can this be as I am sure many of you are using this and have a cycled tank. Now here is the weird thing and why I know the PH and KH is causing issue.
I added cycled media from my 60 gallon tank that has been cycled for a very long time. That tank has been running for about a year now. Now the PH in that tank with co2 is 6.4 with a KH of 4. So as far as PH goes when the co2 is maxed is right around what the PH is in the new tanks. But the KH is obviously different.
Could it be that the strand of Nitrifying bacteria is different so even though I transferred over the cycled bacteria that new ones need to form in the new tanks due to the low PH and 0KH? I figured that I would be instantly cycled as I took a bunch of media from the 60 so it should of been instantly cycled but its not. My ammonia reading is 5ppm and after 5 days of adding the cycled media my nitrites are 2ppm but no Nitrates at all and Ammonia has not budged. I figured I would get nitrates right off the bat since I added the cycled media.
Here is a thread I ran into and Diana had mentioned that the nitryfing bacteria will have problems with a 0KH and also low PH. Is that what is going on here and I just need to wait a very long time since it seems the bacteria are struggling? It will eventually happen right? I just thought they would of been instantly cycled due to the cycled media I used. So what I think is going on is this.
1. Due to the low PH and 0KH there is a different strand of Nitrifying bacteria and is why the cycle is taking a long time. So there are different strands depending on water parameters.