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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-30-2018, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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Help new tank ph drop, ammonia present, c

Hi everyone, first post but have been researching for quite some time. Experienced fish keeper / first time planted tank w CO2 infusion.

So I’ve set up my 22 long mr Aqua. Tap water is 7.8 PH and 0 ammonia. I’ve got a piece of driftwood and a number of live plants. Ada aquasoil for substrate, finnex 24/7 planted+ for lights. I filled the tank and figured it was just the agitated aqua soil clouding the water up. I tested the water the next morning and my ph was down to 6 and ammonia at 3ppm. The water is cloudy as well. Will this work itself out with the nitrogen cycle? Where is the ammonia coming from and why the ph crash? I just finish with a 90% water change to try and clear the water up but it’s back to cloudy and an hour after refilling my ph is back to 6.0 and ammonia back to 3ppm. I use prime as my dechlor. Any input is greatly appreciated!!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-30-2018, 05:56 PM
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if you read the bag that the ADA came in you'll see that it is supposed to drop pH and supposed to release ammonia.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-30-2018, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the reply I never even thought to read the bags. Ok so the cloudiness is normal? How long does it usually take to work out? Will the ph equalize over time for when it comes time to keep fish?
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-30-2018, 08:07 PM
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Thank you for the reply I never even thought to read the bags. Ok so the cloudiness is normal? How long does it usually take to work out? Will the ph equalize over time for when it comes time to keep fish?
If you are using tap water you will be in a long battle with the pH. Once the substrate has adsorbed its limit of carbonates (could take years) it will stabilize to whatever your tap is. But, you have now lost a great benefit of aqua soil... Its ability to buffer the water. If you want to keep this ability you'll have to use RO/Distilled water.

The cloudiness is normal in new tanks, perform water changes by following the direction on the bag and it will go away.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-30-2018, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the helpful information. What are your thoughts on crushed coral? I’ve read that stabilizes ph. How much would be required in a 22 gallon tank?
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-30-2018, 08:56 PM
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Thank you for the helpful information. What are your thoughts on crushed coral? Iíve read that stabilizes ph. How much would be required in a 22 gallon tank?
I would look into working WITH the ADA not AGAINST it.... working with it would require RO water rather than working against it (crushed coral, tap water etc.).

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-30-2018, 09:39 PM
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What are your thoughts on crushed coral? Iíve read that stabilizes ph. How much would be required in a 22 gallon tank?
Crushed coral wont necessarily "stabilize" ph but can bump it up a bit.

You mention driftwood and co2 injection which can/will also cause ph to drop a bit. Is the co2 up and running when you're measuring the ph values?

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-30-2018, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you Quagulator and lks for your insight, it's very helpful/reassuring. I would agree to work with the insanely expensive soil rather than battling it. I'll have to research R/O water as I know nothing about it. I have always kept my PH around 7.6 in the years I've been a fish keeper so I'm not sure what this buffered level of 6.0 spells in terms of fish. I will have to do some research on this as well. The plants are definitely the focal point, but I did want to add a school of small fish down the road.

And lks, great point, I will have to take a pH test tonight as the CO2 was on during the test this morning. I'm glad you said that. I'd have never realized it. It went off at 4pm eastern time so i'll run a test before bed and post results. The upside is I have "green" levels of C02 in my tank, be it cloudy. Some of the plants appear to be pearling already too!

So I ran a test before bed last night about 7 hours after the CO2 shut off and my ph was at 6.6 and my ammonia at 2ppm

Last edited by Darkblade48; 05-03-2018 at 04:44 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 04:03 PM
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So I ran a test before bed last night about 7 hours after the CO2 shut off and my ph was at 6.6 and my ammonia at 2ppm
The pH will stay in the 6.5 range with no CO2, that is where the aqua soil will buffer it to.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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So I’ve got a while yet before I’m cycled, but wouldn’t the level of ph be too low especially when injecting CO2 for fish?
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