Ph swings during cycle - next steps? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-10-2020, 01:48 AM Thread Starter
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Ph swings during cycle - next steps?

Hey all!

So we have been fishless cycling our New 36G bowfront for about a week and a half.

A few days ago it got to the stage where the ammonia disappears (I’m dosing the ammonia)
My Nitrite eating bacteria are not active yet though.

But what also happened is that my ph plummeted once the ammonia started disappearing.
From 7 to definitely under 6 on my API kit.

So then I started reading more and learned all about kH.
My water out of the tap has basically no Kh (turns yellow on 2nd drop) and pH out of the tap reads at around 7.2

I did large (70-80%) water changes for a few days but that only brought up the ph to like 6.4

Then it would plummet again the next day.

So, after reading A LOT I decided to add a bit of baking soda.

That seemed to work and my nitrites actually decreased today.

But I know and fully understand the logic of not having to chase your ph.

While it is probably ok during cycling, I do not want to add stuff on the regular to keep it up.

I read a lot about crushed coral, even ordered some on amazon (but then my order got canceled.. yeeesh)

My question is, are these pH drops likely to stop after cycling or do I absolutely need to get some crushed coral? Or keep adding baking soda?

I’d rather not.

I’m looking to set up a community tank with a school of neons and cories and a possible betta or angel centerpiece fishie. Not really much anything else, maybe a snail or 2.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-11-2020, 03:41 AM
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What kind of substrate are you using? If an active soil donít worry about the ph swings and donít add anything for the kh. The ph will stabilize on its own about 24 hours after each water change. If you are using an inert substrate like gravel or sand then consider adding calcium carbonate during each water change to have a steady kh and calcium readings. Make sure you have magnesium in the water as well. Anywhere from a 4-1 to 2-1 ratio is a ok.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-12-2020, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
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It’s pool filter sand.
I’ve been adding baking soda for cycling purposes. Get it up to 7 but then it drops the next day.

An 80% water change raised ph to 6.4 so it must have PLUMMETED and then it was off the test scale low the next day.

I gotta buy some crushed corals as a more sustainable longer term solution, I think.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-12-2020, 01:53 AM
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Your nitrate has reached max levels and as a result your PH has crashed. This will slow your cycle. Do a 100% WC and restart the cycle.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-12-2020, 02:59 AM Thread Starter
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Ah ha!
This is my literal plans for tomorrow!
Massive water change.

Oof. This cycling has really been an action packed couple of weeks.

If I may ask a REALLY dumb question.
Is there a trick to getting more water out with a sand substrate?
I stopped at 80% last time bc I couldn’t get more out without getting the python sucking up sand.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-12-2020, 06:06 PM
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Hi @Lanaquarium,

re: I’m looking to set up a community tank with a school of neons and cories and a possible betta or angel centerpiece fishie. Not really much anything else, maybe a snail or 2.

The angel is large, he will probably snack on your neons. Someone will post and say they do it and that is fine. I am telling you, if you do not have another tank to fix things when they go south, then you will cause more headaches (I've been there and it sucks). Further, I kept bettas with neons - sure it was fine - but when I moved the betta to his own tank and left the neons, they calmed down. It was fine to anyone who didn't watch the tank - I saw him chase them - sure its nature but I wanted a calm tank.

A school of 20 neons, 7 cories, and a bunch of inverts will look gorgeous.

My 2 cents on stocking. But I don't like aggression- I like calm.

Josh
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-13-2020, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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@RollaPrime - yes, You were 100% right.
a large water change seems to have done the trick!

Did water change yesterday morning, added ammonia. Tested later and nitrites were high again and nitrates were readable as well.

Nitrites are 0 this morning!!!

It’s all happening 🙂
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