Ph swings during cycle - next steps?
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.