Should I try to lower pH during initial cycling phase? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-26-2015, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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Should I try to lower pH during initial cycling phase?

Just set up a 56 gallon tall high tech high light system last week. Started out with a low to moderate amount of plants and 20 danios. My question is whether I should try to lower the pH at this time. I tested it a few days ago and it was around 7.8. Yesterday the pH measured around 7.4. Could I try filling the tank about 1/5 full of RO water or will the CO2 injection bring the pH down to the 6.5-7 range by itself? Would it even matter if my pH stayed in the 7.5-8 range?

I tried to test the pH at around the same time since I've read that pH fluctuates somewhat between the day and night periods.

Also, do I need to test for other elements/chemicals? I know I need to get a CO2 drop checker and probably a phosphate test kit. I have a KH and GH test kit along with a basic freshwater test kit.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-26-2015, 04:23 PM
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A pH in the mid to high 7s is fine for cycling a tank. Too LOW of a pH will be more likely to stall a cycle. I would leave the pH alone

You need to have a master test kit that is able to test for ammonia, nitrIte, and nitrAte. All of these are important for determining if/when your tank will be cycled. Being able to test other things can be very helpful, but not nearly as critical to monitoring your cycle.

It would be helpful for you to search here for fishless cycling instructions. Cycling with fish is very stressful and often fatal for the fish.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-26-2015, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benealing View Post
A pH in the mid to high 7s is fine for cycling a tank. Too LOW of a pH will be more likely to stall a cycle. I would leave the pH alone

You need to have a master test kit that is able to test for ammonia, nitrIte, and nitrAte. All of these are important for determining if/when your tank will be cycled. Being able to test other things can be very helpful, but not nearly as critical to monitoring your cycle.

It would be helpful for you to search here for fishless cycling instructions. Cycling with fish is very stressful and often fatal for the fish.
Oh for sure I have all those tests. IMHO the cycling process should be left alone as much as possible. I understand that ammonia and nitrite are toxic to fish generally but some fish can handle the moderate and temporary increases that come during the cycle. I added the species of danios that I did both because I like their coloration but also because they're very hardy. I cycled my Lake Malawi cichlid tank much the same. Testing the levels of ammonia and nitrite can be useful to catch really bad spikes but nonetheless the ammonia and nitrite necessarily have to rise in order to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria.

Anyway, my questions are more about ensuring that my water parameters are ideal for the plants.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-26-2015, 04:41 PM
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Fish bought from your local fish store are likely on the same tap water you are on and as such are already used to it.
Since you already have the fish, best bet is to get Tetra Safe Start.
I turn off the filter and pour it into the filter. Let it sit for an hour and that's it.
If the CO2 is high enough you should see a point one drop.
You will need to monitor the nitrates. After 5 days start every other day testing(or every day) till you get them. You can check every other day after the first 48 hrs if you like. Just best not to let the test turn red. Just starting to turn red is OK, but Orange results are best. Violently shake the #2 bottle a couple of seconds at first but keep shaking it for at least 40 seconds before using it. Some even hit it on the counter top first to break loose the regents whatever that is.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-27-2015, 01:38 AM
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Ditto Raymond S.

Add the bacteria your tank needs. Your fish may be hardy enough not to die, but the toxins can be shortening their lives, and harming their immune system.

The right species of bacteria can be found in bottles that specify Nitrospiros species of bacteria.

Do a big water change to get the ammonia as close to zero as possible, and add the right amount (or more) of Tetra Safe Start, Dr. Tim's One and Only or other source of Nitrospira. Save the rest in the fridge and add some each time you add new fish.
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