Cycling and Low PH - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2008, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
 
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Cycling and Low PH

Gday all. I'm in the process of cycling my tank with fish flakes. So far it is my 2nd week of cycling with the ammonia at 4. I haven't seen the nitrite spike yet, but patiently awaiting for it. My problem at the moment is that the ph is at a constant low. It has stayed at 6 for a long time. The ph of my tap water is 7.4. I did a 20% water change to attempt to increase the PH. I'll check on it tomorrow. Is the only way to raise the PH by doing water changes? I believe the low PH may be affecting some of my plants.

Currently I do have amazonia II, plants, and a DIY co2 if that helps any.

Many thanks in advanced
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2008, 02:37 PM
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I had a really low pH and realized that it was caused by a lack of a buffer because the KH was at basically 0. Check your KH to see if that could be the culprit. To fix it I raised the KH by adding some crushed coral to the filter. You can also raise it using baking soda.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2008, 03:52 PM
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I personally wouldn't do anything with your water parameters. 6 isn't that low, especially in a tank that's cycling with AS. Just let the cycle finish out and then do some PWC to try and bring it back in line with your tapwater. Doing PWC now, before the cycle is complete, could prolong the cycling process.





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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2008, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the info once again. I'll check the status of the tank tonight. Hopefully with the water change, it didn't interrupt the process too much.

Should I still be able to see a Nitrite spike even though I have plants in the tank?
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2008, 05:01 PM
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Depending on how heavily your tank is planted, you may not.

You'll know the tank has finished cycling when you don't get any ammonia readings for a few days even with some PWC.





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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2008, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
 
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I'd like to think that the tank is moderately planted. I have dwarf sag, microswords, HC, Pellia, Java Moss, Wispera (sp?) Rotola Green (sp?) dwarf hairgrass, dwarf four leaf clovers and Madagascar lace.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2008, 11:40 PM
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Cycling with fish flakes can cause a lot of phosphate...I would try frozen shrimp

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
 
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One week later, and my ammonia is still at 4. I think I have come to the conclusion that the ADA soil is giving off the infamous Ammonia Spike. I believe this is the 3rd week of this tank, and I have done one 15% water change, and one 75% water change. I think I'll try to do more frequent water changes until it stops releasing the ammonia.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-09-2008, 12:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gumby View Post
One week later, and my ammonia is still at 4. I think I have come to the conclusion that the ADA soil is giving off the infamous Ammonia Spike. I believe this is the 3rd week of this tank, and I have done one 15% water change, and one 75% water change. I think I'll try to do more frequent water changes until it stops releasing the ammonia.
Ok, a big reason that your pH is low is the AS--that's one of the benefits of it. The big reason that your ammonia is so high is--the AS. There is a basic tank start-up proceedure when using AS. I don't use it, but many older hands here do/have, so hopefully 1 of them will come along and spell it out for everyone. "We" went through this a yr or so ago, but it seems to have died down and should probably be brought back up. Here's a link to one such schedule:

Fastest Cycle time with ADAsoil

Proper start-up with AS really requires lotsa WCs. Not so sure about AS ll though. Things may have changed when AS ll was released.

4ppm ammonia is pretty high. At a certain point high ammonia starts to become detrimental to the beneficial bacteria actually lengthening the cycle time. You do need some ammonia to complete the cycle, but you don't need anywhere near 4ppm.


Anybody remember the AS tank start-up cycle proceedure?

HTH


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-09-2008, 01:04 AM
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when i was cycling my tank with ADA it took a little over three weeks,that is with really hard water and a lot of plants.TALK ABOUT BEING IMPATIENCE
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-09-2008, 10:19 AM
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AS II doesnt give you as large and prolonged an ammonia spike as the original, and it also bypasses for the most part the tea colored side effect as well. BUT you will still get the spike and its not as packed full of plant nutrient goodness either, nothing is free (not an issue if you dose ferts regularly). daily water changes are reccomended by most, but i found patience to be the best solution (yeah its hard looking at a fishless tank). i do water changes every other day if i remember, and pack the tank full of nutrient sponges like foxtail etc. this provides a source for the bacteria and also helps keep algae at bay. no fish/shrimp of course, but i found common pond snails to be pretty indestructable and they tollerated even my worst ammonia spikes without any problems. in about a month, the tank is usually ready to go. if you still get the tea color problem, purigen does wonders for it. good luck.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-09-2008, 11:17 AM
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Nitrification stops completely at a pH of 6, it is too low for both Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter bacteria to survive. It should be above 6.5 for any reasonable amount of nitrification to occur. You can raise the pH by adding baking soda. Start with 1/4 teaspoon per 5 gallons and go from there.

Naja002 is right. High ammonia will start to inhibit bacterial growth as well.

Here's a good article to read on the subject
http://www.bioconlabs.com/nitribactfacts.html


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