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Hey everyone!
I’m new to aquarium keeping. I bought a 20 gallon tank. I have black gravel and lucky bamboo in it currently. I’ve been cycling the tank for about 4 weeks now. I’ve been having issues with the PH but solved that by using peat granules (although I’m not a huge fan of the color of my water changing😅). Current PH tests 7.0. But I can’t seem to keep my ammonia under control and would love some tips. It’s testing between 4.0 and 8.0 ppm. It’s taken this long to get my PH under control and if I search online it suggests to do a 25% water change. But my water is so alkaline I want some advice and decided to seek out a forum with knowledgeable aquarium keepers before I throw off my PH all over again. I do NOT currently have any fish since I was trying to get the cycle going before adding any. I will add a picture of the items I have bought in recent weeks. Thank you for reading! I’ll take any advice I can get.
 

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Hey everyone!
I’m new to aquarium keeping. I bought a 20 gallon tank. I have black gravel and lucky bamboo in it currently. I’ve been cycling the tank for about 4 weeks now. I’ve been having issues with the PH but solved that by using peat granules (although I’m not a huge fan of the color of my water changing😅). Current PH tests 7.0. But I can’t seem to keep my ammonia under control and would love some tips. It’s testing between 4.0 and 8.0 ppm. It’s taken this long to get my PH under control and if I search online it suggests to do a 25% water change. But my water is so alkaline I want some advice and decided to seek out a forum with knowledgeable aquarium keepers before I throw off my PH all over again. I do NOT currently have any fish since I was trying to get the cycle going before adding any. I will add a picture of the items I have bought in recent weeks. Thank you for reading! I’ll take any advice I can get.
Sooooooo

definitely never ever chemicals to alter your ph. I know they are commonly sold, but they are basically traps for the unwary. Every time I've used such things I have managed to murder most of my tanks inhabitants.

It's always best to either keep plants and animals that can live in your tap water, or bite the bullet and use all or some RODI water.

What are your tap water parameters?

Also you should definitely do a water change to get your ammonia down to around 2ppm. More then that will interfere with your cycle. By what means did you add ammonia?
 

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Sooooooo

definitely never ever chemicals to alter your ph. I know they are commonly sold, but they are basically traps for the unwary. Every time I've used such things I have managed to murder most of my tanks inhabitants.

It's always best to either keep plants and animals that can live in your tap water, or bite the bullet and use all or some RODI water.

What are your tap water parameters?

Also you should definitely do a water change to get your ammonia down to around 2ppm. More then that will interfere with your cycle. By what means did you add ammonia?
100% agree it is totally not worth it to "chase pH" or other water parameters. Just accept your tap water is what it is or go full-on RODI. Keep ammonia around 2 while cycling and be patient. It will cycle eventually
 

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just a tip - lucky bamboo will die if fully submersed. the leaves need to be out of the water - I learned this from some other videos on YouTube I've come across when looking at plant ideas.

If you have any friends or know anyone with fish, maybe see if they can give you an old filter media to help jump start your beneficial bacteria in your tank?
 

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Water changes are your friend... to control pH, check on the hardness of your tap water as they are related. Consider using RO or DI water mixed in. Do you have any plants yet? Plants are hardy and can help cycle.
 
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