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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello planted tank people! I am just endeavoring into the world of fish tanks and am cycling my first tank ever. I plan on having Cherry red shrimp. I am 4 weeks into the cycling process and my parameters are all over the place. For reference I have a inert substrate, java moss, java fern, and anubias planted. I have some starry night rocks, and a piece of spider wood. The tank is a 15 gallon fluval flex. I am using RODI water and salty shrimp to reionize. OK, so I thought I was doing everything correctly, adding 15 drops of ammonium chloride every day. But my pH is hanging at 6 (possibly below, the test kit only goes as low as 6), my ammonia is at 2 ppm, nitrite 0, nitrate 0, GH way too high at 13 and KH really low at 1!! Should I add soemthing to bring my pH up so the bacteria can survive?? why is it so low? why is my GH so high and my KH so low (the salty shrimp should be adding them at a 1:2 ratio). I have no idea how this happened and would realllllly appreciate any help you guys have so I can get my tank healthy enough for some shrimps!

P.s. I did a 30% water change yesterday and that did not seem to help

-Scrivlet
 

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Are you using RO water because you have really hard water? If so, you might want to cut your RO with some conditioned tap water. If your tap has a decent KH it will help buffer your pH. Just a thought. I am new too, but as a more experienced person hasn't spoken up, I thought I would offer that suggestion.
Good Luck!
 

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I'm not a pro but lemme give some analisys about your tank.
1. You used some plant that absorb the nutrient slowly so the amonia broken down at slow pace. Maybe you could turn down the amonia supply by a bit.
2. The wood maybe doing something with the water chem too.
3. About the GH maybe the RODI system went crazy or the mineral dosed is a bit too much.

My newbie head suggest you to put some cheap fast growing stem plant to help you fight the chem. But dont plant it, just let them suck everything from the water body. And be patient since we newbie always tend to rush things and nature doesn't move that fast.

I apologise for butchering the language.
 

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I forgot about that @Rocksy01. Fast growing plants such as salvinia minima, pennywort, duckweed, salvinia natans, vallisneria, etc. would be good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you all for your suggestions!! Things seem to be getting worse!! I brought my pH up a little with some baking soda, so my bacteria wouldn't die in the really low pH. That seemed to help for a while and I was having pH around 7.6 and the ammonia was going down. I went out of town and my mom was adding ammonia to the tank and I tested the water today and i have an ammonia level of 8!! and 0 nitrite or nitrate :( :( my pH went down to 6.4 which I believe is expected with that much ammonia.

I am using RODI water because I live in Missouri and we have a lot of limestone in our water, I was thinking maybe I was adding too much salty shrimp, so just cutting the water with tap water instead might be a better solution! thank you! I will also try to add some Hornwort.

You guys are so awesome! thank you so much for your brain power!!! Hopefully I can get this baby with some shrimps sometime soon... :)
 

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Stop trying to alter pH while your tank cycles. Leave it alone. Plenty of us cycle shrimp tanks with super-low pH/no kH and it's fine. It just takes a while. Patience is important when keeping shrimp, anyway, and you want a really mature tank before adding them. Like 6-8 weeks of "cycling" before adding them.

The wood you're using is likely impacting kH/pH a bit but it's nothing to worry about.

Your ammonia is probably high because your mom dosed without testing. That's fine. A water change will help that. 4-5PPM is fine while cycling. I usually aim for about 4.

Using SaltyShrimp GH/KH+ is fine. It allows you to know exactly what you're adding to your water. When you use tap? You can't be certain. You can measure the amount of gH and kH you're adding with a TDS meter and liquid test kits.

What is "starry night" rock? Do you have a photo? It's possible that it's increasing hardness but it probably won't matter too much because you're going to keep Neocaridina.

Which specific inert substrate are you using?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you!

Here is a piture of Starry night rick:
The rock on the bottom is starry night. It's a blueish purple rock that has mica throughout it that sparkles. For my stratum I'm using Seachem Flourite.

I've been cycling my tank for around 7 weeks now... which is why I'm a little worried. But I will do a water change and give it more time. Thanks again for your help!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yes that's it! The purple-ish one on the bottom. Sorry I couldn't figure out how to add a photo.

As for a tank update... The ammonia level is hanging out around 8! I keep doing a water change every day in the hopes that I can get it to come down, but it isn't working. The pH is coming down too. As for NO2 and NO3... nothing!

:crying::crying::crying:
 
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