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Newbie needs your help!

1580 Views 16 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  scrivlet
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

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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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