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Old 04-22-2013, 02:52 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Apr 2013
ph too low to cycle?

I've had my betta in a new tank for 3 weeks now, in a planted Fluval Spec II. The betta is doing fine as I'm changing 1/3 water every day or every other day, but so far I haven't seen any rise in nitrite and the ammonia continues to be in the 2.0 range. Should have been enough time by now for the ammonia bacteria to colonize, no?

The thing is, the ph is on the very low end, as it barely registers up as 6.0, the lowest color in the API Master test kit. I've read somewhere that it may inhibit the growth of ammonia, and yet have seen many advice to not muck with the pH.

Any advice on what to try next? What's a safe way to bring the pH closer to the 7.0 range?
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:33 AM   #2 
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Yeah that sounds much too low for the type of bacteria you need to colonise. You really need a pH of 7 or above to maintain a cycled tank.

If you have a problem with low pH, adding a small amount of crushed coral will help buffer it and it is a gradual process so will not shock your betta.
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:52 AM   #3 
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Thanks LittleBettaFish. Will oyster shells do the same thing? I have those handy whereas I'll need to get crushed coral.

Not sure exactly why this is happening, as I used to keep an aquarium and had no problems with ph with the exact same water. Maybe it's the aquarium gravel I bought.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:52 PM   #4 
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Usually aquarium gravel causes a spike in pH
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