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Old 09-05-2013, 11:26 PM   #51 
JamieL
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Not sure about ph. That's the only thing I didn't check because I was out of the sample water from the tank, and I just didn't bother to go back because I wanted to test the other tank (which was reading 0ppm across the board, another fish-in cycled tank which couldn't have been easier. Hmmph.). I was really surprised to see no nitrites after they steadily climbed for a few days, and I was bummed because I thought my cycle crashed somehow, but I checked nitrate anyway and saw 5ppm...then I was just confused. I had to add a little more water to compensate for evaporation, I'll check everything again tomorrow night and see where it's at in another 24 hours.
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Old 09-07-2013, 06:49 PM   #52 
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Okay, I tested again and it's the same: ammonia 2ppm nitrite 0ppm, nitrate 5ppm, but the pH is now 6 instead of 7.6. Now I just have absolutely no clue what happened or what to do. I'm about ready to quit.
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:06 PM   #53 
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Need to get the pH up. When pH drop( and we really have no idea what the pH is because 6.0 is the lower limit of your test kit) this low you begin have problems with biological cycle. This is most likely why the cycle stalled. Add a 1/2 tsp of sodium bicarbonate this will cause the pH to rocket up but it is self limiting at 8.2

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Last edited by rickey; 09-07-2013 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 09-08-2013, 07:40 AM   #54 
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Which is great because that is nearly the optimum pH for encouraging growth of nitrifying bacteria.

As for your mysterious pH drop. It's time for you to run a little experiment to find out :
---pH of your sourcewater
---pH of your sourcewater after vigorous shaking (to eliminate trapped gasses)
---pH of your sourcewater after sitting for24 then 48 hours

A sharp pH drop indicates insufficient buffering. Find out what your GH and, especially, KH is.

Last edited by Hallyx; 09-08-2013 at 07:42 AM.
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Old 09-08-2013, 05:37 PM   #55 
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I'll bet low kH

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Old 09-09-2013, 06:30 AM   #56 
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Yeah, that's the most common cause of unstable pH. Fortunately it's easy to fix. That probablyv ought to be determined before "remedial" action is taken.
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Old 09-09-2013, 03:23 PM   #57 
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I already added the baking soda. Now it's ammonia 2ppm, nitrite 0, nitrate 0, ph 8.2. The tap water is 7.6. After shaking it looks slightly greener, maybe between 7.2 and 7.6. I haven't done any further tests, I don't have a kit to test gh or kh. I was actually at the fish store yesterday and I left without buying anything because my daughter was being a royal pain in the ass and I couldn't shop. Might go back later on when my husband gets home so I can go alone.
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Old 09-09-2013, 06:49 PM   #58 
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"Greener?" What brand test kit are you using?

At 7.2pH to 7.6pH your tapwater is ideal. If it would just stay there. That's why we need to know the hardness of your tapwater. That's the KH (carbonate hardness).
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:23 PM   #59 
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Well when you no longer have a need to pour ammonia into the tank the pH might stabilize. The nitrification process should get kicked out again in a day or two with the addition of the Bicarbonate

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Old 09-09-2013, 10:13 PM   #60 
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API master kit. 7.6 is blue, anything lower starts to look green.
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