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Thread: Low pH???

  1. Question Low pH???

    Hey guys, Kim here. I'm a newbie here. I did manage to sit in on your last meeting. (The obligatory girl :) Found it very informative but mostly over my head, but thought everyone was super nice and I'm hoping to attend your next meeting in September. I'll decide by then if I'll become an official member. :)

    So I'm hoping for a little advice here. Just set up my new 60 gallon. Used crushed coral for a substrate, some decorations from my old tank, and I'm running a second filter on it to get the cycle going. Now it's only been up for a couple of days but I'm having an issue with my pH and am wondering if I should be worried about it. Normally, my tap water is a neutral pH of 7. My old tank was always at 7. Yesterday, the new tank was at 7 but today it has dropped to 6. I'm worried that the low pH will kill the bacteria I'm using to seed the new tank. Any advice/suggestions?

  2. Re: Low pH???

    I don't think the lower pH will have a significant effect on your nitrifying bacteria. The crushed coral should have had a buffering affect, that is kept the pH up. However, it's not a very efficient buffer. You could try adding some baking soda to see if you can bring it and see if it levels off. Alternatively, there are a lot of commercial products that will bring your pH up to a per-determined level and keep it there (as they also contain a buffering agent).

  3. Re: Low pH???

    Quote Originally Posted by Rondelet View Post
    I don't think the lower pH will have a significant effect on your nitrifying bacteria. The crushed coral should have had a buffering affect, that is kept the pH up. However, it's not a very efficient buffer. You could try adding some baking soda to see if you can bring it and see if it levels off. Alternatively, there are a lot of commercial products that will bring your pH up to a per-determined level and keep it there (as they also contain a buffering agent).
    Thanks for the quick response. So one more question....if I am able to raise the ph with the baking soda, does the crushed coral act more as a buffer in the sense that it will keep the higher ph at a constant level as opposed to raising it? Don't really want to play the chemical game. Trying to raise it and keep it stable for a cichlid tank.

  4. #4

    Re: Low pH???

    How much crushed coral are you using?

  5. Re: Low pH???

    Quote Originally Posted by TKD View Post
    How much crushed coral are you using?
    Im using it as my substrate.

  6. Re: Low pH???

    60 lbs to be exact.

  7. Re: Low pH???

    UPDATE: Tested my pH this morning and it's at 7.6. Weird.......so quick question. This is the first time I am doing a fishless cycle. Even though I am using my 2nd filter and a couple decorations from my old tank, should I still be adding ammonia? And if so, is it just your regular household ammonia I should be using?

  8. #8

    Re: Low pH???

    In terms of your pH changing it could be because the new water you added t the tank is at a lower pH and it took a few days for the crushed coral to increase it.
    I have never done a fishless cycle, but if you are using an old filter and ornaments I would think it should be OK.

  9. Re: Low pH???

    I might just go ahead and add a few danios. I've cycled with danios a few times and never lost one. It's killing me having all this real estate sit empty. :) Thanks for the replies!

  10. Re: Low pH???

    Just a quick comment. One of the biggest, most common mistakes people make in the hobby is they rush things. Be patient and wait for your tank to properly cycle.

  11. Re: Low pH???

    For your answer about ammonia though, yes you should as the bacteria still need to eat. Just put some fish food in there and it will break down. More surface area would break down quicker so crush it up or something.

    Your substrate should hold it pretty steady, besides when you put a bunch of water in with a different ph.

    As Ron said though, the best thing is to give it time. Wild ph swings are a lot worse than constant ph that might be out of the optimal levels.

  12. #12

    Re: Low pH???

    test at the same time.. as your lights go on.. and off and have been on for a while it will affect your PH and chemistry.. after getting my profilux hooked into saving a measurement every hour it was kinda surprisingly just how much it can change..
    Found a big spoon to stir with...

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