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Kingo

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Kingo

@revolutionhope is this what happened with yours?

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revolutionhope
@revolutionhope: is this what happened with yours?

Similar yep. The pH went down to 5-5.2 and stayed there causing it to take forever for the ammonia to be cycled which in turn compounds and delays the process as you mentioned I think.

 

Eventually I got it cycled with a few almost total WC and adding more media etc and was happy enough after about 2 or 2 1/2 months to try (and succeeded to a degree I suppose) keeping shrimp but after 4 months trial raising crs shrimplets (60% perished) and trying to breed BB (they never mated but had mated in my older BEP tank) in there I gave up.

 

Disclaimer!! There may well be something else I haven't accounted that I was doing wrong. I've only a few years breeding experience with shrimp and about 2 years with any caridina but I suspect the low pH was the biggest factor causing the tank to fail. Too low pH basically ruins the possibility of establishing a good healthy biosphere including being able to grow good biofilm. Also the shrimp themselves might have found the acidic water a burden on their osmotic functions.

 

PS What do you use for a pH meter by the way and do you calibrate it? If you want to use the substrate and make it work you'll need to get a pH meter for sure the API kits don't go below 6 obviously and won't cut the mustard.

 

will

 

 

 

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Kingo

Yessir,

 

I failed to mention on my long winded post that I made an 80% PWC after the NH3 reading @ 8 + a few days ago. The Ph was at 4. I have a cheaper model PH meter, so I re- calibrated it to be sure, it was .1 out.  I am as green as they come re caridinas also, which is why I am putting my naive assumptions out there. 

 My rough plan now was to continue to monitor PH, TDS and NH3 and treat with further PWC's to keep the TDS and NH3 down and PH higher...

 

Sounds like I do have a 'extra fertile' batch then huh? If other folks don't experience excessive NH3 leach and need to do PWC's during cycle period, that would be the case then right?

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jayc
15 hours ago, Kingo said:

The Ph was at 4.

Yep that will stall the nitrogenous cycling process.

Use dechlorinated tap water while cycling the tank, that should give the pH a bump. 

And since the tank has no inhabitants yet, dissolve some bicarb soda (not baking soda) and add it if you see pH dropping below 7. Normally, I wouldn't have to resort to bicarb soda, tap water should be enough to maintain pH. But you seem to need the stronger stuff.

 

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Kingo

@jayc thank you sir. I realise many of my questions must seem foolish. Do you always cycle with dechlorintaed tap? I will be draining and adding treated tap water first thing this afternoon. What a numpty! 

 

Test this morning indicated PH at 5.4, with a further TDS rise of ~ 10 units. NH3 still roughly 2-3 and no sign of nitrites. Thanks again. 

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jayc
1 hour ago, Kingo said:

Do you always cycle with dechlorintaed tap?

Yes, I do. Dechlorinated tap water in Metro areas is perfect for cycling a new tank. 

I'm going to drain the tank after the cycling is complete and fill with RO water and bring parameters up to suit the tank inhabitants anyway. So why waste RO water in a cycling tank.

RO water is usually low in pH to start of with, so that doesn't help the BB multiply.

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Kingo

@jayc,

Thanks a heap bloke. 

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Kingo

Evening legends of the shrimp field.

So, my larger tank has cycled - thanks for the tap water heads up @jayc and your info @revolutionhope. As I added in the tap water during the stockless cycle, I added a little ferts @ EI recommended levels - trace, NPK and Fe. I believe the additional  of P has allowed my sparse plants to drink in a little more minerals/TDS, as they went down 20-30 points over the week. 

 

So... there is a challenging balancing act ahead as TDS and NH3 has appeared to stop leaching, but the strong PH buffering capabilities seem to still be in full swing. Since the PH is already low after cycling (6.4), I have only performed a 15% water change with RO and remineralised to 5 GH, leaving me at 180TDS. The addition of the RO water has dropped the PH now to 5.6. Ideally I would like the TDS to be closer to 140, but if I add any more RO, I would expect to see a drop in PH again. 

I had planned on performing a 90% PWC and remineralising, until I saw the levels we ended up at with PH

Does anyone use shells or coral to bump up PH where it needs to be? I didn't expect to be needing to do this....

 

Again, opinions and advice are greatly appreciated. 

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Kingo

I am sure folks are just ignoring my long winded posts now, but for future folks having my problems, especially with CAL BEP.

My tank had not cycled. It is now 44 days, with several large water changes. Constant NH3 and TDS leach, although TDS appears to have finally stopped. Last week (after signs of NO3, but still showing NH3) I tested PH, it was at 5.5. No further BB could grow. (I had added tap previously to bring it up, but the substrate buffered it straight back under 6. 

With no other advice to go off, I have now added in a small amount of coral to bring PH up to 6.5 and cycle has resumed instantly. More water changes, now I have stock in there I am concerned for their survival (my other tanks are nano's which the rising BNE heat is not ideal for). Hoping I can complete the cycle soon. 

I have kept daily logs of the water params and all the labour in this one tank. Definitely will not be using CAL BEP next time. 

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jayc
On 17/09/2017 at 4:42 PM, Kingo said:

Does anyone use shells or coral to bump up PH where it needs to be?

 

On 26/09/2017 at 6:06 AM, Kingo said:

With no other advice to go off, I have now added in a small amount of coral to bring PH up to 6.5 and cycle has resumed instantly.

Yes, this is not unheard of and is the right thing to do when trying to bring pH up in a tank.

I'm still following your updates. Kinda interested in the results and how it turns out.

Edited by jayc

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Kingo

Thanks @jayc, I have slowly added enough coral (measured PH daily) to bump it up to 6.5. 

Hindsight might suggest that I have not had continuous NH3 leach, but a stalled cycle the whole time as PH kept buffering below 6. 

This morning is the first reading with 0 Amonia, it appears to be progressing in a regular cycle now. 

In other news, a few small breeding tanks are going together this weekend. I know which substrate I won’t be using!

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jayc
31 minutes ago, Kingo said:

Hindsight might suggest that I have not had continuous NH3 leach, but a stalled cycle the whole time as PH kept buffering below 6. 

This morning is the first reading with 0 Amonia, it appears to be progressing in a regular cycle now. 

That's good news. Yes, it seems like a stalled cycle as Ammonia dropped quickly after adjusting the pH.

 

Here's hoping that was a bad batch only. As I still have good experiences with CAL BEP substrate. But of course, I have not used new batches recently. This could be a once off, until we get a new batch and people's experiences.

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Kingo

Thanks for being the sounding board @jayc

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revolutionhope
That's good news. Yes, it seems like a stalled cycle as Ammonia dropped quickly after adjusting the pH.
 
Here's hoping that was a bad batch only. As I still have good experiences with CAL BEP substrate. But of course, I have not used new batches recently. This could be a once off, until we get a new batch and people's experiences.
Re future BEP batches@jayc I know from my conversation with them that they were already aware of the variable nature of their substrate and I've asked jag to keep me updated when the next lot comes in to oz and also to let me know if it leaches or not.
I found someone who wanted all my "fertile" BEP for a 6foot community tank and they mixed it up with other things including crushed coral to achieve the result they wanted but obviously it's less than ideal for shrimp because in doing so you'll be adding unnecessary GH I should think?


will

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Kingo

Hey @revolutionhope,

Thats hat I was concerned about but so far no GH bump yet 4 days in. It bumped up 2 points @revolutionhope after a week

Edited by Kingo

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