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WhySoCRS

HELP! pH 4.8!

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WhySoCRS

Help! Just checked the pH in the tank and it's 4.8! WTF! How? I did a water change of about 10% on Sunday, rain water, topped with SS gh+, substrate is Benibachi, why the sudden drop in pH and how can I boost it? Stressing!

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WhySoCRS

Just thinking, would the 4 Alder Cones in the tank have anything to do with the lowering of the pH?

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jessaweeshrimp

So you should check your waters pH before and after mixing your remineralizer. Most likely it is in the low to mid 6’s so the more water you change the more you will raise your pH.  

A 10% water change isn’t much unless the f could se you have a big tank.

My buffering substrate will keep dropping my pH if I do nothing because it is newer.

 

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WhySoCRS

Tank is a 70l.

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jayc
13 hours ago, WhySoCRS said:

would the 4 Alder Cones in the tank have anything to do with the lowering of the pH?

Uh .... YES !

Alder cones are potent.

Do more water changes with Tapwater (dechlorinated). Tap water should be around pH7.8, so 10% changes every other day should slowly bring it up.

 

Out of curiosity, how are you measuring the pH? pH pen I assume, because most liquid pH kits don't go that low.

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WhySoCRS

No worries, I use a pH pen and TDS pen as well.

About to flick down to the local and get some dechlorinater.

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WhySoCRS

OK went to the local store for dechlorinator and a test kit, only test kits they had were pH and Ammonia, I already have a Ph pen so didn't bother with the kit, got some dechlorinator.

Took some tank water out, then got some tap water sitting at a pH of 8 and TDS of 170, mixed in some dechlorinator, let it sit for a bit and then added to the tank.

Tank is now 6.1 with a TDS of 287! OK, how do I lower the TDS? Rain water?

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WhySoCRS

Tested the tank water again just now, pH is 5.8 and TDS is 289, what's going on?

Have taken the alder cones out, only had 4 small ones in there though.

Took about half the water from the tank out yesterday, replaced with rain water, added SS gh+, then added a small amount of tap water treated with dechlorinator.

All suggestions welcome, thank you.

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WhySoCRS

Should I take the shrimp out of the tank, empty and then refill with rain water, add SS gh+ and then a small amount of tap water to get the pH up?

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jayc
4 hours ago, WhySoCRS said:

Tested the tank water again just now, pH is 5.8 and TDS is 289, what's going on?

Have taken the alder cones out, only had 4 small ones in there though.

 

Tap water is higher in TDS, so that's normal. Since you still have alder cones in there, it's working to lower the pH.

Should take them all out until you reach the pH you are after.

 

3 hours ago, WhySoCRS said:

Should I take the shrimp out of the tank, empty and then refill with rain water, add SS gh+ and then a small amount of tap water to get the pH up?

Seems too drastic. Just take those alder cones out, all of them. Get the pH under control, then add the cone back in one at a time to ensure the pH stays level. Stop adding more when you see pH moving down again. this can take a span of several weeks. But going slow is better, you cannot rush some things.

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WhySoCRS

Ended up going out of town to get some test kits as I wasn't so sure about the pens and wanted to get all levels correct.

pH Pen 3.8

pH Kit 6.0

TDS Pen 270

Nitrite 0

Nitrate 40-80 (can't see the difference between the two colours)

Ammonia 0.25

kH 1

gH 18

 

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jayc
7 hours ago, WhySoCRS said:

pH Pen 3.8

pH Kit 6.0

That pH pen is in need of calibration !! 😀 

Or new batteries.

or both.

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WhySoCRS

Did a big water change earlier, really want to get these parameters sorted so I have a healthy tank and group of shrimp.

ph - 6.0

kH - 1

gH - 10

TDS - 177

Nitrate - 20

Nitrite - 0

Ammonia 0.25

So gH and Nitrate are still high, so more water changes needed? No mineral balls are in there, no alder cones either.

Tested the rain water and gH is 4, Nitrate is 5, so the issue is in the tank.

Any suggestions? @jessaweeshrimp @jayc

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jayc
42 minutes ago, WhySoCRS said:

Ammonia 0.25

Why do you still have ammonia reading?

Is the tank not cycled?

That will be contributing to increased Nitrates. As well as any organic waste in the substrate.

Did you do a gravel vac and clean the filter media?

I find that can help bring down Nitrates.

Not so sure why your GH is at 10 when TDS is 177. That has me stumped. Could be a test kit mis-measurement. Try testing it again.

 

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WhySoCRS

OK, so now I’m having trouble again...

Tested parameters earlier, TDS is 171, gH I stopped at 10... did a water change, the same, then pulled the filter apart & topped with RO water & has lowered down to 157 TDS & gH of 9, why has the TDS & gH raised so high so quickly?

Thought I’d leave it for now as I’m worried all the water changes would stress the CRS out.


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WhySoCRS

Is it possible the tank hasn't finished cycling? 

Would it be best to hold off on testing for another week and then see what parameters are?

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WhySoCRS

OK, just tested parameters again, ammonia is showing, don't know why, 0.50... can't work out what's going on.

I started the tank on 26th Feb, shouldn't it be cycled by now?

What do I do?

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jayc

Even if the tank was cycled, you are back in a cycle again. 

Beneficial bacteria now needs time to build up again, or you need to seed from another mature filter.

There was a possibility that the tank never cycled if the pH crashed as low as 4.8. The low pH has been suppressing the ammonia.

Now that you are trying to bring pH up again, the ammonia becomes toxic to shrimps. So do what you have to to keep the shrimp safe. Can you move the shrimp to another tank?

Go back to basics of cycling a tank. But of course, this gets harder with shrimps in the tank.

Don't make any drastic changes to the tank for now. Monitor it for a week to see how the ammonia is going. 

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WhySoCRS

I ended up taking everything out, I had an extra bag of Benibachi so thought I’d start again, I’ve put the shrimp into a small tank, about 20l a long with the plants on driftwood & amazon frogbit, as well as a heater set to 22c.

When I emptied the tank a really strong foul smell came out once I emptied the substrate out, chemical like smell.

Cleaned the tank, put a new bag in but this time without the mineral powder underneath, filled with RO water, 70l tank so added 3 spoons of SS gH+, hooked the same filter up with the same media as well, that filter has been running with the same media since Feb 26 this year.

So pretty much starting again, expecting a cycle so will let this run for a month, haven’t added mineral powder or balls either.

See how things go I guess, also ordered a bag of ADA Amazonia that I’ll test if thing doesn’t go well.

Tested TDS last night & was 117, tested again this morning before work & was 131, what’s the go? It’s risen quickly.


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WhySoCRS

OK, just did water tests.

pH 6.4
Nitrate 5.0
Nitrite 0.25
kH 2
gH 6
Ammonia 8+
TDS Pen 154 (to be honest I’m starting to not take the readings from the pen, temp is set to 22c in the tank but says 19c).

6536eee84d0b45f429c1862868e9b098.jpg


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jessaweeshrimp

Sorry I missed your call for help. Based on the new set up it sounds like there is no rock in there to leach and increase TDS. While cycling you need to feed the BB something. Bacter AE or preferably the Magic Powder from SL Aqua 👍

The wood, leaves etc... can release organics that could increase your TDS a little. Amazonia takes a whe to stop putting of ammonia. Was the old substrate buffering as well?

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jessaweeshrimp

I get a TDS of 130 which equals 6 GH. Seeing that you have Nitrite is a good thing because of course it means that your tank has the BB converting Ammonia 👍

I like Prime and the Stability both from Seachem. The Stability has both types of BB I believe and I feed my tanks Dr. Tims ammonia for a clean source and its super cheap. I keep an ammonia indicator in every tank and if it starts to lose its yellow status I throw in a mL of the Stability and by the morning it’s back to yellow. 

 

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