After months and months of trying to cycle my tank to no avail, I reread a guide on cycling and discovered that my ph is way too low for the bacteria to appear. My ph is somewhere between 6.0-6.5 and I believe the water should be at least 7 for the bacteria to appear.
And so in order to increase my ph I’ve added crushed coral as I read that this is the best way to increase ph. I tested my water this morning (24 hour after adding the crushed coral) but my ph hasn’t increased yet. So my first question is? How long should it take for my ph to start showing results (whilst I am not expecting a certain magic number, I am just wondering if there is an average time line?). Just to help with my question, I have added 300g of crushed coral to my 64l tank.
I also understand that the kh needs to be high too to help the coral dissolve and increase my ph, my kh is at 6dkh and my hardness is also 8dgh if this is helpful information. Are water parameters to high/low for the ph to increase?
I hope to hear from anyone who can help soon, thank you in advance :)
* Can you tell us what your water softness/hardness is in CaCO3/ppm and German degrees hardness? If you're UK-based, you should be able to find this info on your water provider's website by inputting your postcode. * Also on that site, can you tell us what your min/medium/max PH is?
The reason I'm asking this is because: * some test kits can be very unreliable for these results, esp test strips; * it's good to cross-check them with the water provider results, and also because I wouldn't have thought the PH, KH or GH levels you cite from your test kits are low enough to stall/delay the cycle.
From your water supplier's readings, I wouldn't have expected your water or PH to be too soft for cycling properly, so I'm not sure that the crushed coral is going to make any difference. That said, you could always keep it in the tank until you've finished cycling.
Another couple of options to speed up tank cycling are: * using some mature filter media donated to you by another fishkeeper; * increasing the tank temperature to 27-28'C (filter bacteria multiply faster).
What are your plans for stocking ultimately? If planning to stock in line with your 'natural' tap water (which would be advisable), then do ensure that you take out the crushed coral before / at the conclusion of the fishless cycling process.
I read online that your ph needs to be at a reading of 7 and anywhere underneath this reading will either slow down the process or stop it altogether, and with my cycle more or less never taking off, I felt like my ph of 6-6.5 is the cause of it. Unless you know of any other common issues that could be a cause?
And my heater is at 80-82 Fahrenheit so its around the Celsius required for cycling, however I don’t have any donated filter media as I am unsure as to whether they would fit in my filter. My filter is a cartridge one that came with the tank and I’m unsure as to whether I can add other media to it, because of this I have the coral at the back of my tank in a filter bag as it wouldn’t fit in the filter. My tank is a 64 gallon Panorama tank from love fish in case you wish to look it up to see if I can add other media to it, I too shall look at it tonight and see if I can add pre-established media to the biological media section.
My plan for stocking would be a Betta fish along with Corys and temperament permitting, harlequin rasboras, so would be looking to have a ph around the 7 mark, so I thought using the crushed coral to reach that level would be beneficial for cycling and stocking with replacements every 2-3 months to ensure a steady ph around 7.0.
And thank you for the link to cycling, I will check it out later.
Thank you for your contact, it is much appreciated and very helpful
Can only reply v briefly but: * water supplier results suggests PH is fine; I assumed your test kit was inaccurate (v likely if strips, less likely if liquid-based - in which case need to identify cause of what's in tank that's caused it to drop but unlikely due to KH as water not too soft); * cycling slower if PH 8.3 but stops if <5.0 [source = PFK diploma]; * filter media (sponge/foam) can be cut as required to fit into filter - could start all over with this (and better to use this than replacing cartridges regularly); * stocking: useful reading re proposed choices in this https://www.fishkeeping.co.uk/modules/ ... wtopic.php?topic_id=41640
Yes I used strips for the KH and GH (I have liquid ones from API coming Monday) however my ph kit is the liquid one from API and the reading from that is very similar to the one displaying 6.0ppm in ph. So on Monday I'll have a better idea of my KH and GH.
What information would you require in order to hazard a guess into what could have caused my ph to be so low. Just a heads up I don't have any drift wood, leaves or moss in my tank, as I'm a beginner I just have artificial plants.
Just worth noting that low pH won't stall the cycle if you still have kH in the tank. What stalls it is running out of kH which as a consequence causes pH to become unstable and drop. At a pH over 6 you probably do still have some kH but the API test will tell.
So my API delivery arrived today (it was expected Monday so I was very surprised) and I have just tested my water. My ph is around 7.4 and my Kh is at 4 so I shall attempt my cycle again. Thank you so much for all of your help and advice throughout this process.
I do have one more question however, I was testing my GH and the liquid was not turning from orange to green, even after 22 drops suggesting i have very hard water! Do you advise me to purchase an API product which is said to bring the GH down, but could affect my KH I imagine or some other advice?
Is there anything on your water supplier's website stating that work is / has been happening that might affect its results? If not, it might be worth e-mailing them directly to ask.
Just to clarify, what are your liquid-based test results for: * PH directly from tap, tap water after it's been sitting in a container for 24 hours, tap water after 48 hours; * KH and GH directly from tap; * PH, KH and GH from tank water.