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PH disaster.
11-13-2015, 07:45 AM,
#1
papajoe Offline
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PH disaster.
Good evening from a very wet and windy Wales.
I have had a disaster as I was fishless cycling my 120 litre tank. I was hopefully nearing the end of the cycle. I thought I would check my ph reading which had been showing 7-7.6. The test reading was below 6 on the API chart. My latest test results pre crash were. Ammonia .25, Nitrites 2ppm and Nitrates 120. I did a big w/c and the readings now are PH 7.6 Ammonia 0, Nitrites 0 and Nitrates 5ppm. I assume the cycle has crashed. I could do with some help as to what my next step is. I am totally gutted to have got this far and this happens. The only thing I have done that I can think of is I put 2 silk plants in today. I will not be beaten by this but will live and learn. If Anyone who could help me get back on track I would be extremely grateful.Sad
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11-14-2015, 05:22 AM,
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Thor Offline
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RE: PH disaster.
Hi papajoe, welcome to the forum! Welcome

There is no need for panic. Big Grin
During a fishless cycling, it is perfectly normal to have the water PH suddenly crash when you are in the stage of high nitrate production.
The production of nitrate is acidic, and thus it slowly eats away the water buffer. Once the water buffer is gone, the PH will suddenly drop. I have seen PH of 4~5 overnight from PH 7~8. It is actually supposed to happen sooner or later. If you are in an area with hard water, it would happen later. Obviously, it would happen earlier if your water is soft with little buffer.

There is nothing to worry about. All you need to do is to do a large percentage water change of 50~70% to remove the nitrate while restore the water buffer. The PH should go back to normal range.

It has to be noted that the water change should come as soon as possible after you have noticed the PH crash. The good bacteria you are trying so hard to seed the aquarium does not do well if the PH is way too low, and the fishless cycling might stall if the PH is not restored.

In our article of fishless cycling, we have gone through exactly these problems. Smile

It is nice to see another fellow fish keeper doing fishless cycling before getting the fish. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask. Wink

Good luck!
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11-17-2015, 04:52 AM,
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papajoe Offline
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RE: PH disaster.
Hi Thor, thanks for your reply. I am pleased to say my tank has now cycled and I have just done a large w/c. I must say it is very satisfying dong the fishless cycle. To anyone reading this , if I can do it so can you. I took the trouble to rearrange my tank and am very pleased with the result considering it is my first tank. Off down to my local lfs tomorrow for the first batch of newcomers. Glowlights to start with, really looking forward to it.
Dave.
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11-18-2015, 02:49 AM,
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Thor Offline
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RE: PH disaster.
You are welcome. Smile

Congratulations on completing the fishless cycling. It is quite simple once you know exactly what to do. What you need is just patients, and a lot of it if there is no live bacteria product for speeding things up.

Try not to overstock your aquarium with too many fish at once. And feed them lightly to avoid ammonia spike
Keep us updated on your new aquarium. Please share some photos or videos whe.n you have the time. Wink
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