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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    South Central Maryland- Washington DC Suburbs

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    Default Weird tank test results

    0 Not allowed!
    Ammonia 0
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrate 10-20
    PH 6.4

    40 Gallon I have been cycling almost a month. I do about 40% water changes every other day. I also add Seachems Prime every other day with the water change for about a month.

    When I started seeing 0 ammonia then I started seeing high Nitrite. Now For the last week/week and a half I have seen only .25 Nitrite.

    Today’s test reading were
    Ammonia 0
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrate 5.0. My tap water comes out with 5.0
    PH 7.0-7.2

    My questions are:
    1. Having only one 5”ish Shovelnose Catfish in the tank could cause the cycle to show false reading in the tank because there is not enough bacteria in the tank to cycle it?

    2. Could adding so much Prime cause false readings?

    3.Why is one tank PH 6.4 and another 7.0-7.2 when there from the same tap water?
    180 Gallon:
    1-Motoro Stingray
    1- Mantilla hybrid Stingray
    1- Black Henlei/Leopoldi hybrid Stingray
    1- 14" Spotted Gar

    40 gallon Breeder grow out tank:
    1- 6” Tiger Shovelnose Catfish

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Quebec, CA

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    1 Not allowed!
    PH often bounces around during a cycle. The nitrification cycle itself uses up pH buffer. My opinion is it needs to balance out still. What is your tap pH after sitting out for 24hrs? I would do some good water changes on the 180g to bring the pH up to 7.2 at least. I know it's very difficult to change water out on a 180g, but every now and then it's good to do a reset and do a good 75-85% water change. If pH is dropping once it balances out, it's a good indication you are not changing out enough water.

    Furthermore, KH is what keeps your pH stable, this is what the nitrifying cycle uses up. Ideally, it's suggested to keep KH at at least 4 degrees to be nice and stable.

    When pH drops below 7, it causes nitrifying bacteria to slow down or even stall. At the same time though, an acidic pH keeps most of the ammonia in a much safer form-ammonium to protect fish's gills, so basically the same as adding Prime to detox ammonia. But adding Prime won't change your test results.

    So to recap, I think the pH is different due to the amount of water being replenished in both tanks.
    Last edited by angelcraze2; 07-31-2019 at 07:33 PM.
    GiVe Me sHrEd TiLL i'M dEaD

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