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tds 700 need help understanding


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Ok so I bought a 20 gal and started it with fluval stratum. 17lb bag. Added some drift wood, small though, and some plants. Then ran my ro water to fill the tank. At that time the tds was pretty low 200ppm or less. My kh was 0 and my gh is around 80. ph was around 7.8. I then added seachem acid buffer to bring the ph down. While doing this my ppm meter went up 280 to 300. Then came to find I added way too much and the ph went down to 3.5. I tried to readjust the the ph by adding baking soda. (screwed that up to and used too much) Tds was around 400. Then I did 9 or 10 gal. water change and have been readjusting the ph with seachem acid buffer to about 6-6.1. But my tds rose to 700 now. What do I need to do now. Just wait. Will it go down on its own? Is it reading harmful PPM or just from acid buffer? Now my kh is about 20 and gh around 80 (im using the dipsticks to test) Soooo now that my ph is down to 6 I don't want to mess with it anymore because I obviously do not know what I am doing yet. Any info or suggested would be appreciated.

 

I would like some crs and eventually some bees

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If your just starting a tank you probably wouldn't want to use the acid buffer anyway as the low ph will slow your cycle.

Stratum should buffer the ph pretty low as well so you might not ever need it and if you do need the ph lower it might be best to use something gentler like super peat. If it's the newer variety of stratum then it will also leech ammonia for a few weeks to feed the cycle.

The tds won't go down on it's own, it's removed by water changes or diluted by adding ro water

It is probably best to do a major (80% or more) water change and use a shrimp remineralizer. To be honest when cycling a tank I use 50% ro and 50% tap with prime then do a 90% wc with remineralized ro 2 days before shrimp go in.

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If your just starting a tank you probably wouldn't want to use the acid buffer anyway as the low ph will slow your cycle.

Stratum should buffer the ph pretty low as well so you might not ever need it and if you do need the ph lower it might be best to use something gentler like super peat. If it's the newer variety of stratum then it will also leech ammonia for a few weeks to feed the cycle.

The tds won't go down on it's own, it's removed by water changes or diluted by adding ro water

It is probably best to do a major (80% or more) water change and use a shrimp remineralizer. To be honest when cycling a tank I use 50% ro and 50% tap with prime then do a 90% wc with remineralized ro 2 days before shrimp go in.

Thank you I don't know why my ph is off the charts in my water out of the bat but it is. I went out and bought some organic peat today to put in the tank. I will do a large water change soon and see what I can come up with.

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I wouldn't add the peat at the moment, if your ph gets too low before your tank is cycled it's going to slow down the the growth of beneficial bacteria dramatically and increase the cycle time.

I don't usually worry about the parameters while cycling too much as long as ph doesn't get too low and the ammonia doesn't get high (over 5ppm)

It will probably take a few week's for the substrate to stop leeching ammonia so be patient. Also The ph of your water doesn't always get effected by your ro filter, it depends on the amount and types of gasses in your water, try running your water in a bucket with an airstone overnight and see what the difference is

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Thank you for the advise. I did a 90% change and parameters are quite low again. Still in the 240 ppm 7 ph range. I did add some peat yesterday and it did bring ph down a bit however I took it out when I saw the ph level at 6.5 and has gone back up to 7 again. Im not touching it for a while though lol. My question is when it is all cycled, if the ph is still up and i want to keep crs/bees how am i going to be able to keep the ph down and stable or will it lower naturally?

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First things first stop messing with it. Let it cycle then worry about the pH, usually with an active substrate once you change out the water to RO with remineralizer the substrate does what its supposed to do and it buffers right where it should. Second when you say you used peat, was it peat filter media? Garden center peat is not the same, it releases amonia and will keep your tank from cycling properly. 

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First things first stop messing with it. Let it cycle then worry about the pH, usually with an active substrate once you change out the water to RO with remineralizer the substrate does what its supposed to do and it buffers right where it should. Second when you say you used peat, was it peat filter media? Garden center peat is not the same, it releases amonia and will keep your tank from cycling properly. 

It is peat from the garden center but 100% organic. Was looking on another site one day and it was suggested. I can't find the post offhand. My ro/di is not be working properly. Ive had it for years but recently replaced the filters. Its old and leaky so I have another on the way. There was also quite a bit of deposit build up on the auto shutoff valve which is where it is leaking. Waiting for new one. Thanks for the advice I will calm my antics down lol. Its just running as is atm.

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