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Buffering, pH lowering substrate and cycling?


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So I set up my tank yesterday and I ordered my ammonia to get the cycle starting.  Overnight, my pH has dropped to 6.2 due to the substrate (substrate working well!).  Decided to reread the nitrification cycle today so I can be sure I'll do it right.  I'm bopping along reading, when I see that low pH will stall the nitrification cycle.  Some sources are saying that anything under 7 will stall the cycle, some say 6.4.  

Is this accurate?  If so, should I increase the pH of the tank during cycling and then lower it after, before I put in shrimps?  I was hoping to spend the time during cycling working out my water parameters so I could have them nice and stable before shrimps went in and be practiced at keeping them stable.  

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First, not all nitrifying bacteria are same.

Most nitrifying bacteria works great in normal aquarium environment which is on the alkaline side (pH >7.0) of pH range. only few nitrifying bacteria works in the range that we keep our bee shrimp at (pH5 - pH6).

 

So cycling shrimp tank at higher pH won't help as the nitrifying bacteria colony built up during cycling won't work effectively in acidic range, they will die off as pH keeping dropping.

 

Second. does certain strain of nitrifying bacteria work in low pH range? short answer is YES.

If you don't introduce any seed of nitrifying bacteria during cycling the tank. eventually it would select the correct strain of nitrifying bacteria over time (they are in the air) 

But I heard lots of stories that the tank is not cycled over couple months if you choose let it happen naturally. 

 

My P. Altum tank stays at pH4 right now. it's kind of low, but nitrifying bacteria is thrive in the canister filter, I need to clean it on schedule.

I seed this tank with Seachem Stability at beginning.

 

Third, If you have more than one tank up and running for a while. that means you have correct strain of nitrifying bacteria already.

So seed it in mature tank would cut the cycling time to none.

 

Forth. If you cycling a tank from scratch, and use the nitrifying bacteria designed for bee shrimp. you intend to increase the pH to higher range. It slows down your cycling process as that particular strain of nitrifying bacteria works better in acidic range.

 

conclusion

I found pre-seed the filter (sponge filter, canister filter, HOB, etc) in mature healthy tank is the better way for me.

I always have couple spare sponge filters in other tank, once I need it, I just move it to new tank, and have it up and running in no time.

 

 

Coped from my other post

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Yes, but how long is 'longer'? I assumed 'stall out' basically meant 'you'll be standing around waiting a super long time'.  Are we talking about waiting six months?  A year?  I was originally thinking this would take 6-12 weeks.  Is that still a reasonable timeline or is that short for doing this naturally?  This is the only tank I have running presently and I would prefer to let it colonize naturally rather than buying bacteria cultures as I always worry that a bacteria culture will end up being an expensive placebo in the end.

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Yes, but how long is 'longer'? I assumed 'stall out' basically meant 'you'll be standing around waiting a super long time'.  Are we talking about waiting six months?  A year?  I was originally thinking this would take 6-12 weeks.  Is that still a reasonable timeline or is that short for doing this naturally?  This is the only tank I have running presently and I would prefer to let it colonize naturally rather than buying bacteria cultures as I always worry that a bacteria culture will end up being an expensive placebo in the end.

 

If you have a healthy shrimp tank, seed your new filter from it.

 

If not, buy Seachem Stability, that's the strain I use for shrimp tank.

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