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ADA Amazonia not lowering PH


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Hello fellow shrimp keepers,


I have started a shrimp tank with ADA amazonia soil, with thickness about 6.5 cm (about 2 inches) and it does not seem to be able to drop PH to proper levels. I was expecting PH of 6.5 - 7, maybe lower. My tap water is PH 7.6, GH 6, KH 4, TDS 150. The PH in the tank is still the same as my tap water. There is moss, lava stones and some driftwood in the tank, with 2 double sided sponge filters. Tank has dimensions width 50 cm x debt 28 cm x  height 40 cm and I fill it to the 38 liters mark. The tank is still in fish-less cycle and I am about 1 week into the cycling.

I tried PH down to save the amazonia buffering capability and I dropped the PH to 7, but a day after it was back to the 7.6 PH range. What the hell?


The tank is for crystal bees but if the PH issue is not solved then I would have to go with rilis.


Do you guys know what could be the issue? How long is it going to take until the PH drops to proper levels? 

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Don't add anything else like PH down. Only thing you need to add is filter bacteria now with the cycling

The thing is, the aquasoil is still cycling and it won't drop to low Ph now. Also your tap water has got a Kh of 4, so thats buffering the water not to drop in Ph

First cycle the tank till you have 0-5 Nitrates, this takes 4/5 weeks, then flush the tank and replace with RO/DI water and SSGh+ wait a week and your Ph will drop.


With a layer of 6.5cm, you can expect it to drop to even lower than 6 Ph


I use aquasoil in all my shrimp tanks, as this is the only buffering substrate we get in SA and I have found it always does the same. Don't worry now, as its not lowering the Ph. Do the cycle and then whallaa....... :)

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Thank you Maurice for the info, I have Mosura BT-9 together with Borneo Wild Balance and Borneo Wild boost p in the soil. Every water change I put half of spoon of BT-9 to help the beneficial bacteria to grow in the tank. I will wait until the cycle finishes and if the Ph drops below the level that I want for Crystal bees I will just scoop some of the soil out. That should do it. 


I have one more tank where I have GEX soil (the green one) but I did not put a thick  layer of soil there, just something over 2.5cm and it is not lowering the PH enough (dimensions of the tank are same), so this time I put a thick layer as was instructed on the package. I have Rilis and blue Neocaridina shrim in the other tank so they are happy with the PH of 7.5 that is there. I was thiking of adding some more soil to see if it would lower the PH to about 7, but that may not be a good idea if the GEX soil starts to leak amonia like ADA.

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Cool wego21,


Just a word of advise, say your Ph drops too low and you remove some of the aquasoil after cycling, keep an eye for any spike in ammonia as disturbing the substrate again might cause a mini cycle.


you can also use sponges from other tanks, squize it the good bacteria from them and add too the new tank for faster cycling.

then also there is Prodibio Biodigest that is also a great product, yet again, I have only heard good reviews on Mosura BT9


good luck!

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