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PH Drop

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I just did a check on my PH and found it to be 4.8.  A week ago it was 6.3.  This tank was set up about 3 months ago and cycled fine in about a month.  Doing a full workup I've found it to have elevated ammonia also so I think it's recycling.  I have a 20% water change dripping right now.  Parameters as follows:


RO water remineralized with Salty Shrimp GH.

TDS 154

GH 5

KH <1

PH 4.8

Ammonia .25

Nitrite 0

Nitrate 0

Temp 69-71


I have another tank cycling but it is not ready.   My crystals and TB seem okay.  No deaths, all eating.  Any suggestions to fix this?

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That's a pretty low pH for that substrate. I thought Brightwell and Controsoil were pretty much the same thing? I use Controsoil myself and it buffers my tanks right around 6 pH ...give or take. Either way, I wouldn't worry too much over ammonia. There won't be any ammonia in water that soft... just NH4 (ammonium) which isn't very toxic to shrimps. Your biological bacteria was most likely operating at very low efficiency to begin with, even at a pH of 6.3. I know TBs can thrive in really soft water in the low 5's but not sure about CRS as I've never kept them. You could add just a pinch of baking soda to bring KH a little if it makes you feel better. Just don't raise pH over 6.5 with ammonia readings still showing.

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what test kit are you using for the ph.  I always got readings way too high or way too low on the liquid test kits.  I know use a ph probe.


I once had a tank that was cycling have the bottom fall out of the ph to the point the cycle stalled.  I ended up adding baking soda(mentioned by @madcraftedabove) and that corrected my problem.

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