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Newbie: tank cycling, issues maybe?


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So I set up a betta tank with ph lowering sub straight bc that’s what my local petsmart had . 3 live plants. My ph battles have been horrid as my tap seems low in KH making it prince to being acidic easily. I just got crushed coral going in tank. And added a super small bubbler to break surface a bit and help bring ph up. 
I’m 10 days in I’ve done several water changed to try to help me bring ph back up. 0 ammonia nitrates & nitrites use api master test kit after my first strips were bad. Betta seems fine. plants doing well. Just shocked no raise in tank parameters. Am I doing anything wrong? Set up was 5 gallon tank. API quick start and stress coat. API co2 boost and fertilizer. Added fritzym 7 last Friday. And no changes. 

Edited by Georgiapeach88
Forgot info to add until I went back and re read it aloud
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How low is your PH? 
Your plants are probably using up the Ammonia produced by the fish waste. I’d just give it some time. Make sure to follow the directions on the Nitrate test exactly. You need to shake the bottle for the recommended amount of time or you’ll get a false negative. 

Edited by Patrick_G
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Thanks I was lead to believe I could do all this with my betta in the tank Thanks to my local Petamart. Like I said newbie and now after 10 days know better. But what I don’t get is how my ph stayed at 6 and nothing else rose above 0ppm for 10 days. Was I to worried about raising ph and did to many water changes? I will read the link in full thank you big green. 

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You should ignore pH and focus on making sure your Ammonia and Nitrite stay as close to zero as possible. It is not true that low pH stops a tank from cycling. Also, your betta certainly loves soft water resulting in a lower pH. Many of the most beautiful soft water aquariums are maintained at a pH of 5, and I would take advantage of your substrate. I would buy a GH and KH test kit, learn and monitor those tests in addition to Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate. Master KH and GH, and you will be ahead of most in the hobby. Monitor GH and KH changes, if they are stable, your tank is stable. 

Here's an article, from a master, explaining in more detail about common misconception passed down through the internet.


Scientific research of Nitrification in low pH.


Edited by Mmiller2001
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