Cycling A Planted Tank With Co2

Tabicat1012

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I recently started my first planted tank in a 40 g breeder. I have been attempting to cycle for over 2 months now. My plants are doing great and growing like crazy but my PH has been steadily dropping since I started Injecting Co2 for about 8 hours a day at 1-2 bubbles per a second. My PH sits at about 6.2 and 6.4 now. I otherwise would be fine with this since my plants are doing well but it’s making it impossible to cycle. I do 25% water changes 2-3 times a week. I have also added crushed coral to my Aquaclear 50 filter instead of carbon to hopefully bring up PH. Any other recommendations?

I add Prime after every water change and initially started the tank with Tetra safe start and Microbe lift. I have a few Molly’s in the tank that I added before I started injecting Co2 when my tank was showing signs of finishing the cycle before my PH dropped. After Co2 I have not seen a single nitrite or nitrate. I test daily using the API test kit and make sure the ammonia never goes above 0.5. and the Mollies are thriving.

Any advice would really help!
 
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Tabicat1012

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The ph of the water in my tap is 8.8 or over. My ammonia levels really are not that big of a problem i see it go up to 0.25-0.5ppm every 3-4 days and do a 25% water change to bring it back down again. It’s just that I haven’t seen a single nitrite or nitrate in my tank in awhile.
 

mattgirl

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In a fully cycled tank one should never see nitrites. Have you ever had them? When cycling a tank you will eventually see nitrites but once they rise and then drop back to zero they won't come back unless there is a problem. If you are seeing ammonia but no nitrates I would have to assume that this tank either never properly cycled and it has lost its cycle.
I add after every water change
The above statement has me wondering. You say you add Prime AFTER every water change. Are you actually putting untreated water in this tank and then adding the prime. If that is the case it is possible that the untreated water is killing the cycle (bacteria) you are working so hard to grow.
 
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Tabicat1012

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mattgirl said:
In a fully cycled tank one should never see nitrites. Have you ever had them? When cycling a tank you will eventually see nitrites but once they rise and then drop back to zero they won't come back unless there is a problem. If you are seeing ammonia but no nitrates I would have to assume that this tank either never properly cycled and it has lost its cycle.

The above statement has me wondering. You say you add Prime AFTER every water change. Are you actually putting untreated water in this tank and then adding the prime. If that is the case it is possible that the untreated water is killing the cycle (bacteria) you are working so hard to grow.
I think the my tank never properly cycled too, I saw nitrites and nitrates once but that was a while ago and haven’t see any since. I use the python water changer and add the water from the tap directly into the tank to minimize the mess. I add prime before I add the water and usually add a little more then needed. I’m also worried my PH is too low for the BB.
 

mattgirl

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Tabicat1012 said:
I think the my tank never properly cycled too, I saw nitrites and nitrates once but that was a while ago and haven’t see any since. I use the python water changer and add the water from the tap directly into the tank to minimize the mess. I add prime before I add the water and usually add a little more then needed. I’m also worried my PH is too low for the BB.
That is the way folks that use the python do it so it shouldn't be causing the problems you are having.

Hopefully someone will be able to help you stabilize you PH at a higher level. I've never had to deal with a problem like that and have never used CO2 so can't help there.

Once you get that taken care of you really need to allow your ammonia to stay in the tank to feed and grow the bacteria. You can allow it to go up to just below 1 and a dose of Prime will render it safe for your Mollies. If the ammonia goes over 1 do a water change to get it back below 1 and then dose with prime.

From what I have read ammonia actually changes to ammonium when the PH is too low and the bacteria doesn't feed on ammonium so your bacteria is basically starving before it has a chance to grow.
 
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