does ph affect tetra safestart ? Question

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by BrettXNA, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. BrettXNANew MemberMember

    I have a bottle of Tetra Safestart coming tomorrow for my
    29 gal tank but I have one question.
    Does ph affect how Safestart works ? The tank water has a ph of about 6.4 or so, and I have heard low ph affects the cycling process.
    Will Safestart be effective with a 6.4 range ph ?

  2. harpua2002Fishlore VIPMember

    Hi BrettXNA, I haven't seen you around so welcome to Fishlore! :)

    I'm afraid I can't help you with your question, but I'm really interested in any answers you get so I'm tagging along.
  3. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    This is where we need our high school chemistry kids... Rae, Chris?
    Welcome to FL. Hopefully you'll get an answer soon. If not, maybe someone could email Tetra to see what they say.
  4. jetajockeyFishlore VIPMember

    the only thing i've heard is that when the ph gets below 6 ammonia is converted to ammonium and that it takes longer to break down, but I can't verify.
  5. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning,

    It's my understanding that once your pH levels drop below 7.0 (not 6.0) then the ammonia starts turning into ammonium. When your pH levels drop below 6.0 then your beneficial bacteria is going to start dying off. (in an already cycled tank) Tetra Safe Start (in my opinion) is too expensive to waste. I suggest raising your pH levels naturally, get above 7.0, then add the TSS. (Tetra Safe Start)
    Here is a link on pH. It gives you suggestions on how to raise your pH levels naturally.

    If you pH level is below 7.0 then the cycling process will be delayed. It won't keep the tank from cycling, it will just take longer. With this information in mind, I wouldn't risk wasting the TSS.

    Best of luck!
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2010
  6. Prince PowderWell Known MemberMember

    I agree with Ken. A pH below 7.0 can slow or stall any cycle because it slows the reproduction of the beneficial bacteria. Because the bacteria in TSS will have a slower reproduction rate caused by the lower pH it will not be able to cycle a tank in 7-10 days like it should. Since it's meant to be added with fish and since you're not supposed to do water changes for the first two weeks with TSS it would mean that your fish would be exposed to ammonia and nitrite for longer than is necessary and also in higher amounts since the bacteria won't be able to reproduce fast enough to keep up. I agree that you should look into raising your pH to 7.0 or slightly higher if you want to use TSS. Just make sure to go the natural route and not use chemicals. Otherwise I would say just do a fishless cycle though I would suspect it would be on the longer end of the time frame before you get through it.

    One more thing, I notice you said the tank water has a pH of 6.4. What is your tap pH? If it's very different (such as much higher) than your tank then you might want to look into what is in your tank that might be causing your pH to fall.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2010
  7. BrettXNANew MemberMember

    Ok that ph reading I posted originally was right after a 30 percent water change.
    I noticed that a day or so after the water change tank waters ph is up to 6.8 - 7.0.
    My tap (well) water is 6.0 or less straight from the faucet - without letting it sit or aerate.
  8. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Wow! I have well water too and my pH is so high it's off the charts. This is another reason I use another aquarium to filter, heat and treat my water before it goes into my main tanks. My water ages for 5 days and the pH drops a good bit making it safe for my fish. My pH in my main tanks stay at 7.8 to 8.0.

    Something you may want to consider is using a 5 gallon aquarium or a 10 gallon, fill it with water, remove the chlorine and chloramines, add an air stone and let it set for a few days prior to it going into your tank. You could even try adding some crushed coral into the tank. Crushed coral can raise pH levels but I'm not certain as to how long it will take to raise it. Test your 5 gallon for pH levels day by day. Be sure to match the temperatures in the 5g to the temperature in your 29g tank. You can use a heater in the 5g and pretty much match the temperatures between the tanks. Filtering the smaller tank for your water changes is a good idea too.

    Keep in mind that if you lower your pH levels in your main tank too quickly it can spell disaster. pH is tricky!

    Best wishes,
  9. BrettXNANew MemberMember

    That reading for the tap is straight out of the faucet - I need to dechlorinate and aerate it for a day or so to get the "true" ph. Just havent gotten around to it yet.