High Nitrates, pH Dropping

Cole23

I think I’m about 3 weeks into my fishless cycle on my Fluval Flex 15. I’ve used Dr. Tim’s ammonia and also Dr. Tim’s one and only live bacteria. My tank is processing 4.0 ammonia in under 48 hours, I still have noticeable nitrites, very high nitrates, and my pH has been stable the entire duration of the cycle but has dropped from 7.6 to 6.6 over the last 36 hours. Here’s my current numbers:

pH - 6.6 (was 7.6 the entire cycle but has dropped in the past 36 hours)
Ammonia - processing 4.0 in under 48 hours
Nitrites - 2.0 to 5.0 the colors are difficult to read
Nitrates - 80 to 160 the colors are difficult to read

I have a thick layer of gravel and my tank isn’t filled to the max. So I filled two 5 gallon buckets with water and Seachem prime, and am letting it sit overnight. I plan to do a large water change tomorrow with that water. Will the water change help stabilize my pH and nitrates? And is there anything else I need to do or not do? I’m really worried I’m going to mess my cycle up, this is my first tank, and if I mess my cycle up 3 weeks in I’m going to be bummed. Any advice appreciated!!
 

Mike1995

Have you done any water changes prior? Sometimes when the nitrates get high the ph does drop, both of which happen when a good bit of time goes by without a water change. I'd do a WC and then wait a while and then retest to see where you're at.
 
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Cole23

Have you done any water changes prior? Sometimes when the nitrates get high the ph does drop, both of which happen when a good bit of time goes by without a water change. I'd do a WC and then wait a while and then retest to see where you're at.

I haven’t done a water change yet, I thought it might mess up my cycle, but now that my pH is dropping I guess I have too. My nitrates were around 40 for a while and in the last 3 days have risen significantly. I will do a large water change tomorrow, how long should I wait before testing?
 
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Mike1995

I haven’t done a water change yet, I thought it might mess up my cycle, but now that my pH is dropping I guess I have too. My nitrates were around 40 for a while and in the last 3 days have risen significantly. I will do a large water change tomorrow, how long should I wait before testing?

I personally just wait till 12 hours or even just the next day to test. I would think a few hours would be fine though.
 
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