Nitrifying bacteria and water PH.

  1. potatogy Initiate Member

    Hi all.This is my first post and sorry if this isn't in the appropriate forum section.

    So i got my 40 gallon freshwater tank setup 5 weeks ago with 3 guppies,2 false julii corys, and a 3 inch pleco.During the cycle,i'm having trouble keeping my PH stable.Last week,my tank had a PH crash at one point(because i added driftwood) and PH plummeted to 5.5(my bad for not paying enough attention).I did my best to save it and did some water change. I did some research online and found that nitrifying bacteria stop converting waste and eventually die off if PH is below 6.5 and do best around PH 7.5-8.Is it true?Do I have to restart the whole cycle if my tank had a PH crash?If so, how do hobbyist maintain their tank biological filter while keeping low PH and softwater fish(eg Discus)?Do they let the fish adapt to higher PH and GH environment?

    Now i am still having trouble maintaining stable PH above 6.5. :;juggle
     
  2. Dragones5150918 Well Known Member Member

    Driftwood would not crash your pH like that. It will lower it yes, but it's only like .5 to 1ppm, and that takes a lot of time to drop, so people that do Black Water tanks add thing like peat moss and almond leaves to drop it to the lower levels. It's a totally different specialized cycle that use different bacteria.

    Yours sounds more like a KH (calcium carbonate) then the driftwood. With a crash it can kill off your bb because the water is to acidic to sustain them. One way to for sure know if it's a kh issue is a kh/GH test done. Some fish stores have them, but more the likely you will have to purchase one. You will have to test both your tap and tank. Another method that is just an indicator of kh problems, is to aerate a jar of water. Test your water pH before you aerate it, and then test your jar water an hour later after aeration. If the pH drops, it shows a high chance of low kh or other problems.

    What you can do for now is add crushed coral to your filter or sprinkle some in your tank. It will slowly raise your kh and pH. Or you can add shells, aragonite, or limestone to your tank in a decorative manor to also boost your kh.
     

  3. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    I did the same thing to one of my tanks. Moved to a new place where the water source had pretty much zero GH/KH and added a huge chunk of driftwood and a lot of plants. The KH wasn't there to stabilize my pH so it crashed.