Ph Change During Cycling

Discussion in 'pH' started by CDJohnson, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. CDJohnsonNew MemberMember

    I am doing a fish less cycle of a 45 gallon tank. I am curious why the pH would be rising. I have driftwood, playsand (which I thought would be inert), and plants. The water from the tap (that sat in a bucket overnight with Prime) is around 7.6, but the last couple of tests I have done with the tank water was at 8.2. I thought it might be caused by ammonia, but it's only at 0.5...?
  2. Momgoose56Well Known MemberMember

    Hi CD, Bear with me (us) I have a bunch of questions before I can offer any informed answers.
    What are all your tank parameters ie ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates now?
    What ammonia source are you using to cycle your tank ie Ammonia, fish food, meat or something else?
    Did you add any source of nitrifying bacteria to the tank?
    What rocks, kinds of decorations and filter media are you using?
    What kind and size of filter are you using?
    What are you adding to your water while your tank is cycling (besides your ammonia source you answered above) ie fertilizers for plants, water conditioners etc. how often and how much?
    Do you have a test kit for water GH and KH? (really good params to know, but okay if you don't)
    Thanks! That'll help me get an idea why your pH might be rising.
  3. CDJohnsonNew MemberMember

    Ammonia is 0.5, Nitrate is 0, I don't have a way of testing Nitrites at the moment.
    I am using bloodworms and flake food for an ammonia source (a pinch a day for the last couple weeks).
    I used a sponge from an old hob filter on the intake of a aquaclear 50 and recently added an underwater filter (designed for a 20 gallon tank) to increase the water flow.
    I used prime when I initially filled the tank, but haven't really change the water since (except for topping the water off a little to compensate for evaporation). I have added 2 or 3 drops of Flourish twice a week for rhe Anubias.
    There is driftwood, playsand and Anubias.
    I don't have a way to test the hardness. Out of the tap the TDS should be around 180 (according to the city testing).
  4. Momgoose56Well Known MemberMember

    The only thing I can figure then is that either the fluorish is doing it (even though Seachem says it doesn't raise pH, I've seen dozens of other people say their pH rose as much as .5) or the fact that you haven't changed the water, the pH has risen because of evaporation. A pH of 8.0 to 8.4 though is good for now, the nitrifying bacteria will grow better at that pH. You might think about getting a good water test kit like the API, Marin or Fluval Master test kit (test strips aren't as reliable as a liquid test kit and can be compromised by prolonged exposure to air, humidity etc.) They really are helpful with diagnosing and handling tank problems (like algae, sick fish, sick plants etc.) and a liquid GH/KH test kit really helps with figuring out problems like the pH fluctuations you're having. A lot happens to water between the site the city obtained water for testing and your faucet.
    Good luck with the cycling and welcome to Fishlore!
  5. CDJohnsonNew MemberMember

    I have the API master kit. I guess I'll let some sand sit in a container of water and test it in a bit.
    Thanks for your thoughts.
  6. Momgoose56Well Known MemberMember

    Sand? o_OJust test the tank water. What's this bizness with sand? Sand won't make a difference.
  7. SkavatarWell Known MemberMember