Tank Not Cycling, I Think It's Because Of The Ph And Water Hardness

  1. cosentik Member Member

    So I have been having a lot of issues getting my 20g high to cycle. Ive had it for 3 months and all I ever get is high ammonia, no nitrites or nitrates. The guy at my lfs is at a loss as to why after explaining everything I have done to him.

    After doing some more research, I'm wondering if my pH could be the reason my bacteria won't grow? It's at around 6.5/6.4. I think it needs to be neutral or basic or the bacteria will die, right?

    I started to cycle a 10g aquarium, actually got some nitrite readings one day, and the next day they were gone. My tap water is around the same as my tank water at about 6.5 pH. Maybe the tap is killing the bacteria?

    How could I raise the pH in my tank?
  2. Philippians 4:13 Well Known Member Member

    Nitrites at 0 are a good thing..... Are you against using bottled bacteria "jump start" products? Because if you aren't; Tetra SafeStart Plus is a GREAT product and gets your tank cycled in about 2 weeks. Mine worked great for my 29 gallon.

  3. Philippians 4:13 Well Known Member Member

    Also, If you just want to get your Ph in check, Tetra has another product, called EasyBalance, that works to get your Ph at the right level, and to stay at the right level. Hope this helps!
  4. cosentik Member Member

    Well I know that for the cycle to have taken place I should have seen nitrites at some point followed by some nitrates and no ammonia. This indicates that the bacteria have taken hold, but I've never seen any indication of nitrites or nitrates. Only constantly high (2-4 ppm) ammonia levels. I've used tetra safe start and seachem stability, both with no luck.

  5. sweendog87 Member Member

  6. Tsin21 Member Member

    Is your tank heavily planted? if yes, what is the substrate? In my experience, ADA Amazonia is leaching ammonia.
  7. sweendog87 Member Member

    But why isn't there nitrites consuming it.?and so on

  8. cosentik Member Member

    It's planted, but I don't know if I'd consider it heavily planted. I've got 5 java ferns, 2 Amazon swords, and some others I can't remember the name of. I use caribsea eco complete as the substrate poured on top of a 1 inch layer of gravel substrate(whatever the petco brand of that is).
  9. Tsin21 Member Member

    I found nothing online about eco complete leaching ammonia. However, ammonia can also come from decaying plant materials or overfeeding. To raise the ph, you can put some dolomite, shells or cuttlebone to adjust the water hardness.