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Old 10-15-2004, 12:28 PM   #1
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Help with Weird Chemical Readings after Cycle

So, I started off my 94 gal tank by cycling with 100lbs of liverock. Everything seemed to go just about right, ammonia showed up, no2 showed up, then both disappeared. I measured No3 yesterday and it was 10 mg/L, so I was thinking it was a successful cycle, time for a water change and add some inverts....

Anyways, I did some more testing, calcium was a bit low, I can fix that.

pH was 7.9, not horrible but I should be able to add some SeaChem pH raiser and fix this.

The funky stat that came up was kH. The kit said kH should be between 100-120, and it read at 170. I want to add inverts, then add my big fish, what steps would you guys take to fix pH and kH and make the tank healthy?

Any advice would be appreciated.

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Old 10-15-2004, 04:07 PM   #2
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first off, never use stuff like chemical pH adjusters. It's like playing with fire...it might be ok...or it could wipe out the whole tank.

Let's start with your water source...what are you using - tap or R/O?
brand of salt mix?
have you added the sand yet? if so, was it argonite based sand?

Lastly, what brand of Kh test kit? 170ppm seems a little high for a pH of only 7.9.

Former advisor and planted tank geek...life's moved on though.
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Old 10-15-2004, 04:18 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response.

It's tap water with Instant Ocean salt.

The sand is crushed coral with aragonite.

I have the advanced Hagen test kit.
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Old 10-15-2004, 09:45 PM   #4
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Actually if it was a cronic low pH problem, maintaining higher alkalinity values would be advisable. An alk of 3.4 mEq/l is a tad higher than NSW but nothing to be concerned about. Anything maintained between 1.5-3 mEq/l would be within NSW but as high as 4 would be acceptable and should be balanced with Ca.

If the tank was just cycling I wouldn't be concerned but since the cycle is over (?) pH should begin to stabalize. In most all cases pH problems are rarely chemical in nature but rather environmental. Ambient room CO2 levels, glass/plastic lids sealing the tank top and/or insufficient GPH and surface aggitation are primary causes.

How do you have the tank set up and does the room get proper ventilation?

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