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Old 08-17-2017, 01:07 PM   #1
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Ph keeps crashing- fishless cycle

I've been running my cycle for about 3 weeks. The tank is a 5 gallon (probably closer to 4.5). I was able to seed it with some filter material and decorations from my existing 10 gallon. I've been dosing with Ammonia up to 4ppm. Everything seemed to be going well, NitrItes showing up, followed by NitrAtes, both were maxed out on my test kit so I did a 50% water change. I started dosing ammonia to 2ppm every 12 hours and was able to clear that down to 0ppm each 12 hour period for a while. Then I noticed the Ph crash, NitrItes and NitrAtes still maxed out. I did another water change which brought the ph from 6 to about 6.4, the next morning back down to 6. I added some baking soda to keep the cycle going, this worked for the Ph, but my NitrItes still won't come down. Both NitrItes and NitrAtes maxed out again a couple days later so I did another water change (too many?) and took out the drift wood I had in case that was causing the problem. This morning my Ph dropped again back down to 6. I'm totally confused as to what to do. Any advice would be appreciated!
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Old 08-17-2017, 01:31 PM   #2
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Two things.

Use more baking soda. Since there are no fish in the tank it doesn't matter what kh/ph is as long as you enough enough buffering capacity so add it whenever you do a water change. You are impacting your cycle if your ph drops too low.

Next, unless you are going to be putting some crazy fish load in that 5g tank on day one there is no reason to dose 2ppm of ammonia every 12 hours. Especially at this stage in the cycle. Drop it down to 1 ppm per day until your nitrites start to drop. You can always increase it then if you want to.
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Old 08-17-2017, 02:58 PM   #3
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Throw away the baking soda and add a bit of coral/aragonite. Ph will stabilize.
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