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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On my 125 that is cycling, I noticed that after a few days with high nitrites and ammonia turning around after 24 hours, that my cycle stalled, with no nitrites being registered and the ammonia taking 3-4 days to reduce. I tested the PH and found it to be 6 and possibly lower. This is the 2nd time this has occurred. I have a Seachem "alkaline buffer" product that I'll add when this happens, and sure enough, today my ammonia is back to zero and the nitrites are high.

My water is really soft. KH is 2 and GH is between 55-75 (3-4 drops on the GH test). I have a lot of driftwood in the tank as well. (see attached pic)

Aside from the Seachem product, is there a way to get the hardness raised up some to help keep the PH stable? The fish that will be going in here will like the softer and acidic water, but I'd like to get the ph stable at around 6.4 or so. Would using a pool product like calcium chloride help? I have that on hand for my pool.

My tap water comes out at 7.2 and just about zero hardness as we have a water softener on the house.

20180626_163253.jpg
 

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Do you have a faucet you can use that does not have softened water? Maybe run a hose from outside?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No, I can bypass the system but I don't like to do that. Then my problem is the water is too hard. I turned it off when I filled my African tank.
 

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You can add baking soda until you reach the desired ph. The baking soda will raise your kh and the ph will max out at around 8.2-8.4
 

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Dan, is this the same tank in your Fishless Cycling topic?

What fish are you planning on stocking that would require such exacting water parameters? I see you mentioned Geophagus 'red head' in your other topic along with other possible tank mates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It is the same tank. It'll be an Angelfish type community tank. 6-8 Angels, couple dozen Cardinal Tetras, couple pairs of Appistos, half a dozen corys, couple of the Geos, 1-2 gold BN Plecos. Nothing that is TOO exact but I want the conditions to be optimum for the fish. That said, stability is more important than soft water and low ph, so if I can come up with a compromise between hardness and PH and optimum conditions for the fish, that's what I'm looking for.
 

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Thanks Dan!!

What is the tap water results for pH, GH (hardness) and KH (alkalinity) before and after your water softener? It might be easier to show both results in one post for comparison purposes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'd have to bypass the softener system and then run out water for a while to get an accurate reading of the pre softener ph and hardness. I know it was hard when we had it tested prior to installing it 10 years ago- calcium deposits etc.

Post conditioner ph 6.6 kh 0-1, gh 0-1 (one drop of each test changed the color)
 

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Well that is definitely a pain in the behind!! I'm surprised you don't have an outside faucet not on the softened/conditioned water though that would require you to combine both inside and outside cold water to possibly get you where you want to be.

I'll let others make more suggestions since I only keep fish that match my well water parameters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think our town will install an outside one that is on a separate meter because you get billed for sewage by how much water you use. So when I fill my pool in spring and water the garden, I'm getting billed for that water as sewage.

It wouldn't really help in the winter though. As it is now I've been doing the water changes on the tank with the garden hose from out front, dragging it into the family room. I'm using an old pump that I use to pump water off the pool cover to do the water removal, run it's hose out the back door into the yard. Too many 5 gallon buckets!
 
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