I'm not understanding how to use Amazonia and and co2 correctly

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Improperbeard

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Apr 30, 2020
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So, I was cycling my tank a week without co2 and my pH was around 6.8. Bacteria colony was forming.

Then I started injecting co2 at about one bubble per second (starting small).

My pH is now 6.0 (at least that's the lowest my api test kit goes).

Doesn't this kill off the beneficial bacteria? How am I supposed to cycle my tank with the water is that acidic. I have no fish currently. Ammonia was at .25 ppm but is now at .5. I'm assuming my colony is dying off.

I tied a half cup of crushed coral and put it into my filter to raise pH. Is it supposed to be that low? I have a heavily planted tank.

What am I doing wrong?
 

the loach

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What size is the tank? How many and what kind of fish are in it? When was it set up? What is the KH?
In a heavily planted tank, especially when the pH is lower as 7, there are very little nitrifying bacteria but that isn't an issue as the plants use the ammonium.
 
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Improperbeard

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30 gallon tank
Zero fish.

Set up a week ago with sponges from older filter/nitrifying bacteria added. Amazonia soil releases ammonia naturally by design so i was using that to cycle.

I don't know how to measure the kh. :( I have the API test kit, not the strips.

I'm not scared of the ammonia per se. I'm more scared that my pH is so low. I'm hoping the crushed coral will raise it up to around 6.8.

Does Amazonia soil stop releasing ammonia/lower pH?
 

the loach

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Stop using the CO2 until you get a KH test kit. You need the kit to determine which pH to aim at.
 

the loach

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Impossible to know without a KH test kit.
You can't do CO2 without both pH and KH test kits.
 

Improperbeard

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Yesterday I put coral in a mesh bag. Here are my numbers

Gh can't tell if it's 60 or 120
Kh is around 80
Ph went to 6.5
Nitrite is 3
Nitrate 0

I think the pH is better now. Is the kh and gh ok?
 

the loach

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No, you are injecting dangerous levels of CO2 and the coral is making it worse. Get the coral out and dial back the CO2, aim for a pH of 7.
 

Improperbeard

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I'm sorry, I'm so confused. My ph was at <6 before with just co2 and Amazonia, and with the coral it's 6.5, so why is it making it worse if I'm trying to aim for seven? This whole thing is confusing to me :(

The co2 ran at one drip per second for 8 hours. How long do you recommend I run it?

Also my tanks only a week old. I attached a pic. What do you recommend the kh to be ___ ppm?

Thanks for the answers.

IMG_20200501_194342.jpg
 

the loach

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Tank looks nice. You shouldn't alter your KH, it is fine as it is. When you increase the KH with coral, you're going to increase the amount of CO2 the water will hold. You are already at dangerous levels. Then you're injecting way too much CO2 in there, that will also cause the pH to drop, while increasing the KH, it will make the problem even worse because of the pH/KH/CO2 relation.
So take the coral out, do 1 drip every 2 seconds, keep monitoring the KH and pH so it is stable and at the right level before you get fish in there. When the pH is lower as 7, make it drip slower until you get it at about 7. Make sure to test the pH at the same time every day, when the lights come on, and when they go out. It is normal there is a difference (this depends on a lot of factors) but it shouldn't be huge.
 
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