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I have a small 40 gal system I've been cycling for a week and after adding the ammonia, a day or so later, the PH dropped to around 6.2.  I've been reading about adding rock salt to boost the PH, but also read that the nitrites may suffer with the sodium chloride.  Suggestions?

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sodium chloride won't change your pH. If it were me I would use potassium hydroxide or potassium bicarbonate to shift pH upwards.

It is a good sign the PH dropped. Have you tested for nitrite? Salt is not good for your plants, so avoid it unless you have sick fish that need attention. In addition to what Jeffrey suggested you can use calcium carbonate (egg shells). Crush some up and put it in a stocking and let the water run over it.

Salt is just fine for your plants. 1000 to 1500ppm (1ppt to 1.5ppt) and even higher causes absolutely no problems whatsoever.

But salt will not do anything for your pH...Nor is salt used for anything pH related (not sure where you got that idea Dan, but you can discard that notion :)

Since you are cycling, I'd suggest a carbonate/bicarbonate substance to raise pH, rather than a hydroxide. Eggshells are fine, but it can take a good looong time for them to kick in. Potassium bicarbonate (KHCO3) would be a good choice in the meantime...Later on if you want to use a hydroxide, or eggshells...go for it...but right now your nitrifiers need a MINIMUM carbonate hardness (kH) value of 40ppm and a pH well above 7 would be of great benefit to get them to "go forth and multiply...

Thanks for the help.  Was hoping you would write in.
 
Vlad Jovanovic said:

Salt is just fine for your plants. 1000 to 1500ppm (1ppt to 1.5ppt) and even higher causes absolutely no problems whatsoever.

But salt will not do anything for your pH...Nor is salt used for anything pH related (not sure where you got that idea Dan, but you can discard that notion

Since you are cycling, I'd suggest a carbonate/bicarbonate substance to raise pH, rather than a hydroxide. Eggshells are fine, but it can take a good looong time for them to kick in. Potassium bicarbonate (KHCO3) would be a good choice in the meantime...Later on if you want to use a hydroxide, or eggshells...go for it...but right now your nitrifiers need a MINIMUM carbonate hardness (kH) value of 40ppm and a pH well above 7 would be of great benefit to get them to "go forth and multiply...

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