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My 8.5 PH has not dropped for 7 weeks of fishless cycling. Have hoped it would drop as have heard many times will be high for cycle up. Yesterday added fish. Have been running with low ammonia and Nitrate 40ppm. Seems to be cycling through good. My tap water is 8.4, when I originally tested it was 7.4 so though I would be ok. My river rock did not foam up with vinegar when originally tested. Have added muriatic dosing to drop ph about .2 ocassionally. Yesterday dosed to 8.3, today down to 8.1. Will probably buffer back up though. My ferrocement tank is pool painted so should seal? With luck maybe will drop later as I've heard theses systems can run high at first. Had algae 1 month ago, pretty much gone since then. Any ideas or input appreciated? Hope I'm not dead in the water after all this project build.

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It could be marl clay I will test some more in a.m. I see very few pieces of the claylike stone in there. That's a good idea TC, dose one tank at a time. Again my water in plastic jug for ph meter storage tests at 8.5. So you were maybe right the 1st time TC about just the water being very high ph. Do you think I can kinda eliminate the tank being as it didn't fizz up with the acid??

If it didn't seem to react much then it probably isn't causing a huge issue.  Only question might be if there is a part of the tank not as well coated as the part you tested? 

You might see if you can adjust your top up water with acid before you use it to top up your system and see if that has much affect.

What kind of a system is it? 

Its flood and drain gravel beds at present. Now that the rainy season is over I'm finding all the extra sunlight (and very few plants to shade growbeds) is causing algae to raise the ph in the pm. Don't let anyone tell you this is easy.

I'm finding that you must have covering from the rain. Is the algae in the Growbed or fish tank? 

steve said:

Its flood and drain gravel beds at present. Now that the rainy season is over I'm finding all the extra sunlight (and very few plants to shade growbeds) is causing algae to raise the ph in the pm. Don't let anyone tell you this is easy.

Mike, Yeah my tank is covered. A couple days ago I trimmed standpipes down another half inch. Was seeing moisture on top of gravel. Now a bit drier on top, also covered areas where water inflows to beds, was getting a bit green. My tank is greenish, cannot see down 3 ft. Probably kinda good for the Tilapia. PH sucks for trying to grow plants though.

I don't think the algae is all that good for the fish. Takes oxygen out of the water. My guess is once the algae is gone the ph will stablize.

steve said:

Mike, Yeah my tank is covered. A couple days ago I trimmed standpipes down another half inch. Was seeing moisture on top of gravel. Now a bit drier on top, also covered areas where water inflows to beds, was getting a bit green. My tank is greenish, cannot see down 3 ft. Probably kinda good for the Tilapia. PH sucks for trying to grow plants though.

During the day the algae will actually take carbon dioxide out of the water and put oxygen into the water and the pH will rise through the day.  It is at night that the danger of algae really shows since when there is no sun the plants will use the dissolved oxygen and give off carbon dioxide and the pH will fall.  The overnight period is when algae is dangerous and if the algae bloom is extensive one might want to check on their fish before dawn to make sure they are not gasping at the surface for air (that would be an emergency indicator that one needs much more aeration overnight and to get rid of the algae to keep things from getting worse.)

Since my week-old 130 gallon system seems to be stable in the ph 8 range (photos of daily tests on Facebook page) would there be any problem daily dosing the system with 5 ml of muriatic acid.  There are no fish in the system. I have been just adding about a tablespoon of cold pressed sea weed extract every couple days. 5 ml brings the pH down into the 6.5 range, but then in 12 hours it's back up to 8-ish again.

 

What is your media and is there anything else in the system that might be buffering it?  If you have limestone gravel in your system, you won't be able to get a stable pH down in a lower range.

 

Bouncing your pH from 8 down to 6.5 and back up to 8 every day is not good for bacteria, fish or plants so this is not going to be a long term solution.  However, if your pH is simply high because of really hard tap water, then after a certain number of doses your pH should eventually stay down.  This is where I would usually recommend doing a tap water pH adjustment experiment in a separate container (like 5 gallon bucket or 55 gallon barrel) so you can learn how much acid it will take to get your tap water adjusted before you go to use it in your system.

 

This is where I would also recommend starting to collect rain water as much as you can since constantly adjusting the pH of your top up water is going to mean an over abundance of calcium in your system which may have detrimental effects on the availability of potassium for your plants.

Media:   red lava rock:  lower third of bed.  Hydroton upper 2/3rds.  That all that's in it, except for the bucket of pea gravel that K Edmonds gave me to inoculate my system from his.  See attached photo:   Rain water collection will probably have to wait until next Spring since we're moving into winter now.  But will save any snow we get.  In the meantime, what about keeping balanced with muriatic acid?

 

My reading this morning 7.9 Yea! Finally under 8. 2 days ago it dropped to 8, without any adjustments as ran out of acid.I realize its probably 8.3 now after sunshine on algae today but does seem to be finally adjusting. I'm hoping the large volume of water delayed the drop. Also working on other options to top off with adjusted water. Also to acid bath my gravel, with this hard water will need all to do everything possible to keep down. Also some log in tank just not sure which kind as some are quite bug resistant like cedar and maybe toxic I'd think. Wonder if bags of grass would help? Not that kind silly.

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