Aquaponic Gardening

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Just started my AP garden last week and I cant seem to keep my pH down during cycling.  

I started out w/ water thru a dechlorinating filter into the tank that was at 7.8 pH.  I added half of a bottle pH down and it seemed to bring it down for a few days but now it just keeps climbing up.  I've added now a full quart bottle of pH down to my system over a week and its back up to 7.8pH.  BTW, I ignored the 2% citric acid because a local guy told me he uses it all the time and never kills his bacteria in cycling.  I also added media from a local aquaponics system to help w/ bacteria growth.

Anyways, at 10 days I've got 4ppm Ammonia, 0.5ppm Nitrite and 10ppm Nitrates!  But my pH is still high and I'm supposed to get fish in three days.

I made a CHOP2 system.  I have one 275 gallon fish tank, a 275 gallon sump tank (both filled) and three 4x3x1’ grow beds w/ bell siphons.  I built this w/ more water capacity to expand the garden and give me a better buffer for the fish. 

Any ideas on how to keep my pH down w/ out constantly adding a ton of pH down?  Or is this normal and I should just buy another bottle and keep going? 

Appreciate the guidance!  Cheers!

Lawless in San Diego

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