tried to get system up and running for under $100 bucks. but soon realized that this wasnt actually about the money but the activity.... still figure im under $200 bucks and having a lot of fun.... and i love all the usefull information i continue to discover on this site.
my test system was built with 27g res and 27g gb, bell siphon , 90gph pump, lava rock on bottom and pea gravel on top probably a 60% pea gravel and bottom 40% lava rock..
I had a very well establised aquarium inside the house that is for the most part very well taken care and used fish water about 2 weeks prior to doing a 40 % water change when its usually at its best.rinsed the pea gravel and soaked the lava rock for a couple of days then added water and media to ap sys and cycled for three or four days n added my fish and planted 3 days after that.
lost a fish a day for 2 days and day three everybody was alive......
last 2 days i have been addressing PH probs being high and presume as a result of going on the cheap and not purchasing hydraton...
i will continue to post and hopefully develop some new ap friends in the bay area and score tons of great info from eveyone else
thanks for your interest in AP and time sharing and posting
what's wrong with home depot? for that matter, what's wrong with lava rocks? Or pea gravel?
high pH could be from the gravel if the pea gravel is actually limestone pea gravel. You can find out by putting a hand full of your pea gravel into a glass of vinegar and see if it fizzes. Limestone will fizz and bubble big time if put in vinegar.
High pH could also be from the source water. If your water is hard, then that will be where the high pH is coming from.