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I am having a problem with my PH in my AP system being very low and algea starting to bloom.  The FT's are painted black so I dont know why algea is forming and also cant figure out why the PH is so low.  The PH has stayed around 5.4 to 5.5 for the past week.  I used a mix of rain water and city water and for a while the ph was above 7 then dropped drastically after I added some blood meal.  Any suggestions on how to raise the PH and stop the algea bloom? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!  I also attatched a journal I have been keeping of my system so maybe someone with experience could take a look at it and see if I am doing something wrong.

Journal%20Spreadsheet.xlsx

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What is going on is that the bacteria are processing the ammonia and when they do this they produce an acidic bi-product that is steadily dropping your PH. You need to buffer that with something like Calcium Carbonate (Egg Shells) or Potassium Bicarbonate. You are in the danger zone which can actually harm your bacteria and fish so you need to act. As a short term solution you can go to a hydroponics supplier and get some PH Up which is a premixed buffer. You will want to raise your PH slowly as raising it too quickly can cause your fish die as the change in water chemistry can burn their gills. Raise it something like .5 per day. In the long run you can mix your own PH Up and save yourself a few dollars.

Hope that helps.

Thanks jonathan I appreciate the feedback.  Thankfully I am doing a fishless cycle so there are no fish to be in danger so I guess I will just get some potassium Bicarbonate to fix the problem.  Do you know how much i should dose per gallon?  I have over 1200 gallons of water in my system.  Thanks

You will have to add some and then check the PH in a few hours then add some more. It is hard to say but a little goes a long way. Pull out some system water into a 5 gallon bucket and you will find the ratio. A milliliter is 20 drops of a water based solution. I found that helpful to find ratios for my system.

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