The good news: My system has a healthy amount of nitrates for my plants to eat.
The bad news: I have used a ton of PH down and my PH is still too high! This is causing my system to have a spike in the ammonia levels.
Check that your media source doesn't have limestone as this will never let the pH get where you want it. As Maureen said most systems will tend to more acidic so there is something fundamental in your system holding the pH high.
Our well and rain water are both pretty high PH readings here in Kitsap County where both Jeremy and I live.
I just purchased some aquadown (phosphoric acid) yesterday. According to the video that Maureen posted, a standard hydroponic pH down should not be used (in the event that it contains citric acid). Citric acid is an anti-bacterial acid and we know how much we like our beneficial bacteria! Our rain water and well waters do have a pretty high pH as Phil said. Linda, I did check for limestone using the vinegar method that was once described to me. Perhaps I did it wrong. I will check again very soon. I definitely hope that this isn't the case because my beds are packed with pea gravel, along with about 15 gallons of hydroton. It would be such a shame to end up having to filter out the pea gravel from the hydroton. I will keep you all posted on progress. THANKS TO ALL!!! You guys are life savers!!!
Great news!!! My pH is slowly but surely coming down. My ammonia/ammonium levels are coming down. My nitrite levels are stable. My nitrate levels are PERFECT!!! My fish are happy. My plants are happy. And I am VERY HAPPY!!! I couldn't have dialed it in without all of you who provided me with such excellent and experienced advise. A sincere thank you for all that you all do!!! Pictures to come soon :)