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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.

Please advise!!!

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My property manager that takes care of the tanks of rainbow trout uses baking soda and oyster shells.  Not to worry you will likely see people writing of using every thing but Frog Wort.

Thanks Phil for the vote of confidence. Jeremy, you shouldn't be using so much ph down. The system, when they are operating are naturally acidic and would require mostly the addition of a ph up solution. There is a great video on the aquapoincsource web site about this. I can look it up for you and I'll post it here.

How high was the pH before you started adjusting for it?

I'll leave it to the organic chemists to explain how the various chemicals interact but through my reading I am convinced that most of the additive suggestions lead to the ammonia spikes which are far worse than a high pH. The oyster shell suggestion is a best choice, slow and steady. My experience is limited as I only have one small system and it is young and it has a slightly high pH but the most logical recommendation I have found is that a correctly operated system will cause the pH to reduce naturally. So I am patiently keeping the natural balance in control, adjusting fish feeding to adjust ammonia output, enough plants and surface area to provide area for bacteria growth, and watching the plants for signs of stress, disease, or other problems. If you believe that the high pH is affecting plant growth than the oyster shell additive is a wise direction.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jb5oSzLXTwU
This is a good lesson of PH ....

My pH was originally at a 7 but it has bumped up to about 8. Right now I have a spike in everything. It's a new system and I'm new at this so I'm learning as I go. I just added some beneficial bacteria in hopes that it will help process the nitrites and ammonia. My nitrite levels are high, my ammonia levels are high and my pH levels are high. I will be cleaning my system in the event that a fish is floating somewhere and I'll also minimize their feeding schedule. 

 

About how long should it take for the oyster shells, beneficial bacteria & reduced feedings to really make an impact on my levels? 

 

Do I need to crush the oyster shells?

 

Thanks for your responses!!!

Yes please!!!

Maureen Hope Wall said:

Thanks Phil for the vote of confidence. Jeremy, you shouldn't be using so much ph down. The system, when they are operating are naturally acidic and would require mostly the addition of a ph up solution. There is a great video on the aquapoincsource web site about this. I can look it up for you and I'll post it here.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

Maureen Hope Wall said:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jb5oSzLXTwU
This is a good lesson of PH ....

Are you using well water? I live in the country and am on a well, the water comes out of the ground at a pH of 8. I went through bottle after bottle of General Hydroponics pH down. After my third bottle, I switched to the tub of G.H. pH down, as it is a much better deal and lasts much longer. As my system matured I found my self using less pH down (usually only when I do a partial water change).

Travis

yes, crushed oyster shells.  We rub them in our hands and let them drop in and we hang small, very small, openings mesh  bag of crushed oyster shells in each tank and leave it there.

The effect is pretty quick, but I cannot say how quick.  It has been over a year since I've done it.  The manager does everything.

I want a manager. lol.

Thanks Phil! Looks like our family will be taking a quick trip out to the beach. I know just the one too.

I am using well water. I've also been using the General Hydroponics pH down. After reviewing the youtube video that Maureen put up I'm switching to Phosphoric Acid. Apparently the G.H. pH down & the General Hydroponics pH down has citric acid which kills off bacteria (including beneficial bacteria). Time to make the switch :-)

Travis TadeWaldt said:

Are you using well water? I live in the country and am on a well, the water comes out of the ground at a pH of 8. I went through bottle after bottle of General Hydroponics pH down. After my third bottle, I switched to the tub of G.H. pH down, as it is a much better deal and lasts much longer. As my system matured I found my self using less pH down (usually only when I do a partial water change).

Travis

I get the shells on ebay.

I'm too old and too lame to do the work myself.

 

Yes, Jeremy, our well and rain water are pretty messed up as far as PH.

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