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 chronically low PH in all my systems :(

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shutterfish



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PostSubject: chronically low PH in all my systems :(   Sun Dec 25, 2011 12:50 pm

So how many of you deal with chronically low PH in your systems? I do not often check PH but I am setting up a 75 gallon tank and knew my 46 was always around 7.8/7.9ish so I put 80 lbs of aragonite sand into my 75 gallon tank, let it run for 6 weeks (with 125 pounds of live rock) and the PH is about 7.9.

I have never really experimented with buffers and boosters. I think I need to do a mix of raising alkalinity and PH- correct?

Whats the best way to do this? Will I have to dose my tanks constantly to get the PH up and stay up? Everything in my tanks look great but I assume there is a long term negative effect from low ph... or maybe a lot of people run low and its ok?
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badxgillen



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PostSubject: Re: chronically low PH in all my systems :(   Sun Dec 25, 2011 1:44 pm

now that you mention it i havent checked many of my tanks ph lately just my main tank and my rooms tank wich one is stable at about 8.2-8.4 and then my main tank is always running low.but i do believe my main tank is one that i expeiment with ,wich i know i shouldnt,and therefore i tend to slack on the water changes to have a controled perspective on what i am doing.i suppose i should check them after all this holiday crap.
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badxgillen



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PostSubject: Re: chronically low PH in all my systems :(   Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:14 pm

so a couple more of my systems have a lower PH than i would like and am not to sure at the moment as of why but i did grab a product that a couple of friends recomended for buffering a reef tanks PH.
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badxgillen



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PostSubject: Re: chronically low PH in all my systems :(   Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:15 am

so before i dose all the systems that have lower than optimal PH with this product i was wondering if anyone has had some good luck with baking soda?i have used it a long time ago for a fresh water tank but never with sensitive inverts such as corals. i have read about other peoples using it succesfully but i was hoping that someone might reasure me a little more so i can get the balls to just try it out.
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mvpaquatics



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PostSubject: Re: chronically low PH in all my systems :(   Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:10 am

Yes. Baked baking soda (sodium carbonate) The baking removes water and co2. This will raise the ph when added. Non baked baking soda (sodium bicarconate) contains the co2 still with slightly lower temporaily until co2 dissapates.

I use a combo of both. Usually 75% nonbaked to 25% baked per dose. Being that i have to dose so much baked baking soda would raise my ph too much. So i knock is back down with regular.

Here is a link. It is a go to in the hobby. Print it. Know it. Spread the word. And stock up on prestone drivewayheat now (calcum part) cuz you cant get it in summer

http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-02/rhf/index.php
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badxgillen



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PostSubject: Re: chronically low PH in all my systems :(   Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:59 pm

thanks a bunch Very Happy i certainly will be grabing some prestone once i get this figured out.now to test a tank with the proper dosage.
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theRedSkull



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PostSubject: Re: chronically low PH in all my systems :(   Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:59 pm

i got several bottles of reef buffer i got through forgotten means, does that have anything to do with this?
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badxgillen



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PostSubject: Re: chronically low PH in all my systems :(   Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:57 pm

i dont know does it? Rolling Eyes so i ended up using the seachems Marine Buffer since i had already purchased it and it has some pretty crazy claims.
in a day it has already started to raise the PH but this can take any where from a few days to a couple weeks depending on the tank.so far so good.
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badxgillen



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PostSubject: Re: chronically low PH in all my systems :(   Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:29 am

so i got the PH up to 8.1 in a reasonably quick rate.this stuff works pretty well.now i will have to see how long it takes for the PH to lower again but the product claims it should become less reliant on the doses once the PH has reached the 8.3 mark.
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shutterfish



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PostSubject: Re: chronically low PH in all my systems :(   Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:10 pm

So I realized I have been testing my systems in the morning when PH is lowest. It is probably 7.8 or 7.9 in the mornings (hard to tell exactly). But check this out- in the evening after a day of light my ph is about 8.1



I tested my calcium and magnesium and both were great. I checked my KH and it was just a little low... So I assume adding a buffer to get my KH up a little wold potentially shift my swing to about 7.9/8.0 to 8.1/8.2?

Is that an acceptable swing? I have growth in my tank but it isnt amazing or anything... except for my hydnophora... holy cow that thing grows fast...
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badxgillen



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PostSubject: Re: chronically low PH in all my systems :(   Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:49 pm

i have talked to several other people in regards to this and a flux of .3 doesnt seem to be uncommon.the funny thing is a few of the people who were not having any PH problems tried testing there PH in the morningafter i had mentioned this to them and sure enough a couple of them had low PH in the morning and they never knew it.although this isnt always the case it seems that this isnt somthing to worry about too much if your KH is up there.
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mvpaquatics



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PostSubject: Re: chronically low PH in all my systems :(   Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:05 pm

My view is. 7.8 is too low and 8.4 is too high. Anything in between is fine. 8.2 being optimum, but consistancy is the main thing. Dont let it yoyo around. A .3 swing is normal. Nothing more
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shutterfish



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PostSubject: Re: chronically low PH in all my systems :(   Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:15 pm

So I will use my reef builder buffer to get the low end of my PH up a bit and I will see how it stabilizes and report back here in a couple weeks.

Mike does your PH swing? And is the only other way to avoid this to have a lighted refugium during the nighttime hours?

What is the ocean's PH shift at night?
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shutterfish



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PostSubject: Re: chronically low PH in all my systems :(   Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:39 pm

i just checked my newly set up 75 (3 months old) and this morning it has a PH of 8.1. Sweeeeet. I hadnt been testing morning PH in that one.
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mvpaquatics



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PostSubject: Re: chronically low PH in all my systems :(   Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:01 pm

shutterfish wrote:
So I will use my reef builder buffer to get the low end of my PH up a bit and I will see how it stabilizes and report back here in a couple weeks.

Mike does your PH swing? And is the only other way to avoid this to have a lighted refugium during the nighttime hours?

What is the ocean's PH shift at night?

Yes mine swings...I have a LARGE amount of bioload and no sandbed...I have to dose like crazy, even when I had my calcium reactor on, to keep the buffer system up.

Alkalinity IS your buffer system. A "buffered" system (one with a proper amount of alkalinity), with have the best resistance to pH change.The buffers in the aquarium is the carbonic acid-bicarbonate-carbonate reactions.

No, in our terms the pH in the ocean doesnt shift...that is what we are trying to accomplish and replicate. Maybe is some finite local areas there may be some local pH shifts but for ours senses no.
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mvpaquatics



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PostSubject: Re: chronically low PH in all my systems :(   Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:04 pm

also, the lower your alkalinity value is....the higher your pH swing will be...

I can just look at my pH monitor and watch the swing and pretty much tell you what my Alk value is....and then if I have kept up on my magnesium dose...I can also guess my calcium value.

If my monitor says 7.7-7.8 in the am (bad), means I havent dosed in a few days and my alk is probably around 5-6 (bad). This means if I have kept up on my mag dosing, my calcium is probably around 360 (not horrible but bad). If I havent kept up on my mag doses then I can't guess the calcium dose because the magnesium keeps the ionic balance between cal-alk.

I think, and I know kyle (badguitarist) agrees, that calcium reactors should be called alkalinity reactors. They are providing your buffer for you, calcium is more of a bi-product of that reaction.
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shutterfish



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PostSubject: Re: chronically low PH in all my systems :(   Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:47 am

i need to get my PH reader working. I have a nice one for my apex but i have tried and tried and tried to calibrate it and never succeeded... so it is a wasted piece of expensive equipment at this point. Maybe I should call the company...

I'll work on my buffering...
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mvpaquatics



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PostSubject: Re: chronically low PH in all my systems :(   Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:28 pm

I am not a big fan of apex or any controller. They will never be at my trained eye. I can count at least hhalf a dozen people that i have been to their house and pointed out problems that their controller says is ok but really isnt. They are false hope. Almost all of the people with controller didnt even know you were supposed to calibrate. The comouter worls doesnt have a place in reef keeping as far as i am concerned. Keep it simple
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shutterfish



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PostSubject: Re: chronically low PH in all my systems :(   Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:33 pm

I actually like them the most for controlling my lights and heaters and being able to set my heater to go on and off during a range (on at 77, off at 78)... and then a dependancy on my halides (if the temp gets to 83 I have the halides auto turn off). Stuff like that has really helped keep my systems from overheating and at a pretty steady temperature. That's gotta be pretty beneficial I would think?

What do you check your ph with?
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mvpaquatics



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PostSubject: Re: chronically low PH in all my systems :(   Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:42 pm

That is one thing the controller are useful for is an extra heater control but is very spendy to do just that. I have just heard so.many issues with them. A few people have their chillers turn on way before they are supposed to and have the heater on to, like they just ignore the thermostats. I see way too many help threads on them, its reef keeping not comouter science. Haha. It would take me longer to diagnose the controller than to just adjust the tank, but then again i dont do computers and reef keeping is almost second nature, maybe it would be different if that were opposite

I have test kits for pH. But i have 2 monitors by milwuakee that are rediculously accurate. And another 200$ handheld probe by hanna that never has to be replaced (most ph probes you are supposed to replace the whole probe from time to time) it also does tds. I have all the calibration stuff. Its cheap. I do calibrate monthly but have never needed to adjust. Cheap $30 probes need to be calibrated every use.
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shutterfish



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PostSubject: Re: chronically low PH in all my systems :(   Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:47 pm

yeah it is spendy for temp control thats for damn sure... I was hoping to do more with them. I may have to look into some other equipment for monitoring... trying to keep it cheap though! And you are right, those $70 probes are supposed to be replaced every couple of years and that gets expensive too
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PostSubject: Re: chronically low PH in all my systems :(   Today at 12:49 pm

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