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pH help

Discussion in 'Tank Chemistry' started by ryewalk84, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. ryewalk84

    ryewalk84 Copepod

    Ever since moving to a new apartment I have been having difficulty with my pH. It always stays below 8, unless I open a window and then it’ll spike. Sometimes from 7.8-8.3+ I talked with aquatic art and they advised me to focus on alkalinity. I have been dosing alk for the past week and have noticed a little bit of stability (probably too soon to tell). The pump doses at midnight 3 and 6. What I’ve noticed is there has been this reoccurring. Plunge after the third dose. Can anyone tell me why? Last dose happened and then at 7:50, Right before lights come on at 8, I went from 7.88 till it flat lined at 10:50 and then began to clime. This has happened the last 3 days.
  2. TheRealChrisBrown

    TheRealChrisBrown Tuna Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    How are you measuring your pH?
  3. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    Take the PH probe off of the tank and forget that they exist. They just cause more damage than good. The PH spikes with the windows open since you are replacing the CO2 filled air with air with less CO2 in it - this is the best way to bring PH up and the only sustainable solution without lots of equipment and chemicals. Without knowing how you are supplementing alk, it is hard to say, but bicarbonate (baking soda) has a bit of co2 in it that temp will lower PH, but it comes right back. Also, the middle of the night is the lowest time for PH - dose at the end of the day if it makes you feel better. You can also use carbonate (washing soda) instead of bicarbonate (baking soda) if you don't want any CO2.

    Just test alk and don't worry about PH. People have crashed tanks chasing PH and never caught it... those that did catch the PH never noticed any real difference.
    Sour137 likes this.
  4. Balz3352

    Balz3352 Marlin M.A.S.C Club Member

    I agree with jda and AA. Ph isnt as crucial as people make it out to be as long as its stable and within a range its fine. Definitely don't go chasing it. Alk, calc amd mag to a point are what you should be worrying about
  5. ryewalk84

    ryewalk84 Copepod

    I found it odd that it was dropping as soon as the lights would come on. I took aquatic arts advice and have just been focusing on alk. Right now it’s dosing 4 times throughout the night. My baking soda has been baked so all of the co2 has been burned off and it raises the ph a tiny bit each time it’s dosed.
  6. ReefCheif

    ReefCheif Shark Platinum Sponsor M.A.S.C Club Member

    Just monitor Alk like JDA says above. If you try to chase PH your just gonna drive yourself nuts. Maintain a stable alk level and you can forget about PH all together
  7. ryewalk84

    ryewalk84 Copepod

    Everything that I've read says not to dose alk without dosing calcium along with it. My calcium never seems to drop and is always 460+. I've been dosing and testing alk daily for 1.5 weeks and its been sitting at 7 or 8 dkh. I'm trying to get it up to at least 9 or 10, so increasing the dosing slowly every few days. As long as the calcium is staying where I want it should I worry about it? or should I focus on keeping that as stable as possible?
  8. BrianH

    BrianH Prawn M.A.S.C Club Member ex-officio

    Stable as possible is the key to this. 460 calcium is fine. 7-8 Alk is fine. What is your magnesium level?

    FYI the only times I have crashed my tank is when I was trying to change my alkalinity. It was down to 6 dkh one time and the corals were fine because the alkaliniy was stable (at 6). I thought that 6 was "bad" so I increased my alk dosing.... and killed my corals. Stability is key. If you must mess with it go very very slow (1 dkh change every 2 weeks or so). I keep a pile of my dead coral skeletons near my tank to remind me of this.
  9. ryewalk84

    ryewalk84 Copepod

    Magnesium is currently at 1410.
  10. BrianH

    BrianH Prawn M.A.S.C Club Member ex-officio

    Lots of people have lots of success with the parameters you have in your tank. My personal opinion is leave everything where it is and dose only to maintain those parameters.
    Balz3352 likes this.
  11. mwirth1

    mwirth1 Copepod

    Good info in the responses here.

    As mentioned, CO2 plays a large role in pH. Which in-itself depends on multiple factors, such as:
    Apartment size (big place to small apartment => higher levels of CO2 than previously experienced, especially in the winter when your windows are always closed)
    Alkalinity - Alkalinity is your buffering capacity. Low alkalinity means you are susceptible to larger pH swings with just minor adjustments (Such as high CO2 levels in your apartment lowering your pH [and raising your pH when you open windows due to CO2 concentration being reduced], or adding a hydroxide [OH-] to increase your pH). Higher alkalinity will reduce the severity of these pH swings.

    Do you have a refugium?
    Plants uptake CO2, therefore driving your pH higher in a natural way instead of adding chemicals.

    In regards to Calcium: Do not dose this until your alkalinity is stable. Keep measuring calcium and don't dose until it drops. The main reason you'd need to dose calcium is if you have lots of hard coral or coraline algae growth. They need CaCO3 to build their skeleton. If your alkalinity isn't stable, the coral isn't thriving and will have poor growth. If the coral isn't growing and you dose calcium, it will end up precipitating out of solution (now you are wasting chemicals).

    Read this: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-04/rhf/feature/index.php

    Don't adjust pH, alkalinity, or calcium to an arbitrary target. Keep them stable and you will have a happy tank.
    Read this: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-04/rhf/feature/index.php
  12. ryewalk84

    ryewalk84 Copepod

    I have only been dosing alk and it has been fairly stable throughout. I haven’t got it dialed in fully yet but it’s getting there. I have been able to track my pH drop to the opening of the bedroom doors in the morning. I would have never thought that the opening of the doors would have that significant and immediate change in pH.

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