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  1. #1
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    newbie question about ph adjustments

    hello all! i posted a while back about an idea of starting a small reef tank, ended up having to put it on hold as i had a good deal on a motorcycle that i couldn't pass up (a 1982 yamaha maxim 650, standard class for anyone who rides)

    but now that i've stabilized a bit, i've actually gotten the 'nano' back on track, i've got a 25 gallon set up now, no LR or anything, but i have mixed the water (distilled mixed with instant ocean), and added the substrate (aragonite), has cleared up a couple of days ago.

    my (first) question is: i'm having issues with holding the ph at 8.2, it's quite happy to sit at 7.8, has been for several days. this is partially why i've held off on the rock, i'd like the tank to be stable at 1.024 sg and 8.2 ph before i add anything... oh, temp is solid at 80*f, day and night if this helps.

    i've added some baking soda (1 tsp) as per the CMA (fenner) to raise the alk a bit, did not really shift the ph, maybe by .1 or .05, and i dont' want to start with kalk or anything if i don't need to.

    ideas on how to stabilize the ph in a safe manner? should i just add the rock, and have this balance it out? i've been searching on the web but haven't found anything directly relating to this.

    once i actually have something worth looking at i'll post pics.

    thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member volitan's Avatar
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    I added some crushed coral sand to my tank and it helped alot.I also add some ph buffer that buffs it out.to 8.3 everytime i either add water or do a water change.You take some water out of your tank and into a bucket and with alittle powerhead or something add some ph marine 8.3 buffer and wix it good and dump it back in your tank.
    Derik...

  3. #3
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    nice.. reply in under an hour! thanks volitan!

    i've been hesitant to mess with buffers just because of the stigma they have in FW (not needed, if anything risky unless you have tanganyikans etc..) but i probably need to re-adjust my line of thought a little..

    hey, another reason to go the LFS! works for me! i'll check it out after work and post my results tomorrow...

    if anyone else has any other ideas, feel free to add them!

  4. #4
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    Nano's are eaiser to throw out of whack chemically. I'd be cautious about adding chemicals to the water out of hand. If a test showed up with a lack then sure.

    What's the alkalinity? Adding a buffer without knowing how much to add IMHO is asking for it.

    Then again there's nothing in the tank...

    I started with live rock & dipped to 7.8 for a couple days at the start. Adding crushed coral & argonite sand did it for me (8.3 constant).

    I'd go with some crushed coral if want to do anything & see where that gets you.

    Overall though, you're cycling... a pH drop isn't unexpected.

    Cheers!
    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

  5. #5
    Senior Member volitan's Avatar
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    What is the ph out of the source of water your taking.

    Mine is 7.2 after I filter it in the ro/di.And that is why i buffer it before and make sure its 8.3 when its entering that tank.

    And it is true that smaller tanks are very easy
    Derik...

  6. #6
    Senior Member volitan's Avatar
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    Soory i pressed submit by accident......

    As i was sayinfg..It is true that small tanks are easily put out wack so be carefull.especially when you have live stock
    Derik...

  7. #7
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    hey thanks for the extra info, glad to hear my paranoia about buffers isn't completely unfounded... i really dont' like the idea of dosing chemicals when a more natural way (like a bag of CC in the filter) would work. i'll try that first, and see what happens.

    i'm using distilled water, that would have a neutral ph of 7, which is probably why my ph is on the low side. i have a 20 gallon container for pre mixing salt water, since there's nothing in the tank i figured i'd just mix in the tank and get it stable before adding anything, i'm taking my time with this, i've made a deal with myself that anytime i feel like rushing or going quickly, that immediately means i have to wait one day before doing anything. (this only applies to the adding stuff phase, diseases would be acted on faster but i'd post something before taking action, i'm taking the 'only bad things happen quickly' approach).

    i still need to get my reef test stuff (alk, calcium, phosphate, etc), like i said, i'd rather have just salt water mixing around for a month doing nothing than live rock added too quickly going south.

    i was thinking my substrate would maintain the ph initially, but hasn't quite held it as high as i thought. again, it's an aragonite mix, i forget the brand, ocean floor or something. got it at big als in ottawa east.

    once my tank is set up, it's the holy grail and NOTHING is going in unless everything checks out, i'm using this initial time to mess around a little before anything starts to actually suffer or perish. at least i've gotten the temp and salinity to line up, they were all over the place the first couple of days.

  8. #8
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    Dude dont worry about I have had a tank for 3 years running and never even did ph every thing was fine dont make a big deal about it it will come out ok. some of these reefers are a bit extreme. I never tested mine till I got on this web site. Your all good. I found the less I test The better my tank was enless the fish look stressed or I knew Iv been feeding to much

  9. #9
    Senior Member reefmutt's Avatar
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    Linda, that there is some scary advice!!!!!
    j-roc, linda is right about not worrying about it at the moment, however- she is dead wrong about not testing once the tank is full of livestock. Alkalinity, ph , calcium -- a must
    Matt.

    Old system torn down to make a playroom.. planning a 62x42x28 high

  10. #10
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    well i like the testing just because i'm a big geek, and the fact that livestock would depend on it is extra incentive.. having said that, i know i actually have to have something consuming nutrients / adding 'nutrients' to the water before i need to really monitor the water chemistry, i guess the question was more in a general sense including now and later down the road as well.

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