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  1. #1
    Senior Member mouse6196's Avatar
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    pH driving me nuts

    I've had a constant battle with my pH and calcium.  I'm going to switch to B-Ionic calcium when I'm out of my Tropic Marin but I have a tub and half of Tropic Marin to go still.  Hate to waste it.  My pH today was low...about 7.8.  Anyone suggest what they do to raise their pH in their tanks.  Another board said use baking soda but that scares me.  (unless others do it with success).  Any good products others use that work....work well I mean.  It's like a big tug-o-war between calcium and pH for me lately.  Any ideas would be appreciated.
    The only thing two reef keepers will agree on, is what the third reef keeper is doing wrong!

  2. #2
    ijo
    ijo is offline
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    Re: pH driving me nuts

    I have read some say unstable Ph could be from low oxygen exchange, overfeeding and high bio load.  

    I havent had much of a problem... when I found it to be a little low or high, I would do 10% water changes for a few days and everything would be ok. Hope this helps.

    IJO

  3. #3
    Senior Member mouse6196's Avatar
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    Re: pH driving me nuts

    hhhmmmm.....I have no fish in the tank right now just corals (getting ready for a move). So the bioload is minimal, I'll see how things get after the refugium is added.  Once the tank is in the basement, I'll be adding a refugium, sump and 1800 GPH pump.  I should be able to get the oxygen exchange up.  That might be the problem. Thanks 8)
    The only thing two reef keepers will agree on, is what the third reef keeper is doing wrong!

  4. #4
    Senior Member GoSUV's Avatar
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    Re: pH driving me nuts

    To see if low pH is caused by poor oxygen exchange, scoop a cup of tank water and aerate it for an hour or so in a well-ventilated area (such as near an open window - I know it's friggin cold out), and test your pH again. If your pH is higher after the aeration, your low pH is caused by excessive CO2 buildup.

    If not, try testing your pH at the same time each day for more consistent results. pH is expected to be lower during the offlight hours, at the lowest point just before the lights come on.

    Also try switching to a different brand of salt mix. Instant Ocean has an initial pH of about 8.1. The Kent salt I am using has a notoriously low initial pH of about 7.9-8.0.

    I use the Kent Superbuffer dKH (essentially the same as baking soda) to stabilize pH and keep my buffer up. Remember pH will take approx. up to 48 hours to stabilize.

    I don't worry about changing pH anymore. I just test it to make sure it is a safe value, and keeping my alkalinity high to prevent wild swings of pH. Remember it is the drastic change of pH, not a particular value, that causes stress to livestock. Keeping your buffer in check is all you need to do.

    Remember to also test your replacement water. Know what's in there before you put it in. I raise my replacement water's calcium before I do a water change. Its initial calcium is 400ppm and I raise it to 475ppm before putting it in (don't go higher because it will cause your buffer to precipitate out of solution). That way I don't have to dose my tank with calcium as frequently. I also use Tropic Marin to supplement calcium - a not-so-user-friendly product for people who don't have a sump. My fish always try to taste that white powder - not good. Now I only dose after the lights are out when the fish are sleeping.
    If the authors of "Finding Nemo" knew anything about Clownfishes, Marlin would turn into a female and Nemo would become her new husband.

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