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  1. #1
    Senior Member Flame*Angel's Avatar
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    pH in non-reef tanks

    Since my 300g has been set up I've had to add kalkwasser or buffer frequently to keep the pH up to 8.0. I now have a 75g tank with the same problem. It's being used as a hospital tank currently but I noticed the same thing when it had rock and sand. I have moved my pH monitor to the 75 recently because there are 7 fish in it recovering from marine velvet. I've noticed that if I add a half teaspoon of kalkwasser in the morning to bring the pH barely up over 8 it's down to about 7.75 by night and 7.70 by the next morning.

    Neither of these tanks have corals or anything much using up calcium. I'm using natural seawater that has a pH of about 8.12 before I add it to the tanks. Both these tanks have superior oxygen and I don't use any other additives. The 75 was being treated with Cupramine but not for some time now and several very large water changes have been done since then to remove it.

    I don't have this problem with my reef tank as I have a calcium reactor and a kalkwasser reactor. I am a bit concerned because the alk creeps up in the non-reef tanks due to the kalkwasser needed to keep the pH up. Any ideas or suggestions?
    Susan

  2. #2
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    honestly I wouldn't add any KALK. just water changes when neccesary.with meds I'm sure they'll mess with your ph. just keep it simple. water changes,o2 and thats it.IMO

  3. #3
    Senior Member Flame*Angel's Avatar
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    That's what I figured too Johnny but it's not working. There are no meds in the 300g. I do weekly 60g water changes, add nothing else and the pH just keeps dropping. I can't figure out why. I know it's normal for pH to drop overnight but it's dropping during the day and not coming back up the next day when the lights are on.

    What else besides meds can cause pH to drop?
    Susan

  4. #4
    Senior Member Aqua's Avatar
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    Susan,
    Is your alkalinity in check? If low it can have impact on your pH and FO tanks are more prone to alkalinity drop due to nitrogen cycle while calcium staying in check.
    Man that goes to bed with itchy butt, wakes up with stinky finger!
    -Confusious



  5. #5
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    Susan .. could it be a coincidence that the medication in the hospital tank is effecting the PH reading , probe or using O2 while the water in the 300 setup, which has the closed top if I remember ... is simply not holding as much O2 as you had hoped?
    Rob

  6. #6
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    Cool

    do you think that the slightly lower ph would have any effects on the fish in the QT tank?? hmm yours is not that out of wack 7.7 and I wouldn't worry to much in my oppion.you can add an air pump with stone but you probally have.In my QT I eould even slowly reduce salinity to reduce stress and bring it back up later.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Flame*Angel's Avatar
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    I haven't had the top enclosed on the 300 for some time now. A couple months ago I was dealing with oxygen problems in there so I removed the top covers, drilled a hole in the wall on one end and added a duct fan (blowing in) and there's a duct fan blowing out on the other end (goes to the outdoors). I have massive surface turbulance from the Tunze stream pumps as well as the oxygen added by the 6' skimmer. With 300 lbs of live rock and 300lbs of aragonite fine sand I just can't understand why this tank has consistently lowering pH.

    The 75g hospital tank has a really big air pump and an air curtain across the back. There is also a MaxiJet 1200 and a really big Eheim canister filter creating flow and more surface agitation. Hmmm, this tank is enclosed, it has the usual glass covers. I didn't think this would be an issue as there is a lot of air being pumped in from outside the tank with the air pump however, now that I think about it there's no evaporation in this tank. I never have to top it up. You think that could be a problem?

    Johnny, you don't think 7.7 is too low for fish? Perhaps I'm just chasing numbers, I really don't have any reason to believe that the fish are bothered by it. They tollerated the copper medication very well and the only fish I have in there that isn't looking great is the golden butterfly who has a fair bit of lymphocystis on him, most likely brought on by stress of all he's been though. It seems to be getting better though, not nearly as much as there was.

    The hospital tank is also trying to cycle. I have to do massive (50+ gallons) water changes every 3rd day just to keep ahead of it. Just one of the joys of running a hospital tank *sigh*

    Alk tends to be high in both these tanks because of the kalkwasser I've been adding to keep the pH up.

    I wish there was a way to increase pH without increasing alkalinity!
    Susan

  8. #8
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    I'll probaly get some serious flack from this but I hardly ever ever chase numbers or test much. mostly just calcium and the odd alk/ph test never notice any dips at all. My hospital tank is plumbed directly to my main tank. with a shut off valve so if I need to use it I shut off the water flowing from the main tank. then just water changes and testing for the meds[haven't needed it yet].
    you can use a hangon for your filter bacteria and just remove the floss/poly when you need to medicate. I keep a few pieces of poly foam in my sump so its well established.
    If you have an air pump and your doing water changes thats good enough. drop the salinity as well slowly as its easier on the fish. when there healthy again you can bring it back up before releasing them. don't worry about 7.7 ph in my oppion.but thats me.

  9. #9
    Senior Member percula99's Avatar
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    Hi Susan

    Interesting dilemma you have. When I kept my fish only 100 gallon with enclosed glass tops, no evaporation, etc.. Sounds a lot like what you are doing now. I noticed you are running an Eheim. What do you have in it? I used to use Dick Boyd's Chemi-Pure in mine and never had a Ph problem. Check out this link and see if you might consider trying some of this. I always swore by it.

    http://www.boydenterprisesonline.com/pages/2/index.htm

    Good luck.

  10. #10
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    Susan ... 7.7 is out of the acceptable range as per the book I use as a reference. If I were you I would continue to look for the cause but in the mean time the Chem-Pure is a good idea. What temp are you running at? Lower temp water will hold more dissolved O2 and most fish will do fine in water at 78 Degrees. If you opt to lower the temp do so slowly .. but you are ready know that.
    Rob

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