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rcpilot44
07/01/2007, 05:57 PM
I am running a Geo 618 and for the life of me I can't get my pH above 7.85 during the day. My Alk is 11.6, CA-430 MG-1400. I tried fresh air, moving my drip from the reactor to my RF where there is a lot of flow. I have my controller set on 6.5 (using Gen X). My LFS said that should add a second chamber to my reactor, I was thinking about getting the GEO Kal. reactor. Would the second chamber make that much of a difference or should I drip Kal at night?? Thanks

rcpilot44
07/02/2007, 03:13 AM
bump, anyone..

redox
07/02/2007, 04:28 AM
maybe your effluent drip rate is too high. Slow it down. Do you have a skimmer?If you do it could be co2 rich inside air being drawn in and that would drop your ph. Evap top off should kalk solution ,this will help. try to make your skimmer draw outside air. I use a media bag filled with carbon and then place your skimmer air line in it(to help clean the outside air of any unwanted contaminents) I used to live in Chester about 20 years ago. You must know Joe on busy street;)

rcpilot44
07/02/2007, 04:52 AM
Yes, I know Joe. I am at Fish World several times a week. He just got a 1200g tank in is store. I have skimmer, my drip rate is about a drip every 5 sec. I will take my air intake for my skimmer and move it out from under my stand. Maybe it is picking up CO2 from my drip in my RF. I have an older home so I do not think the are in my house has much CO2 in it, but in the stand it may. Thanks for your info...

tdwyatt
07/02/2007, 09:53 AM
Just curious, how are you measuring your pH? Test kit or probe, and which brand? If you are using a probe, have you tested the probe response to a borax solution yet?

rcpilot44
07/02/2007, 12:36 PM
I am using a American Marine pH monitor. I recently calibrated it. I also took a sample of my water to my LFS and tested it on his milwaukee and they were pretty much the same thing. My Geo has a Milwaukee controller in it and recently recalibrated it. I actually moved my skimmer air intake out from underneath my tank this morning and may be that will help, otherwsie I am not sure if Geo makes a second chamber or I may just have to break down and get a Kal. reactor and drip in in the middle of the night.

Boomer
07/02/2007, 12:46 PM
pilot

Run/read through all this first.


Calcium Reactor setup calculator (CaCO3/CO2 reactors)
http://home.comcast.net/~jdieck1/reactor.html

A Guide to Using Calcium Reactors
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-05/sh/feature/index.htm

other issues

Indoor CO2 Problems
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/apr2002/short.htm

Low pH: Causes and Cures
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-09/rhf/index.htm

rcpilot44
07/02/2007, 03:33 PM
Thanks for the articles, I have read all of these prior. My original question was about adding a second chamber VS. a limewater drip. All of my levels are perfect except my low pH. I have down the fresh air test etc.

Has anyone seen an add on chamber for the Geo 618 or am I forced into dripping limewater?

Thanks everyone for your advice..

Boomer
07/02/2007, 03:46 PM
pilot

I don't know if they have a add on or not but I suppose one could DIY a second reactor. I did not find one on their website.

Billybeau1
07/02/2007, 04:15 PM
What were the results of the fresh air test ?

rcpilot44
07/02/2007, 04:22 PM
no change, my pH this afternoon is 7.82

Billybeau1
07/02/2007, 04:30 PM
Well then, limewater may be your best bet.

What salt mix do you use ? (just curious)

Boomer
07/02/2007, 04:40 PM
With a Alk of 11.6 dKH and a pH of 7.8 you have crap loads of CO2. This CO2 test needs to be run for hrs and under very heavily aeration as if the water is boiling. Normal seawater has about 0.5 ppm CO2 and you have more than 2.5 ppm CO2

rcpilot44
07/02/2007, 06:34 PM
OK Boomer, I ran another aeration test. My starting pH was 7.88, went outside with my battery powered air pump for 10 min. Check my pH and it was 7.96. Took new aquarium water and did the same thing indoors new my tank and the pH did not change was 7.88. I live in VA where it gets hot, need to leave the AC on for my cats. I do have a chiller for my tank. My water temp runs 77.9-78.1. Since it is a house CO2 issue would you recommend that I get a Kal. Reactor??

redox
07/02/2007, 06:39 PM
an erv would help

rcpilot44
07/02/2007, 06:45 PM
Redox, what is ERV?? Do you live in the outer banks of NC. Where do you buy your fish and corals from?

rcpilot44
07/02/2007, 07:02 PM
well I found an ERV unit on the internet. It would be a lot cheaper to buy a Kal reactor. I really only been having the pH problem since the weather warmed up where I run the ac all the time.

Billybeau1
07/02/2007, 08:53 PM
rc,

LIMEWATER



:D

redox
07/03/2007, 04:21 AM
like billy said, that would be the best bang for your buck. I do live on the obx of nc and I get my stuff from a variety of places and
I buy wholesale only(unless a lfs has something good which is rare) If you are interested I could pm you a list of some of my suppliers. I would just stick to Joes goodies if I were you. Id love to see his 1200 gal display but seeing that aint enough to get me up to Richmond. I dont even go home for christmas?

Boomer
07/03/2007, 12:56 PM
I agree with Billy pilot, Kalk

tmz
07/03/2007, 01:20 PM
The extra chamber should lower the ph of the effluent and use more of the co2 before it goes into the tank. The effluent from the reactor should be arround 6.7-6.8 and then when it passes through the second course of media it should go higher and more efficiently use the co2

I use a calcium reactor but shut it down via timer at night for 8hours. I also dose kalk at night via drip and use two refugia on opposite photo periods.Note the ph of kalkwasser is 12 so it should offset the calcium reactor co2,establishing a nice balance. I don't think there's a way around it . The calciun reactor will add extra co2 and the system needs to use it some how or exchange it with the surrounding air at an increased rate. On the air exchange it might help to run a dehumidifier, although I would guess your ac covers that.
Macro algae can absorb it and oxegenate and the kw will use it also.
I am able to maintain ph of 8.1 during the day and 8.0at night per pinpoint and milwaukee monitors. Not quite sea water but safely within bounds . Sprung and Delbeek in The Reef Aquarium Volume 3 note R. Farley's comments wherin he notes it is common for aquaria using calcium reactors to run at 7.8 and that this is acceptable if other parameters are maintained. But like you I'd like to get the ph number higher,so my next step is to add the second chamber.
Good Luck, Tom

tmz
07/03/2007, 01:25 PM
Hello redox,
Just got back from Kitty Hawk Saturday. I have a townhome at Sea Dunes,mp4.5. We go down several times a year. Perhaps ,we could meet sometime and I might take a peek at your system. I love the obx and have been going regulary for over 25yrs but miss my reefs when I'm out of Buffalo.
Tom

rcpilot44
07/03/2007, 02:02 PM
Thanks everyone for all of your information. i will be ordering a Geo Kal. reactor and will set it up to drip at night only. My plan is to continue dripping CA reactor into the RF and then drip the Kal. into the sump where my return pump/skimmer is. Hoping this setup will take care of my low pH issue. My pH this morning was only 7.6..

bertoni
07/03/2007, 07:23 PM
I would doublecheck the pH test equipment as well, and perhaps extend the outdoor aeration test for a longer duration. There might be some measurement error in this case.

Boomer
07/04/2007, 08:07 AM
I would agree with Jon that is a really low pH. Look for a SeaTest/Fastest pH test kit

tmz
07/04/2007, 11:46 AM
I have had some sucess in boosting ph with Sea Chem Reef buffer. They claim it will boost ph safely to 8.3 without exceeding that number. It is claimed to be a blended product of carbonates calcium and I believe some magnesium. When I use it a the recommended dosage I get a quick half a point+ boost. It does ,however, increase alkalinity as well as ph so I don't use it regularly.Just when I want to move the ph number short term.

Billybeau1
07/04/2007, 11:50 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10270516#post10270516 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Boomer
I would agree with Jon that is a really low pH. Look for a SeaTest/Fastest pH test kit

Or an Aquarium Pharmaceuticals pH kit. My API kit matches my pH monitor to a tee. And is easy to distinguish color.

bertoni
07/04/2007, 12:39 PM
Reef Buffer will have a short-term effect on pH. It can and will raise the pH over 8.3, though. Generally, buffers don't help much with low pH problems.

rcpilot44
07/04/2007, 03:46 PM
I've tested my pH with two monitors and a salifert test. I just tested my levels and they are: alk-11.8, mg-1420, ca-430, my current pH at 530PM is only 7.86. Buffers usually only raise the pH temp. and then it raises alk. too. Since I did my aeration test I am convinced it is a CO2 problem which Kal drip will help. I am buying a reef dosing pump, what would be a good drip starting point? I want to only drip at night.

Billybeau1
07/04/2007, 03:56 PM
You'll want to slowly get up to 8.2 or so then cut it back to maintain. I'm at about one drip per second now.

You need to make sure you don't exceed your evaporation rate. Dripping only at night, I doubt that will be an issue.

Start with 2 tsp per gallon. You can always cut back if you need.

bertoni
07/04/2007, 06:10 PM
I'd watch the first drip carefully, personally, although a very slow stream should be fine. A quick dose of limewater can spike pH badly, though.

tdwyatt
07/09/2007, 02:50 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10273064#post10273064 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by rcpilot44
I've tested my pH with two monitors and a salifert test. I just tested my levels and they are: alk-11.8, mg-1420, ca-430, my current pH at 530PM is only 7.86. Buffers usually only raise the pH temp. and then it raises alk. too. Since I did my aeration test I am convinced it is a CO2 problem which Kal drip will help. I am buying a reef dosing pump, what would be a good drip starting point? I want to only drip at night. Sorry to have not responded prior to now, my computer was blown out by the hughes.net install of the satellite modem...:mad2:

With the numbers you are posting for alk, Ca++, Mg++, and the poor response to your degassing the CO2, I think it is time to test your probe with the 20 mule team borax test to confirm its ability to measure pH correctly, especially if you've had it for more than 18 months. Regardless of the response from the other meter, I think you need to do the borax test to make sure you're not chasing your tail, as well as cleaning the probe to remove the organic buildup and recalibrate the probe if it does not pass the borax test.

Although you can run your system at that low a pH, the presence of that much CO2 in your system if your pH is INDEED at 7.8 may kick off an algal bloom under conditions that would otherwise not be an issue for your water column. If the pH IS that low, maybe you should run a 1" hose into your home from the outdoors and connect it to your air intake for the skimmer.


JMO, HTH

tmz
07/09/2007, 05:23 PM
What is the borax test,.exactly? Thanks, Tom

Boomer
07/09/2007, 09:03 PM
Borax pH Calibration
http://web.archive.org/web/20001102182839/http://www.animalnetwork.com/fish2/aqfm/2000/feb/bio/default.asp

tdwyatt
07/09/2007, 10:26 PM
Boomer, that link was dead for me...



I will paste my poste here on the topic from TRT fir the benefit of folks here:

Before you spend a lot of time chasing the numbers, take some time to test the probe's function using sodium metaborate (borax), even though you've already calibrated the meter.


Calibration is good, but it is always a good idea to do a separate test with the sodium metaborate (borax) to see if your meter is testing well during normal continuous usage. I read a lot of posts where folks say that they have calibrated their pH meters and followed the directions exactly, followed all the temp bath suggestions, corrected for every possible error, yet they consistently see pH values that are skewed either high or low in their aquaria based on even the new calibration. When questioned on their procedure, almost every person I have spoken with had used standards that had either expired, or been in their LFS’s shops long enough to have expired. I read with interest Craig Bingman’s posts about a similar problem with (name deleted) brand of pH calibration solution where the pH 10 standard was off by almost a full pH unit. Craig had purchased a few packets of this particular brand, used a lab bench pH electrode, calibrated with fresh research-quality pH standards and tested these hobbyists' calibration fluids. After much board discussion, Craig proposed that folks use a freshly prepared buffering solution of sodium metaborate that will always come to the same value under home conditions. This lead to the publishing of his article in Aquarium Frontiers on the use of 20 Mule Team Borax to prepare a home standard solution. I would suggest that you use this procedure to make sure that your pH probe and meter are in actuality measuring what they are supposed to. I have issues with the Hanna brand of pH probe, but that is a separate issue.

Essentially, the process of testing your probe's ability/accuracy involves making a standard solution of borax in RO/DI water and testing the resulting solution. This solution differs from NIST standard solutions in that NIST solution standards rely on a combined solution using controlled measured amounts of an acid and its conjugate base. Usually you would need to mix precise quantities of two different compounds to make a pH standard solution in a precisely measured volume. These will have a set shelf life, and will deteriorate more rapidly if exposed to less than ideal conditions. Rather than try and make these lab standards (you could, if you had the precision lab ware and balances needed to measure end volume and the acid and conjugate base weights), we can use the properties of sodium metaborate in water to form these equimolar acid/conjugate bases for us (Boric acid and hydrated borate ions). This is one of the advantages of using borax as a standard.
Quote:
pH of Sodium Metaborate Standard Solution at Various Temperatures
(3.80 grams Na2BO7 10H2O/liter)

Degrees Celsius . . . Degrees Fahrenheit . . . . . . pH
0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32.0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.464
5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41.0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.395
10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50.0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.332
15 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59.0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.276
16 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60.8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.266
17 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62.6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.256
18 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64.4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.245
19 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66.2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.235
20 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68.0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.225
21 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69.8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.216
22 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71.6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.207
23 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73.4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.198
24 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75.2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.192
25 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77.0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.180
26 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78.8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.172
27 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80.6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.167
28 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82.4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.155
29 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84.2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.147
30 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86.0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.139
35 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95.0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.081
40 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104.0 . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.068




Characteristics of Sodium Metaborate pH Standard solution

Characteristic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Value
Composition(gm Na2B4O7 10H2O/1000 ml) . . . . . . 3.80
molality (m) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.01
Molarity (M). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.009971
pH at 25 degrees Celsius . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.180
change in pH after dilution
to half original concentrationin water .. . . . . . . . +0.01
Temperature coef.
dpH/dt,unit degrees Celsius-1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . -0.0082


data taken from C.Bingman Aquarium Frontiers article

These tables give the properties of differing temperatures on the pH of borax (sodium metaborate) in purified water and the resulting pH, as well as the characteristics that allow us to demonstrate the relatively small change that varying the concentration of the solution has on pH when compared to the standard solution. To make the textbook standard, you dissolve 3.8 grams of borax per liter water using a lab balance and a volumetric flask. Fortunately 1/2 level teaspoon of solid borax weighs just about two grams, AND the pH of borax solutions is only weakly dependent on the concentration of borax in the solution (SEE CHART), SOOOOOooooo, we don’t need to be tremendously precise in our measurement of the borax to still produce a relatively accurate pH standard. We can make a useful product here without the use of a lab balance.

Use a pint of water (473ml) and add a half teaspoon (1/2 level tsp.) of 20 Mule Team Borax to make a resultant pH standard solution with 2 gm of sodium metaborate per 473 ml or 4.3 grams of sodium metborate/litre. Mix well. Although using this method to make the standard will only result in an accuracy of about plus or minus 10% of the lab standard sodium metaborate pH calibration solution, there is such a weak dependence of pH on concentration of the solute buffer here that it is close enough for our purposes. To use this solution to check your probe, bring a freshly made batch of borax solution to aquarium temp and immerse the probe into the solution, allowing 5 minutes for final probe measurement. The meter should show a value of 9.19 + 0.02 pH units. If your value with the meter is not within range, cleaning and recalibration of the probe are indicated. If after cleaning and recalibrating the probe with known fresh good standards your meter/probe still cannot pass this test, then it is time to either have the meter tested against a known good meter probe combination, and failing this comparison, then replacing either the probe or the entire pH meter setup. Unfortunately Hanna pH meters at hobbyist levels are notorious for drift from calibration in as little as 2 weeks of continuous use.

Chronically high or low pH values in marine aquaria are more often measurement issues than anything else, although they can occur as a result of inappropriate use of buffering additives (high) or accumulation of CO2 or misadjusted Ca reactor (low), especially high values when using high pKa products like sodium carbonate (present in varying amounts in many reef buffer builders). Use the borax to check your meter's ability to measure the correct value, and proceed from that point. If the meter is fine, folks here on the board can suggest several possible causes and some resolutions for a fix. Let us know when you've tested the meter with the borax. I saw 20 Mule Team Borax at Target in the cleaning supplies for about $3.00, its in a green box now.

HTH, if the probe fails the borax test, try cleaning the tip and removing any biofilm from the probe before giving up on the probe.

Boomer
07/09/2007, 10:52 PM
ThanksTom

It is dead fo me also. We have to keep finding a new link , so here is the lastest.

http://web.archive.org/web/20021015005420/www.animalnetwork.com/fish2/aqfm/2000/feb/bio/default.asp