PDA

View Full Version : PH Buffers


Reefs1
09/16/2013, 05:10 PM
So i have a controller and Ph probe on my small nano. I use Tropic Marin salt and love it, but finding out now it's a low ph salt. So I got a buffer from Seachem and put a cap in and it raised it, but it only lasted one day!

I do not want to micromanage this thing, which is why I got a controller. And I ackowledge monitoring PH isn'ta critical, but is this how buffers normally behave? You add it and only lasts a day? If thats the case I won't bother since all it's going to do is cause swings.

Thanks for any advice.

David Grigor
09/16/2013, 05:19 PM
pH buffers can't fix CO2 issues. Likely all your doing is raising the alkalinity in your tank.

You don't mention what your pH levels actually are. Likely they aren't bad enough to worry about.

However, if you really want to fix it, then bring more fresh air into your home.

Look in the sticky here for the reef chemistry article on pH for more details.

disc1
09/16/2013, 05:22 PM
Yes, that is how those buffers work. They knock the buffer chemistry out of equlibrium to give you a temporary rise in pH. Then after a short time things come back to equilibrium and the pH comes down. The pH effect is temporary, but the added alkalinity is permanent. So the next time you use it, it takes more of the buffer to get the same rise in pH since the alkalinity is higher. This in turn pushes alkalinity even higher. It turns into a vicious cycle of more and more buffer until one day you find that it looks like there's been a snowstorm in your tank and everything is covered in white powder and the calcium and alkalinity have crashed.

It's not pretty.

Reefs1
09/16/2013, 05:53 PM
pH buffers can't fix CO2 issues. Likely all your doing is raising the alkalinity in your tank.

You don't mention what your pH levels actually are. Likely they aren't bad enough to worry about.

However, if you really want to fix it, then bring more fresh air into your home.

Look in the sticky here for the reef chemistry article on pH for more details.

Thanks..My PH is 7.6 to 7.8 regularly it seems..Thats pre buffer. I am not going to add anymore of this crap. I wanted to keep this simple. I will stick to water changes and just let the PH be as it is from the salt. I am only doing a clown pair and a shrimp goby and softies anyway.

Just thought if there was an easy way to push it up I would and I got talked into it at the LFS. Chock it up to a bad purchase and move on I guess.

Thanks for the help.

Reefs1
09/16/2013, 05:57 PM
Yes, that is how those buffers work. They knock the buffer chemistry out of equlibrium to give you a temporary rise in pH. Then after a short time things come back to equilibrium and the pH comes down. The pH effect is temporary, but the added alkalinity is permanent. So the next time you use it, it takes more of the buffer to get the same rise in pH since the alkalinity is higher. This in turn pushes alkalinity even higher. It turns into a vicious cycle of more and more buffer until one day you find that it looks like there's been a snowstorm in your tank and everything is covered in white powder and the calcium and alkalinity have crashed.

It's not pretty.

Great information, thanks..This bottle of buffer will be in the trash soon!

David Grigor
09/16/2013, 05:58 PM
Again, pH isn't really from the salt. Its the excess co2 levels in your home that is supressing it.

Here is the article from the sticky that you want to give a good read: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-09/rhf/index.htm

Reefs1
09/16/2013, 06:08 PM
Again, pH isn't really from the salt. Its the excess co2 levels in your home that is supressing it.

Here is the article from the sticky that you want to give a good read: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-09/rhf/index.htm

So I have an innovative marine tank and I keep the temper glass lid on all the time. You think that has anything to do with trapping CO2? Maybe thats why the fresh water live plant/betta tank in my daughters room does well!

Lemme read this article.I should mention I am still cycling the tank, not sure if that matters.

David Grigor
09/16/2013, 06:14 PM
Not trapping CO2. The Co2 levels are from you, your family, quests, pets etc.

Reefs1
09/16/2013, 06:20 PM
Not trapping CO2. The Co2 levels are from you, your family, quests, pets etc.


This article is excellent. thanks!

Yes, there is alot of CO2, or what i refer to as hot air..I have a wife, 3 children 6 and under and dog. Although, he seems to be the most sensible one. But yes, we button this place up tight with A/C in Summer and heat in winter. So windows aren't open a whole lot.

I just want to get it up to about 8.0 and then I will move on. Now I have to figure it out.

Reefs1
09/16/2013, 06:37 PM
BTW: the product I used is called Balance, it's made by Seachem and not supposed to throw off the Alk etc. But either way, let's say it truly doesn't do that, although i am dubious now, it still doesn't last.

bertoni
09/16/2013, 09:48 PM
If the tank is still cycling, I'd ignore the pH. Many decay byproducts are acidic.

There's no way to increase the pH with an additive without adding alkalinity. That's by the definition of alkalinity, which include OH<sup>-</sup>. They might have some comments about not increasing carbonate alkalinity, which I think would be shady, but technically true in a very limited sense.

calvertbill
09/17/2013, 10:57 AM
As basic as this sounds I improved my deteriorating pH by the addition of a fan in my sump. Mine is a 620 gallon system which uses 24 slits cut in PVC coming from the tank's overflows as the water's primary source of aeration. I guess CO2 must be heavier than air since the pH went from 7.92 to 8.16 in short order after I added the fan.

bertoni
09/17/2013, 03:11 PM
The difference might have been due to an improvement in aeration, maybe from the fan breaking up a surface film, but more air circulation might be enough in some cases, too.

Reefs1
09/17/2013, 05:21 PM
The difference might have been due to an improvement in aeration, maybe from the fan breaking up a surface film, but more air circulation might be enough in some cases, too.

This might help mine but being and AIO tank I have limited options in this regard. I will wait until the cycle is done and take it from there.

My next step is to add a Refugium and a led strip in the media area of the tank and table it from there

Lou Ekus
09/20/2013, 02:21 PM
Not sure what you mean by I use Tropic Marin salt and love it, but finding out now it's a low ph salt. I would be happy to try to talk you through this issue you are having with your pH on the phone. Please visit www.tropicmarin-usa.com and give me a call. Some salts on the market are low in alkalinity or other factors, but usually not pH. I hope to talk to you soon.

Psyops
09/20/2013, 02:57 PM
Honestly, if you just have a few fish and softies, then maybe look into just using IO salt. A lot cheaper. If you are concerned of anything in your tank, check the alk level. Just see what it is at this point. If your cycling don't worry about it. Just do water changes (eventually), and it will drop on its own. You seem to know what your are doing, so I don't want to overstep my bounds.

Hodge1995
09/21/2013, 10:16 AM
For what it is worth I went through worring about low ph , after talking to a bunch of reefers I come to the conclusion most tanks will find a point and stay there be it on the higher or lower end. You can try things to raise it. but most likely you will end up back where you are. My is on the low side (7.8 - 7.9)and stays there.

Jimmy54
09/22/2013, 09:59 AM
Just do the test.

Take some tankwater and aerate it for a while ouside in the open air.
Most likely you will see an increase of pH somewhere between 0.2 and 0.5.

If not, you could try to replace a small percentage of what you normally use with NA2CO3, to keep up with the alkalinity.
just to see how that works.

living_waters
12/14/2013, 04:48 AM
search on google for the zoomed Aqua Cool Aquarium Fan i have one on my nano it would fit perfect as a HOB fan in one of the baffles in your AIO IM