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View Full Version : Alk, Cal, Mag all good; but low ph


FullBoreReefer
07/14/2017, 10:16 AM
Tank spec are in my sig...

ALK - 8.5
Cal - 420
Mag - 1230
PH - 7.88(day) - 7.60(night)

I have been dosing sodium carbonate for my Alkalinity for the life of the tank, I choose carbonate instead of bicarbonate because of the tanks low ph. I figured with carbonate affecting ph also I could use that to my advantage while dosing.

I dose 2ml per hour, or 48 per day of Sodium Carbonate for my alkalinity.

As of 3 days ago, I triple checked my parameters and cut my chemicals. I started using KALKWASSER with my brs doser. I did not use my ATO for dosing because that is automated and would be a pain to add kalk powder at certain times when it refills. It is not an automated timed schedule, it is random when it needs to refill it does.

Anyways, these past three days I have kept my parameters where they should be, also same as I listed above, so I know I have found a decent dosing schedule using my doser.

I now dose .5ml per 15mins, or 2ml per hour, or 48ml per day of Kalk. Funny it took exactly the same amount....

The reason I went to smaller doses with the kalk is because I was hoping to get a shift in Ph. BUT, my ph has not been affected at all, still runs between 7.6-7.8.

I have replaced my ph probe about 3wks ago, did an initial calibration when I got it, and the did another calibration last night. PH numbers shifted alittle after the calibration but not enough to even make note of, or be like AhHa!


Next thing on my list is to bring in fresh air to my fish room via a 3/4" pvc pipe for my skimmer. The room is about 15x18, it also houses my furnace/forced air unit and my water heater. This room of my basement is part of the "unfinished" area aside from the "finished" basement living room. Hence my tank is an in wall as these rooms share a joining wall.

My last idea if the fresh air line doesn't do much is to apply a co2 scrubber. I will have it plumbed in via a 24v solenoid and my apex. So it will only be used when ph drops below a certain reading, say 7.75 for example. Would I want it higher absolutely, but I don't wanna burn through media if I don't have to.

Corals, fish, inverts all happy and doing great for many many years. Growing and eating well. I wouldn't say I have fast coral growth but it's definitely not horrible. Colors are good/great.


Should I even change things since it's been sooooo long? Or try it and see what happens?

As of now kalk is keeping up with my usage demands, just NOT affecting/rasing my Ph like I had hoped for.


Any other ideas, tips, tricks, opinions, etc...?

Thanks!

07/14/2017, 05:24 PM
Have you tried macro algae yet? I saw an interesting video on BRSTV where they took different light types and tested them on cheatomorpha and the Kessel 380 performed the best and a side result from the massive growth it produced was a Ph of 9.0 since it was taking (almost) all of the CO2 out of the water and using it for growth. This is much better than a CO2 scrubber in my opinion. I have a 160g with a 40g sump and I have the exact same problem you have with Ph. I've been struggling with it for months now. I just put in a cheato reactor and will see how that works. I also have water top off that's similar to yours where my reservoir is refilled constantly from my DI system. Irregardless I still added kalkwasser to it and it does help some. I figure I can test it for calcium content and that will tell me when to add more.

FullBoreReefer
07/14/2017, 07:19 PM
No macro algae, but I do run an ATS on a reverse schedule to help at jight, but obviously isn't helping lol. I guess I'll keep on keepin' on with my plan

FullBoreReefer
07/15/2017, 07:23 AM
Ok, I added some kalk to my ATO, since my ATO has float sensors to refill itself automatically and a float valve for safety I have added a code to my Apex to send me a notification when my low sensor trips. I used to only use a single float that would notify me when "ATO-Low"(actually about 1gal left) and then I would manually fill 3.5-4gals.(5gal bucket).

When I fully automated my ATO, I removed this code as I really didn't care to be notified that it was low since I no longer had to lug water to it haha.

I now have replaced that code, so now I'll know that the bucket was low on top off, it had refilled itself, and now I gotta do my part to add kalk powder. Easy enough I suppose. I will saturate my ATO and give it a few days. I know for sure my tank uses around 1.25gals of top off per day, on average. Which would use waaaaaaaaaaaay more kalk than I'm currently dosing with my doser.

Maybe I'm alittle nervous yet to make such big changes, it's been so long, but feel I could provide a better environment for my tank.

07/15/2017, 04:44 PM
What ratio did you mix your kalkwasser at? I've been using 2 teaspoons per gallon and that wasn't a problem doing a 1 gallon drip over the coarse of a day. Actually it was a little less than a day. This was before I started adding it to my ATO. However, given that you have such a stable tank yours may react differently than mine. I would watch the pH carefully over that first day just to see how it behaves. Is your ATO optical where it only fills a small amount or float based?

FullBoreReefer
07/15/2017, 07:40 PM
What ratio did you mix your kalkwasser at? I've been using 2 teaspoons per gallon and that wasn't a problem doing a 1 gallon drip over the coarse of a day. Actually it was a little less than a day. This was before I started adding it to my ATO. However, given that you have such a stable tank yours may react differently than mine. I would watch the pH carefully over that first day just to see how it behaves. Is your ATO optical where it only fills a small amount or float based?

I mixed mine at 1 teaspoon per gal on this first round so then I would error on the light side and move up from there based on demand. I know that 2:1 is very common and most likely used, but I wanted to be safe. Again, this tank is 7yrs old and something put a spark up my butt to get this resolved haha But I also don't wanna wreck my reef.

My actual ATO uses a mechanical float valve not a float switch, so it releases very small amounts versus sensor based coming on for let's say a minute at a time kinda thing

bertoni
07/15/2017, 10:23 PM
Sorry for the slow response. I've been ill for a bit here.

Those pH numbers are not too bad. I agree that a Kalk drip might help a bit, but I would use a dosing pump or a drip to add it. Float valves seem to have a tendency to problems with deposit buildup from Kalk.

There might be some inaccuracy in the pH measurement, too. That's very common.

FullBoreReefer
07/16/2017, 07:29 AM
Sorry for the slow response. I've been ill for a bit here.

Those pH numbers are not too bad. I agree that a Kalk drip might help a bit, but I would use a dosing pump or a drip to add it. Float valves seem to have a tendency to problems with deposit buildup from Kalk.

There might be some inaccuracy in the pH measurement, too. That's very common.

Ok, after reading your response about the float valve I have removed and cleaned my ATO bucket. It is now back to regular old ro/di and moved back to using my doser.

I will dial the doser back in for about a gallon a day (or less to be safe), I'll continue to check and double check parameters.

Since I just calibrated my ph probe, I'll give it more time and recalibrate at the end of the month just because. Technically it's going on about a month old, calibrated when new and then again at 3wks old.


Thanks for the responses, I'll keep this updated with any changes I make or that I document. Thanks again.

bertoni
07/16/2017, 10:00 PM
You're welcome. Good luck!