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Old 05/09/2018, 02:00 PM   #1
Sohal Tang Tim
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Question low ph

Hello People....

My PH has dropped from normally about 8.0 during the day
to 7.8 during the day and down to 7.6 at night....

I even have a tiny refugium in the back of this 25 gallon reef...of which the light is on at night only...

My ALK is at 10...

Question,....a) should I use a pH buffer? If so what one do you recommend?
b) if I boost the Ph will it raise the ALK also as I dont want that
???
Pls advise
thx,
Tim C) any idea why ph has dropped? Would adding Phyto drop it? Thx.


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Old 05/09/2018, 02:03 PM   #2
kevin_e
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A typical cause is higher CO2 inside. Aggitate the surface more with a powerhead. All is high enough to support higher pH. I wouldn't recommend a buffer.

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Old 05/09/2018, 02:14 PM   #3
Sohal Tang Tim
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please clarify

can you explain what you mean "all is high enough to support higher ph" ???

Thx
Tim


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Old 05/09/2018, 02:22 PM   #4
kevin_e
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Alk*

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Old 05/09/2018, 03:11 PM   #5
homer1475
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PH buffers are ALK in a bottle. Adding it will only give a temporary raise to PH. When carbon dioxide levels raise, the PH will drop again. Adding these buffers will only end up raising your alk.

PH is what it is, you can try and bring fresh air into the tank to raise it some, but it typically settles to the amount of carbon dioxide in the room with the tank.

Anything between 7.6 and 8.4 is just fine. My tank in the winter when the house is closed up tight runs between 7.8 during the day to as low as 7.64 at night. Now that I can have windows open I get 8.1 during the day, and 7.9 at night.


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Old 05/09/2018, 03:13 PM   #6
Tripod1404
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sohal Tang Tim View Post
Hello People....

My PH has dropped from normally about 8.0 during the day
to 7.8 during the day and down to 7.6 at night....

I even have a tiny refugium in the back of this 25 gallon reef...of which the light is on at night only...

My ALK is at 10...

Question,....a) should I use a pH buffer? If so what one do you recommend?
b) if I boost the Ph will it raise the ALK also as I dont want that
???
Pls advise
thx,
Tim C) any idea why ph has dropped? Would adding Phyto drop it? Thx.

a) No, it will go back to the pH you have right now.

b) Most product that raise pH increase alk, so maybe. Thats why dont use additives to chase pH.

c) Not likely, unless you added enough to cause large amounts of organic acid formation. It is probobly ralted to the surrounding CO2 in the air. Did you stop opening windows or etc?


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Old 05/09/2018, 04:36 PM   #7
bertoni
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pH buffers work by consuming carbon dioxide from the water column, basically. Aeration will bring carbon dioxide back into the water fairly quickly for most tanks. Fresher air might help. I agree that more closed windows will tend to bring down the pH, as will having more people indoors. Gas utilities, like a heater, sometimes have the same effect.


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Old 05/09/2018, 06:58 PM   #8
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Best solution is to throw away the pH test kit.


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Old 05/09/2018, 09:20 PM   #9
Sohal Tang Tim
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ph no worries

Ok thanks people ...so far its circulate more air best but
the house is air conditioned so ...it is air tight closed up..
I have a strong fan in the room I will leave on for the next few days to see if that helps...

But..7.6 ph nothing to worry about then?

my alk is 10

???
Thx
Tim


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Old 05/09/2018, 09:21 PM   #10
Sohal Tang Tim
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seachem marine buffer

Seachem has a product that apparently raises and maintains
the ph at 8.3

Marine Buffer

Nobody here believes in it?

Tim


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Old 05/09/2018, 10:11 PM   #11
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It is just another buffer product, although it does have a lot of borate in it, which might help a bit more with the pH than carbonate alkalinity. The downside is that your alkalinity kit no longer tells you how much alkalinity is available for coral growth. You might see a small rise in pH with it, but I'd look for other choices.


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Old 05/10/2018, 06:09 AM   #12
Sohal Tang Tim
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bertoni what do you mean?

Hi Bertoni..thanks...

What do you mean my alk kit will no longer measure my alk properly?
You mean the Marine buffer that raises PH will bugger up my ALK readings?
The only "other" choice seems to be to ventilate and leave the ph be....the problem is that
the animals in there prefer 7.8 and above ph not 7.6....??? I am very much inclined to
raise the ph to 8.3 with that buffer very slowly....I dont quite understand why that is not a good
idea...but I am listening and trying to grasp the concept.... Why exactly is it better to leave
the ph at a failing 7.6 rather then buffer it to 8.3 so easilyusing the Marine Buffer? Thanks for
your help Bertoni...

Pls explain.
Thanks
Tim


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Old 05/10/2018, 06:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sohal Tang Tim View Post
Hi Bertoni..thanks...

What do you mean my alk kit will no longer measure my alk properly?
You mean the Marine buffer that raises PH will bugger up my ALK readings?
The only "other" choice seems to be to ventilate and leave the ph be....the problem is that
the animals in there prefer 7.8 and above ph not 7.6....??? I am very much inclined to
raise the ph to 8.3 with that buffer very slowly....I dont quite understand why that is not a good
idea...but I am listening and trying to grasp the concept.... Why exactly is it better to leave
the ph at a failing 7.6 rather then buffer it to 8.3 so easilyusing the Marine Buffer? Thanks for
your help Bertoni...

Pls explain.
Thanks
Tim
Buffers only temporarily raise pH, usually at the expense of water chemistry. It's not really a solution. Furthermore, buffering you water and allowing pH to go from 7.6 to 8.3 regular is detrimental to live stock. pH swings are more detrimental than consistently low pH. pH of 7.6 is low, but you may not have any options at this point. You can still grow coral and have a healthy tank at that pH. I'm very confident that CO2 levels are your issue. If you can't open a window, agitate the surface more. If that doesn't raise pH, you can try using a CO2 scrubbing media like soda lime, but you will need a skimmer to do this. This is also an expensive method to raise pH.


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Old 05/10/2018, 09:00 AM   #14
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What do you mean my alk kit will no longer measure my alk properly?


It will measure total alkalinity poperly but the amount of carbonate alakinity in the total alkainity measure will be less.

Alkalinity is not a thing ;it's a measure of many things( bicarbonate,carbonate ,borate,oxide, silcone, magnesium hydroxide,phosaphte ) that nuetralize acid . Calcifying organisms use carbonate alkalinity for calicification forming calcium carbonate into skeletal mass. carbonate alkainity is the portion of total alkainity provided by carbonate/bicarbonate, usually about 96.5% in seawater at 8.0 pH, of the total alk .
A buffer with a higher portion of borate porvides a lower proportion of cabonate/bicarboante and will will provide more borate alk than normal ; the borate portion is unuseable for calcification. Typically, we measure total alk as a surrogate measure for carbonate alkalinity which is of primary interest for the organisms we keep. The borate doesn't count much in this regard.


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Current Tank Info: Tank of the Month , November 2011 : 600gal integrated system: 3 display tanks (120 g, 90g, 89g),several frag/grow out tanks, macroalgae refugia, cryptic zones. 40+ fish, seahorses, sps,lps,leathers, zoanthidae and non photosynthetic corals.

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Old 05/10/2018, 09:30 AM   #15
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The only "other" choice seems to be to ventilate and leave the ph be....the problem is that
the animals in there prefer 7.8 and above ph not 7.6....??? I am very much inclined to
raise the ph to 8.3 with that buffer very slowly....I dont quite understand why that is not a good
idea.


Because it will raise alkainity and only provide a short lived bump in pH as CO2 form the surrounding air equilibriates with the water. Bouncing alkalinity around is stressful to calcifying organisms.

Contolling pH involves controlling the amount of CO2 in the water on an ongoing basis. There are a few ways to do this without bouncing alk around: fresh air via open windows or an outside airline to the skimmer air intake; A CO2 scrubber with soda lime media attached to the skimmer air intake ,and/or ;dripping calcium hydroxdie( kalk) in lieu of two part or a calcium reactor.

I think attention to pH is important but doing so at the expense of unstable alkalinity is a false trail. Stable alkalinity and stable pH in an acceptable range ( 7.8 to 8.4) are related and achievable goals.


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Current Tank Info: Tank of the Month , November 2011 : 600gal integrated system: 3 display tanks (120 g, 90g, 89g),several frag/grow out tanks, macroalgae refugia, cryptic zones. 40+ fish, seahorses, sps,lps,leathers, zoanthidae and non photosynthetic corals.

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Old 05/10/2018, 10:06 AM   #16
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You cant work against equilibrium. What every you do will be temporary, it will only raise pH for some time until it drops back to the equilibrium point which is set by the amount of CO2 the tank is in contact with. If you try to chase pH with buffering agents, I guarantee that you will run alk issues in the future (or like bertoni said, you will have no idea how much of your total alk is made up of bicarbonate ).

If you really want to raise pH, think connecting an airline from outside to the skimmer air intake or think about using a CO2 scrubber before the skimmer air intake.


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Old 05/10/2018, 10:08 AM   #17
bertoni
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sohal Tang Tim View Post
Why exactly is it better to leave
the ph at a failing 7.6 rather then buffer it to 8.3 so easilyusing the Marine Buffer? Thanks for
your help Berton...
Marine Buffer won't raise the pH to 8.3. It will raise it, maybe 0.1-0.2 units, at best. I don't recall noticing much of a difference at all, but I stopped using that product a long time ago. The borate it contains is a buffer, and your alkalinity kit will detect the borate and the carbonate-bicarbonate alkalinity. Corals only can use the carbonate-bicarbonate portion of alkalinity, so to know what's happening, you'd need to be able to detect the borate alkalinity and subtract that from the result. The testing equipment for borate is fairly limited in accuracy.

You could give Marine Buffer a try. It's very unlikely to hurt anything, so long as it's not overdosed and you keep up water changes to remove the extra borate.


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Old 05/12/2018, 11:44 AM   #18
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Do an airtest. Take a glass of water from your tank and drop an airstone in it indoors for an hour and remeasure the PH. Do the same thing again but put the airpumo and glass outside for an hour. I used to have a very low PH constantly, it was a co2 imbalance from the house being to air tight, running an airpump outside to a stone in my sump cause my PH to jump and hold at 8+.

If your PH goes back up to 8+ in both tests you need to agitate your water more. If only the outdoor glass increases then you have a problem of gas balance indoors and need outdoor air or a co2 scrubber hooked up to your skimmer.


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Old 05/12/2018, 03:40 PM   #19
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That's a fine idea. A few tests will tell you what's happening.


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Old 05/13/2018, 05:52 AM   #20
Sohal Tang Tim
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ya gotta LOVVVVE Reef Central!

WOw those are amazing ideas thanks everyone...
Forget the buffers it is!!!!!
Alk is more important then getting my ph up....
ph of 7.6 is not great but it is acceptable is what I am hearing.

The air test inside and out is very interesting...

Thanks people

Tim




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Old 05/13/2018, 09:26 AM   #21
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you are welcome.


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Current Tank Info: Tank of the Month , November 2011 : 600gal integrated system: 3 display tanks (120 g, 90g, 89g),several frag/grow out tanks, macroalgae refugia, cryptic zones. 40+ fish, seahorses, sps,lps,leathers, zoanthidae and non photosynthetic corals.
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Old 08/12/2018, 12:42 PM   #22
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I battled low Ph for months. It was dipping below 8.0 during the night. I attached a CO2 scrubber to my skimmer which helped slightly, but not really enough. I was dosing Kalk in my ATO water as well. However, I read on BRS site directions for properly dosing Kalk in ATO and it specified to not mix it too much. So I removed a permanent powerhead in my ATO container (far less mixing) and my PH shot up to 8.3 - 8.4.


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Old 08/12/2018, 06:35 PM   #23
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Some of the best tanks run around 7.8.

Just forget PH


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