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Old 12-20-2003, 11:21 AM   #1
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Alk, PH and Calcium AGAIN! Let me see if I understand this..

Let me see if I understand this (in layman's terms) now...

I have been working to raise a low PH in my year-old 90 gallon reef.
My PH sits at around 7.9 24x7 - never seems to change.

I got some Reef buffer (raises Ph to 8.3, it says on the bottle) and put about enough in to raise the Ph by about 0.2. A day later I tested: no change in the Ph BUT the ALk had gone up to over 6meq/L.
Hmmm.... I reason that the Alk is so high that this effectively prevents the Ph from changing (this right - that the ALkalinity is the RESISTANCE to change in the Ph?). The Calcium, by the way, tests at 360.
So, on the advice of an article referenced somehwre here I use some Calcium Chloride to raise the Calcium so as to better balance the Calc/Alk.
Yesterday the Calcium now measures at 420, the Alk meanwhile has dropped to a shade over 4meq/L.
The PH, however, stubbornly refuses to change from it's 7.9.
So, aside from the Calc/Alk being 'almost' balanced now, I have made no change to my chemistry for the one thing I was trying to change.

What gives, and should I continue to worry about the Ph?
What's the best course of action now?

Thanks in advance,
Andy.
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Old 12-20-2003, 12:10 PM   #2
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Have you tried testing the ph with different test kit? or mixing up some new water and testing it? I found many problems I had with my tank came down to trusting the test kit's results.
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Old 12-20-2003, 12:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astride13
Have you tried testing the ph with different test kit? or mixing up some new water and testing it? I found many problems I had with my tank came down to trusting the test kit's results.
Astride, I have tested my Ph with another test kit and found it agreed with the Salifert I now use. I can't ask th LFS to test - I'm in nowhereville,TX and this is NOT an option! (Plus they don't understand my British accent!

I use IO - what should the Ph be of freshly mixed solution???
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Old 12-20-2003, 12:54 PM   #4
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Well there Andy i was useing io. I had alot of problems with my Alk. and calcium. I switched to Kent. I Could see a huge difference in my levels after a couple of water changes. I also could see a big difference in my livestock. My snails were alot more active.

Hope this helps ya. Dewey
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Old 12-20-2003, 01:28 PM   #5
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One thing you can try is to take some water out of the tank and leave it our for a few hours or even over night then test it. If its a large difference between the ph then and the ph in your tank your c02 levels are too high. Are you putting 10x or more flow through the tank? You want surface level agitation to help export the c02. Also your ph fluxuates during photo and non photo periods.
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Old 12-20-2003, 02:31 PM   #6
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One thing you can try is to take some water out of the tank and leave it our for a few hours or even over night then test it. If its a large difference between the ph then and the ph in your tank your c02 levels are too high. Are you putting 10x or more flow through the tank? You want surface level agitation to help export the c02. Also your ph fluxuates during photo and non photo periods.
Excellent advice and most likely part of your issue. Another would be does the tank have a glass cover? Trapped CO2 will cause difficiencies in ph as well. The galss lid will prevents free gas exchange. If no glass cover, try opening a window. Often ambient CO2 in the room can be an issue as well as what biotoxin has mentioned.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 12-21-2003, 11:51 AM   #7
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Ok guys, I'll try the ideas for CO2 testing/removal.

Today, as I was doing a water change, I did a Ph test on my fresh IO water.
The Ph of this was EXACTLY the same as my tank - 7.9.
Anyone know if this is right?

Andy.
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Old 12-21-2003, 01:17 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by AndySmithers
I did a Ph test on my fresh IO water.
The Ph of this was EXACTLY the same as my tank - 7.9.
I would still be inclined to suspect the accuracey of the test kit then. They are quite falable.

Has the newly prepared IO been properly aerated with a PH, temp corrected and has no lid on the mixing container?

If so, I would then suggest removing a gallon of the newly mixed water in a seperate container and add ¬ľ teaspoon of buffer, wait an hour and see what the net effect is. If no change, then it's definately your test kit.

Either way, post back with the results before you do anything to the rest of the IO mix or the tank.... Please include what steps you chose.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 12-21-2003, 02:28 PM   #9
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If using the Salifert pH test kit, I would check the Salifert forum on reef central. I think it is the owner of the company that responds and he can tell you if you've got a kit with any known problems, bad kits do exist, it happens to the best of us.


http://reefcentral.com/forums/forumd...s=&forumid=196

Its a handy link to have if you use Salifert stuff. Good Luck!
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Old 12-22-2003, 10:16 AM   #10
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I can echo the problem with the Salifert kit. I was using this kit and it was driving me nuts as it woul tell me that my pH was low. I went a little nuts trying to buffer it up and adjusted. Only when I got another kit and tested that it told me that my level was fine. That is the only kit from Salifert that I have seen, seems to be very problematic. Definitely follow the advice given above in testing with a fresh kit (not Salifert - I used Aquarium Systems). I am sure you will get the correct results then. 8)
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