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Old 10-03-2012, 04:53 PM   #1
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Buffer?

Can somebody explain to me what buffer is and what it does, I have 2 lfs in the area, one always says to use buffer and one says don't use it. I have used it a few times but I never dilute it enough and always burn some corals with it.
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:47 PM   #2
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I used some today.... My mind was elsewhere and I dumped it into my display instead of the refuge..... Now I think my hammer might die
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:57 PM   #3
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A buffer for your pH, you really shouldn't need to use it if your salinity is good and your doing weekly water changes. Also if you have good surface agitation.

I believe also reading about tops on saltwater tanks. Most people go topless to help with gas exchange.

I've had my tank for 10 months now and never needed buffer. My pH has been 8.2

If you search this site you'll find some helpful threads on pH buffer for a saltwater tank.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:18 PM   #4
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Same thing with my hammer, dude shrunk to half his size I thought he was gonna die.
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:46 PM   #5
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I have been doing weekly 5-8 gallon water changes now for about 6 months now. I also have a power head pointed at the surface. Everytime I go into the " good" lfs and get my water tested they say everything looks good just add some buffer. They test all my perameters. Then I go into the " crappy" lfs and he uses a test Strip and says my water is good and don't use buffer because you shouldn't put chemicals in your system. And he said don't buy a test kit all you need is strips????? Hmmmm which on is correct?
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:09 PM   #6
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Ohh and by the way how many fish can I put in a 55 gallon tank and can I get an yellow tang?
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:24 PM   #7
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Depends on the size of the fish and no tang. Check out liveaquaria and the nano fish section. That will lead you down the right path for stocking.
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:25 PM   #8
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Buffer is usually referred to in reference to alkalinity, or dKH. For hard corals you want it (and calcium) high, like 8-12 dKH. Alkalinity buffers the tank and cushions Ph swings. If you aren't swinging, or keeping a lot of SPS corals, you probably don't need to worry about it. Some folks mistakenly use buffers to adjust for Ph, but it only works if you use the right one. Buffers based on Sodium Bicarbonate will add alkalinity and not affect Ph much, while soda ash, Sodium Carbonate, will add alkalinity and adjust Ph upwards. Older tanks use the Sodium Carbonate because it can be hard to maintain Ph in the 8.2 or better range.

Rule one: never add anything you can't test for. Guess work will kill everything. A test kit will measure all these parameters and you will be able to tell if and how much buffer you may need.

And I am a real downer...I don't recommend tangs for anything much smaller than 100 gallons. Just my opinion.
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaketit
I have been doing weekly 5-8 gallon water changes now for about 6 months now. I also have a power head pointed at the surface. Everytime I go into the " good" lfs and get my water tested they say everything looks good just add some buffer. They test all my perameters. Then I go into the " crappy" lfs and he uses a test Strip and says my water is good and don't use buffer because you shouldn't put chemicals in your system. And he said don't buy a test kit all you need is strips????? Hmmmm which on is correct?
You should use liquid tests, more accurate. And it is best to avoid chemicals ad weekly water changes will replace what is lost.
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:59 PM   #10
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I was kidding on the tang stuff. I just had a legit questions about buffer and was getting stomped out with questions like how many fish can I put in my tank. Sorry I was being a wise azz. I just find it hard to believe that I went into a fish store and was told I don't need a water test kit, just use the strips. I know I should invest in a kit but its discouraging when someone that supposed to know tells you otherwise. I have some candy cane coral a hammer and some frogspawn for sps other than that just a bunch of zoos.
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