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Old 05-21-2013, 11:45 AM   #1
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Low ph

I have a relatively new 37 gallon reef tank (been cycled for 3 weeks) that I am getting low ph readings of about 7.4 (ph tested by simple dip strips). I plan to pick up the API reef test kit. I realize that there are plenty of opinions about my filtration and lighting but this is what I am able to have for now.

Here is my setup:
37 gallon tank
40 pounds of live rock
Marineland reef capable led
Emperor 280 HOB filter (I plan to put some general filter floss in for mechanical filtration and then add some chemi pure elite)
Seaclone protein skimmer 100
Glass Top

Inhabitants
- 4 hermit crabs
- 1 emerald crab
- 3 nassarius snails

I use instant ocean reef crystals for salt and am now using RO/DI water for water changes. I started with tap water but plan on only using RO/DI from here on out.

Is it common to have a low ph at this stage? I have tried removing part of the glass top to see if that helps. Should I use something like KENT superbuffer dkh or even baking soda? Or can I expect it to increase on its own when I add fish? Any thoughts are helpful! Thanks!
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:53 AM   #2
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Aeration can help increase PH. Use power head to have surface agitation and it will gradually go up. I have similar problem before. No need for any kind of dosing as long as you do partial water change regularly.
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:55 AM   #3
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I forgot to add that I'm running a maxi jet 750 to circulate water.

Shouldn't there be plenty of surface agitation with the HOB filter and HOB protein skimmer?
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:04 PM   #4
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I think they are sufficient. I would not rely on dip strips cause they are not that accurate. Having a reef test kit is a good idea.
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:09 PM   #5
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My powerhead isn't pointed up at the surface. I could redirect that powerhead.

If the HOB skimmer and filter are adequate why is the ph low in the first place? Could it be the glass top or is this somewhat typical for this stage?
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:16 PM   #6
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I was assuming your power head was already agitating the surface. You might need another one for circulation at the other end submerged. I use a mini fan pointed at the surface where my power head agitating the water and it did help increase my PH.
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:27 PM   #7
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What is your salinity?
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:29 PM   #8
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I would suspect the test strips as well. Get a liquid test kit before going too far on fixing what may not be broken.
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:14 PM   #9
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Yeah I just read online of an example of someone testing his water with strips and liquid the liquid ph was 8.2 an the test strip was 7.2. I'm assuming its the strips as well. Thanks for the help!!
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:14 PM   #10
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Salinity is 1.025
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