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Old 03-11-2009, 08:35 PM   #11
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HHHMMM... That's weird? I've used it before and it gave me a Dead on 8.3??? How old it your Test Kit?
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:11 PM   #12
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Are you reading the pH at the same time of day? If so, what time and how long on/after lights on/off?
I tried a buffer once but it was a pain to keep putting in, I just added another ph....
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:16 PM   #13
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Baked baking soda will slightly raise pH. Unbaked baking soda has a slight lowering affect. Using buffers is not a good way to raise pH. It's only a temp fix and along with raising pH (which will fall anyway) it also raises alk, which won't drop on it's own.
The reason that other stuff is "supposed" to stop at 8.3 is because it's loaded with boron. Again, not a good way to raise pH, plus now you affected alk and have potentially high boron levels.

Boron in a Reef Tank (and its effect on pH buffering)

Low pH: Causes and Cures
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Old 03-12-2009, 01:11 AM   #14
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To add to Larry's comment, the reason they suggest baking the baking soda is to drive off excess CO2, so you're not adding it to your tank... thus lowering the pH. As he mentioned, baking soda will act as a buffer, but not really raise the pH long term.

Sounds like the pH shift came from the ammonia spike - remember... excess biological activity will cause a drop in pH. And all that bacterial activity munching away on your ammonia is a lot of biological activity going on. If I was you, I'd just do 10-15% water changes every few days or so until your pH gets back to where it's at.

I dumped a bunch of baking soda in my tank when I first started because of "low" pH, so I feel your pain. Rebalancing the ca/alk relationship can be a pain after an episode like this, so here's an article to bookmark that might come in handy down the road.

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/nov2002/chem.htm
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Old 03-12-2009, 08:13 PM   #15
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Thanks so much for your help I tested again when igot home at 5:30 pm and it was again down to 7.3 - I added more buffer ( before I read this of course lol). We'll see how this goes.

My test kit is about 10 months old. Its the API test kits. I tested at about 1:30 pm ( just after lights on) and it was 7.4 yesterday, by 5pm it was 8.8. I know light times cause changes, but I thought only by 0.1-0.3

I ordered a calcium and alk test so hopefully I can get a better idea of whats going on. I'm sure those numbers will give me a better idea. Then I can dose / pwc accordingly
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