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Old 10-13-2003, 12:59 PM   #1
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My Ph is dropping and I don't know why?

My Ph has been slowly dropping for a while now and I don't know why. It is down to 7.8 which seems a bit low to me. My used be a happily consistent 8.2 but over the course of several months really it is now down to 7.8. Any ideas??
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Old 10-13-2003, 01:16 PM   #2
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What time are you testing your PH, relative to your photoperiod?

When is the last time you did a water change?

As fall is setting in it's getting cooler outside, are you finding that you have started closing windows in the house, where you used to keep them open?
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Old 10-13-2003, 02:28 PM   #3
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I'm testing the water about 2 hours after the lights come on. the tank is on a 12 hour schedule, so I guess you can say it's relatively early in its day.

The tank temp is consistent as is the house temp. Windows and doors have actually been open quite a bit recently as we've returned to mild temps for a bit.

I did a water change about a month ago -- which means I'm due for another quite soon. I topped off the water with about 1/2 gallon of water (30 gallon tank) earlier in the day. However, I doubt that that affected the findings, since I got the same reading last time and hadn't topped off.

Also, seems to me that .4 difference (frm 8.2 to 7.8 ) is a drastic swing.

btw all other readings are good:
Amm 0
Nitrate 0
Nitrite 0
SG 1.024-1.023
Temp 80-82
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Old 10-13-2003, 02:37 PM   #4
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Test again after your waterchange, I'd bet that that will clear it up
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Old 10-13-2003, 02:42 PM   #5
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Why?

(... do you bet that will clear it up?)
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Old 10-13-2003, 02:58 PM   #6
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Over time the biological process produce acids in the tank which will lower the alk and ph. Another option would be to add buffers to the tank, but since regular water changes are already a routine...

The water change will remove the acids that have built up and replace them with new, clean buffered water. Lot's of aquarists use PH as a way to determine when to do a waterchange.
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Old 10-13-2003, 05:34 PM   #7
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I totally agree that PH monitoring is an exellent indicator for water changes (fresh and salt), and low PH (below8.0) is perhaps the single biggest problem causer in a marine tank that most people don't pay attention to. High nitrates being next on the list. Low PH will promote nuisance algae, stress if not kill corals and inverts, cause calcium/hardness levels to bounce all over the place, and generally reduce the health of the tank.

However, I'm not sure what's worse. Constant water changes from a tap, or just letting the tank turn into Amazon basin. The more water changes you do means you dump more tap water contaminants into your tank, which then means buying an RO unit to fix the problem you created by trying to fix another problem.

I think I see the same dilema with Clownfish that I had to come to terms with before starting up my reef tanks again. Basically, I *hate* doing water changes and will procrastinate as much as I can until my maroon clown starts writing 'idiot human' backwards on the algae on the glass to get my attention. It's comes down to a choice; either replace water in the tank to replenish nutrients and dilute bad things, or take better care of the water that's in there.

I choose the later, and drastically reduced the need for water changes with aggresive skimming and good old calcium buffers. My own preference for the later is Aragamilk, and adding half a cap every third day keeps my PH locked down tight at 8.2-8.3 and coralline algae and soft corals growing at a near nuisance rate.
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Old 10-14-2003, 11:34 AM   #8
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Thanks! Reefrunner69, your explanation was great. I didn't realize that pH could be affected in that way, nor did I understand the role of water changes for pH.

Even when you think you've caught on to hobby, there's plenty to learn. Which is why I love this forum. Thanks guys.

Another reason I love the forum is the wealth of different thoughts and opinions. "wseaton" thanks for point of view. Excellent points and something to think about. I'll probably do something combine ideas. That is still do water changes perhaps on the schedule I'm on now and add calcium buffers in the meantime.

Anyone have other thoughts on this plan??? Or my pH problem in general?
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