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Old 08-17-2010, 07:19 PM   #1
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PH levels

I recently switched to a 40 breeder and instead of using CC (as I did in my 38) I used aragonite sand. It was dry sand, not the "live" kind. I sifted all the dust out of it before placing in my tank, so my cloudiness was almost zero. I know sand is a natural buffer to things like PH and nitrates and overall it looks alot nicer. When I first put in it my tank, I tested the quality of my PH. It was 8.4 !! Good news right !! So after a week I tested again, it was down to 7.8. I did 2 PWCs (total of 12 gallons) of freshley made SW, and tested again today. 7.8 !!??

Can someone explain me a way to raise this level ?? Or is it something that will take time to become a natural buffer and get full of goodies ?? I know it won't become live overnight
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Old 08-17-2010, 08:59 PM   #2
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Check the PH about an hour before the lights go out. Let us know what it is then.
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Old 08-17-2010, 09:26 PM   #3
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Melosu is correct, Ph lvls fall and rise between sunrise and sunset, Algae and other life forms consume more or less oxygen when lights are on or off. There are products you can buy to raise the buffer of your Ph. But its a risky buisness, i would check all parimeters of the water that effect Ph, I.e Calcium and Kh
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Old 08-17-2010, 10:33 PM   #4
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There is no difference in the buffering capabilities of cc or aragonite. Neither buffer the water unless the pH in your tank drops to around 7.4 or lower. Normally a saltwater tank will never have pH levels that low. A calcium reactor uses aragonite as it's media and co2 is injected to drop the pH so the aragonite starts to dissolve and buffer the water along with adding calcium.

It's normal for your pH to be low in the AM and rise thru the day when your lights are on. The organisms in the tank consume the co2 in the water during the day which causes the pH to rise. When the lights are off, there is less activity and the co2 builds up and causes the pH to fall.
The How To Guide to Reef Aquarium Chemistry for Beginners Part 3: pH by Randy Holmes-Farley - Reefkeeping.com
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Old 08-17-2010, 11:55 PM   #5
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Thanks for the read capt. Interesting stuff when you try to break it all down. And yeah I usually do all my testing in the AM, around 9ish or so. I'll check when I get home, the lights wont be on but i'll still check it anyway.
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:45 PM   #6
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If it's still low, make sure you have enough surface agitation. When I first started I couldn't get it higher than 7.8 (day or night).. then adjusted powerheads to face the water surface and over 2-3 days it jumped to 8.3, then 8.4
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:54 PM   #7
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Well I have one PH pointed up towards the top to get the surface agitation. I also have my skimmer on the other side of the tank, that constantly breaks surface water (all kinds of bubbles !!).
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