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Old 05-19-2012, 08:07 PM   #1
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Ph question

I have a 46 gallon bow front w/2 Occelaris clowns, an orange spot goby, an a acan, frogspawn, and star polyps, multiple snails and crabs. Salinity 1.025,ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 5, kh 11, calcium 500, mag 1400, phosphate 0. Can't seem to get ph over 8.0 which is at the end of the light cycle. I'm running a reef octopus protein skimmer and a canister filter with chemi pure, phosban and seachem denitrate. 50 lbs of live rock. I don't want to buffer cause the kh is already high enough and I have been keeping windows open in room. Anyone have any advice on how to handle this? I've also lost a blue legged hermit and a Halloween hermit in the last 2 days. I almost forgot I have a cleaner and a fire shrimp. Thanks
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Old 05-19-2012, 08:12 PM   #2
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Also my emerald crab just ate my Zoa frag anyway to supplement his diet to keep this from happening? Thanks again all.
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Old 05-19-2012, 08:34 PM   #3
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Nope they are opportunistic feeders. Ive had one go through over a hundred polyps. 8.0 is not horrible. I would not worry too much. I would buffer your water to 12 if you want higher ph. But no higher really. opening the windows will no help much if there is not adequate surface agitation.

Its also possible your test kits are off. Id have your fish store test alk and ph. Or use another kit just to make sure those are actually true readings.
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Old 05-19-2012, 08:50 PM   #4
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You pH at 8 is fine and is nothing to worry about. I agree with you not wanting to add any buffers being your alk is already high (I keep my alk between 8-9 dKH).

As far as taking water to your lfs to have them test it, it's fine for anything but pH. Once the water leaves the tank and in transit to the LFS it's exposed to different air conditions (mainly more o2 and less co2) so you won't get an true reading of the pH of the system.
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Old 05-19-2012, 08:52 PM   #5
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My return from the canister spray bar ripples the surface pretty well, my Powerhead points down at the rock, but doesn't the skimmer provide some aeration also? The test kits are API and are only 3 months old I would hope they are pretty accurate. Actually the kh kit is only 1 month old. I know 8 isn't terrible for ph but it was holding at 8.2 until last week am I missing something else? I just did a 20 % water change and ph stayed at 8. Thanks
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Old 05-19-2012, 08:54 PM   #6
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By the way I am using ro/di purchased at my lfs
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Old 05-19-2012, 09:01 PM   #7
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API test kits aren't very accurate to begin with. They are among the lower grade test kits available to hobbyists. They are cheap for a reason, but they are fine in most cases.

Don't start chasing your pH as 8 is perfectly fine. All your other parameters look fine and if you start adding supplements to try to raise your pH you may throw the other parameters out of balance. The skimmer will help aerate the water, but whether it will help keep the pH up or make it higher depeends on the amount of co2 in the air that's getting pumped into the skimmer. If possible, run an airline to the outside so the skimmer draws in fresh outside air. But again, your pH is fine at 8.
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Old 05-19-2012, 09:10 PM   #8
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Thanks for your help I plan to buy red sea kits for calcium my mag kit is red sea but I figured for oh amm, nitrate an trite API would be fine. I may get red sea nitrate also because API is pretty vague below 20. Thanks again
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Old 05-20-2012, 12:02 AM   #9
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I haven't posted here for a really long time. My son got sick and took me away from my tanks. But now we're back in the game. The tanks never went away..... just got less attention.

Anyway -
I find, for me, that my pH is highly dependent upon my salt choice. i.e. I have one tank that currently has 80% of my preferred salt mix, and only 20% of the temporary replacement salt mix, and it has a pH of 8.3. My other tank, which required more water changes, has 80% new salt mix and 20% old salt mix. It's suffering along at 8.0 or below at times. When I have the right salt, I NEVER have to even think about my pH. Without the right salt, I fight pH all the time - even with everything else in place correctly.

But that is my 2 cents...

Salts that don't work for me: Brands similar to Instant Ocean.
My preferred salt: Coralife

That doesn't mean it is the right salt for you, but after 10 years in this hobby, I have found that to be the biggest factor for me.
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dk638 View Post
Thanks for your help I plan to buy red sea kits for calcium my mag kit is red sea but I figured for oh amm, nitrate an trite API would be fine. I may get red sea nitrate also because API is pretty vague below 20. Thanks again
Look into Salifert test kits. They cost a bit more than API or Red Sea but they are extremely accurate and very easy to read the results. You may have to order them online if your LFS doesn't carry them.
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