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Old 01-04-2004, 05:53 PM   #1
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PH Spike

I suddenly lost a tang yesterday, checking my tank I found the PH was over 8.6, when its always been around 8-8.2. Im gonna lose another fish today I think.

I changed 20 gallons of water yesterday out of 70, should I just keep changing water or is there something else I can do to lower the PH?
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Old 01-04-2004, 06:52 PM   #2
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Best way I know is to do waterchanges. However, it is just as dangerous (if not more so) to bring it down too quickly. Make sure you test the ph of the water added for the waterchange and do small waterchanges everyday until you reach the desired ph. Do you know why the ph shot up so high? Have you been adding buffer?
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Old 01-04-2004, 07:05 PM   #3
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I to had a PH spike due to the fact that a fish died in the tank. I couldn't find the fish so all the toxic and other chemicals got into the water flow. Perhaps something has died in your tank and you haven't realized it yet.

Well it happened to me but my Hippo tang was really small and it wasn't that bad. It only lasted less than two weeks.

And what kills me is that I never found it.
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Old 01-04-2004, 07:49 PM   #4
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I havent added any buffer, but a short time after my post I was panicing and I mixed some muratic acid (1tblsp) and dumped it in my sump. I know that was a bad reaction, but the ph has dropped to 8.0 now.

3 days ago I changed from a 10 gall sump to a 20. I just put the same salt and water into the sump as Ive always been using. NO3 and NO4 are 0. Ammonia .25, which I think is because of the well water I use.

I just located all the life in my quarium except a couple bumblebee snails, and they are likely hiding. Everything else is alive, even my damsel is distress. I could be imagining things, but it looks a little better.

Another note. The Tang had this particular damsel terrifiied and it has tattered its fins trying to squeeze into small spaces. The fish is definitly stressed. My other damsel (both yellow tails), my firefish and a percula clown all seem to be breathing and acting normal. My small Blue gold chromis shows signs of stress (hiding, rapid breathing), but so far isnt showing any other signs of illness.

My tank has been in operation for 2 months now, and the Tang was my first death. As a matter of fact I was just thinking to myself how SW fishkeeping wasnt too hard, now the unexplained is making me rethink that. Before I get any more fish I am definitly adding 30 more lbs of live rock.

Another thing, might be normal. My remora skimmer pulls about 3 or 4 ounces of gunk out a day, even though my tank water appears clear. Might be normal, but fugured Id add that data.
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Old 01-04-2004, 08:38 PM   #5
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Being 1/3rd hydrochloric acid be wary of the ph rebounding and also ensure you check the alkalinity of the water as it will impact that as well. Once the hydrogens and CO2 leave the water, the ph will bounce back but hopefully not as high as 8.6

In future, I would suggest some soda water from the corner store if an emergency. A few ounces will have a much smaller effect on the ph and little or no affect on the alk. It will be easier to control the reaction and less stressful on the inhabitants. As RR said, small water changes prepared to a slightly lower ph might yield better results...

Cheers
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Old 01-04-2004, 11:26 PM   #6
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Thanks Steve, thats exactly the kind of advice I was looking for. I think we already have some in the house.

The damsel is still alive, and has moved to a different location. It is no longer laying on the bottom and I think it may survive.

I plan on changing 10 gal a day until I get this under control. Wish I could find the culprit that created the spike.
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Old 01-05-2004, 01:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alarmguy66
Wish I could find the culprit that created the spike.
Quote:
Originally Posted by alarmguy66
Another thing, might be normal. My remora skimmer pulls about 3 or 4 ounces of gunk out a day, even though my tank water appears clear. Might be normal, but fugured Id add that data.
This bit about the skimmer might suggest something. They will usually do this when something "tangible" enters the water. Any chance of cleaning supplies being used in the same room as the tank? Aerosols and Such? Darin from CaptiveReefs also mentioned once that his tank did something similar when using carpet cleaning supplies. Keep in mind that most cleaning supplies are chemically basic and neutralize acids.

Anything come to mind?

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Old 01-05-2004, 09:09 PM   #8
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Just checked with the wife, she says no cleaning supplies have been used in this room. I do have a 4 year old and a 7 year old, so I guess anything is possible.

BTW, alkalinity is still good, and PH has come up to 8.3, but seems stable. Changed 5 gall more tonight. The sick yellow tail is hanging on, but now the dominant yellow tail is harrassing her. Ive netted the weaker one for her own protection. Everyone else looks better today, respiration is back to normal. I dont think the crisis is over, but Im hoping the worst is.
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Old 01-05-2004, 10:15 PM   #9
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Sounds like at least the worse is over. Keep trying to investigate possible causes to prevent it from happening again. If anything comes to mind be sure to post back.

Good Luck
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Old 01-07-2004, 12:37 PM   #10
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one thing I did last night is kick the troublesome damsel out of the main tank and into QT. Hopefully that will lighten up the stress.
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