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Old 06-13-2006, 04:07 PM   #21
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Well, it appears to be a ph spike. I don't know how it happened as I had mixed the water and tested the crap out of it. Now my PH is at like 8.8. How do I get it down quickly without re-shocking everything? At this point I fear I'm going to lose all my inverts. Fish seem OK.

I still have 5g of water left from the tank before I changed the water, in a bucket. Would it be a good thing to bring this to temp and move as many inverts to it as I can until the tank is under control? At least I know it wasn't that bad, just high nitrates.
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Old 06-13-2006, 04:34 PM   #22
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40-50 percent water changes scare me. I do 20-30 percent twice weekly in emergencies, or even every other day. Only because that is such a large change, a lot could happen. Unless you are able to filter and control the temp in the bucket, I wouldn't move the inverts. The change back to the other water might shock them as much as the wc did. If you do it, do it SLOWLY. Make sure you really take your time acclimating them back into the old water or you might be doing them more harm than good.

Good luck, I know this hobby can be heartbreaking at times, but once things get back to normal you will feel much better.
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150 gallon, 30g fuge/sump, 4.5 watt/gal VHO Lighting, 4" sand bed, 290 lbs LR, CDX-3 Nitrate/Phosphate filter

Female Naso "Isabell" or "Izzy", Emperor Angelfish, Flame Angel, Red Sea Sailfin tang "Bambi", Maroon Clown "Nani", 5 Chromis, 1 Aglae Blenny "Bengi" , Yellow Watchman Goby, pr of Banggai Cardinals, Lyretail Anthia, Six Line Wrasse

1 cleaner shrimp, Coral Banded Shrimp, lettuce nudibranch, 1 sand sifter stars, 1 tiny red brittle star "red", 1 tiny red and white banded serpent star, 2 tiny banded serpent stars, small orange Linkia starfish, assorted hermits and snails. Corals: star polyps, A ton of different types of mushrooms, yellow zooanthids, brown-orangish and light blue paly's, orange ricordia.

90g RR, W/D, 120 lb's LR SF eel, pygmy angel, pr sebae clownfish, 4 chromis. Star Polyps & Mushrooms
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Old 06-13-2006, 04:58 PM   #23
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Quote:
I still have 5g of water left from the tank before I changed the water, in a bucket.
Did you dose the premixed water?
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Old 06-13-2006, 05:46 PM   #24
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Quote:
Well, it appears to be a ph spike. I don't know how it happened as I had mixed the water and tested the crap out of it. Now my PH is at like 8.8. How do I get it down quickly without re-shocking everything
If your water was not well aged and aerated, this can result. Water should be premixed and be circulated for 24 hours prior to use ideally. As for bringing it down "quickly"...you shouldn't. Bringing it down fast will shock the fish.
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Old 06-14-2006, 10:04 AM   #25
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By now your fish/inverts have already adjusted to the high ph for the most part. A radical change at this point will stress them even more. ph will not stay that high naturally and will fall to regular levels within the next week or two.

Doing large 30%-50% pwc is really not harmful if you give your water time to mix and adjust to any sg/ph/temp swings to match the tank.

Fish are much more adaptable to slight variations. Mobile inverts are always the first to show signs of stress and are a good barometer of how the tank is doing in general.

Personally I’ve never seen an artificial salt mix register that high for ph, did you dose for ca/alk or add buffer to your premixed water? Did you use a strong powerhead/pump to mix your salt water and did you mix for the recommended 24 hours?

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I’m more curious at what kind of stock fish/invert wise and what, how often, & how much do you feed your stock.
Without knowing this it is impossible to know why you had the no3 spike in the first place.
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Old 06-15-2006, 06:53 PM   #26
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Here is where things are at right now:

It would appear that my nitrate issues are coming from my water source. I have municipal tap water but have always run an API DI filter without any issues. Until this happened I never saw nitrates over 5ppm. I suspect that the DI filter gave out yet was still indicating it was good. Strange, but I guess it can happen. As a remedy I have ordered a complete RO/DI system from FilterDirect and it should be here tomorrow.

In response to the questions about my SW mix, yes, I had mixed the SW in a 44g trashcan for 48 hours prior to the change. I tested that water every which way I could and it looked like it all matched up. Maybe my test was bad. Maybe the salt was bad. Maybe it was because of the water not being filtered well. I honestly don't know. I have since had the tank water checked at the LFS and they confirmed the high ph as well. I have since ordered a ph meter/monitor which should also be here tomorrow.

After the initial loss of snails everything else seems to have settled out and calmed down a bit. My ph is still high, 8.8 or more, and this was after doing another 15g WC with 8.3ph premixed SW and another 20g WC with SW made from RO/DI water I got from the LFS, which I purposely left at a lower ph/salinity but it seemed to have no effect, or at least the effect didn't last long. It looked like the ph came down for a short while but has gone back up. I am testing several times per day. My fish are all alive and ok. remaining snails appear ok. Corals are closed up for the most part. My two BTAs, which I moved to the remaining 5g bucket of old water, along with a PH and heater, are doing OK. I have a PC light fixture over them and they started to spread out today. A good sign, but I can't leave them in there for long.

So at this point I am struggling to get ph down. It doesn't seem to budge. I have tried PHDown products and have seen little if any results. I'm not really sure what to do at this point.
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Old 06-16-2006, 12:34 AM   #27
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Excellent sluething (That a word??)!! I wouldnt use PHDown and all that in a SW tank..Just me. As was pointed out earlier, I would cease all additives, cease all wc's until the PH fell back to normal levels. I reiterate, normal mixing of salt water in any quantity should not cause any problems. You can do a 90% wc if one desired with no ill affects. In your case, obviously something has gone awry. You mentioned the municipal water you use. I would consider checking the PH of it before you mix it. The SW test should work with FW as well, I believe. Anyway, good move on the RO/DI unit but you will still need to replace all the filters in it every 6 months or so and the membrane about every 1 - 2 years. A cheap tds meter can tell you when its needing serviced. I think the more you try and 'correct' this condition, the more you risk harming your stock. Anyway, whatever you decide, I would hold off any wc's until you got to the bottom of this PH deal.

Peace.
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Old 06-17-2006, 04:17 PM   #28
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Things are looking up. Today, I did another 20g water change and added my BTAs back to the tank. They have now opened fully and so has my Kenya tree coral. My finger leather and polyps are also looking much better. My cerith snails are back to laying eggs. It seems that the pwc's and time has brought the ph down.

I tested water this morning and it looked like the ph was around 8.4. Later this morning I received my electronic ph tester/monitor. After checking the calibration and testing the water it says my ph is at 8.12. I'm more apt to believe this instrument as I neverliked reading the ph color charts and always wondered how accurate they were. I am leaving the monitor in my sump to be able to constantly check the ph, at least for now. I now wonder how high the ph was all along, but I am pretty sure it went higher than usual.
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Old 06-19-2006, 09:23 AM   #29
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Ph is always going to be lowest in the morning before turning lights on and highest at night just before turning lights out.

Color charts depending on the brand are usually pretty accurate but can/do expire and can give false readings over time.

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I have since had the tank water checked at the LFS and they confirmed the high ph as well.
If your test and the LFS matched up pretty closely I’d say it was pretty accurate although somewhat usual for such a high reading without buffering.

Glad everything is getting back to normal, how is your no3 looking?
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Old 06-19-2006, 11:11 PM   #30
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Nitrates were around 40 after all was said and done. I am planning to continue to do smaller pwc's in order to bring that number down. I tested th ph of my tap water and it was around 7.2. Nitrates from the tap water were off the scale and TDS was about 200ppm.
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