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Old 11-04-2007, 07:37 PM   #1
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Water Quality (PH and ALK)

I have a 75 gallon with 90 pounds of figi liverock, and about 75 pounds of live sand. A fluval FX5( just installed today) and an emperor 400.

I have a yellow tang, a blue hippo tang, and 2 true percs.

I cycled with the live rock and then added the 2 clowns. A couple weeks later I added both tangs which I did too soon causing me to start another cycle in which my ammonia levels skyrocketed followed by the nitrite spike. This cycle is almost over and I did everything I could too speed it up with numerous water changes. Here are my numbers:

Ammonia - 0, Nitrite - 0.2 , Nitrate - 15 , Phospate - 0.2 , PH - 8 , Alk - 3.0

I know everyone is going to get on me about the Nitrite but I dont want any comments about it. I know its toxic, but it is low and the cycle is almost done. It was 1ppm a week ago and i have been changing the water every other day and I almost got it kicked. This tank has been up for about four months and I am using reef crystals.

My quetion is what should I do about the PH and the ALK. Do I need to get it up? By the way the tank is open top and the the Ph/ALK were tested after the lights have been on all day. Thanks guys
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Old 11-04-2007, 08:53 PM   #2
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What brand of salt are you using?
What is your source water?
Have you tested the pH of your source water?
How are your mixing the salt for your PWC?
Are you letting it sit/mix/aerate overnight or 24 hours before using it?

Why did you add the Fluval today?
You have enough LR for your biological filtration. A protein skimmer would be a good addition as would some power heads if you don't have any.

Are you dosing anything?

You might want to read up on The Relationship Between Alkalinity and pH-CHEMISTRY AND THE AQUARIUM and Alk-CHEMISTRY AND THE AQUARIUM. Both are a bit deep on the chemistry but worth reading.
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Old 11-04-2007, 11:30 PM   #3
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I have a protein skimmer and powerheads. I mix my saltwater with a powerhead and heater for at least 24 hours everytime I mix a new batch. I am using tap water and my salt is reef crystals. I have not tested the ph of my source water but from what I understand the salt mix you give me the correct alk and ph. I am also not dosing anything other than purple up. I added the fluval bc I felt that the emperor was not going to cut it for filtration. My ammonia spike really had me stunned and a weeks worth of straight water changes really did not help so i ordered the fx5. By the time I got the filter my water parameters had got better and then I realized that I really didnt need the new filter and that all that happened was my system was overloaded and my tank went through another cycle. The fluval should help with flow, 925 gph, so I plan on using my emperor to house some macro algae.

What should my alk and Ph be at? is it my salt that causes it to be low? I would rather not dose anything if I do not have too.
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Old 11-05-2007, 12:33 AM   #4
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Your alk and pH aren't bad at all. Maybe a tad bit low, but if you've just come out of another cycle, I wouldn't worry about it for now. It really doesn't matter how long your tank has been set up, if you're coming out of what sounds like a pretty good cycle, it's like your tank is new again. Just let it settle down for a couple months and then check on your levels. My guess is that with Reef Crystals and tap water (with a chlorine/chloramine remover, right?) you'll get a pH value of about 8.2-8.3 in the evenings and an alkalinity level right about where you're at now.
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Old 11-05-2007, 01:10 PM   #5
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thanks for the help Kurt, its really appreciated. I let this tank stabalize and hopefully the ph goes up a little bit. Oh, and yes I am using a tap water conditioner.
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Old 11-05-2007, 01:49 PM   #6
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I agree with Kurt. The source water is not to blame and your using a decent salt so the problem is not there.

Test your next batch of PWC water before you add it to the tank so will have a baseline to measure against. You should check your PWC water every so soften to see if there are any surprises from the norm.
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Old 11-05-2007, 02:10 PM   #7
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how quickly should a fresh batch of saltwater test correctly for PH and ALK. Even if its in a closed container with no light (to keep it from geting contaminated) will the PH be accurate as compared to what it will be when it is in the tank with the lights on.
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Old 11-05-2007, 02:10 PM   #8
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Working for a water company One of the main additives in tap water is ammonia. That could be where your source is coming from. Check your top off water and PWC water for ammonia and nitrites.
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Old 11-05-2007, 02:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshsReef
Even if its in a closed container with no light (to keep it from geting contaminated) will the PH be accurate as compared to what it will be when it is in the tank with the lights on.
If the PWC water is in a container that is closed, your pH should be relatively low, since there is little to no O2 exchange. I leave a constant batch of PWC running. All I use is a ph and heater and let it run.
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Old 11-05-2007, 02:48 PM   #10
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I mix my pwc water in in a closed rubbermaid container or a closed five gallon bucket. I let it run for no less that 24 hours, usually longer and always with a powerhead and a heater.
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