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Old 09-20-2005, 01:40 AM   #1
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Cheap GAC dropping PH??

I noticed a day after changing my GAC and adding a new Poly-Filter that my PH was very low~7.8 after lights on Then I saw this comment posted by Steve-S regarding a fish death - "Possible but not the most likely cause unless it also impacted pH which I doubt. That would be more common with carbon ( the kind that bubbles/crackles when water is added) and typically a small tank volume."
I use Aquarium Pharmaceuticals GAC and it bubbles/crackles as described above. Anyone have problems w/ PH and GAC? Any insight/info would be very much appreciated.
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Old 09-20-2005, 10:27 AM   #2
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Crackling carbon usually indicates trapped CO2/gases. If your dealing with a small water volume, it can negatively impact the pH although rare. The best way to counteract it is soaking the carbon before use in RO/DI until the crackling stops. Also be sure to rinse the carbon afterwards to free any dust and potential of introducing phosphates to the tank.

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Old 09-20-2005, 10:47 AM   #3
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I've also noticed a drop in my PH with the use of a Poly-Filter in a AC 500 filter in a 55gal tank. Just wondering .....
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Old 09-20-2005, 04:40 PM   #4
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Never had that issue myself but I did send Bio Marine an e-mail inquiring as to the possibilities and "what ifs". Will post a follow up when they reply.

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Old 09-20-2005, 09:21 PM   #5
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I've always used the same brand GAC, so I'm now thinking it's the Poly-Filter. I don't think a small amount of trapped CO2 (thanks for the info Steve-S) is making that big a difference in a 55gal...
Poly-Filters do mention on the package the possibility of them dropping PH.
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve-s
Bio Marine an e-mail inquiring as to the possibilities and "what ifs". Will post a follow up when they reply.
That would be great Steve, if they don't respond promptly I'll shoot them an e-mail also.
Today the PH is alittle lower than normal but decent~8.1, I did a small PWC last night. Thanks again guys.
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Old 09-20-2005, 10:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MT79
I've always used the same brand GAC, so I'm now thinking it's the Poly-Filter. I don't think a small amount of trapped CO2 (thanks for the info Steve-S) is making that big a difference in a 55gal...
Poly-Filters do mention on the package the possibility of them dropping PH.
I read the package I have and the only area that meantions pH reads...

Polyfilter extends time between water changes. Add water for evaporation loss. If pH shifts below acceptable levels, change water and add new polyfilter.

Definately open to interpretation but the way I read that is if the polyfilter is too old, the increased organics/reduced O2 may cause a shift downwards in pH and a new polyfilter is needed. Moreso an indication that the polyfilter is exhausted.
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve-s
Bio Marine an e-mail inquiring as to the possibilities and "what ifs". Will post a follow up when they reply.
That would be great Steve, if they don't respond promptly I'll shoot them an e-mail also.
Today the PH is alittle lower than normal but decent~8.1, I did a small PWC last night. Thanks again guys.
I asked...
Quote:
Can a polyfilter affect pH in any regard when newly added to a saltwater aquarium. I have read where it should help increase overall O2 but was wondering if there could possibly be an initial impact when a new pad is added?
This was their reply....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poly-Bio-Marine,Inc
Poly-Filter (r) may increase the pH level in older saltwater aquaria due to
the sorption of acidic dissolved organic matter and increasing the amount
of dissolved oxygen.
Not a very difinitive reply so I will ask alternate sources...

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Steve
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Old 09-20-2005, 10:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve-s
Definately open to interpretation but the way I read that is if the polyfilter is too old, the increased organics/reduced O2 may cause a shift downwards in pH and a new polyfilter is needed. Moreso an indication that the polyfilter is exhausted.
Quote:
Ahh, that would make sense.
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve-s
Not a very difinitive reply so I will ask alternate sources...
Please let me/us know what you come up with. Feel free to PM me if you want w/ any info. Cheers Steve.
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Old 10-06-2005, 10:21 PM   #8
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Update- I have not saw my purple firefish since a day or two before this PH drop happened. I'm assuming it is dead, I searched around the tank to make sure it did not decide to go carpet surfing(I have a canopy w/ a few small openings). Maybe when the firefish died it caused a bacterial bloom that consumed the O2 and dropped the PH?? I replaced GAC today using the same brand as always and have not seen a PH drop... Either the fish or the poly-filter caused it as far as I can tell. I'm inclined to think it was more likely the fish. Any opinions/comments?
Edit-I should add that the firefish looked alittle beat up before the PH drop, I think from the rogue crab I have not caught yet arrggh. The rest of the fish were and still are fine.
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Old 10-07-2005, 10:40 AM   #9
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What leads you to believe it was a bacterial bloom?

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Old 10-07-2005, 09:22 PM   #10
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I assumed it was plausible lol...I can not come up w/ anything else. I checked PH again today, after replacing the GAC yesterday, and it was fine. The fish death and Poly-filter are the only other "variables" I can come up w/.
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