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Old 03-21-2012, 12:23 PM   #1
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Increasing pH help

specs:
-16gallon tank
-13lbs of LR
-20lbs of live sand
-cycled
-2 fish
-2 snails
-4 crabs
-3 shrimps

I'm consistently getting pH readings of 7.8. For the past 3 days, I've been putting Seachem's marine buffer in the morning which raises it to 8.2, but by nighttime, it's fallen back to 7.8. The directions say to add a dose of it once a day, but considering the circumstances, should I douse my tank twice a day (once in the morning and once at night)?

Also, the water from my tank is the ready made saltwater from a lfs so I don't think the pH is initially 7.8. What's causing the pH to go down?

Another question that I have is that I top off my tank with RO water. The pH of this water is about 6.8-7.0. With low kH and really soft. I put in about 3 cups of it per week (into a 16 gallon tank). Is it possible this small amount of water is causing the pH to go down so much? If so, should I try adding Seachem's replenish to the RO water before I top off my tank?
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Old 03-21-2012, 01:24 PM   #2
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I had same problem because my ro water first went thru my water softener. I added power head aimed at water surface. I started using filtered natural seawater from my lfs. I'm now running 8-8.2. Problem solved.
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:00 PM   #3
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I would aim a powerhead up towards the surface of the water, this can help keep the ph stable. I run at 7.8 to 8.0 and everything in my tank is looking good. As long as it's consistent and stable a lower ph can be ok. Better than adding chemicals every day or so. lol

Have you checked the ph of the water you buy?
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:18 PM   #4
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I would aim a powerhead up towards the surface of the water, this can help keep the ph stable. I run at 7.8 to 8.0 and everything in my tank is looking good. As long as it's consistent and stable a lower ph can be ok. Better than adding chemicals every day or so. lol

Have you checked the ph of the water you buy?
I didn't think 7.8 pH was a problem until one of the ocellaris died. I took it back to the lfs with a sample of my water. My water tested fine except for the 7.8 pH, and they told me that my pH mostlikely killed it and told me to use a pH buffer. I bought the product, but I'm still alittle skeptical about validity of their conclusion. Now the second ocellaris that I bought from them is showing signs of what I think is brooklynella (white spots on face (but none on the body), no appetite (would eat food and then spit it out), no rubbing against rocks or sand, parts of the body looked faded (looked like he was swimming in charcoal), usually stays near the bottom of the tank. It shows movement but doesn't swim around. The first ocellaris died within 5 days so im not sure if it was pH, shock, or it was just sick on arrival. The second fish started showing signs of illness after 6 days.

I'll check the saltwater from the store when I get home, but the dude at the store told me it was around 8.2 or 8.3.

but should I use the seachem replenish when I top off?
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:30 PM   #5
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I would check their water first. Good starting point to follow the trail, at some point you will come upon the reason. What's the powerhead situation in the tank? How many and how are they placed? Also, when was your last water change and how much did you do?

I have issues like I said above with low ph, mine are most likely because my house is sealed shut with the air conditioner running all the time. I have no air circulation so I have bad gas exchange in my tanks. I found that if I open the house up for a few hours the ph actually rises throughout the day.

Unless the fish wasn't acclimated properly to the new tank water i don't think a slightly low ph would kill it. Remember, I have a dozen fish or so swimming around in 7.8 water and they are fine.
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Old 03-21-2012, 06:40 PM   #6
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I would check their water first. Good starting point to follow the trail, at some point you will come upon the reason. What's the powerhead situation in the tank? How many and how are they placed? Also, when was your last water change and how much did you do?

I have issues like I said above with low ph, mine are most likely because my house is sealed shut with the air conditioner running all the time. I have no air circulation so I have bad gas exchange in my tanks. I found that if I open the house up for a few hours the ph actually rises throughout the day.

Unless the fish wasn't acclimated properly to the new tank water i don't think a slightly low ph would kill it. Remember, I have a dozen fish or so swimming around in 7.8 water and they are fine.

I have 2 nozzles and 1 powerhead on right of the pic.
the nozzle on the left of the pic rotates and you can see it making the water swell. The second nozzle on the right is constantly angled upward. The powerhead is angled slightly down. Is this enough water movement and agitation?
I also stopped by the lfs where I got the saltwater from during lunch. The dude said that they sell Catalina seawater with no buffers or additives. I asked him what the pH level was, and the he said that it was around 8.3. I asked him to test it for me, and it came out to 7.8. So I found the source of the low pH. But why isn't the Seachem marine buffer that I'm adding not maintaining a higher pH? It's been only 3 days since I started adding it, so should I give it more time? Or should I increase the frequency from adding it once a day to twice a day?
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Old 03-21-2012, 06:45 PM   #7
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What is your mag,cal and alkalinity at?
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Ph - 8.4, Alk - 4.3 Meq, Cal - 450, Mag - 1340
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Old 03-21-2012, 06:59 PM   #8
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What is your mag,cal and alkalinity at?
I have no clue. I thought I didn't have to test for those unless I had coral or anemone in the tank?
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:04 PM   #9
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A pH of 7.8 will not kill any fish. If that's what your LFS told you...look for a new store. Don't add any buffers to raise your pH. Whatever you add to raise pH will also raise alkalinity. A buffer will only temporarily raise pH and by the next day it will be back to where it was before. If your house is closed up, open some windows to get more fresh air in the house. One of the most common reasons for low pH (even tho 7.8 isn't really low enough to be of concern) is a high co2 level in the air in the house.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:12 PM   #10
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Look up ideal water parameters for your setup, ph buffers always a no no IMO, like capt said probably a co2 issue, for example if you have good mag (1250 - 1350) cal (350 - 450) alk (8 - 10dKH) and your ph is low at 7.8 it's definately co2 levels, point a power head to surface, open the windows and let your tank breathe ahhhh
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24W UV, 17.5KG Fiji Live Rock, Temp - 25C,
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Ph - 8.4, Alk - 4.3 Meq, Cal - 450, Mag - 1340
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