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Old 08-31-2003, 04:05 PM   #1
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My PH was too low, now it's extremely high...........HELP

Hello i'm new to this sight and I have a 55 gallon tank and I have 3 questions.

1) i've only had my tank and system since May/03 and my ex-LFS recommended a Fluval 303 as my filter, which I have since learned is crap for saltwater fish tanks. I currently don't have any fish in the tank, which I will get to in a sec but I'm wondering what is the best recommendation for my size fish only tank. I also want to know should I run them side by side or completely start all over which I assume will equal re-cycling the tank.

2) I started cycling my tank off with one big damsel. After the cycle was over I did a water change and mistakingly used only tap water (I confused the instructions of my LFS when they told me to top the water of the tank off with freshwater with doing this also when I do a water change). After this I went out and purchased an orange clown. Right away the Damsel was picking with the small clown and then within a week he died. I brought a water sample to my LFS and they advised me that the salinity was terribly low along with the PH. Sooooo they had me purchase some Kent's superbuffer and advised me to follow the directions to it closely..............did that and I wasn't seeing any results in a weeks time so I went online and saw someone say something about using baking soda, I used it and BBOOOMMM!!!! the PH spiked really high and the Damsel ended up dying. I went back to the LFS and they advised me to just sit on it for a week and put food in it midway through the week to give it something to break down and it should drop......it didn't, now I'm into the second week and they left me with the same instructions again. I want to know what you guys think I should do to get it lowered. It's at 8.6 and has been for about 2 weeks, lights on and off.

3) Should I use a Tetra pond UV-Sterilizer for my salt water tank, it was recommended by the ex-LFS but on the uv-sterilizer itself it says it's only to be used in freshwater.

Sorry to be so long-winded.

Jameira
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Old 08-31-2003, 06:50 PM   #2
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Quote:
1) i've only had my tank and system since May/03 and my ex-LFS recommended a Fluval 303 as my filter, which I have since learned is crap for saltwater fish tanks. I currently don't have any fish in the tank, which I will get to in a sec but I'm wondering what is the best recommendation for my size fish only tank. I also want to know should I run them side by side or completely start all over which I assume will equal re-cycling the tank.
I don't do cannister filters, so I can't help here, but I would recommend using a more natural filtration like LR and LS. It will be less stresful for your fish and more natural looking. If this is an unacceptable option, I would then move to a trickle filter

Quote:
2) I started cycling my tank off with one big damsel. After the cycle was over I did a water change and mistakingly used only tap water (I confused the instructions of my LFS when they told me to top the water of the tank off with freshwater with doing this also when I do a water change). After this I went out and purchased an orange clown. Right away the Damsel was picking with the small clown and then within a week he died. I brought a water sample to my LFS and they advised me that the salinity was terribly low along with the PH. Sooooo they had me purchase some Kent's superbuffer and advised me to follow the directions to it closely..............did that and I wasn't seeing any results in a weeks time so I went online and saw someone say something about using baking soda, I used it and BBOOOMMM!!!! the PH spiked really high and the Damsel ended up dying. I went back to the LFS and they advised me to just sit on it for a week and put food in it midway through the week to give it something to break down and it should drop......it didn't, now I'm into the second week and they left me with the same instructions again. I want to know what you guys think I should do to get it lowered. It's at 8.6 and has been for about 2 weeks, lights on and off.
1) Straight baking soda is not recommended to buffer your tank, it raises the ph way to high too fast, as you've seen. There is a cheap mix of baking soda and washing soda that does a good job and will not raise it too quickly. I'll have to find it, but I posted the recipe this past week sometime.

What to do to fix it?? There is an addage, (what should be a mantra really) Dillution is the Solution to Pollution. Do a series of water changes, raising the SG to about 1.025 @ 80-82*F over the course of a week. This should help lower the ph and get your tank in balance. The reason your PH was so low was because you did a water change with FW, the salt mix would have buffered your tank to the right level.

Quote:
3) Should I use a Tetra pond UV-Sterilizer for my salt water tank, it was recommended by the ex-LFS but on the uv-sterilizer itself it says it's only to be used in freshwater.
First contact the manufacturers and find out why it is not recommended for SW. It may contain some sort of metal that will oxidize in SW and compromise the UV, causing leakage as well as a fire hazard.
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Old 08-31-2003, 08:48 PM   #3
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:P Reef, thanx for your advice, I've seen your responses to other postings and you are very knowledgable.

I will look into the live rock and sand for further filtration.

Thanx for the advice on the PH, I failed to mention this in my post but I got the SG back in line by adding salt but I will do the water changes to work on the PH (with SW of course )

I will contact the manufacturer as far as the UV sterilizer.

Thanx again for your help and I'm sure you will see me on here again. :P
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Old 10-06-2003, 11:32 AM   #4
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Hi, if you don't have one, you may want to invest in a salinity refractometer to check your salinity levels. It's so easy to read and so accurate, but will set you back 50 or 100 bucks (try ebay thats where I bought mine). You just calibrate it with distilled water (scale should read 0 when distilled water is on it cuz theres no salt in distilled water) put a drop of tank water on the glass and look through the scope, easy as that. Easier than twiddling with other methods IMO. I hope this helps a little and good luck! Peace
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Old 10-07-2003, 09:10 PM   #5
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Kevin the recipe you posted was in response to one of my recent posts which was
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
6 parts Arm & Hammer Baking Soda and 1 part Arm & Hammer Washing soda. Mix well and add one table spoon of the mix to RO, RO/DI or Distilled water per 25 gal of tank water to raise DKH 1.0. Again always check pH and Alk.

Hope this was the recipe you were talking about Kevin
HTH,
James
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