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Old 04-28-2004, 11:03 PM   #1
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Ok I'm a newbie to the salt thing......but am quite familiar with freshwater stuff. N e ways.....I have had my tank for about 6 months (2 damsels, sabae clown, PJ cardinal, peppermint shrimp) it is 30 gallons. I added a new rock the other day (lace rock) and my first coral, a button polyp. I also did a water change recently cause the Nitrate with 10ppm. Before I changed the water the PH was 8.3, ammonia and nitrite were 0 and nitrate was 10ppm. so anyways....the tap water here is 7.6. So I did a 10 percent water change the day after I added the coral and lace rock....and tested the water again. Nitrite and ammonia were 0, nitrate barely any...maybe 2ppm but the PH was 7.8!!!! When I did the water change I added Buffer to the water. I tested it the next day and it was 7.5!!! I added two more doses of buffer today and the PH is 7.8 now. Is it the rock maybe causing this.....i thought lace rock was ok for saltwater. Should I take it out? Is it something else.....what else do I need to test for now I have coral? I dont think I really understand the whole alklinity/ph/buffer thing.....maybe Im just not testing the right thing. Here are some specs that may help, 30 gallon bowfront, Live aragonite, about 15 lbs of lace rock, 10 tufa, and 10 of live rock, I have a penguin 170 running without biowheel (i was told to take it off, is that right?) and a skilter (i don't really like it, so i might get a marineland skimmer in a couple months. also a aquaclear powerhead, a proquatics heater, a 50/50 bulb and a 10,000K bulb. Also there are two clam looking things on my live rock (i assume that is what they are) what do they eat etc? Any advice will be greatly appriciated....am I going in the right direction? what about the PH....I am a fulltime student and work 30 hrs a week so I don't have a lot of money...so suggesting a $300 light set up isn't really fesiable. Thanks sooooooooooooo much!
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Old 04-28-2004, 11:19 PM   #2
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For the most part a good quality salt should bring your pH up to the 8.0-8.3 range. Make sure you test your pH the same time each day as well. During the nighttime hours when lights are out pH will drop a few tenths so if you checking at various times it may seem like something is wrong. Here are a few articles if you would like to read them:

Calcium & Alkalinity
Alk & pH
Solving Alk & Ca problems
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Old 04-29-2004, 12:37 AM   #3
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ok cool, I use Instant Ocean.....I assumed that is pretty good. We sell the new oceanic salt at work and I think some from corallife salt. Which is the best? I tested it again at 1130pm and it was still 7.8. I'm going to leave it alone for the night and I guess maybe add some more buffer tommorrow if needed. I will read those articles before i start messing with it again. thanks again
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Old 04-29-2004, 12:58 AM   #4
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What exactly are you using for buffer? Are you testing for alkalinity as well. I would check alkalinity when adding buffers, a buffer usually affects both pH and alk. Instant Ocean salt is kinda the standard, I've heard really good things about Oceanic though. Its true that the salt mix should bring your tapwater pH to about 8.3 or so. Mix up some more SW and test the pH before adding it to the tank. Did you let the salt mix for 24 hours and what specific gravity was it? Also, make sure there's good flow at the surface of your tank and that there is some fresh air getting into the room where the tank is. Excess carbon dioxide can drive pH down and can be remedied several ways. One way to check if CO2 is the problem...check the pH of the tank and then remove some water to a cup and set by a open window and check again in a few hours, if the pH rises substantially then you have a CO2 problem to address. HTH
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Old 04-29-2004, 09:47 AM   #5
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Thanks for the advice, I will check PH and do the cup thing. There is a ceiling fan above the tank and a patio door that we leave open too, but maybe not enough surface break.
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Old 04-29-2004, 10:32 AM   #6
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I have had trouble with some lace rock lowering the pH inspite of buffers. Lace rock is volcanic in origin (I think) and can contain some fraction of nasty stuff. After it gets covered in coraline it should be OK though. You may want to add it one or two pieces at a time. Or remove it altogether and see if you pH stabilizes.
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Old 04-30-2004, 03:43 PM   #7
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I have a penguin 170 running without biowheel (i was told to take it off, is that right?)
Should the biowheel be taken out? This is the first I've heard of this one...
If it should, why?
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Old 04-30-2004, 11:54 PM   #8
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I kinda thought that was weird too......but I really didn't know right from wrong so I took their advice. *shruggs* they didn't say why. But it is a decent store and all their saltwater are healthy and happy so they seem like they know what they are talking about. But I definatly question that biowheel thing....
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Old 04-30-2004, 11:57 PM   #9
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In regards to my PH....it is back up to 8.3. Now I can stop worrying. I don't know what the problem was. I think the water change or the rock. I'm going to take a sample to work and test the alk I forgot to take it today. Thanks for all the advice
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