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Old 04-12-2005, 01:58 PM   #1
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PH

I am stumped. My ph is always low. I put buffers in and it fixes it for about a week then it begins dropping to 7.8. My calcuim was at 340, so i now have it at 420. My alk has always been high. It is 4.25 meq/l. Nitrates 20, sg 1.025, nitrites and ammonia 0. Anyone have any ideas why it is doing this?

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Alex n Mary

150 gallon, 30g fuge/sump, 4.5 watt/gal VHO Lighting, 4" sand bed, 290 lbs LR, CDX-3 Nitrate/Phosphate filter

Female Naso "Isabell" or "Izzy", Emperor Angelfish, Flame Angel, Red Sea Sailfin tang "Bambi", Maroon Clown "Nani", 5 Chromis, 1 Aglae Blenny "Bengi" , Yellow Watchman Goby, pr of Banggai Cardinals, Lyretail Anthia, Six Line Wrasse

1 cleaner shrimp, Coral Banded Shrimp, lettuce nudibranch, 1 sand sifter stars, 1 tiny red brittle star "red", 1 tiny red and white banded serpent star, 2 tiny banded serpent stars, small orange Linkia starfish, assorted hermits and snails. Corals: star polyps, A ton of different types of mushrooms, yellow zooanthids, brown-orangish and light blue paly's, orange ricordia.

90g RR, W/D, 120 lb's LR SF eel, pygmy angel, pr sebae clownfish, 4 chromis. Star Polyps & Mushrooms
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Old 04-12-2005, 02:07 PM   #2
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What is your filtration media. Some medias are known to actually take the buffering capacity out of the intended buffer thus causing for a ph shift. Heavy duty skimming could likely have the same unintended effect.

The buffer I use is a Seachem buffer and it seems to work reasonably well. Are you adjusting your top off freshwater and water change water to the same ph of the tank? Also do you have anything in your 30g sump that might make for a ph shift. The last thing to look at is your sand bed, type of sand, how many pds.

Aragonite is very good at buffering calcium but not so good with ph. Crushed coral makes the best ph buffer for any aquarium situation. My suggestion is giving some crushed coral a try. You could even mix a few pounds in with your fuge or something. Also check any other additives you may be using. Vitamin C additives for example are known to lower ph. Its trail and error where ph in a reef is concered.
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Old 04-12-2005, 02:20 PM   #3
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I have a skimmer, 290lb's of lr, I would say at least 300lb's of LS (sugar sized aragonite), and my fuge. No other equipment for filtration. In the fuge i have LR cheatomorpha, mangroves and thats about it. I have a filtering sponge to strain debris, thats about it. I use seachems buffer as well. As far as additives, I am only adding seachems reef complete. My skimmer is small, itsa seaclone and we bought it for our 55 and just used it in the 150 when we sold the tank. It takes out a lot of junk, but I don't think it overskims. I have been battling with this for a long time. I do not put buffers in my freshwater, should i be doing this?
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Alex n Mary

150 gallon, 30g fuge/sump, 4.5 watt/gal VHO Lighting, 4" sand bed, 290 lbs LR, CDX-3 Nitrate/Phosphate filter

Female Naso "Isabell" or "Izzy", Emperor Angelfish, Flame Angel, Red Sea Sailfin tang "Bambi", Maroon Clown "Nani", 5 Chromis, 1 Aglae Blenny "Bengi" , Yellow Watchman Goby, pr of Banggai Cardinals, Lyretail Anthia, Six Line Wrasse

1 cleaner shrimp, Coral Banded Shrimp, lettuce nudibranch, 1 sand sifter stars, 1 tiny red brittle star "red", 1 tiny red and white banded serpent star, 2 tiny banded serpent stars, small orange Linkia starfish, assorted hermits and snails. Corals: star polyps, A ton of different types of mushrooms, yellow zooanthids, brown-orangish and light blue paly's, orange ricordia.

90g RR, W/D, 120 lb's LR SF eel, pygmy angel, pr sebae clownfish, 4 chromis. Star Polyps & Mushrooms
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Old 04-12-2005, 07:35 PM   #4
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What kind of water movement do you have and is the fuge lit 24/7 or reverse?

Cheers
Steve
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Old 04-12-2005, 09:34 PM   #5
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Hi Steve! How've ya been?

The light WAS on reverse scedule to the tank, then I was told to try putting them on the same cycle as the main, so that is what I am doing now (The ph is fine now, but I put a buffer in a few days ago). As you probaly remember, I have been battling this for some time. As far as water movement I have a powerhead on each corner of the tank with the exception of the water flow coming out of the tank on one corner, thus no powerhead on that corner.
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Alex n Mary

150 gallon, 30g fuge/sump, 4.5 watt/gal VHO Lighting, 4" sand bed, 290 lbs LR, CDX-3 Nitrate/Phosphate filter

Female Naso "Isabell" or "Izzy", Emperor Angelfish, Flame Angel, Red Sea Sailfin tang "Bambi", Maroon Clown "Nani", 5 Chromis, 1 Aglae Blenny "Bengi" , Yellow Watchman Goby, pr of Banggai Cardinals, Lyretail Anthia, Six Line Wrasse

1 cleaner shrimp, Coral Banded Shrimp, lettuce nudibranch, 1 sand sifter stars, 1 tiny red brittle star "red", 1 tiny red and white banded serpent star, 2 tiny banded serpent stars, small orange Linkia starfish, assorted hermits and snails. Corals: star polyps, A ton of different types of mushrooms, yellow zooanthids, brown-orangish and light blue paly's, orange ricordia.

90g RR, W/D, 120 lb's LR SF eel, pygmy angel, pr sebae clownfish, 4 chromis. Star Polyps & Mushrooms
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Old 04-12-2005, 10:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clowninround
Hi Steve! How've ya been?
Very well.... & you?

Quote:
The light WAS on reverse scedule to the tank, then I was told to try putting them on the same cycle as the main, so that is what I am doing now (The ph is fine now, but I put a buffer in a few days ago).
Reverse lighting the sump is probabley what helped keep it where it was. Lighting it the same as the main will improve the daytime pH but I would be wary of the pH drop at night. Both sets of algae will be contributing high amounts of CO2 further pulling down the pH.

The use of buffers (as you're fully aware I'm sure) are only a bandaid for these types of problems. High alk & low pH will commonly be environmental, not chemical.

Quote:
As far as water movement I have a powerhead on each corner of the tank with the exception of the water flow coming out of the tank on one corner, thus no powerhead on that corner.
Water flow is a major part. You haven't indicated the actual amount of water movement (GPH) but this would seem rather low, especially in a 150 gal. If organics settle too often and rot, they contribute to the problem. All your numbers aside may look great and the biofilter is dealing with what it should but it can contribute to the problem. A good amount of water flow throughout the tank helps keep nutrients in the water column giving filtration equip a better opportunity of removing it. As well, brisk surface aggitation is also very important. If the tank is covered to any great degree, the sump will not be able to properly aerate the main if water flow is not optimum and fresh air constantly being exchanged in the room itself.

Your tank doesn't seem overstocked but it has a healthy community life so there again, proper aeration is quite important.

Have you verified the readings using another test kit? You never know....

Cheers
Steve
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