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Old 10-27-2011, 07:06 PM   #1
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PH problem

Sorry to be posting needing help in first post
This is an extract from a post in the newcomers section.......
I will try and keep it brief. Its not a cycling prob I have its keeping the ph up.
Its a 65l (15 US gal) tank. Been up and running for 6 months now. Well cycled.
Started with a couple of clownfish (doesn't everybody ) n a dancing shrimp. Then fell in love with a flame hawkfish which wiped out the clownfish and the shrimp in 24 hours. Bad advice from lfs. returned the hawkfish.
Was going along quite nicely for a couple of months. Had a firefish, clown, Banggai cardinal and a lemonpeel angel (all babys btw, I know the tanks is too small really but was going to upgrade v soon). Then one week (within 3 days) they all died. Took and sample of my water to the lfs and they said the ph ws 7.4 (but the API test kit I had been using was telling me 8.0). Sacked that off and now use JBL test kit.....10x better imo. Anyway up to that point I had never even heard of minerals, I had just been mixing TM salt. The lfs said that was the problem and sold me some Tropic Marin re-mineral to bring the ph up and I've had nothing but problems since. Had a Sixline and that lasted a week.
Last few weeks I've been bunging load of minerals in and the ph comes up to approx 8.2 but within 2 days its about 7.8. Bought a clown fish last week and it died 7 days later. Been to another lfs today who said Tropic Marin mineral are a nightmare. They stopped using them and don't even sell them anymore. He said just use salt and a bit of buffer if required. I have now bought some Seachem Marine Buffer (suppose to buffer to 8.3) and am going to do a near full water change tomorrow (to get rid of the TM minerals as best I can and go back to just TM salt with a bit of this new buffer if the ph is low).
Just wondered if the majority of you guys use minerals or not????? or is salt mix enough?????? or are TM minerals and Seachem Marine Buffer one and the same thing?
I'm prety sure its the minerals which are killing my fish. Going back to basics (ie salt mix only). What do you think?
Gonna post this in the Fish only & FOWLR section as well as I don't want to type the same thing twice
Anyway bed time here now in England (for me anyway). Hope someone replies with some advice before my full on (mineral free) water change in the morning. Am I doing the right thing? PS only the firefish left, he's lived through it all (7.4 ph the lot). Call him Nails now cos he is . Cheers Nick.
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Old 10-28-2011, 12:06 AM   #2
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Wow...that was long lol.

I would definitely stop the minerals. Some LFS tried to sell me that crap, but I don't use it. You should never have to "buff" your water up, the salt mix and regular water changes should take care of it. I use Instant Ocean salt mix and really like it.

Just out of curiousity, what is your temperature on your tank? I noticed when I had my tank at 77 degrees F, the pH would only come up to 7.8. Now that I keep my tank between 79-80 degrees F, my pH ranges from 8.0-8.1. Just so you know, 7.8 pH should not kill a fish; maybe stress it, but certainly not kill it, especially clowns or wrasses.

P.S. - I have a firefish too that's lived through ick, super low hyposalinity and repeated ammonia spikes in quarantine. They definitely are hardy

Hope that helps.
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:03 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I used to have the tank about 78F but when I lost the 3 fish in a week and the lfs tested the water they said oxygen was 4 mg per litre (I think its mg per litre), don't know if thats good or bad but they said it was a bit low and told me to lower the temp and the oxygen level would go up, so I lowered it. I have 2 thermometers, 1 says 75, the other 76.
Yours could be good suggestion then. Might crank it up abit and see if that makes a difference to the ph. Just off to do a mineral free water change and take sone readings
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Old 10-28-2011, 12:10 PM   #4
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There are many things that can affect the oxygen in the water...and that's why regular water changes are important.

Just keep in mind, in nature, reefs run between 80-85 degrees F and the fish survive that temperature naturally So I think your LFS is feeding you crap. My biocube 14 runs at about 81 degrees F all the time and the fish are fine. Hope the water change helps.
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:25 PM   #5
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Gonna sound like a real novice now, but tested the ph of the water I mixed up today before putting it in the tank and the ph was 8.2. Daft but I am really surprised. I was always under the impression it would be about 7.8 and you needed minerals to bring it up. What a plank
Can't believe I've been mixing SW for about 6 months and never tested it once mixed.

Tank was 8.0, NH3 = 0, NO2 = 0, NO3 = 40 ppm

Changed about 50% of the water today.

Gonna let it settle overnight, and test the tank ph in the morning and then turn the temp up a couple of F and test ph again the following morning, see if it changes. Cheers again.
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Old 10-28-2011, 06:05 PM   #6
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your ph will be lower in the morning,test it a few hours after lights on,I run my main tank and breeding tanks at 79,as stated before regular water changes will be enough for a fish only tank.
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Old 10-29-2011, 05:52 AM   #7
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I only have my lights on from 20:30 to 22:30 (and a lamp next to the tank from about 18:00 when it goes dark). Is this not enough? Do you guys have it on during the day as well? How much should I have the lights on? Ta.
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Old 10-29-2011, 06:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nano Nick
I only have my lights on from 20:30 to 22:30 (and a lamp next to the tank from about 18:00 when it goes dark). Is this not enough? Do you guys have it on during the day as well? How much should I have the lights on? Ta.
About 8 to 10 hours is normal!
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Old 10-29-2011, 07:23 AM   #9
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that'll sort out your ph problem.
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Old 10-29-2011, 11:19 AM   #10
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Agreed - two hours isn't enough light. I run mine for 10-12 hours.
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