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Old 05-05-2009, 04:02 PM   #21
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Umm.. what plants are you talking about exactly?
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Old 05-05-2009, 04:12 PM   #22
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Substitute "biological activity" for "plants" and it all means the same. pH is highest just before the lights go off and lowest shortly after they come on.

I'll have to agree with the pH aspect. 7.2 is really low, even for a reading taken just after the lights have come on. Granted... pH buffers only afford a temporary increase in pH, but that doesn't mean that a low pH is unfixable, and should just be accepted.

I've got an article bookmarked at home about low ph causes/solutions and I'll post a link later unless someone beats me to it.

I won't get into the debate of whether nitrites are harmful or not, but I will say that in a properly cycled tank with a bacterial population large enough to support your bioload, you shouldn't see ANY nitrites show up.
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Old 05-05-2009, 04:20 PM   #23
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Could it be that I'm using RO water from Lake Michigan? I know it doesn't have much much dissolved limestone like well water in this area would.

I read an article at reefkeeping and I think I'll try aeration as a first step to see what the results are.

Rich
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Old 05-05-2009, 04:23 PM   #24
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RO water is more or less pure, regardless of where it came from. Doubt that's your problem.

That'd be the easiest thing to do first... open up any glass tops if you have them and point a couple powerheads at the surface to get a good ripple going.
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Old 05-05-2009, 04:31 PM   #25
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Low pH: Causes and Cures by Randy Holmes-Farley - Reefkeeping.com
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Old 05-05-2009, 04:36 PM   #26
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So if it's respiration which lowers PH then .....

Cause there does not seem to be anything in there that needs photosynthesis, right? I get the concept and the chemistry just not the application to this FOWLR tank. Something is low somewhere, alk, lids, bad environment. I just don't but the PH goes down at night just because it does. If it goes up during the day because of Photo and there's no photo-'plants' then it stands to reason.

Anyway.. either way. I would stil think the PH difference between the probable LFS PH and your tank would be troublesome..
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Old 05-05-2009, 05:02 PM   #27
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Yeah... that's the linky. I knew someone would find it before me!

The pH shift, in my experience, is only like 0.2 or so. Enough to see a shift in colors in the test tube, but not enough to really know exactly what the number is.

Even in a FOWLR tank, there's still algae. Seems like that'd be your photosynthesis link.

But I agree... a pH reading of 7.2 is well below any normal daily swing - unless you're starting out at 7.5 or something like that!
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Old 05-05-2009, 05:23 PM   #28
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The 7.2 is the reading I get all the time. I've never checked with the lights off. I always check around the same time on Sunday morning when I do other maintenance. I do keep a log of when I've taken readings and write them down, so I can look back and see it's consistant.

Also isn't the water falling into the sump causing enough aeration? Seems like it makes a lot of air bubbles when falling into the sump?


What could the other causes be or what else can I do to get this to a healthier level?

Rich
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Old 05-05-2009, 06:55 PM   #29
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Have you read the link CaptainAhab posted? That article pretty much covers it all when it comes to low pH...
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:11 PM   #30
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Yes I read it a couple of times, trying to decipher what course of action to take. Looks like I haven't been changing water enough as that's what resupplies the trace elements. So I'm going to do that and then add an airstone to the sump and turn the fans more toward the surface to get the PH better. Then just keep up with it.

Am I the only one that has this problem? How did you correct it if you've had the problem?

TIA, Rich
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