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Old 09-09-2007, 09:05 PM   #1
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raising ph

I've always used seachem marine buffer to bring my ph up, but it also raises alkalinity. My weekly testing has shown that by the end of the week my ph could use a boost, but my alk doesnt need any (as it stands, my ph is at 8.2 but dKH is 13.4, after adding. Before adding yesterday it was ph7.9 and dKH 10.8)

Is there something that will raise ph but not alk?

side thought... is there something underlying thats causing the ph to drop? Seems as if the ph should be more stable.

ps ive got a 6" dsb.
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Old 09-09-2007, 09:47 PM   #2
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Here you go: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issu...e2002/chem.htm
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Old 09-09-2007, 09:57 PM   #3
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I got to ask. What salt are you using? I only ask because I had the same issues with instant ocean. Many people can use it with no ill effects, but I can only tell you my expeirence with it. I switched to Tropic Marin and my ph issues were gone. My ph stays at a steady 8.2 everyday. All I do is do monthly water changes and dose with calcuim now and then. I stopped spending money on buffers and excessive water changes. I am not saying use Tropic marin, but look at your salt too when you are fighting ph problems. Somewhere there is an imbalance. Find a salt that is as close to NSW as possible and then ask people who use it just in case it's stated and not actual true claims before you add more chemical to "fix" things. I forget who told me to do this before, but once I did it I had no more headaches with my tank. Not even algae issues. You can try and fix it, but if it's your salt, you are going to have the same problems each time you do a water change or as time goes by. Temporary buffers only last so long, what matters is that you have the right balance from the get go.
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Old 09-09-2007, 11:29 PM   #4
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i read a different version of that article right after i posted this, but it confuses me still. My situation is that I have high alk but low pH, so it appears limewater would be a good solution? I guess its telling me I have high indoor CO2 levels.. but this house isnt new or anything, and its near the front door which isnt sealed particularly well so I dont think thats really whats happening

somehow a surplus of co2 is getting into the system, dropping the pH if im understanding?

---edit---

Oh yeah forgot to mention, I use Reef Crystals, however I dont do pwcs.

To me, you either have the headache of doing a pwc bi-weekly (at the rate my system depletes the elements that get added back in during a pwc) or just adding the necessary supplements. Personally, I feel that a little hand-held container of calcium and a measuring spoon is a heck of a lot less pain-in-the-arse than trying to mix, allow to settle, drain, and fill 30 gallons of water.

My pH is stable at 8.0/7.9 during the day... I have not checked it at night, ill do that this week and see whats up... but according to both the article I read and the article posted, 7.9 is an acceptable level with alk as high as it is in my tank (the high alk offsets the low pH as far as the corals are concerned) which is ok in my book... as long as I dont see it slip below that. I would really like to pinpoint where the low pH is coming from. Chemically, I shouldnt be having an issue, and I think It may be due to an outside source.
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Old 09-10-2007, 10:32 AM   #5
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You can add more phs to increase the O2 exchange, at the surface of your tank. I tried to add buffer, but it was a pain to have to do it every day. I would rather do PWCs instead of adding suppliments and testing every day for the parameters. If you don't do PWCs, what are all of your water parameters?
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Old 09-10-2007, 01:11 PM   #6
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Old 09-10-2007, 02:07 PM   #7
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Is your tank open top or closed . Try to point a power head to the surface of the tank also opening a window and blowing a fan across can help increase the PH I use egg crate to keep an open closed top on my tank the PH stays at about 8.4 with it being lower when lights are out .
Are you testing with the lights on or off they tend to be lower when lights are out .
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Old 09-11-2007, 01:55 AM   #8
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Well first, would pwc really help in this situation? Some factor is lowering my pH, is that going to be fixed by a pwc? I think a pwc is just going to bring my pH back to where it should be, and it will fall again as soon as what ever is causing it has a chance to do its thing. My pH *should* be stable based on my parameters, everything Ive tested is right where it should be (cept mag is a tad low, 1200)

I would love to think that it was just an issue of gas exchange, but #1 I have a wave2k unit that is very close to the surface and I get a lot of water churning. Secondly, my sump flows about 1200 GPH out of two 1 inch pvc pipes... its a torrent of water and churning and crazyness in that 1st phase of my sump, so I really do think im set there. (so much so that if I turn my skimmer off, that section of the sump turns into a skimmer and I get the foam buildup. its THAT much activity)

Ill break this down....
* A calcium carbonate/carbon dioxide reactor (CaCO3/CO2 reactor) is in use on the aquarium.
I dont have a reactor so theres that
* The aquarium has low alkalinity (substantially below 2.5 meq/L, or 11 dKH).
My alk is 13+, so thats not it
* The aquarium contains more CO2 than the surrounding air due to inadequate aeration. Don't be fooled into thinking that an aquarium must have adequate aeration because its water is very turbulent. Equilibrating carbon dioxide is MUCH harder than simply providing adequate oxygen. There would be NO diurnal pH swing if carbon dioxide were perfectly equilibrated. Because most aquaria's pH is lower during the night than during the day, they are demonstrating incomplete aeration.
Possible but geez, I dont see how I can mix up my water any more than it is
* The aquarium contains excess CO2 because the air that it is being equilibrated with contains excess CO2. This is the most common cause in cases that I have discussed that involve more than a thousand aquarists mentioning pH problems.
possible, but my house isnt new or anything and its not terribly airtight, the tank is also in a room with the front door and 3 large windows
* The aquarium is still cycling and excess acid is being produced by the nitrogen cycle and the degradation of organics to CO2.
lol definetly not still cycling


Im wondering if my problem is high co2 in my home... its doubtful but I might as well try the little experiment they suggest. I shall report back, heh.
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Old 09-11-2007, 08:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agnate80700
Well first, would pwc really help in this situation?
Yes it would. Fresh SW during a PWC is a buffer. Hence the suggestion for frequent PWC`s. IME I keep a constant 8.4 on my PH just by doing frequent PWC`s. Not always but alot of times I have known people that do not do them much at all and most seem to have a problem with their PH. Just my observation.
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Old 09-11-2007, 08:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melosu58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agnate80700
Well first, would pwc really help in this situation?
Yes it would. Fresh SW during a PWC is a buffer. Hence the suggestion for frequent PWC`s. IME I keep a constant 8.4 on my PH just by doing frequent PWC`s. Not always but alot of times I have known people that do not do them much at all and most seem to have a problem with their PH. Just my observation.
Absoluetly it should help . Just prime your water over night with a power head ....
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Old 09-11-2007, 11:57 AM   #11
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Seems to me the simplest experiment would be to do more frequent PWCs and see if that doesn't help. Sure, it's a pain - but if you want your pH higher, you're going to have to change something you're doing.

Even though "chemically" you shouldn't have an issue... you do. Sometimes the best thing we can learn about our systems is that we really don't understand them fully. I read somewhere (and I wish I'd written who wrote it) that it's absolutely ridiculous to think that by testing just a handful of water parameters, we can fully understand what our tanks are doing. Makes sense.
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Old 09-11-2007, 03:18 PM   #12
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hm, you guys might be right.

ill give a 20% change a shot to see what happens. probably wont happen till the weekend though.

ps 8.0 was my reading last night. im gonna wait a little while and check my ph after the lights have gotten a change to work, and if the ph doesnt change, according to that article, i have adequate aeration
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Old 09-18-2007, 11:54 AM   #13
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You said in another thread that your pH problem was solved. Just in case others are searching for answers in the future and find this thread, what finally solved it for you?
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Old 09-18-2007, 08:50 PM   #14
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kalkwasser did the trick. whatever seems to be the imbalance with my low ph, i whip up a gallon jug of kalk and add like... maybe a quart every few days (at the moment, still testing to see the exact right dosage) but since I started doing that, every time i check (day or night) my pH has been 8.2.

alk is finally coming down to, i tested it saturday and got 10.4 and had to tell myself 'no actually thats still high' cuz that, for me, as been low usually lol.
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Old 09-19-2007, 02:35 PM   #15
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Just a quick response, I did not read the whole thread. Low PH w/ proper Alk is usually a sign of excess CO2 in the tank. That can be caused by a few things ie. high CO2 levels in the air in your house(open a window, see if it helps), not enough flow in the tank for proper o2 exchange, etc. Dosing limewater will not only raise Ca/Alk levels, possibly too high, it will also cause calcium to precipitate on equipment necessitating more frequent tank maintenance. I would only use kalk if you have stoney corals that consume a lot of Ca/Alk on a daily basis. 7.9 is not too bad. As long as it stable and not going below 7.8 at night, I would leave it. FWIW newer tanks, under a year old, often have lower PH due to high organic levels. Your tank may just need more time to mature.
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Old 09-24-2007, 08:01 PM   #16
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I read this thing a few times.........whewwww!

I think MT79 pretty much summed it all up. Regarding kalk, when you say.." i whip up a gallon jug of kalk and add like... maybe a quart every few days", you are aware kalk should be dripped? It has a pH of 12+ and doing more than dripping can cause major pH problems. The pH varies in a tank from night to day. You will always have a higher pH in the day with all the lights on and everything "awake" than you will early in the AM before lights are on.

You say you don't plan on doing water changes? I sort of got a chuckle out of that. I've had my tank set up for close to 20 years and I can assure you, by not doing water changes will have issues eventually, especially if you still have those 4 soon to be huge tangs - 1 powder blue tang, 1 sailfin tang, 1 naso tang, 1 yellow tang.
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Old 09-25-2007, 12:21 AM   #17
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hm, didnt know you had to drip kalk, ill have to start doing that. is there any way to know how to start a drip? as in, use a baseline speed (say... start off at 1 drip per minute and inrease as needed?)
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Old 09-25-2007, 09:23 AM   #18
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Typically kalk is used as your top off water. You mix 2 tablespoons with 1 gal of RO water, mix it up good and then let it settle. You drip the clear liquid and leave the undissolved stuff in the bottom of the container. Depending on your ca/alk consumption, this may or may not be enough to keep your levels where they should be. Test you water each day for a few days without adding anything and see how much is used by the tank. If you evaporate 1 gal of water per day, drip 1 gal of kalk and test to see if it kept your levels in line. Remember, kalk is used to maintain ca and alk levels, not to raise them. The key to success is stability.
I dripped kalk for a few years and it gets to be a pain. Kalk will clog up drip lines pretty fast. I found it much easier just to do daily doses of Randy's 2 Part.
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Old 09-25-2007, 10:40 PM   #19
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Agnate80700, here are two articles you may find useful. One is a simple DIY drip doser, the other has just about everything you need to know about kalk.
http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/20...nftt/index.php
http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/20...f/index.php#17
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:39 PM   #20
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So heres the latest...

I did the drip kalk thing for a few days. My original feeling that the pH issue was solved with adding kalk was kaput as soon as I couldnt add kalk as a dose, but instead had to drip... this caused my pH to return to 7.8.

So at that point I was totally stumped. I talked to a few guys at my LFS and they suggested pointing my powerheads up to the surface... but as I've mentioned here I really dont think it had anything to do with my aeration, but I was getting desperate and gave it a shot. To no avail.

Thats when I just gave up for a few days. I just could not understand what was going on. Everything was as it should be. I reread a few pH articles and I affixed peticular attention to the part about co2 causing pH to drop, and how adding kalk uses up availible co2, thereby raising pH in the process. I know from before adding kalk in a dose got my pH back to where it should be, so I began to wonder: was the pH rising because adding the kalk in large volume soaked up seriously over-abundant levels of co2? And if so, how did it get there?

I then decided that there just might be too much co2 in my home's air. The 1st go around of problem solving, I passed that option up because I thought my house was old enough to be not-air-tight to the point excess co2 couldnt possibly be the issue. But now I'm a desperate guy willing to try anything. So I gave it a shot. I opened the windows right next to the tank overnight.

AND WOULDN'T YOU KNOW IT. The next afternoon, after having the windows open for around 14 hours, I checked my pH and it was smack at 8.3. Unbelievable. In fact, I still dont fully believe it. I'm still monitoring everything to rule out any other possibilities, but after 3 days it seems to be the definite culprit.

1) Began with pH 7.8.
2) Next day, windows open 14 hours, pH 8.3
3) next night, room mate closed windows (didnt tell him what I was doing) Next morning, about 3 hours after lights on, pH 8.0
4) Reopen windows, few hours later pH 8.3
5) that night windows closed again (roommate has been informed at this point, now just being difficult) reopen windows... ph 8.2
6) today, windows open pH 8.3


The only thing is that it seems to fluxuate so quick, its hard to believe opening the windows is that effective, but like I said, thus far it seems to be.

Problem is, this is really only a temporary fix. The weather is pleasant right now and the window being open really doesnt affect the temp in the house, or the tank for that matter. When fall and ultimately winter rolls around, thats just not an option. So.... Im trying to ween the tank off the window right now, and instead see if house plants can take care of the co2 (i have the window cracked at the moment and 2 big green plants I just bought from Meijor's.) I'll check in the morning to see where we're at.
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