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PH and ALK problem

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Darrell

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Jan 7, 2004
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125
when PH is low Alk is on target i buff to raise PH Alk goes to high how do i get the Alk lower while buffing PH higher to stabilize
PH now is 8.1 Alk is 13.5
I use Salfiert test,Tank is 4 years old
I do 10gal water changes once monthly on a 55 gallon tank 29 gallon sump
Everything seems healthy should i just watch and see if it stabilizes on its own?
Darrell
 

Darrell

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Jan 7, 2004
Messages
125
no i use Seachem reef buffer and Builder and Cal i dont drip
Oh and that Alk is dKH
 

MikeS

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May 23, 2004
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"buffers" only have a temporary effect on pH...their main role in the equation is to stabilize pH.

If your alk is fine but your pH is low...you need to look for the source of the problem, ie poor gas exchange, buildup of CO2, ect...

MikeS
 

Darrell

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Jan 7, 2004
Messages
125
the Build up of CO2 may be the problem because i noticed bubbles riseing from my subtrate and collecting in low curculation areas how do i stop this
Darrell
 

MikeS

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how old is the tank and how deep is the sand?- sorry should have asked that in the last response...

Mike
 

wrightme43

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bowling green ky
You may have a build up of waste products in your sand bed. Thier decay may be adding biologic acids/co2 to the water colum and lowering ph. Do you feed alot? What kind of fish load do you have? Skimmer and type? Is your sand bed directly on the bottom or a modified plenum system? What kind of sand is it? Aragonite or a silica based sand? Quite a few people seem to be removing portions of their sand beds and replacing them slowly with new live sand or removing them completly in stages and not replacing them at all. What are your nitrate levels. I know that is a strange question in relation to this problem but it may give a idea of how balanced the system is in relation to food input vs export thru water changes and skimming. One thing that I have found very effective when I have a parameter on my tank I am unhappy with is two 30% water changes seperated by one week. When doing this be extra certain to match sal, temp, and arearate overnight the makeup water. How would you describe your surface agitation? Is the water roiling and boiling at the surface, or very still? A skimmer will also drive off co2 and increase dissolved o2 levels helping your ph to stay more stable. The water changes will lower your alk and reset your buffer level and help you to get your ph where you want it. Close monitoring will help you to find where the problem is and remedy it. I hope this helps you in some way. Steve
 

Darrell

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Jan 7, 2004
Messages
125
wrightme43 said:
You may have a build up of waste products in your sand bed. Thier decay may be adding biologic acids/co2 to the water colum and lowering ph. Do you feed alot? What kind of fish load do you have?
Once every 2 days and i have 5 fish and mostly SPS

(Skimmer and type?) DIY HSA beckett Skimmer it work really well.

(Is your sand bed directly on the bottom or a modified plenum system?) directly on the bottom

(What kind of sand is it? Aragonite or a silica based sand?) Fine Aragonite white live sand

( What are your nitrate levels) well its been about 20 to 40ppm iv been fighting that too.

(How would you describe your surface agitation? Is the water roiling and boiling at the surface, or very still?) Its very much rolling with haveing a mag 9 Return and 2 acua 430 power heads and keeping SPS its moveing well

I feel its probly time to change the sand bed


Darrell
 

wrightme43

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I think you may be right. Thanks for answering those questions. They reason I asked is sometimes after racking the brain for a long time to figure something out. I find that the sand is silica or no skimmer or 20 fish in a 75 fed 3 times a day. Yep siphon the sand out in sections, do your big water changes and it should fix itself. If it was my tank that is what I would do. Steve
 

bc_slc

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Feb 1, 2004
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Location
Seattle
Darrell,
Did your anemonies pull through? I bet they disliked the Nitrates as well. That may have been the stressor for them to split as well as to do poorly.

Mat
 

Boomer

RF Staff
Joined
Dec 15, 2004
Messages
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Location
Duluth, Minnesota
Some remarks;


It sounds like you have an overloaded tank based on what you have said and your parameters. It may be just the water but I doubt it. More than likely it is the sand bed as Darrell has mentioned.

when PH is low Alk is on target i buff to raise PH Alk goes to high how do i get the Alk lower while buffing PH higher to stabilize

You use buffers to raise the Alk and not the pH. If it was a pH issue then you would add kalk but first one needs to find the source of the pH suppression, ie., overloaded tank high room air CO2.


the Build up of CO2 may be the problem because i noticed bubbles rising from my subtrate

That is not CO2. 99 % of the time it is O2 from small algae living in or on the substrate. The other 1 % it is N2 gas


A skimmer will also drive off co2 and increase dissolved o2 levels helping your ph to stay more stable

Only if you don't have high room air CO2. High room air CO2 will drive the pH down in a skimmer.


I find that the sand is silica

Silica is fine in a reef tank many use it. Silica in the water from such sand is a myth :D Once any sand is in a tank, after a time, it will get coated and all dissolution stops, to include aragonite.
 

Darrell

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Jan 7, 2004
Messages
125
Well i started syphoning sand and let me tel ya its not an easy task
Im running carbon for a few days and boosted circulation.Im doing it in small sections im thinking on leaving it BB to avoid anymore problems
ill test again tomorrow evening and see were things stand
Darrell
 

wrightme43

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Jul 1, 2004
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bowling green ky
That is a good question, I dont know the answer. Its seems to be kind of a judgement thing to me. Depends on maintence practices, fish load and size, feeding amounts and types of food, how much is exposed to light and all kinds of other stuff as well. I wish I knew a hard and fast answer to that question. Sorry. Steve
 
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