Lowering pH?

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by Matt Rogers, May 31, 2003.

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  1. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    My DIY rock has caused a pH spike that is hanging on a bit. High 8's right now I think.

    Are there any ways other than water changes to lower pH? I do plan on doing a 1/3 water change next week.

    I know in the freshwater world I can use spagnum moss, can I do the same with salt?

    ???
     
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  3. Gresham

    Gresham Great Blue Whale

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    Sorry Matt, sounds like your rock still has too much lime in it. It still needs to cure. Pick up some muratic acid and giver it another soak. Email garf for ratio, tghey should know. I'll give em a call monday.
     
  4. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Thanks for the info G. You think I gotta go straight to that? ugh. I want to try water changes at least before buying acid!

    [smiley=clown.gif] [smiley=laugh.gif]
     
  5. Wrassman

    Wrassman Peppermint Shrimp

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    [glow=Red, 2, 90%]Here are a couple of ways you could lower your pH short-term is:

    1.  Add CO[sub]2[/sub] to the water.  This always has the effect of driving pH down, which is one of the problems with Calcium Reactors.

    2.  Add 1/4 cup white vinegar to 3/4 cup freshwater.  Start adding this solution a little bit at a time to a high flow area in the tank.  After adding a few teaspoons or so and allowing it to circulate through the tank, test the pH.  If it is still high, add a little more of the solution and so on.  If you add the whole cup of the vinegar/water solution, it should bring your total pH down a few 0.1 points (I can't tell you how much because I really don't know what's going on in there).

    Long-term, you can start adding Seachem's Reef Builder (Alk) and Reef Complete (Ca).  I don't know what your Ca and Alk are now, but I am guessing that they are both low.  Reef Builder will bring your Alk up without also bringing up your pH (it will probably LOWER it, in fact).  Reef Complete will increase your Ca without depleting your Alk or raising your pH.  Both products are formulated at pH 8.3, and constant use of them (for several weeks) will stabilize your tank at that pH.

    In the meantime, get some bubbles going in your tank (an airstone would be fine) and if you have a way to add CO[sub]2[/sub] do it.  That will definitely bring your pH down.

    HTH [smiley=thumbs_up1.gif][/glow]

    Edit: Some spelling mistakes... [smiley=square.gif]
     
  6. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Thanks Wrassman.

    Get this, I can test for a bunch of stuff with my Marine and Reef Special Sea Chem test kits. But I don't have test for alk and ca. UGH! >:(

    I realized this when ordering, but the ca test was expensive so I rationalized it by thinking I wouldn't need it right away especially since I am not doing a reef.

    Little did I know. ::) I guess I will be ordering those soon.

    So, where am I getting bubbles, I am getting lots of bubbles from my TetraTec filter. Too many bubbles in fact. Before I can put horses in there, I will have to invent a durso kinda thing on the output to deal with it.

    This TetraTec would make a great nano-reef filter complete with a surge, but it was not the smartest choice for sea horses. If I had more money I would have gotten one of the new Eheim canisters.

    Anyway, what I would like to do is exhaust all non-dosing alternatives first. I am not going to make a chemical soup before doing less drastic approaches.

    I have lots of time, so I am willing to wait if water changes and time will help.

    I don't mean to be stubborn, you got me thinking dude and I appreciate the input and will probably do some of that AFTER I have tried water changes and time, but are there other angles to this? I was really curious about the moss, I know it makes the water brown, but nothing carbon won't remove. Have you heard of that for salt use?

    :)
     
  7. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    hmm.. if more air/co2 will help, maybe I will hook up that skimmer. I actually was thinking of not using it, but maybe I should for a while. Thanks W.....
     
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  9. Wrassman

    Wrassman Peppermint Shrimp

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    [glow=Purple, 1, 90%]Honestly Matt, I don't know if the moss will work or not. I've never used it in a SW environment. And if you are being "stubborn" about the vinegar (I completely understand that) wouldn't that also apply to the moss? Saltwater breaks material down so much faster than fresh, I would be more concerned about what else the moss 'puts in the water.'

    If you have a skimmer, definitely put it on there for now. You can always take it off later if it is too much for the horsies.

    BTW, waste in the substrate is another, good pH reducer. As your tank ages all of this is going to be less and less of a problem. The waste from the horsies (and whatever else you have in there) will help keep your pH within manageable ranges.

    You should really start considering your additives though. You will have to add Ca eventually; and you might as well add one that is balanced and pH friendly (Seachem Reef Complete).

    Keep me posted, Kingfish!!! We want to make that tank the best horsie tank EVER!!! [smiley=biglaugh.gif] [smiley=biggrinbounce.gif] [smiley=party014.gif] [smiley=thumbs_up.gif][/glow]
     
  10. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Thanks buddy.

    I don't know if what applies to vinegar or other liquids applies to moss, because I can remove the moss later easily.

    As for calcium, why do you think it will be low? The reason I ask is because, from everything I have read, DIY rock actually can be pretty good for keeping those numbers up.

    When my light gets here, I'll throw some macroalgaes in there, maybe that will hep too.
     
  11. Wrassman

    Wrassman Peppermint Shrimp

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    [glow=Brown, 1, 90%]The only reason I made the comment about the moss is that it is going to break down in just a few hours with 80F SW running over it. I doubt you'd have much to pull out when you decided to do so. But, that is a moot point. If you want to try it, go for it... [smiley=thumbs_up1.gif]

    I'm GUESSING your Ca and Alk will be low based on the fact that your pH is high for no apparent reason. I am almost certain that your Alk is low; I am not quite as certain about the Ca, since so many other variables are involved.

    There's one test you could do would at least begin to lead us in the right direction. Add a tablespoon of baking soda to a cup of fresh water. Mix it up as well as you can, so that most of the 'grittiness' is gone. Then add this to a high flow area in your tank. Wait 5 minutes and then do a pH test. If your pH has gone down, then it is as I have expected, your Ca, Alk, and pH are out of whack. [smiley=scholar.gif]

    If you are interested, run the test, and let's see where we are... [/glow]
     
  12. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    The heater isn't on. It's room temp.
    I am going out for a bit, I'll play around with it later.. thanks man...