PH drop

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by Midnight_Madman, Jul 6, 2010.

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  1. blackraven1425

    blackraven1425 Giant Squid

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    I dunno about tap water; tends not to be the best idea due to inconsistency.

    When dealing with water at pH of 7, though, you don't need to do anything. It basically means there's an equal amount of cations and anions in the water, and is neutral. It won't cause a swing when used for topoff. Just mix up your salt, and you should be around your normal pH.
     
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  3. Midnight_Madman

    Midnight_Madman Montipora Digitata

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    Whats the MINIMUM time between water changes I can do? 90 gallon, loaded with CUC, 1 yellow tang, one 6 line, 1 percula
    I received my new RO/DI and did a 25% two days ago and want to do another one as soon as I safely can.
     
  4. blackraven1425

    blackraven1425 Giant Squid

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    In emergency situations, you can do back to back days. Since this isn't an emergency, I'd wait 2-3 more days, at least.
     
  5. ReefSparky

    ReefSparky Super Moderator Staff Member

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    There have been some good answers on this thread. An old timer I trust maybe said it best when he told me, "most people don't understand the relationship b/w O2, CO2 and pH. People think that if you can breathe in your house, then there must be enough oxygen."

    Many newer homes, and even older homes, are sealed up like a ziptop bag. Especially in the winter months when windows remain shut, the natural ratio of air components becomes heavier in CO2, and contains less O2. It's only a slight difference, and we don't notice it--but the chemistry in our tanks is more sensitive and it certainly gets noticed there!

    Hence, blowing fans on the water/sump, having no glass on the tank's top, lighting schedules, and even airstones fueled from air pumps inside the house, will make no difference.

    As for the buffer, some have it right above. A buffer for me, made only temporary changes.

    I bought an APEX controller a month ago. Before then, I relied on pH tests with color charts for pH readings. Needless to say, the 8.4 I always thought I was reading, was a useless figure. Now that I had a pH probe, I discovered that my pH was more like 7.74, and to my knowledge, has been this way since 2008. I live in FL, where the AC runs 24/7 and the windows are always shut. Two days later, I was painting, and was forced to open every window in the house. I walked past my APEX display, and saw the pH had shot up half a point in about 40 minutes. This was significant.

    Before I made my next move, I bought some Kent SuperBuffer DKH. It worked like a charm, immediately bringing my pH to 8.2 daytime, and 8.0 at night. This worked perfectly for exactly 8 days. After this, the buffer completely lost its ability to raise my pH. I think I could have dumped the whole tub in my tank, and it wouldn't have changed a thing.

    Just as an experiment, to see if it was infact a lack of O2, I ran 3/8" thick tubing from my skimmer's air inlet, to the outside. Since then, my pH has been a textbook 8.1 overnight, and 8.3 during the day. The answer? Fresh air FROM THE OUTSIDE. I haven't added any buffer, and my pH takes care of itself now, as long as my calcium, alk and mag are on point.

    I think a lot of us (me included) hear advice and if it's not what we were already thinking, we dismiss it and move on. Midnight Madman, if you can, keep a window open near your tank for a day or two and see if your pH doesn't go up. I bet it will. :)

    I personally had this issue for a long time, heard the correct advice more than a few times, and like a knuckle-head, I didn't put it into play.

    Well I learned the hard way. Calcification doesn't occur at lower pH's, which means coral won't grow. I've lost a whole load of corals since 2008 when I began.

    We learn and we move on. I was the king of "I know it's not this or that. . so it must be something else." Do yourself a favor and be open to advice. The worst that can happen is it doesn't solve the problem.

    Good luck. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  6. Reeron

    Reeron Blue Ringed Angel

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    Boy, the above post sure seems like a thread involving Lunatik and Tangster from about 2 years ago (if I'm remembering correctly). Many dismissed it back then too.
     
  7. ReefSparky

    ReefSparky Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I believe it was Lunatik and Otty. Both of them were experiencing low pH but didn't know it, perhaps. Both of them employed a mechanism for importing fresh air from the outside. Luna used an air pump located outside blowing to 4 airstones which I think were in his sump. Otty used a ESRV (if I remember correctly), which is a device that pumps fresh air into the home much like the air handler on our AC units are supposed to do.

    It completely resolved the pH problem for both of them.

    Good memory, Reeron! :)
     
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  9. Midnight_Madman

    Midnight_Madman Montipora Digitata

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    Wow. This is VERY interesting. Im going to try running a tube out the window to my skimmer.
    Think about it, the central air is on in the house circulating the air over and over but never getting any new fresh air in. The only time air is coming in is when a door is opened for a min.

    Although my PH seems to have stabilized at about 8.0
     
  10. ReefSparky

    ReefSparky Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I was under the impression that central AC should have a mechanism for mixing fresh, outdoor air with the home's air. Maybe that's not the case.

    Anyways, I'll bet ya a dozen donuts that your pH rises once that tube is in place.
     
  11. Midnight_Madman

    Midnight_Madman Montipora Digitata

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    Maybe, I don't know for sure. I cracked my window next to the tank and put the air tube out. I'll check it tonight and see if it went up.
    The only problem I can see is that its in the 90's outside and im now pumping HOT air into the system.
     
  12. ReefSparky

    ReefSparky Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It's hotter here. Are you using an airpump? If you're just running an airline to the outdoors, you're not really pumping the air in. I wouldn't worry about the heat. IMO the heat you're introducting is negligible.