Chemistry Issues

Discussion in 'Reef Fishes' started by Rcpilot, Nov 10, 2007.

  1. Rcpilot

    Rcpilot

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    I've been having problems with low pH. Dosing every 3 or 4 days because it drops under 7.8.

    I haven't tested anything else in a couple weeks. I know--figgin' lazy. Tested today. Typical--pH is 7.8. All my basic stuff is okay. Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate--ZERO. Calcium is off the chart 500+ Can't figure this out.

    My alkalinity is 2.86 and dKH is 8.0. :shock:

    I have a 2-part buffer that was purchased at the LFS when they were going out of business. I HAVE NOT used it yet. 2 different bottles of liquid. It's made by ESV. It's called B-Ionic Calcium Buffer System. Part 1 is the Alkalinity. Part 2 is the Calcium. It gives directions on how much to dose.

    I don't need the Calcium. I'm at 500+ right now.

    Can I just use the Alkalinity buffer by itself? Do these 2 bottles need to be added together?

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! This sucks.:frustrat:
     
    Rcpilot, Nov 10, 2007
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  2. Rcpilot

    ReefKeeper TalkingReef Live co-host

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    i would get the Alk up to about 10dkh and not dose the calcium.

    the directions say to dose both parts right ?? i dont see an adverse affect of just dosing the alk part if the calcium is already high. i think that the directions say that because USUALLY if one is low ... so is the other.
     
    ReefKeeper, Nov 11, 2007
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  3. Rcpilot

    Rcpilot

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    This is the stuff I got.

    This is the calcium
    [​IMG]

    This is the alk
    [​IMG]


    The directions DO tell you to use both. Just hoping I don't crash the tank by only using one component.

    Could the low ALK be effecting my pH as well? I've been having trouble with pH. Would low ALK cause low pH?
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2007
    Rcpilot, Nov 11, 2007
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  4. Rcpilot

    ReefKeeper TalkingReef Live co-host

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    yeah, i have used it in the past. BUT ... regular water changes should keep this from happening.
     
    ReefKeeper, Nov 11, 2007
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  5. Rcpilot

    Rcpilot

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    I do between 5-6 gallons every week. Like clockwork. RO water. Oceanic salt.

    I've been dosing iodine and marine snow about once per week at 50% strength. Usually in the middle of the week. 4 days after the the water change--3 days before the next water change.
     
    Rcpilot, Nov 11, 2007
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  6. Rcpilot

    ReefKeeper TalkingReef Live co-host

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    i dont see the tank crashing for only using one components. i was thinking of going to Oceanic salt ... do you like the mix ?? how does the alk test in fresh mixed water ??
     
    ReefKeeper, Nov 11, 2007
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  7. Rcpilot

    Rcpilot

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    Yes

    I'll get back to ya. :mrgreen:
     
    Rcpilot, Nov 11, 2007
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  8. Rcpilot

    fishbait I found Nemo

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    RC, try using arm and hammer baking soda for the alk. baking soda is just calcium carbonate. the same stuff the companies put in a tiny bottle and market to a aquarist 10 bucks. except you get a huge box for 2 bucks. to make mix 2.5 cups to one gallon of fresher and shake the piss out of it. dose it small amounts (only a milliliter or so at a time) until you find out how much you're tank needs. this will have a minimum affect on ph.
    if you want to raise ph too, then bake the soda at 400 degrees for one hour. then mix with one gallon of freshwater. it works great. I have been using it for six months or longer.
     
    fishbait, Nov 11, 2007
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  9. Rcpilot

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Having low alkalinity will cause pH drops. My guess is that if you fix your alkalinity, your pH will improve too.
     
    Bifferwine, Nov 11, 2007
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  10. Rcpilot

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    I like Fishes idea on bringing the alkalinity up.Thats the least expensive way of getting it done.
    You could also dose with Kents Super Buffer.I use it from time to time,But use baking soda some to.
     
    yote, Nov 11, 2007
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  11. Rcpilot

    Rcpilot

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    Been gone all day. Out flying airplanes. Totally augered one of my planes today. R.I.P Powerline Edge540 :grumble:

    I haven't been home when all the lights are on in the tank. Actinics were on when I left this morning and the daylights have already gone off by the time I got home. I'll check my pH and ALK tomorrow morning when all the lights are on.

    I started running my fuge on an opposite light cycle, so it's on right now. I guess I could check the chemistry. Feeling lazy. I'm tired and hungry.

    I did dose my alk last night with that buffer.
     
    Rcpilot, Nov 12, 2007
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  12. Rcpilot

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    That sux about your plane bud.
    Let us know how the tank checks out when you get a chance.
     
    yote, Nov 12, 2007
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  13. Rcpilot

    Rcpilot

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    I'm still having problems.

    My alk is low and so is my pH. If I dose the alk up--the pH will come up too. But, the pH comes up too fast. I can get the pH back to 8.2 by dosing the alk, but the alk doesn't budge. The tank is 30g and I'm dosing 7ml. The recommended amount. It will take the pH from 7.8 up to about 8.2, but the alk is still stuck at 2.3.

    I've been reading up on reef chemistry. Bringing my alk up will also bring my pH up. I know that and have confirmed it via articles I've been reading. Bringing the alk up will also bring the calcium down. Fine with me--the calcium is off the chart right now at 500+ :frustrat:

    Somebody on another forum suggested that I do water changes to get out of this. I don't know if it will help. I'm doing 5-6g water changes every week already. He suggested MASSIVE water changes to remove the buffers I've already added and try to just stabilize it with new water. He insinuated that I created this problem by "dosing my way into it" while I was trying to "dose my way OUT of it" Basically, he thinks I made the problem worse by dosing my pH a couple times and then chasing my tail by dosing the alk a couple times. He is ASSuming that I've been dosing willy nilly over the last couple months and did this to myself. In fact, I have been very hesitant to dose the tank. I have only dosed my pH a few times and my alk about 3 times over the last month.

    Does anybody thing massive water changes will do the trick? I got 20g mixed up here and could easily do that.

    Here is a chart and discussion on how to fix some problems:
    Chemistry and the Aquarium

    Haven't read all the way through this, but looks like recipes and dosing charts to me:
    Chemistry and the Aquarium

    This is a calculator that indicates I need to dump almost 70ml of alk buffer into my tank. I can see the pH at about 13 by doing that. :shock:
    Reef Chemistry Calculator

    pH and Carbon Dioxide levels:
    Low pH: Causes and Cures by Randy Holmes-Farley - Reefkeeping.com

    Water parameters:
    Reef Aquarium Water Parameters by Randy Holmes-Farley - Reefkeeping.com

    I haven't read ALL of this yet. I got the jist of it--alk is going to effect pH and calcium. It's all dependant on the other. Raising alk will lower calcium (good for me) and also raise pH (also good for me). But, I can't raise my alk enough before the pH will be off the chart--too high.

    Thanks for any help.
     
    Rcpilot, Nov 29, 2007
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  14. Rcpilot

    Doc I don't work for anybody

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    as I understand it, baking soda from the store is so weak, it will not have an effect on your tank that is useful except in a large amount of volume, which wil actually be too potent for your tank. Pharmacy grade baking soda would be better, but I am a fan of using what I know to be safe. Using too much will drop your calcium.

    Increasing DKh will increase ph. As will good strong water changes. 7.8 is not critical if your corals and fish are doing OK. I would do 10 gallon water change this week and another one next week. Check DKh levels to make sure they are increasing and dose that as needed. Oceanic salt seems to be at about 9.0 for DKh.

    I am sure you have taken your water to the LFS for them to test. When I get a weird reading more than once, after a re-test, I like to check it out at the store to see if I did something wrong or if my test is old.

    Your tank, use your best judgment.

    -Doc
     
    Doc, Nov 29, 2007
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  15. Rcpilot

    fishbait I found Nemo

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    alk and calcium will compete for space. you can only have so much of one or the other. so, doing the water changes to lower calcium may do the trick.
     
    fishbait, Nov 29, 2007
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  16. Rcpilot

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    Have you had your LFS double check your alkalinity and stuff?
    If not,I'd let them check it before I did anything.
     
    yote, Nov 29, 2007
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  17. Rcpilot

    Doc I don't work for anybody

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    Brilliant advice Yote. Great minds think alike!!!

    -Doc
     
    Doc, Nov 29, 2007
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  18. Rcpilot

    Rcpilot

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    Off to the LFS tomorrow with a water sample. Thanks fellas. :Cheers:
     
    Rcpilot, Nov 29, 2007
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  19. Rcpilot

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Hey, how about you take a water sample to your LFS for them to double check?? :p
     
    Bifferwine, Nov 29, 2007
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  20. Rcpilot

    reeffreak

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    Yes take water to the LFS for further testing.

    There are products that raise pH without affecting akalinity and vise versa.Products that raises alk without affecting pH.Maybe a two part dosing method maybe your best bet.
     
    reeffreak, Nov 29, 2007
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