Arm & Hammer (NEED HELP BAD)

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by Tako_Poke, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. Tako_Poke

    Tako_Poke O. vulgaris Registered

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    I need halp bad! I cant get a PH buffer so I have to make my own. I hear it can be made from arm & hammer because it is sodium bicarbonate. Is this true? Are there additional ingredients needed? Is it safe to add the aquarium? Heeeeelp!!!
     
  2. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Thales suggestion to add oxygen is a good one, but be careful that the octopus can't get into the bubbles or get hold of the tubing.

    I remember being told at the NRCC that they used something like baking soda, sodium bicarbonate, as a buffer, but I don't think it was the baking soda we buy for cooking. Baking soda from the grocery may have other additives - not sure about this one.

    Nancy
     
  3. TidePool Geek

    TidePool Geek O. vulgaris Registered

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    Hi Tako,

    What you want to use is Kalkwasser which is a solution of Calcium Hydroxide in water. This stuff, used properly, will raise your pH and the calcium level in your tank. Many aquarists have found that the cheapest way to do this is to use a product called "Pickling Lime" (used in home canning). You can get a pretty good grounding in Kalkwasser, CaOH, and pickling lime here:
    http://www.simplifiedreefkeeping.com/faq/kalk.htm

    I'm no expert, but I recall reading that baking soda is not a good idea because of the complexities of saltwater chemistry.

    If you'd like to develop a deeper understanding of this topic you can find a number of articles here:
    http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=102605


    Basically yours,

    Alex
     
  4. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    I cant find your tank history. Can you give me a summary so I can give you helpful advice?

    I wouldn't add Kalk because you don't need the calcium and the danger of overdosing is very real.

    I am not a big fan of using anything to muck with the pH in a tank because it usually ends up bouncing the levels up and down and what I think we are after is stability.

    Oh- Nancy, I wanted him to add o2 to the water sample before he tested it. It seem like there is no sump so gas exchange may be part of the problem. But, without knowing the details of the tank (and I looked for a while but cant seem to find any consolidated info) I am really just taking pot shots. :smile:
     
  5. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    I have a smaller tank where I've been trying out some of the ideas I've read about for what influences pH. I have two calibrated PinPoint monitors with continual read out on that tank, so I can see what's happening all day long. Adding a bubbler or other source of oxygen to a tank like that does raise the pH, but it's not good for an octo to have bubbles added to the tank.

    Tako-Poke's pH is pretty low (even allowing for some margin of error) for an octopus so he might try water changes or whatever else works.
    Akyu and W. managed to keep little Ossie in an uncycled tank until the natural end of her life, and this was done through water changes.

    Nick, the iimportant thing is to closely watch your octopus. Is he still eating and behaving normally?

    Nancy
     
  6. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    You could always add the bubbles in an air lift tube that comes out of the surface of the water. All you need is airline down a bigger 'riser tube' and an air pump. As the bubbles rise in the larger tube they also draw water up and aid greatly in gas exchange. Since the bubbles don't mix in the water column, they just burst at the surface and should pose no threat to an ceph.

    Definitely on the water changes - I think more for the nitrate/nitrite than the pH. I get the feeling that Nick shouldn't get caught up in the pH adjustment spiral when there seem to be more pressing matters and water changes should solve both. :smile:
     
  7. Tako_Poke

    Tako_Poke O. vulgaris Registered

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    I took a sample of some bubbly water (it was the closest thing to airated because I dont have an airstone) and the pH was still the same. I do have an air pump and I might try your idea for an airlift. I added baking soda and it did nothing then later that night I added amquel+ neither did anything for pH or nitrates. The only thing that the amquel did was make my octopus go crazy and ram his head into the glass! Im planning to do a water change later today, but how much should I? As for the octos behavior it is definatey different. He just sits there perched on top of a rock doing nothing. He doesnt even care that hes in broad daylight with no hiding spot! He is mostly a mix of white and brown with blue tint on the underbelly and around the gills. He hasnt eaten in two days. When I put my hand in the water for a sample he turned his coloration into somthing like that of a zebras! At least hes still aware of potential predators I guess...
     
  8. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Nick, what's the situation with water changes? - think you need to start that right away. Do you have fresh sea water on hand or do you need to go get it? Like Thales says, forget about everything but water changes. A water change would help your pH, too.

    This doesn't sound good with your octopus. Unless you can turn this around quickly, you might consider returning him to the place where you found him.

    Don't use any more Amquel - you're not using tap water and Amquel, are you?

    Nancy
     
  9. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    I would start with about a 50% water change right now, because it doesn't sound good for the octopus. After that maybe 25% daily water changes until you get things under control. I wouldn't add any more chemicals to your tank. Water changes are the way to go... maybe another member with more experience has a different suggestion, but at least a 25% change now!
     
  10. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Why did you add amquel? It isn't for pH or nitrates.
    Please don't add anything to your tank, without a sound strategy you are just going to muck things up more.
    What kind of test kit are you using to measure pH?
     
  11. Tako_Poke

    Tako_Poke O. vulgaris Registered

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    I let the octo go. But only until I can get a water change done. I made him an artificial cave near the shore so I can get him later. He looked so sickly. I hope he doesnt leave the cave though. I made it hard for him to try. Ill do a fifty percent change when my dad gets home. And I wont add any amquel. It says it is for getting rid of amonia nitrates and nitrites on the bottle though. Oh and im using tetra tests to measure pH.
     
  12. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    At least he has better water quality - but does he have access to any food?

    And I think you'll have to continue these water changes daily for some time.

    Nancy
     
  13. Tako_Poke

    Tako_Poke O. vulgaris Registered

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    No food unless he escapes. Then hes surrounded by it. I only plan to keep him there for a day or less.
     
  14. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    If the octopus is no longer in the tank, maybe you should do 100% water change and start over... it is probably your best chance. Good luck and thank you for caring enough for the octopus that you valued his/her health over keeping it in the tank.
     
  15. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    You can't fix the tank in a day: it needs weeks or months to become stable.

    Dan
     
  16. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Tetra test kits are not so good. Poor quality test kits can do more damage than good because they get people chasing numbers.

    There are no quick fixes (except 100% water changes with aerated, aged water and that is only so so) in saltwater. Things take time, and rapid changes, even if you are changing the 'bad' water into 'good' water can often have a detrimental effect on livestock.

    Don't trust labels on saltwater (or freshwater) chemicals because there are intended to sell the item, not educate the buyer. Many products make all kinds of claims - some are outright false while some only make sense if you understand the closed environment as a whole. In saltwater, I would suggest only doing water changes and not adding any chemicals until you have a good grasp of saltwater fundamentals because it is so easy for the chemicals to do more harm than good.
    Amquel is not an additive, it is a water conditioner intended to condition tap water. I would bet it gummed up the octos gills, inhibiting gas exchange.
    If you want to try the octo again (I doubt it will be there when you check on him) I would do a 100% waterchange - where are you getting your water?
     
  17. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Starting over again is good advice.

    I think we all need to be aware of the special problems our younger octo keepers have. They're short on cash and have no credit cards - we can order online with no problem, they can't. That means they're restricted to whatever they can find in their LFS, and even getting to the LFS may not be so easy. Tetra kits are often carried by LFSs.

    As for the test kits, Tetra is a brand many start out with. In time Nick, you can read the reviews of tests on Reef Central. For pH you may end up with a pH meter, but that needs to be calibrated once a month.

    I hope we can get some answer on the seawater that Nick is using - how long can he store it - or does he have to go back to the ocean every time he needs a water change. Having it in an home tank must be different from the large quantities that circulate and is filtered in labs and breeding facilities.

    Nancy
     
  18. Tako_Poke

    Tako_Poke O. vulgaris Registered

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    Yeah the octopus is gone so I can start over. Unfortunately my dad went fishing so i cant do any large water changes for like a month. Hes going somewhere interesting though I cant remember what it is... Its like an island or somthing where pelagic fish gather. Hes going to catch me some stuff and bring it back alive for the tank. Hopefully he will have a squid or somthing.
     
  19. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Perhaps it would help to spend some time keeping saltwater animals that are easier to deal with for a while to get the hang of keeping a saltwater tank. The idea of putting wild caught animals into unstable tanks and seeing if they make it seems at odds with the purposes of this site.
     
  20. Tako_Poke

    Tako_Poke O. vulgaris Registered

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    Dont you think it can be stabalized in a month? Plus my fish are never unhealthy. The only things I ever have trouble with is cephs. And the occasional thing sucked up by the filter... Besides, trying to keep a single squid that would have otherwise died after jumping aboard the boat in mass isnt really doing much harm. My dad just just takes the odd one and puts it in a bucket with constant waterflow and tries to bring it to me. It cant hurt to try right? Besides that the crew eats them. I think my tank is probably a better fate...
     

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