pH too high, nothing working

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by norgebyblood, Dec 7, 2006.

  1. norgebyblood

    norgebyblood O. vulgaris Registered

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    the pH in my tank is at 8.8 and nothing seems to be working. ive done two water changes, tried Proper pH 8.2 several times and also something similar but a different brand. it wont budge! none of the chem. stuff is expired, nor is the pH powder. ive checked it with 3 test kits. ahh!
     
  2. scolopes

    scolopes Cuttlefish Registered

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    I am also having this problem! I have a 120ish gallon system and my pH is about 6.6-6.8. I was told by the people we bought the system from to use "pH Down" but I'm wondering if there is a better way? (My Instant Ocean is measuring at a pH of about 6.6-6.8 so water change isnt going to help either...why is it so high???)
     
  3. scolopes

    scolopes Cuttlefish Registered

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    Also- I'm using deionized water to make the instant ocean if that makes a difference
     
  4. joefish84

    joefish84 Sepia elegans Registered

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    make sure you use RO water and then use the seachem marine buffer... best stuff out there. get the raises and mantains...
     
  5. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    What kinds of animals are in the tank and how are they doing?

    Whatever you do, I would stop using anything to adjust the pH because they don't work in the long term. If you really have a pH problem, you need to find the cause and fix that.

    O2 is often an issues with pH. Are your tanks closed or open?
     
  6. scolopes

    scolopes Cuttlefish Registered

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    Norge: I hope you don't mind me participating in this thread with my pH problem. If you do, let me know.
    I have 7 Euprymna Scolopes squid (one is pretty small, the rest are adults) and the system is about 130 gallons. Does low O2 make the pH higher?
     
  7. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    Not so much O2 but the minute amount of CO2 in the air. CO2 combines with water to form carbonic acid (this is why rainwater is naturally slightly acidic and why the great cathedrals are slowly melting). Adding a protein skimmer if you don't already have one will help gas exchange.

    What do you have for plants in the tank? Plants consume CO2, so if you have a big hunk of chaeto you might consider removing it or switching it to a shorter photoperiod.

    Dan
     
  8. norgebyblood

    norgebyblood O. vulgaris Registered

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    pH is still too high, there arent any plants, theres 1 damsel in it and 50lbs of live rock. i have a protien skimmer.. argh im going nuts. my teacher messed up the tank a while back by using baking soda (lowers pH in freshwater tanks) and someone suggested that it might have gotten into the live rock and is now leaching out. could that be the cause? if so, should i just get rid of all the rock and replace it? we did a 100% water change after the baking soda incident.
     
  9. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    What is the pH of your mixed saltwater before you do a water change?
     
  10. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    What test kit are you using?
    Most pH problems aren't really problems but poor testing.

    Also, the most important thing, are you experiencing any problems with your livestock that lead you to believe you have a water quality issue?
     
  11. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    A note on pH

    I've done a lot of reading on Reef Central and elsewhere concerning pH measurement. I guess we have no guarantee of getting accurate pH measurement unless we buy a true scientific instrument, which is quite expensife. I have two Pinpoint pH monitors that give different readings of the same water, despite just being calibrated and having new sensors.

    Different brands of salt mixes are manufactured to come out with different pHs. I used Kent at one time, found the pH very low and variable. I've switched to Tropic Marin and found the pH comes out about right.

    Calibration fluid for meters has to be new is also not always accurate.

    Generally, the consensus is that pH meters are more accurate than test strips.

    One good thing - if you aim for a pH of 8.2, you have some latitude - the pH can be a bit higher or lower and still be acceptable.

    Thales is right - watch your livestock carefully - if its doing well, your pH is OK.

    Nancy
     
  12. norgebyblood

    norgebyblood O. vulgaris Registered

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    the ph is 8.2 when i put it in for a water change. the only thing in the tank is liverock and the two tests im using are Aquarium Pharmaceuticals pH kit and Quick Dip test strips. it still isnt right...
     
  13. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    I wouldn't trust either of those kits with a 10 foot tentacle. :smile:

    If you are worried about your pH because of the numbers, I wouldn't worry. Beware of chasing numbers, its the path to leaving the hobby early both from frustration at not getting the right numbers, but also from the damage you do to your animals by trying to change the numbers.

    Try this: get a cup of tank water. Test it. Then, bubble water through it with an airstone for 10 minutes. Test it again and see if there is a difference. Again though, with those test kits I wouldn't trust the readings at all. I would switch to Elos or Salifert.
     
  14. norgebyblood

    norgebyblood O. vulgaris Registered

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    ok, i'll try and find those tonight. i had two damsels in there just to see how they would do, i acclimated them properly and everything, and the next day one was dead and the other sickly. aghh. its gone down today though, around 8.3ish? im going by numbers because i want to get it right before i get the octopus. the octo the teacher got two months ago died after 3 days b/c of alkalinity (retard added baking soda).
     
  15. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    There are about a million things that could have caused the fish to die - what has led you to believe that it was the pH?
     
  16. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    Its very difficult to diagnose problems like this with limited information. I recommend keeping an aquarium log with every bit of info on it: results of regular water tests, water changes, livestock added, etc. As Thales said we can't even begin to guess what might have killed your damsel. At this point it could just as well be a nitrogen issue rather than a pH one.

    Dan
     
  17. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    What are your other parameters (nitrate, nitrite and ammonia)? How much baking soda did your teacher use? If you are worried about the live rock (how does it look?), I would take it out, rinse it in new sea water and return it to the tank. How long has this tank been up and running?

    Good luck.
     
  18. Colin

    Colin Colossal Squid Supporter

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    I learned a long time ago that if the animals are healthy and doing okay then stop chasing the pH. 8.8 really isn't that much of a disaster for a marine tank - its much worse going the other way anyway.

    Id also add my support to the flaming of test kits - worthless rubbish! You can now get quite cheap and effective digital pH meters - i got one off eBay brand new for £20 - works fine.

    Stop putting in pH 8.2, all you are doing is buffering the system even more. 8.2 is designed to be added to acidic tanks to make them more alkaline, not the other way round.

    Scolopes, it could be excess nitrification through your filter keeping the pH low? Over filtering can cause that... what is your filter? Also, using pH Down will make the water more acidic not alkaline - you need pH Up!!!


    BUT all of these are just quick fixes for pH. Its the KH you need to sort out. I always had good results with using a pH and KH supplement like Salifert KH and pH buffer.

    The plants idea probably wont work because at night they respire just like an animal and release as much CO2 as they took out during the day. Thats why planted aquariums CO2 kits are switched off at night.

    Baking Soda does NOT lower the pH in freshwater it will make it RISE!!! It will make the pH and KH rise!

    The best thing you could do, is sit back, relax and let it work itself out. The pH and KH will come down naturally. I am really not 100% convinced that the pH is your problem! At most do a 50% water change, stir up the substrate first to release any pockets of waste or gasses, syphon it out and add the new water. Leave it without livestock for at least a week to ten days.

    Stop adding chemicals.

    cheers
    Colin
     
  19. norgebyblood

    norgebyblood O. vulgaris Registered

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    i dont have time to sit back and relax, the octo is for a science project that has to be finished by the end of january. i havent added any chemicals in like a week and i do keep a log of measurements (required for fair) nitrate, ammonia, and nitrite were all around 0. i am starting to think the baking soda got into the rock and is leaching out. i am unsure how a soak in new water would help. the bs incident happened about 2 months ago.
     
  20. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Do you think the pH killed the damsel because of the test kit reading?

    Again, I don't think thats it. The kits you have are icky :smile: and it feels like you are chasing numbers. In most cases where people report high pH, they don't really have high pH. Until you get the ability to use a better test kit, I wouldn't worry. Even then, I prolly wouldn't worry.
     

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