pH swing what to do?

Scott

Non-member
#1
I've got a 36G Solana with a 150W MH on it. I added an Apex controller last week and now I can diligently watch the pH. That's the good news.

The bad news is that I learned that it gets quite high during the day. If I let it, I think it could get up near 8.6.

I've set up the controller to turn the lights off at a pH 8.45, which it does and keeps the pH in check.

So in the morning, it starts out at about 8.1. lights go on at 8am and it climbs all day until about 3pm when the lights start their off-on cycles because of the pH until they go off for the night.

the KH is between 7-8.

Any suggestions on what I can do to get the system a bit more stable?

CA Reactor isn't a great option as I don't have a sump and it would be difficult to get that plumbed in.

I do have ATO that I can add something to. I was topping off with Kalk but stopped that last week when I realized what was happening.

In the meantime, I think I'm just going to shorten the light cycle, but 7 hours isn't great.

Thanks.
 

Scott

Non-member
#2
Today I'm turning the lights on three hours later to see what that does, but I'd love to try something that will stabilize things enough to get at least an 8 hour light cycle, preferably longer.

Anybody? How do you guys running nanos and smaller tanks do it?

Here's what the past few days did. The saw-tooth at the top of each peak is the lights turning off and on.

 

dcforester1

Finally enjoying my tank
#6
lol, tell me about it. I was blissfully ignorant before that my pH was going up and down to who knows where. The corals didn't seem to bothered one bit!

Now I'm the only bothered one. :D


I didnt want to say it, but thats the logic I use. I havnt been doing this that long, but figured it was doing this before the Apex, and everything was fine. So I just moved on to something else to worry about.:D
 

stingythingy45

Well-Known Member
Moderator
BRS Member
#7
Not sure why you're sweating about those PH numbers,Scott.
Normal PH is between 7.8-8.5.
I think you just wanted to show off the new controler.:p
 

Scott

Non-member
#8
Not sure why you're sweating about those PH numbers,Scott.
Normal PH is between 7.8-8.5.
I think you just wanted to show off the new controler.:p
Nar, I'm not a show-off. :) On the contrary, I'm exposing my lack of knowledge. :eek:

I'm under the impression that over 8.5 is dangerous. If I let it go, it will go up to 8.6 or higher. Should I just let it go? As dcforester1 says, it was happening before the Apex...

I'm also under the impression that large swings in pH are undesirable and that there are ways to stabilize it, like with higher Alkalinity.

But I'm not at all confident in my knowledge and information, and looking for input.

Thanks.
 

Scott

Non-member
#9
Maybe a second ATO with baking soda? I plan on running 2 one with kalk and one with baking soda.
OK, so that's the alk part of a two-part. I've got some of that kicking around. Maybe I'll put a bit of that in this morning and get the Alkalinity up a point or so (nothing drastic, maybe 5-10ml in my 36G) and see if that helps buffer the pH changes.

Does this make sense?
 

Scott

Non-member
#12
is the probe calibrated correctly?
I did calibrate it and re-tested it with 7 and 10 pH and it seems to be on target...

Im not sure if the PH 8.5+ reading is correct. I was told by RHF that most of the time (unless youve overdosed kalk) a reading that high is incorrect. take a look at his article about PH:

http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-03/rhf/index.php
... but it is certainly possible that my equipment is to blame. Even though it calibrated, the probe is a few years old now. I'll do a few pH tests with a test kit at a few points today and see how they compare.

Great thoughts Steve, thanks. I have been reading that article, but sort of glossed over that part. :eek:
 

SteveDola

Good Tings
BRS Member
#13
I know its a read but very informative. I just went through a similar issue with my fathers tank when a LFS told him he had PH of 8.7!::! Its not enought I have to worry about my tank but his also:rolleyes:

needless to say it was 8.3 not 8.7

hes starting those NP pellets and thought they were messing with his anenome but he had low alk issues which was the cause. I tell him to test weekly but instead of using the test kits I got him he takes it to the LFS and they tell him everything is good and he inturn tells me its good. you know what they say...
 
Last edited:

JohnK

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
BRS Member
#14
Any chance that your windows are open in the day and closed at night? That could possibly increase the swing a bit. Otherwise, I wouldn't be too concerned unless something in the tank looks distressed.
 
#15
I'm with Bob. Scott is showing off his new controller.

:p

Dude, are you using sodium carbonate (baking your baking soda)?

Sorry, I just finally got around to doing that myself and using it. :D
 

Scott

Non-member
#16
Any chance that your windows are open in the day and closed at night? That could possibly increase the swing a bit. Otherwise, I wouldn't be too concerned unless something in the tank looks distressed.
Yep. These warm days recently gets a window wide open all day, closed at night. The tank also gets hit by a fan when the temp goes over 79. (Thanks to this wicked awesome CONTROLLER ;) ...

I'm with Bob. Scott is showing off his new controller.
OK ok, I admit it. And you are so jealous! :D

Dude, are you using sodium carbonate (baking your baking soda)?

Sorry, I just finally got around to doing that myself and using it. :D
I haven't dosed with sodium carbonate (or calcium) since I set up this solana a year ago as I got rid of most of my SPS. But when I do, yeah, I've baked it

(ok I baked it once. I mostly bought 2-part kits online because I'm a lazy MF.)

I did dose a little sodium carbonate solution this morning (10ml, 5+5 a few hours apart).

Lights have been on 2 hours and pH is up to 8.34 from 8.1.

I've been testing with a kit a few times and it seems to coincide so far. That's as best as I can tell with this stupid Hagan test kit with such easy colors to compare it to: green, green-blue, green-green-blue, green-blue-green, etc.
 
#17
OK ok, I admit it. And you are so jealous!
You're right. I'm jealous. :(

I have one, too. :D

I haven't dosed with sodium carbonate (or calcium) since I set up this solana a year ago as I got rid of most of my SPS. But when I do, yeah, I've baked it

(ok I baked it once. I mostly bought 2-part kits online because I'm a lazy MF.)

I did dose a little sodium carbonate solution this morning (10ml, 5+5 a few hours apart).

Lights have been on 2 hours and pH is up to 8.34 from 8.1.

I've been testing with a kit a few times and it seems to coincide so far. That's as best as I can tell with this stupid Hagan test kit with such easy colors to compare it to: green, green-blue, green-green-blue, green-blue-green, etc.
I'm a lazy, mofo, too. In case you haven't noticed?

Dood, yaw goldin, kidd. Those Hahgan test kits ah pissah! :D
 

JohnK

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
BRS Member
#20
Windows closed equals rising Co2 levels in the house (which drives PH down)
Windows open drops the Co2 level (letting PH hit it's natural high).
 

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