A Simple Fix for Low PH

When living in the warm weather or cold weather climates, we really do not have the chance to open our windows that often. This leads to a build up of CO2 in the air inside the house and results in a drop in pH. When our pH drops down to levels that are alarming in our reef tanks, we start asking ourselves why and how can we fix this in order to keep our reef healthy. Here is a quick and simple way to raise the system's PH within a closed-up house.

My reason for the pH drop was that my house is closed up most of the year living in central Florida and that means stagnate air. I did a search on CO2 and the effects of a closed-up home on us and one can also relate this to our reef tanks. Here is a link to that search.

I was having that very same issue last winter running--7.6, 7.7 pH levels. After reading a few articles online and conversing with other members here on Reef2Reef, my two options were to drill a hole in the wall or build a CO2 scrubber. I decided to drill a hole in the wall.

The benefit of running fresh air to a skimmer in a closed up house, is that the fresh air is injected into the tank via the skimmer. Which in turn aerates the water with fresh air (with more oxygen) and reduces the stagnant air in our systems thereby increasing the pH.
  • Tools I needed
  1. Drill
  2. Masonry bit in my case 5/8” to ¾” x 12”
  3. Caulk
  4. Caulking gun
  5. Zip ties
  6. 3/8 OD, 5/16 ID tubing
  7. 90-degree elbow
I measured up from my inside floor 60 inches, drilled the hole, and then ran my 3/8 tubing from my skimmer to the outside world. I caulked around the hole inside and outside and then added a 90-degree push lock water line fitting so that during a storm the rain does not blow straight in. For those who might be concerned about a rise or fall in temperature, I shot the line with a inferred thermometer and the temperature of the line is at room temp after 12” from the inside wall or 20” from the outside world.

If the run is too long or there are to many walls in the way, another option is to go up into the attic or down and through the foundation. If there is fresh air being drawn into your tubing from outside world and going to your skimmer you should see a difference in pH.

Also refer to this article about pH by Randy Holmes-Farley

If you can not drill and/or would like to make your own CO2 scrubber, @120reefkeeper has a great write up here on how to build a scrubber.

Here is a quick video of may outside airline setup.

Outside wall


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Having a healthy and simple reef is what it is all about.

I have enjoyed fish and even more saltwater fish pretty much all of my life.

One of my philosophy is by teach other I learn so much more, by what the other teach me in the process.

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