Help with rock bottom PH levels please...

BRS

Poisns1

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 18, 2020
Messages
40
Reaction score
1
Location
Ellenton Florida
Recently started a new tank back in Mid January. Tank and all equipment brand new. Used I.O. salt with Carib-Sea Arag Alive Fiji Pink sand and Marco Dry Rock.

Tank has had 2 yellow tail damsels for about 2 months eating and doing well.

I just tried to add 4 small green chromis 2 weeks ago and within minutes 3 of the fish were dead on the bottom of the sand. The 4th chromi had no issues and is still alive and eating well for the past week.

Baffled I ran some quick tests, Ammonia, Phosphate and Nitrate all 0's and my refractometer measured 1.026. ALK at 8.3 DKH. My CA and MG kits were all out but can't imagine they'd be out of whack with a new tank fresh saltwater fill and very low bioload.

I went to the LFS this past weekend with a sample of my water and explained what happened with 3 of the 4 chromis. He did a PH test and said water was completely acidic. He showed me the color sample and it really didn't even register on the lowest color sample! He said that tank could still be cycling, my salt mix could be bad (I moved recently and had it in storage in hot attic for about 6 months, but bags were completely sealed) or the tank could be cycling.

I'm not sure how tank could be still cycling with fish in it for 2 months doing well and has been about 5 months since cycle started.

I'm in Florida now and the windows have never been opened with the AC running year round. House is only a few years old so it's pretty tight. My guess is that my CO2 levels are extremely high and that's what is causing my extremely low PH.

I googled about adding external air to my skimmer outlet so I picked up some 1/4 I.D. vinyl tubing this afternoon and ran a temporary line out to my Lanai. Connected the other end to the inlet on my Bubble Magus Curve 5 skimmer.

Does anyone know how long it would take to bring the PH levels up if high internal CO2 levels turns out to be the cause for the low PH?

Attached is the PH sample from my Salifert PH test kit. I don't even know how to read the color but I'm guessing it's below the lowest color on the left at 7.4?

Opinions advice please..

Salifert PH Test 061821.jpg
 
Corals.com
OP
P

Poisns1

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 18, 2020
Messages
40
Reaction score
1
Location
Ellenton Florida
Great setup but them photos are not a 6 month tank, are they?
Yep well 5 months old. I kept the lights off for the first 3 months (BRS recommendation for new tank with no corals). I'm running all blues at about 30% with no white lights currently.
 
OP
P

Poisns1

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 18, 2020
Messages
40
Reaction score
1
Location
Ellenton Florida
If it is ph, you could add a C02 scrubber to your skimmer. It would help a few points, but not from the depths of zero ph

I added 4 more chromis about 5 days ago and slowly drip acclimated them before placing in the DT (I didn't drip acclimate the other first chromis, just floated bag for about 12 mins then added fish minus the LFS water).

If PH is really at 0 wouldn't the fish be dead?
 
https://www.youtube.com/c/ReefStache

Uncle99

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 22, 2018
Messages
4,014
Reaction score
4,745
Location
Province of Ontario
I’d get a new test kit, even API for PH is close enough.
You can increase it by blowing a fan across the surface.
7.4 can be 7.8 can be 8.1, the hobby grade kits are only so accurate.
I’d do nothing at all, forget this number, it’s not very relevant in early systems as chemistry is usually all over the place anyways.
 

zoa what

5000 Club Member
View Badges
Marketplace Rating
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
6,044
Reaction score
10,027
Location
Cincinnati Ohio
How far is your airline run?

I believe skimmers can only pull air from a max of 15ft away before the attenuation is too much
 
OP
P

Poisns1

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 18, 2020
Messages
40
Reaction score
1
Location
Ellenton Florida
How far is your airline run?

I believe skimmers can only pull air from a max of 15ft away before the attenuation is too much
My tank is centrally located in the exact middle of a large ranch house. My nearest opening was the Lanai and it's close to 40 feet. I blew through the end of the hose with the skimmer off and heard the bubbles come right out at the skimmer. If I can blow through the hose at that length, why can't the skimmer pull the air in? To test this theory, my bubbles go completey away and the internal water level rises when I put my finger over the air inlet with nothing attached. My skimmer bubbles and level remained the same when I attached the 40 foot line. If it couldn't pull any air, wouldn't the bubbles go away and water level rise just like when I cut off the air supply with my finger?
 

Cory

More than 25 years reefing
View Badges
Joined
Oct 30, 2014
Messages
6,335
Reaction score
2,771
Location
Canada
Low ph is mainly from 3 things as far as i know. High indoor Co2. Low carbonate alkalinity . Low or no borate alkalinity. Most likely its high indoor Co2. Try a cup of tank water sitting outside with an air bubbler in it for a hour. Test ph and report.
 
AS
OP
P

Poisns1

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 18, 2020
Messages
40
Reaction score
1
Location
Ellenton Florida
Well I finally got a new PH test kit in, API. The API kit shows that the PH is around 8.2. Problem is that I don't know if the salifert and LFS stores kits were off or the airline run out to the line really boosted my PH. I believe that the LFS was also using the API test kit so I'm venturing that 5 days of the skimmer getting fresh air from outside fixe the PH.

Down side. My tank started clouding up on Monday and has not cleared. I'm wondering if the PH swing has anything to do with that or I have another problem in the tank?
 
BRS

Have you ever had a reef tank with no sump and how did it go?

  • YES and it was just fine

    Votes: 190 59.0%
  • YES but it was difficult

    Votes: 61 18.9%
  • NO

    Votes: 63 19.6%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 8 2.5%
Growcorals.com
Top