Huge PH drop

meermann

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 2, 2020
Messages
73
Reaction score
12
Location
Germany
Hi guys,
I read related threads, but got no answers.

I have approx. 40G tank + small sump around 10G of water. Started more than 1 month ago.
Inhabitants: 6 kilo of LRs, 4 algae-eater snails, 7 acroporas.
Salinity is 35, temperature is ~80. Light schedule: almost like AB+ using AI Hydra.

Previously I had a Copper Butterfly, a Cole Tang and a small Clownfish (Ocellaris or like that)
And I received 7 acros on June 1st as well. ;Happy

Immediately after that I turn on acclimation mode from 50% to 100%, 100% was reached on June 15th.
Meanwhile I started increasing nutrients level so it was around 0.05 PO4 and 5-10 NO3 last week.

Also, I have PH monitor and I've been doing monitoring since 1st of June.
So, till the Sunday of June 13th it was around 8.1 at night and 8.2 during the day (drop is not significant because of it's hot and the windows are open even at night, so CO2 is OK)

But on Monday and so on it started dropping. Now it's no more than 7.7! :eek:
I checked the probe, unfortunately it works.

Last week I had an oodinium (Velvet disease) outbreak ;Doctor and lost the Cole Tang and the Butterfly :(, only my Clown survived. But it's in the another let say bucket right no.
So there were no fishes since June 12th. But I "feed" bacterias with small amount of pellets every day.

Also, I noticed that hair algae growth very significantly. So today morning I used plastic card to remove it from the bottom and overflow box.

I also don't think I have a lot of organic in the water because I have a fleece filter.

What happened with my tank?
And how could I make my PH more steady?

Thank you
 
Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting
OP
M

meermann

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 2, 2020
Messages
73
Reaction score
12
Location
Germany
Why are you worried about Ph though?
Because it started to drop suddenly and It suspiciously happened once I've moved fishes out
But actually it's not 7.7 but 7.79 so almost 7.8.

Anyway, it's definitely not the value I would like to see on my PH monitor.

What if a kind of organic acids in the water is lowering my PH, is it possible?
Forgot to say: I also have Ozone Generator but it's still not connected to my skimmer (BTW it's Maxspect Jump MJ-SK400 which is definitely more than enough for my size), will it increase PH because of interaction with organic acids?

So, the measures have been taken already:
1) I removed all the hair algae and also cleaned the LRs using toothbrush
2) Opened the cabinet doors to improve "ventilation"

Should I buy Calcium Hydroxide stirrer? Evaporation is enormous these days because of heat (up to 96 :eek:)
 
Champion Lighting & Supply

SDK

Reef Diver
View Badges
Joined
Nov 2, 2016
Messages
1,403
Reaction score
2,994
Location
Shrewsbury
Your Ph is not a big problem. Your mistake was putting sensitive fish and high light SPS corals into a new tank. Now you have to go through the process of maturing it with intensely high lighting.

Was your "LR" truly cured live rock, or dry when you started the tank?
 

BiggestE222

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 8, 2021
Messages
430
Reaction score
343
Location
carrollton
Hi guys,
I read related threads, but got no answers.

I have approx. 40G tank + small sump around 10G of water. Started more than 1 month ago.
Inhabitants: 6 kilo of LRs, 4 algae-eater snails, 7 acroporas.
Salinity is 35, temperature is ~80. Light schedule: almost like AB+ using AI Hydra.

Previously I had a Copper Butterfly, a Cole Tang and a small Clownfish (Ocellaris or like that)
And I received 7 acros on June 1st as well. ;Happy

Immediately after that I turn on acclimation mode from 50% to 100%, 100% was reached on June 15th.
Meanwhile I started increasing nutrients level so it was around 0.05 PO4 and 5-10 NO3 last week.

Also, I have PH monitor and I've been doing monitoring since 1st of June.
So, till the Sunday of June 13th it was around 8.1 at night and 8.2 during the day (drop is not significant because of it's hot and the windows are open even at night, so CO2 is OK)

But on Monday and so on it started dropping. Now it's no more than 7.7! :eek:
I checked the probe, unfortunately it works.

Last week I had an oodinium (Velvet disease) outbreak ;Doctor and lost the Cole Tang and the Butterfly :(, only my Clown survived. But it's in the another let say bucket right no.
So there were no fishes since June 12th. But I "feed" bacterias with small amount of pellets every day.

Also, I noticed that hair algae growth very significantly. So today morning I used plastic card to remove it from the bottom and overflow box.

I also don't think I have a lot of organic in the water because I have a fleece filter.

What happened with my tank?
And how could I make my PH more steady?

Thank you
Did you get a new fish or invert or coral recently. I find it strange that there are ich or velvet outbreaks out of thin air
 
OP
M

meermann

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 2, 2020
Messages
73
Reaction score
12
Location
Germany
7.8 is fine. Why worry?
Thank you for the attention!

Because Randy said that the best PH value is between 7.8 and 8.5
Well, I have 7.8 right now but with opened windows at night. So it could easily drop lower!
 
Last edited:
AS
OP
M

meermann

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 2, 2020
Messages
73
Reaction score
12
Location
Germany
At first, thank you guys for your attention and help!

What do you mean more then a month ago? How long has the tank been running?
The exact day when I put LRs into the tank was: 8th of May 2021
So yeah, a bit more than one month

Your Ph is not a big problem. Your mistake was putting sensitive fish and high light SPS corals into a new tank. Now you have to go through the process of maturing it with intensely high lighting.

Was your "LR" truly cured live rock, or dry when you started the tank?
It was definitely LR with macroalgae (at least 2 species), coralina algae and 1 Asterina seastar.
Some pics are here.
I don't know was it real LR or artificial or... but they were kept in the tank underwater in my LFS. And under lights.

Did you get a new fish or invert or coral recently. I find it strange that there are ich or velvet outbreaks out of thin air
Yeah, and I created a thread a couple of weeks ago. But: my fish died because of Amyloodinium infection, not because of bad condition in the tank. Probably I bought ill fish in my LFS.

Put a photo up

Now the light is off, will take a picture in the morning.
But generally it looks like on previous shots, I just re-arranged some acros. I saw neither growth nor polyp extension (but at night they extend)
 

Garf

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 23, 2020
Messages
1,223
Reaction score
1,506
Location
Earth
At first, thank you guys for your attention and help!


The exact day when I put LRs into the tank was: 8th of May 2021
So yeah, a bit more than one month


It was definitely LR with macroalgae (at least 2 species), coralina algae and 1 Asterina seastar.
Some pics are here.
I don't know was it real LR or artificial or... but they were kept in the tank underwater in my LFS. And under lights.


Yeah, and I created a thread a couple of weeks ago. But: my fish died because of Amyloodinium infection, not because of bad condition in the tank. Probably I bought ill fish in my LFS.



Now the light is off, will take a picture in the morning.
But generally it looks like on previous shots, I just re-arranged some acros. I saw neither growth nor polyp extension (but at night they extend)
I’m liking that flow. Dosing a bit of kalk will sort any real low pH issues but you’ve gotta balance it with alkalinity consumption. Started my new tank with 100mls a day and am now up to 1700mls on a 60G cube. I think pH is more important than others, I’m with you. :)
 
OP
M

meermann

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 2, 2020
Messages
73
Reaction score
12
Location
Germany
Put a photo up
OK, the picture was taken few minutes ago.
It looks I have no issues with acros, but I still see no polyp extension (during daylight)

Regarding growth: I noticed a few grow points on the acro on the right, that's it (since June 1st).

PH level is a bit higher than yesterday: it's 7.87 right now.
Anyway, I don't think I have a lot of SPS in my tank so I don't expect that PH level will raise up during daylight hours significantly
2.jpg
 

Bo.

Impatient as always
View Badges
Joined
Feb 25, 2020
Messages
1,906
Reaction score
9,296
Location
Albuquerque
Point one of your power heads or return lines at the surface of the water to break surface tension and promote gas exchange and see if that helps after a day or two.

What do your calcium and alkalinity levels look like?
 

birdsnest

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
Messages
211
Reaction score
9
Location
Indian Harbour Bch.
Your tank is still cycling. As you feed your bacteria the ammonia is getting broken down into nitrite and that oxidative process is driving down the pH. Fish are more sensitive to ammonia than corals as they are essentially breathing it in. Test for ammonia and nitrite daily until you do not register any and then test for nitrates. Get nitrates under control with water changes and then slowly add animals. Do not chase a pH value. Once your tank is cycled and you get Alk and Cal into a balance pH should fall right inline.
 
Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting
OP
M

meermann

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 2, 2020
Messages
73
Reaction score
12
Location
Germany
Point one of your power heads or return lines at the surface of the water to break surface tension and promote gas exchange and see if that helps after a day or two.

What do your calcium and alkalinity levels look like?
Good question.

I see no coral growth, but now KH is 6.1 regarding Salifert test, and Ca is 450, Salifert as well. Checked KH twice, same result.
7-8 days earlier I checked my KH and it was at least 7
So, I have KH drop as well but no Ca consumption (I've never checked the Ca level before. But I definitely haven't used any supplements that could raise it. Freshly mixed salt has 450 Ca and 7.3 KH)

Does it look like I have a kind of "organic acids" in the water those are lowering my PH/KH levels?
Should I use baking soda to improve my KH level?
Your tank is still cycling. As you feed your bacteria the ammonia is getting broken down into nitrite and that oxidative process is driving down the pH. Fish are more sensitive to ammonia than corals as they are essentially breathing it in. Test for ammonia and nitrite daily until you do not register any and then test for nitrates. Get nitrates under control with water changes and then slowly add animals. Do not chase a pH value. Once your tank is cycled and you get Alk and Cal into a balance pH should fall right inline.
It's not cycling, there's no ammonia at all. I had an ammonia outbreak in the beginning, but after a short time the level became undetectable.

I had some concerns regarding ammonia level in the last decade of May once I've added a couple of big fishes in addition to my Clown, but the level was still 0.
Now I have no fishes in the tank at all but use few amount of Ocean Nutrition pellets to feed bacteria

Forgot to mention I also have 2 liters of Siporax in my sump. Together with cured LRs they give Ammonia no chance.

I have no nitrite test but I noticed that NO3 level started raising about a ten days after I had run the tank
Also, nitrites are not too dangerous in saltwater (unlike freshwater)
 

Bo.

Impatient as always
View Badges
Joined
Feb 25, 2020
Messages
1,906
Reaction score
9,296
Location
Albuquerque
Good question.

I see no coral growth, but now KH is 6.1 regarding Salifert test, and Ca is 450, Salifert as well. Checked KH twice, same result.
7-8 days earlier I checked my KH and it was at least 7
So, I have KH drop as well but no Ca consumption (I've never checked the Ca level before. But I definitely haven't used any supplements that could raise it. Freshly mixed salt has 450 Ca and 7.3 KH)

Does it look like I have a kind of "organic acids" in the water those are lowering my PH/KH levels?
Should I use baking soda to improve my KH level?

It's not cycling, there's no ammonia at all. I had an ammonia outbreak in the beginning, but after a short time the level became undetectable.

I had some concerns regarding ammonia level in the last decade of May once I've added a couple of big fishes in addition to my Clown, but the level was still 0.
Now I have no fishes in the tank at all but use few amount of Ocean Nutrition pellets to feed bacteria

Forgot to mention I also have 2 liters of Siporax in my sump. Together with cured LRs they give Ammonia no chance.

I have no nitrite test but I noticed that NO3 level started raising about a ten days after I had run the tank
Also, nitrites are not too dangerous in saltwater (unlike freshwater)
kh is pretty low this will increase the swings in ph... You want soda ash, or "baked" baking soda... Not straight soda bicarbonate, that will drop your pH a tiny bit. Soda ash will help raise your pH as well. Here's a good article from @Randy Holmes-Farley that should help demistify the relationship between alkalinity (carbonate hardness) and ph.



If I'm totally wrong Randy will definitely be able to help lol

Edit: you want to gradually increase kh... I usually target no more than .5 to .7 increase per day even though you could go faster.
 
OP
M

meermann

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 2, 2020
Messages
73
Reaction score
12
Location
Germany
kh is pretty low this will increase the swings in ph... You want soda ash, or "baked" baking soda... Not straight soda bicarbonate, that will drop your pH a tiny bit. Soda ash will help raise your pH as well. Here's a good article from @Randy Holmes-Farley that should help demistify the relationship between alkalinity (carbonate hardness) and ph.



If I'm totally wrong Randy will definitely be able to help lol

Edit: you want to gradually increase kh... I usually target no more than .5 to .7 increase per day even though you could go faster.
OK, I bought baking soda (so NaHCO3 instead of Na2CO3 - had no idea where can I get ready-to-use and food-grade at least "baked" baking soda whereas baking soda is sold in every grocery store. I know I could heat it up in the oven, but...) and started dosing it precisely.
After a week KH now is 7.0 (Salifert KH Test) and PH is 8.14 now ;Happy , that's pretty fine for me. I keep cabinet doors and a window opened so nocturnal PH fall is no more than .1

But a new question was arisen: is it a good idea to compensate KH with baking soda (or "baked" baking soda) for a long period? I checked my Ca level and it's 440 now, previously it was 450 but I decreased salinity a bit. It was slightly more that 35‰, rather 36‰ (the refractometer wasn't calibrated). I'd presume there is no Ca consumption at all. But KH is lowering constantly, I have no idea why.

I also have TM AllForReef but it also adds 2mg/l of Ca in addition to each .28dKH.

Is it good idea to mitigate KH falls using soda and wait for a real Ca consumption, then switch to TM AllForReef?
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
44,820
Reaction score
33,680
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
OK, I bought baking soda (so NaHCO3 instead of Na2CO3 - had no idea where can I get ready-to-use and food-grade at least "baked" baking soda whereas baking soda is sold in every grocery store. I know I could heat it up in the oven, but...) and started dosing it precisely.
After a week KH now is 7.0 (Salifert KH Test) and PH is 8.14 now ;Happy , that's pretty fine for me. I keep cabinet doors and a window opened so nocturnal PH fall is no more than .1

But a new question was arisen: is it a good idea to compensate KH with baking soda (or "baked" baking soda) for a long period? I checked my Ca level and it's 440 now, previously it was 450 but I decreased salinity a bit. It was slightly more that 35‰, rather 36‰ (the refractometer wasn't calibrated). I'd presume there is no Ca consumption at all. But KH is lowering constantly, I have no idea why.

I also have TM AllForReef but it also adds 2mg/l of Ca in addition to each .28dKH.

Is it good idea to mitigate KH falls using soda and wait for a real Ca consumption, then switch to TM AllForReef?

Baking soda (baked or not) is a fine alk additive. it is the main component of all two part systems including Balling methods.

All for Reef is also fine, but is not better than a two part.
 

Have you ever grown your own live aquarium food?

  • YES and it was a success (tell us in the thread)

    Votes: 62 23.4%
  • YES but I couldn't sustain it long term

    Votes: 39 14.7%
  • NO, I tried but couldn't

    Votes: 9 3.4%
  • NO, I have never tried

    Votes: 152 57.4%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 3 1.1%
UNLEASH THE FULL POTENTIAL OF YOUR REEF
Top