low ph during vinegar dosing / solutions?

Clownfishy

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ORP naturally falls as pH rises. Might that be the nature of the ORP change you are seeing?
I do normally see an inverse graph but it is never as drastic as that. Only seen it since condensing my NOPOX dosing between 9am and 4pm. I am not seeing any adverse effects but thought it noteworthy to mention. I would like to find an alternative to NOPOX as I would like my pH higher. I am thinking of an algae reactor run at night but as I have a nano with no sump, I am trying to avoid more pumps and pipes in the main aquarium!
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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I do normally see an inverse graph but it is never as drastic as that. Only seen it since condensing my NOPOX dosing between 9am and 4pm. I am not seeing any adverse effects but thought it noteworthy to mention. I would like to find an alternative to NOPOX as I would like my pH higher. I am thinking of an algae reactor run at night but as I have a nano with no sump, I am trying to avoid more pumps and pipes in the main aquarium!

Sounds good. Let us know if you go another route and how it works out!
 

Clownfishy

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Sounds good. Let us know if you go another route and how it works out!
Will do. Before I invest into an algae reactor, I want to feel confident it can handle the nutrient levels I have in my aquarium so that is my next challenge but I will definitely report back. My next test is with Kalkwasser to see if mixing it on a daily basis, a few hours before dosing, helps to increase the pH during the night. I am not expecting wonders and I will be careful not to dose the slurry but just wondering if I can boost my pH at night even a little!

Here is todays graph now showing pH trending to ORP. Right on time, ORP drops through the floor after just 1 hour of NOPOX dosing which is approximately 0.6ml of the 3ml I dose in my 75l (20ish US gallons) nano daily.
Screenshot 2022-05-20 11.46.03.png
ight on time, ORP drops through the floor after 1 hour of the NOPOX dosing
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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Will do. Before I invest into an algae reactor, I want to feel confident it can handle the nutrient levels I have in my aquarium so that is my next challenge but I will definitely report back. My next test is with Kalkwasser to see if mixing it on a daily basis, a few hours before dosing, helps to increase the pH during the night. I am not expecting wonders and I will be careful not to dose the slurry but just wondering if I can boost my pH at night even a little!

Here is todays graph now showing pH trending to ORP. Right on time, ORP drops through the floor after just 1 hour of NOPOX dosing which is approximately 0.6ml of the 3ml I dose in my 75l (20ish US gallons) nano daily.
Screenshot 2022-05-20 11.46.03.png
ight on time, ORP drops through the floor after 1 hour of the NOPOX dosing

Thanks for posting this. It's a correlation I've not noted before. :)

NOPOX may be different than other carbon dosing products because it vaguely claims to add more than the organics. If it adds metals such as ferrous iron, that may be why ORP drops.

"NO3 : PO4-X also provides seven enzymatic co-factors to insure complete denitrification to nitrogen gas and prevent the probability for N2O and NO formation."

"NO3 : PO4-X is a unique complex of carbon substances and other organically bound elements that enhances the activity of nutrient reducing bacteria, which naturally exist in all marine aquariums."

While some things they write in the same documents are technically incorrect :

"Since sulfate is present in seawater at levels around 940 ppm, and carbon source and anaerobic conditions are also available, nothing can prevent sulfide production."

they do seem to be strongly hinting there is more there.
 

Clownfishy

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I have just looked back at what ORP was doing when I was dosing NOPOX just 4 times in 24 hours rather than lots of small dosing during a smaller time window. Although I was dosing a larger dose of NOPOX (0.8ml), I did not see such a drastic drop in ORP. I have provided 2 more illustrations, the first one shows a 24 view of my pH and ORP continually dosing small amounts of NOPOX between 9am and 4pm and the other one showing 4 doses of 0.8ml during a 24 hour period. When dosing 4 x 0.8ml spaced out over 24 hours, the ORP drops about 10. I was previously dosing the 0.8ml of NOPOX at 2am, 8am, 2pm and 8pm.

I would be interested in your thoughts on -
  • Do you think it is better to sacrifice pH and dose NOPOX over a 24 hour period as this would mean I have to dose some NOPOX during the night?
  • Are there any issues restricting carbon dosing to just part of the day e.g. am I losing some bacteria and their efficiency during the night as there is a lower carbon source?
  • Would you expect to see similar ORP drops with vinegar or vodka?
I like NOPOX as in my experience, it does lower my phosphate more than nitrates and I always have suffered from higher phosphates. However, I could easily move to vinegar its just the smell of it in the house that puts me off!!!!

NOPOX Dosing 9am-4pm
Screenshot 2022-05-20 12.38.56.png



Dosing 0.8ml 4 Times A Day
Screenshot 2022-05-20 12.57.52.png
 

Clownfishy

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To clarify, are you mixing your top off RODI water with kalkwasser & vinegar? Or mixing purely kalk and vinegar and dosing?
Did you give this a go? I am considering moving from NOPOX to Vinegar/Kalk but trying to work out how much vinegar to dose in place of NOPOX. I would be really interested if this solved your pH issue.

Many thanks
 
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Clownfishy

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@Randy Holmes-Farley I have read a few of your posts on kalk and vinegar so decided to replace NOPOX with this. Before I do, can I double check a couple of points so I dont screw up!

I am going to -
  • slowly add calcium hydroxide powder to the vinegar and shake the vinegar until it is saturated and I can see some powder settle on the bottom
  • initially replace the 3ml of NOPOX I dose daily with 10ml a day of vinegar/kalk mix and raising it up to 15ml if needed
  • I will use this vinegar
Do I have this right?

It will be interesting to see if this prevents the ORP drop I see dosing NOPOX! Also hoping will see a bit of pH bump as I am assuming the NOPOX is holding the pH down a little.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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That sounds like a fine plan. Exact replacement of NOPOX with vinegar cannot exactly be calculated so there’s some trial and error involved.
 

Clownfishy

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Thanks, I will test phosphate and nitrate every day or so for the first week just to make sure I am not overdosing. I was a little worried about the vinegar as it does not say it is food grade but I assume it is OK?
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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Thanks, I will test phosphate and nitrate every day or so for the first week just to make sure I am not overdosing. I was a little worried about the vinegar as it does not say it is food grade but I assume it is OK?

Did you buy it at a grocery store? If so, it's food grade.

If you bought it from a shady guy in a dark alley, maybe not. lol
 

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I that's strange. I don't notice a major shift in PH dosing Vodka. Yesterday ph was as high as 8.23 and then at night 8.08 and today it's back up to 8.19. I'm dosing 20 ml of vodka and run Bio Pellets (340 gallon display). I'm planning to move back up to my 30 ml a day due to rising nitrates. The only way they stayed controlled / managed was with vodka. So far, Ph remains stable. Does vinegar do something that vodka does not?
 

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I that's strange. I don't notice a major shift in PH dosing Vodka. Yesterday ph was as high as 8.23 and then at night 8.08 and today it's back up to 8.19. I'm dosing 20 ml of vodka and run Bio Pellets (340 gallon display). I'm planning to move back up to my 30 ml a day due to rising nitrates. The only way they stayed controlled / managed was with vodka. So far, Ph remains stable. Does vinegar do something that vodka does not?

The total pH lowering from CO2 formation is similar, but vinegar has an instantaneous pH drop and less later while the vodka effect is all later. Since it is more spread out, the vodka effect will be harder to see and may be lost in other CO2 additions and subtractions.
 
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Clownfishy

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@Randy Holmes-Farley I have read a few of your posts on kalk and vinegar so decided to replace NOPOX with this. Before I do, can I double check a couple of points so I dont screw up!

I am going to -
  • slowly add calcium hydroxide powder to the vinegar and shake the vinegar until it is saturated and I can see some powder settle on the bottom
  • initially replace the 3ml of NOPOX I dose daily with 10ml a day of vinegar/kalk mix and raising it up to 15ml if needed
  • I will use this vinegar
Do I have this right?

It will be interesting to see if this prevents the ORP drop I see dosing NOPOX! Also hoping will see a bit of pH bump as I am assuming the NOPOX is holding the pH down a little.
OK, not sure I am doing this correctly. I added over 4 table spoons of Calcium Hydroxide to 2 litres of vinegar and it all dissolved and just turned the vinegar a light brown. How much Calcium Hydroxide would you expect to add before you would expect to see undissolved kalk?
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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OK, not sure I am doing this correctly. I added over 4 table spoons of Calcium Hydroxide to 2 litres of vinegar and it all dissolved and just turned the vinegar a light brown. How much Calcium Hydroxide would you expect to add before you would expect to see undissolved kalk?

Not sure how much, off hand, but more.
 

Clownfishy

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OK, just added about 10 more tablespoons and I think it is about there now. It started to fizz and the container was getting warm. Should it be that color?
 

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Randy Holmes-Farley

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OK, just added about 10 more tablespoons and I think it is about there now. It started to fizz and the container was getting warm. Should it be that color?

The color is from impurities, but is likely fine. I cannot see why it would “fizz”, but it will be frothy.
 

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Thanks @Randy Holmes-Farley, did yours mix up this color?. To be on the safe side, I am going to order some new Calcium Hydroxide and found this which is 98.7% pure. I am just a bit uncomfortable with the impurities but having said that, if this one mixes up the same, then I am clearly over worrying!!!


 
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Interestingly, the food grade ones I have found states it is 90% - 98% pure so it seems even food grade is no better. When you mixed up yours, did you see a color change?
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Interestingly, the food grade ones I have found states it is 90% - 98% pure so it seems even food grade is no better. When you mixed up yours, did you see a color change?

% purity is not a good indication of safety. If that 1% is copper, its bad.

Food grade calcium hydroxide in the USA must be 95-100.5% calcium hydroxide by assay, but the allowed levels of concerning impurities (e.g., heavy metals) is low.

Food Grade Calcium Hydroxide Specifications
Assay Ca(OH)295 – 100.5%
Magnesium and Alkali SaltsLess than 4.8%
FluorideLess than 50 ppm
LeadLess than 10 ppm
ArsenicLess than 3 ppm
Acid Insoluble SubstancesLess than 0.5%
Heavy MetalsLess than 30 ppm
 

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