PH Question and should i do anything about it?

frackingawesome

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Hello, I have a question/concern about the PH in my tank It seems very low and i am confused as to what or even if i should care. as you can see on the graph below my PH seems to be super low. I can open the windows but the tank never get to where i would like it. Then if i need to close the windows cause it is 90+ the PH drops again. To give you some reference the first peek in the image 7.82 the highest peek, first on in the red box is 8.2 and the last peek in the image is 8.

The tank is 110 gal 3feet deep with sand, coral, and a VERY small almost useless refugeum. Coral growth is there but SUPER slow! about 1/10th of a similar tank at a fiends house with the same lights.

I do not currently dose anything, but i do 10gal auto water changes 2 times a week, reef crystals mixed up well in advanced due to the auto water changes.

I do have a CO2 scrubber hooked up do it does not seem to do anything and was thinking about taking it and using the thing for a GFO reactor. My DKH and Cal are pretty stable due to the super slow coral growth and the frequent water changes.

Screen Shot 2021-06-23 at 12.08.34 PM.png

I have verified the values in the graph at a number of times with 2 other chemical test kits so i think it is relatively accurate as well as calibrated the probe 1ones in the first 1/2 of the graph.



Any help would be awesome as i dont know if i even need to really care about this, but i would like a little faster coral growth.
 

srobertb

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I’m chasing PH myself…rather the night dip from 8.4 during the day to 8.00 over night. A CO2 scrubber helped but ate up $10 in media over 4 days. I’ve started dosing Kalk at night and I’m on my 3rd night of ramping up but have seen no change. I’m at .25% twv of saturated Kalk. I have to be careful because my alk is 11.5 consistently.

honestly I wouldn’t worry too much.
 
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lapin

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If you are using reef crystals your tank should have high alk since you do not have a lot of SPS growth
RC usually mixes at 12.
I would first test your new salt mix to be sure you dont have low salinity
I would not really worry about PH unless its above 9 or less than 7.2
 

taricha

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hmm.... running reef crystals, alk of 8-9, and not even getting up to pH 8.0 unless you open windows? That's not ideal, IMO.
Your data for the days with the open window looks acceptable to me, and would also lean toward the conclusion that your CO2 scrubber isn't working. If those low pH values are true at an alk of 8-9, you might have a high CO2, and exhausted the CO2 scrubber media faster than you expected.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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I'm very suspicious that the 7.34 is not accurate. If real, it's a substantial concern. Coral skeletons would be slowly dissolving.

Try the aeration tests in my article:

The Aeration Test

Some of the possibilities listed above require some effort to diagnose. Problems 3 and 4 are quite common, and here is a way to distinguish them. Remove a cup of tank water and measure the pH. Then aerate it for an hour with an airstone using outside air. The pH should rise if the pH is unusually low for the measured alkalinity, as in Figure 3 (if it does not rise, most likely one of the measurements (pH or alkalinity) is in error). Then repeat the same experiment on a new cup of water using inside air. If the pH rises there too, then the aquarium pH will rise with more aeration because it is only the aquarium that contains excess carbon dioxide. If the pH does not rise inside (or rises very little), then the inside air contains excess CO2, and more aeration with that same air will not solve the low pH problem (although aeration with fresher air should).
 

blasterman

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I’m chasing PH myself…rather the night dip from 8.4 during the day to 8.00 over night. A CO2 scrubber helped but ate up $10 in media over 4 days. I’ve started dosing Kalk at night and I’m on my 3rd night of ramping up but have seen no change. I’m at .25% twv of saturated Kalk. I have to be careful because my alk is 11.5 consistently.

honestly I wouldn’t worry too much.
Confirms my complaint that CO2 scrubbers that use sodium hydroxide pellets exhaust the outside shell of the pellet, but the majority of the pellet mass is fine. I built a liquid scrubber and the solution stayed caustic when run for a month.

Unless you have acropora none of the numbers here are concerning. Low pH slows down more fickle SPS, but doesn't hurt anything unless its chronically low.
 

Screwgunner

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If you are using reef crystals your tank should have high alk since you do not have a lot of SPS growth
RC usually mixes at 12.
I would first test your new salt mix to be sure you dont have low salinity
I would not really worry about PH unless its above 9 or less than 7.2
I use ph 8.3 once a week keeps my ph up.
 
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srobertb

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Confirms my complaint that CO2 scrubbers that use sodium hydroxide pellets exhaust the outside shell of the pellet, but the majority of the pellet mass is fine. I built a liquid scrubber and the solution stayed caustic when run for a month.

Unless you have acropora none of the numbers here are concerning. Low pH slows down more fickle SPS, but doesn't hurt anything unless its chronically low.
I knew it may go quickly but gosh darn I didn’t think it would go like that. I ran the airline outside. And that had a similar effect. I just can’t stop the swing.

nothing seems too upset. I’m chasing it because what’s the point of a hobby if there isn’t work to do and things to tweak?
 

lapin

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Just a thought that came to mind. Duh
My Ph was all over the place for the first few months
As soon as I added my calcium reactor it settled down and now runs at a nice 8.4 (+-0.05)
 

blasterman

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I knew it may go quickly but gosh darn I didn’t think it would go like that. I ran the airline outside. And that had a similar effect. I just can’t stop the swing.

nothing seems too upset. I’m chasing it because what’s the point of a hobby if there isn’t work to do and things to tweak?
If you still have some of those now purple pellets please try something to help me confirm it. Put a teaspoon of them in a pint of water and they should quickly dissolve. If they are indeed exhausted nothing much will happen. If they are still potent though and it's just the outside shell of the pellet getting exhausted as I suspect that water will become extremely alkaline.

A lot of reefers are using those things, and if this is problem we need to raise some hell about it.

I just starting sodium hydroxide directly to raise my tank pH using it to knock up pH from 8.1 to 8.5 (that's what Chuck Norris would do) before my lights go on. I will need a few days of alk consumption results to see if it works.
 

srobertb

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I’m so busy I just unplugged the canister and put it in the garage. It’s probably dead by It’s an interesting theory though. I purchased it from Amazon btw. It’s interesting in that it’s color changing but rapidly changes back to white if you don’t pay attention.
In any case I stay away from any media, system, reactor, or dosing that needs a refill more than once a week.
 

blasterman

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I suspect it changes back to white because the surface is slowly reacting with the pellet mass not exposed to air and just under the surface. Its slowly recharging.

Yeah...its a gimmick worse than ink jet cartridges on ink jet printers. :) Buy more! Buy more!

My first check on alk consumption shows a solid improvement, but I need a few days of control for consistent results to report. It took less than 1/4 teaspoon of sodium hydroxide to slam my pH up into the mid 8s, and its barely fallen in 12hours. Unless there's a downside to this we are wasting our time with CO2 scrubbers and should be doing this.
 
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Scorpius

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Low ph is more than likely from co2 buildup in your home. Permanently solve that and you're ph issues will vanish.
 
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frackingawesome

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I agree about the c02! Thanks for all the replies... i think i am going to stop worrying about the PH for now and just let the tank Rick and roll! I do think i am going to look to aerate the tank better to help with the PH swings at night.
 

srobertb

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I agree about the c02! Thanks for all the replies... i think i am going to stop worrying about the PH for now and just let the tank Rick and roll! I do think i am going to look to aerate the tank better to help with the PH swings at night.
Good plan.

I can tell you that dosing Kalk overnight didn’t work. I dosed .5% of my total water volume last night and all I got was a little alk spike. You can see the PH move a bit as it was dosed but it just made the drop jagged; it still happened.

Try fresh air for sure. I’m thinking using a solenoid on the air intake for my skimmer to alternate between fresh and house air depending on the PH. Maybe instead of swings from 8.4 to 8.0 I can get it to hover around 8.1 which I feel would be a win.
 
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