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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I'm still a very green reef keeper and need some advice on adding chemicals to change my water parameters. Are you dumping them straight into your tank or premixing them in salt or fresh water? Earlier tonight i was doing a 10% water change and discovered that my pH was low (it has been this past week as i have been raising it). I added a little more chemical straight into the tank and a few moments later noticed that my Skunk Cleaner Shrimp was flopping on its side. I'm assuming he inhaled a concentrated mix of chemicals or something as he has been totally fine earlier today. He's clinging to life right now but hopefully he'll pull through. Any advice on this topic so i can avoid an incident like this again would be much appreciated...
 

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dosing chemicals can be very bad if you dont know what your doing. What are you dosing and why? water changes can fix most supplements with quality salt. and low PH is usually an issue with insufficient degassing. you say it was low, how low?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What's degassing? I've never heard that term so far. My pH has been at 7.8 and being a reef tank I'm aiming for around 8.2
 

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the water can retain co2. There are many variables that affect this from environmental to a lack of flow/water turbulence.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well I have a sump circulating 24/7 along with two Hydor Koralia 3rd Gen 1950 GPH pumps and a large air pump going 24/7 as well
 

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how much surface agitation do you have? do you have a skimmer? if so try running the air intake from the skimmer to the outside of your house
 

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also, how long has this tank been up and going? new tanks usually have lower ph due to cycling
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have an older Remora Aqua C Skimmer and the return line from my sump agitates the surface but not much. I could aim a power head closer to the surface to agitate it more if that would help? The tank is about 2.5- 3 months old. Cycling has just finished and I have just added my first additions last weekend
 

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how far down in your sump is the return? i usually have mine just about an inch under. How much agitation do you get in your overflow? try opening windows near the tank. What are your readings before your lights come on, and after your lights go out? there are so many things to try before dosing anything. but if i were to dose in an attempt to raise ph, then i would use pickling lime (kalkwasser) in my ato water. most likely your issue however is environmental and a lack of surface agitation to degas the co2.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'll have to make some adjustments to my set up and take some readings tomorrow to see what they're saying. Do you always mix your additives in separate containers and then disperse them into the tank?
 

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I don't put additives in my tank. At one part I used pickling lime in my ato for calcium/alk. Now I just use a calcium reactor if you consider that as an "additive". I don't add buffers or bottles of trace elements or any of that stuff
 

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Im thinking your issue is a high bacterial load from your tank being new. There are alot of nutrients in a new tank, nutrients bacteria feed on and they need alk and oxygen, both of which will help lower ph. I would just focus on cleaning, proper maintenance and your water changes for now. In a few months your ph will raise as the tank lowers in nutrients and the biofilter stabalizes. Low ph (7.8 isnt necessarily low) isnt that bad, stability is way more important. If you have to fight to keep ph at 8.2 and its constantly swinging that can do more harm then a regular ph of 7.8. Also pay attention to the time of day you test. Ph will be different at 5pm then 5am
 

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Phane, that was ine of my original thoughts. But he said he discovered it at night and the tank is 3 months old. While cycling may be a part of it, I think there might be a little more to it.
 

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I wouldn't worry about a pH of 7.8. That's not worrisome. All your parameters are tied up in each other so changing one can throw others off. As said above, your water changed should keep your parameters stable for you until you're much further down the road. You said you just added new additions last week, so the increased load on top the tank still being newer could affect pH (but again, 7.8 isn't bad). It could also be affected by the room the tank is in - is it a small room, or one that gets a lot of traffic or doesn't have a lot of air circulation? This could affect the tanks pH as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Okay, I guess I'll just focus on my water changes and monitor all parameters for now to ensure none of them go somewhere too low. I'll stop adding anymore fish until the tank's bio filter has adjusted but about how long should that take?
 

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You should give a couple weeks between each fish addition in a new tank. That gives the biofilter a decent amount of time to grow before you add to it's load.
 

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All awesome advice in here. Do you have a substrate or are you going with a bare bottom?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The tank is in a fair sized room, against an exterior wall but very little traffic, it's near a covered window however, if that means anything
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I have a Deep Sand Bed of CaribSea Aragamax Select and 40lbs of live rock with 90lbs of base rock. And yes, I really appreciate everyone's advice on helping me keep my tank going
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Woke up to my Skunk Cleaner and Fire Shrimp both dead, along with the fact that my tank cannot keep snails alive.... Any thoughts? Doing a water change now
 
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