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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i have a 30g xtall tank w/ 15g sump, aquaC remora, use kent salt, kalk dosing, and seachem buffer. ammo=0, ite=0, ate=5. My question why is it that my pH won't stay at 8.0-8.2? Alk=3.5meq/l, calcium=350. the seachem buffer only bring the pH up and then a few hours later it is back to around 7.94. i am testing the pH using a pinpoint pH monitor, i measure the Alk with seachem, and calcium with red sea. Could this be a cause of the kent salt, because i have read somewhere that other people have the same problem keeping their ph stable when using the kent brand. should go with IO salt instead or some other brand? thanks

will
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
ps. why is it that if i increase the alk, calcium precipitates and the level dissolved goes down? how do i balance the two? I'VE GOT SOO MUCH TO LEARN!!!
 

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Ok first of all, you dont want to increase your alk to lower your pH. At an alk of 3.5 you are fine.

But, given that alk, your calcium is a bit on the low side.

You are close to doing things the right way, but if you are in a situation like you are, where the calcium and alk are out of balance you are not going to help the situation by adding a two part buffer. The point of two part buffers, or kalkwasser, is to add equimolar amounts of calcium and carbonate.

But your calcium is low relative to alk, so you need to add calcium without the alk. You can do this by adding turbo calc, or by adding one part of the two part buffers (one part is calcium chloride), you should have instructions with the product on how to do this.

Otherwise you are on the right track, keep checking the pH via monitor, checking alk and calcium.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks for the advise, drsyme. however, i do not want to lower the pH, instead i want to increase it. as of now my pH is at 8.00 i was aiming for 8.20-8.30. i was able to bring it up to that but it would not maintain it at that level. in a matter of a few hours the pH just goes right back down to somewhere around 7.94. could this be a result of too much co2 in the room? i have recently placed an air pump that sucks air from outside and i attached it to an airstone, which is located near the intake of the aquac remora. i hope to helps in bring my pH up. i will leave this air pump on overnight and see if the pH increases in the morning. i'll keep you guys posted....

ps. all i have right now in the tank is some snails and hermit crabs. should i really be concerned about calcium level at this point? if so how should i bring up the level? with Kalk? thanks.

willie
 

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Sorry I meant to say you dont want to raise your alk to raise your pH.

My point is that your alk is ok, and if it is ok and your pH is too low, then you need to look for another reason for that.

And CO2 is a likely candidate. If the ambient CO2 in the room is high, and you have your skimmer hooked up to an outside air source, then you want to REDUCE the surface agitation of the water to minimize air exchange with the ambient air.

My other point was that from the numbers presented your calcium is too low relative to alk, so you need to add calcium alone.

BTW, why are you doing both kalkwasser and the seachem buffer? I suspect you are out of balance because of that buffer. If you are doing kalkwasser you shouldnt need the buffer too. They are both balanced buffers, you should not need to add both.

I dont think your salt is the problem. You can switch to IO, but if you keep adding the buffer along with kalk, you are likely to continue to have the same problem.
 

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bohydromb said:
ps. all i have right now in the tank is some snails and hermit crabs. should i really be concerned about calcium level at this point? if so how should i bring up the level? with Kalk? thanks.

willie
yes

calciuim chloride

no

Even though you dont have stony corals, the calcium and carbonate (alk) will drift downward from abiotic precipitation, and from biotic precipitation by calcarous algaes, snails, etc. The use of kalkwasser is able to keep these levels balanced despite this precipitation of calcium carbonate even in tanks with stony corals. In your case you need to monitor both calcium and alk to make sure they are not too concentrated, but you will need to add some kind of balanced buffer, kalkwasser or the seachem buffer to counteract this drift downward of calcium and alk.

But, perhaps because of the use of the buffer, your calcium is low compared to alk. So it is out of balance. You cannot correct this with kalkwasser or the buffer. To correct this you need to add calcium alone, which is usually done in the form of calcium chloride (Tubo Calc, or one part of the buffer). If you stop using the buffer, and do routine water changes, this might take care of this imbalance also, but to get you in the right range quickly you need to add calcium.

Shoot for these ranges:

Alkalinity
2.5 - 4 meq/L or 7 - 11 dKH or 125 - 200 ppm CaCO3 equivalents
Calcium: <?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = O /><O:p> </O:p>

380 - 450 ppm calcium ion or 950 - 1125 ppm CaCO3 equivalents
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the infos.... at these levels is it harmful to the inhabitants if it stays like this for a bit until it gets under control? i currently have no access to a turbo calc and would not be able to get one until about a week from now through mail order. would a water change every other day stabilize this situation? if so any idea how long i would have to do water changes? thanks

willie
 

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I'm in mountainside.Your near Bayone.I think theres a LFS called Pet Shanty There other store is near me and I think they have the turbo.Call I know but not shure how far Clifton is from you but Absolutely Fish has what you need!
 

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bohydromb said:
Thanks for the infos.... at these levels is it harmful to the inhabitants if it stays like this for a bit until it gets under control? i currently have no access to a turbo calc and would not be able to get one until about a week from now through mail order. would a water change every other day stabilize this situation? if so any idea how long i would have to do water changes? thanks

willie
Your levels are not currently harmful to the inhabitants.

Water changes would help eventually, especially if you are dosing with kalkwasser. But remember, kalkwasser is calcium AND carbonate in a balanced ratio (the hydroxide gets converted to carbonate/bicarbonate as soon as it is mixed in the water.) You dont want to use additional buffers along with the kalkwasser routinely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
i figured that my water was out of balance before i posted this thread. therefore i did a 13%(6gal, because that the only bucket i have to mix salt water in) and my calcium is still at 350, however, it brought up my alk to 5.5meq/l. it seems like water changes brings my alk up. is this suppose to happen? by the way i stopped dosing anything after the water change.

also is 7.90 when lights out and 8.03 when lights are on an acceptable pH? would these levels still allow me to put in zoos, anemonies, fan worms, and a clam like a mixima in about a year? or should i work on bring up the ph now?

thanks again all!!! you guys are soooo much help....i don't know what i would do with out you guys.... i would probably keep dosing both kalk and the buffer(to try to stabilize the ph at 8.2) w/o u guys....


willie
 

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Just curious, how long has it been since you cleaned your probe and recalibrated it? Have you performed a borax test for the probe? How old is the probe itself?

Jack brings out good point on the CO2 concentration in the tank, although I would not recommend reducing surface turbulance, as reducing this in such a tall tank (30H, is that correct?) will also reduce your O2 exchange. I think the idea of using a skimmer with an outdoor source of air is a great idea for your system. Prior use of buffers will have an effect on the final alkalinity of thw water column with water changes, so I am not surprised to see these numbers. You'll have to follow drsyme's advice on the calcium to correct the conditions, although water changes will help tremendously if performed on a gegular basis (every 2 weeks, at least 10%). If you've been supplementing your alk on a regular basis, you will ultimately reduce the ability to maintain supersaturation of the water column with calcium, as the socium begins to accumulte, and in order to maintain your salinity, you ultimately remove mgnesium to account for this. Without sufficient magnesium, your water column cannot contain as much calcium due to the insolubility ssociated with the resence of carbonate in seawater. It is a very precise balance of several factors that requires seawater be at 35 PPT and in conservative balance to allow for supersaturation of calcium to occur with respect to carbonate. See this calcium and carbonate in seawater thread (starting at post #28) for a more detailed explaination.

Good info for your system given so far, follow up in a few days after adding your calcium supplement and doing some more water changes.

Check your probe.

Related thread

Info on why Kalkwasser won't fix your problem

Related topic

Magnesium issues with 2 part additives and a home-made Mg suppement

HTH
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
the ph probe itself is only a few weeks old or at most 3weeks.... i checked the reading against seachem's ph reading and it is off by about .05. so i guess that the pinpoint is close to the actual pH. however, i have not done to borax test. where can i get borax? and is that is it ok to have a pH of 8.02 during day when lights are on and down to 7.90 at night when lights are off?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
started dosing Liquid calcium by kent and my calcium level is still at 350. however my alk has gone down to 3meq/l. does this sound right? should i stop with just the calium dose and go back to kalk or should i keep dosing just the calcium?
 

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bohydromb said:
...I have not done to borax test. where can i get borax?
I know that Target has it in the cleaning section as 20 Mule Team Borax in a green box. Somewhere here in the archives is a copy of the procedure for the test. basically a level teaspoonful into a pint of water, mixed thoroughly, then used to test pH with the probe, if the test results after 2 minutes are not 9.19, then the probe needs cleaning and recalibration. If the probe will not test at 9.19 after cleaning and calibration, then the probe may be bad and require replacement.

bohydromb said:
...and is that is it ok to have a pH of 8.02 during day when lights are on and down to 7.90 at night when lights are off?
Wait until you test your probe, although this is not a big deal if it IS the value spread for your system. Let us know what the probe's response is to the borax test, then we can go from there. For now, just do your regular maintenance and water changes, etc.

By any chance, do you have covers on your tank?

HTH
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
did the borax test and it tested at 9.30 cleaned the probe and recalibrated and tested again with borax and it read 9.04. the pH probe i had just bought and it is two weeks old and i am running out of money for this hobby. i don't have another $50 to get another probe. so do you guys think it really is the probe?
 
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