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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All, i'm fairly new and fairly ignorant about this business; have a 75 gal sw tank w/ ~ 60 lbs of live sand and ~ 80lbs live rock. currently fish only though would love to add corals. tank has been in place for ~ 8 months. have prizm skimmer and two cannister filters that are basically just supplying water movement. no sump or refugium. have not had problems with keeping fish (so far); only one has died since original set up; currently have one maroon clown, one gobie (?sleeper tiger?), one bicolor angel, one royal gramma, and one tang. i'm learning enough to know that i have some water quality problems, just don't seem to be able to fix them and am sort of alone here in small town middle ga - no "mentor".

ph seems to hang ~ 8.0 no matter what i do. have added super buffer dKH and proper ph 8.2 like crazy; hasn't stablized the pH in proper range, but does now have my kH out the roof. (saw some archived posts about too high kH just before posting this...)

so, if any of you who have some experience can offer a few kind words of advice, i'd be most grateful. thanks... lcdndzhelp
 

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Hey, WELCOME TO TRT!

How are you testing for pH? What kind of test kit? What tiome of the day are you testing? (pH changes throughout the day). Are you using Kalk?

pH, Alk and Ca are all connected. First you need to add dKh to get your Alk right. Then add some calcium to get your calcium right. Once that balance is achieved, you need to continuously add kalk to maintain this balance. This will also keep you pH where it should be. I;m sure some more expoert people will have some ideas too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks for your reply; have mainly used a saltwater master liquid test kit by aquarium pharmaceuticals, inc. a couple of days ago i borrowed an electronic pH meter from the one and only local pet store. it and the liquid test were dead on (as close as i can tell with my eyesight and guesstimating/translating a color chart). usually test early in the mornings; didn't realize the pH would fluctuate during the day. and the only things i've added are teh kent marine superbuffer-dKH and proper pH 8.2 by aquarium pharmaceuticals, inc. 'nuther dumb question: how do i measure the calcium? thanks.
 

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you will need a calcium test kit. do you have an alk test kit? this is another important test kit to have.

you can have a good .5 difference in pH over the course of a day. in the morning right before lights on is the lowest, and the highest is right before lights out. it all has to do with CO2 gas exhange. the greater the CO2 levels the lower the pH.

G~
 

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PH has a wide range of acceptable levels .. and a PH of 8.0 may be just fine depending on your alk level and the time of the day. Here's a good link discussing salt water parameters including PH .. within the link are other links which may give you more specific information on alkalinity and pH.

http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-05/rhf/index.php

Before putting alkalinity buffers into your tank I suggest you purchase a decent alkalinity test kit .. both Seachem and Salifert make good alkalinity test kits .. they are inexpensive and many/most would consider a good alk test kit a mandatory investment for a marine tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
K1000 (and others who've replied) - thanks. appreciate the website tip. will check out the alkalinity kits, as well. lcd
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
re: the better skimmer... w/o a sump, what do you suggest? &/or what set up for an overflow box and sump? not much into do-it-yourself but still have some plastic credit available. any off-the-shelf kits that incorporate the essentials? lcd
 

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The Remora Pro would make a good HOB choice for that sized tank - even the std Remora would be a major improvement over your current skimmer.
 

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LCD,

WELCOME TO TRT!!!



When you tested your water with the meter, what time of day was it, and do y0u still have access to it? If so, before testing y0ur system, make a test soution of 20 Mule Team borax. It is NOT a soap, rather, it is a sodium metaborate powder that when mixed even anywhere close to 1/2 teaspoonful in one pint of RO/DI water (approx. 2gms/473ml RO/DI water) will result in a buffered test solution that will test out at 9.18 pH value at 80 degrees F. Test the ability of the pH meter to get this value, if it fails, then the probe is either not clean or the meter is incorrecty calibrated. Before pursuing ANY big changes in your system, first make sure the probe passes this test, if not, clean and recalibrate the probe, then check the pH at 8AM, 12 NOON, 4PM and at lights out that evening. If the pH falls out of range for 8.0 in the morning with a slow rise to about 8.3 to 8.4 in the evening, then we'll need to address whatever issues are present in the system.

If the system fails the initial test for pH after confirming good probe function, then you'll need to test your alkalinity, your calcium levels, your magnesium levels, and your salinity (with a good refractometer, not a hydrometer unless you have a lab grade glass bulb type hydrometer with temp correction). Stop adding any substance that you're not testing for in the water column until testing indicates a need. Also consider that pH in tanks located inside homes that are "tight" or have tight fitting lids, hoods, and/or cabinet bases and are not supplied with outside air have tendencies to go low on pH, especially in those homes with gas heat, gas stoves, gas ovens, gas water heaters, or gas logs. For test kits, ditch the aq pharmaceuticals kits and get good titration-based kits like the Sailfert kits (cheap from Marine Depot, one of our sponsors).


Before spending a lot of time worrying about where to go at this point, let's first make sure that there are actuallly issues that need correcting, then we can go deeper. Test for these values and post them, and we can move forward from that point. In the meantime, read some of the following posts that are related to the topic at hand:


http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39791

http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41351

http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38613

http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/showthread.php?t=30385


BTW, if you're not too far from Atlanta, they have an awesome club there that meets on the second Tuesday of each month, the Xmas party is this month, and there are a number of foks there what can help you one-on-one!
 

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I forgot to mention thawt the Atlanta-SMAS group also has a great club in the area, they meet the last Saturday of each month, so if getting out of town if a problem during the week, the weekend is there as a possibiity

HTH
 
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