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Old Codger
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80 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I heard today at a fish store by adding buffer to a tank just stresses out livestock, and that your tank on its own will find a stable pH (what?).

Is it fine if your pH fluctuates?

Do buffers really help maintain a so called good pH in one's tank?

How do you all maintain your pH?
 

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Zombie Maker
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876 Posts
ph does go up on down depending on a few things . buffers do stress out livestock as some(not all) do not like ph swings that are rapid. most reef tanks have a lot of flow and surface agitation to increase oxygen and decrease co2 in the water. elevated co2 creates carbonic acid in saltwater and causes the ph to drop. WE also run protein skimmers which pretty much max out the dissolved oxygen in the water anyway. It is also something that experienced reefers rarely check. I can't remember the last time I even thought to check it and even then I decided to not to waste the test reagents lol
 

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Registered
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206 Posts
I am not sure if you have seen this article but it goes in to detail about PH, why it can be high or low and how to correct PH issues.

PH Article

I monitor my PH but it is more peace of mind. I started adding 2-part and noticed my PH was raising slightly (the article explains this) but I am not using the alkalinity portion of the 2 part to maintain PH. However I do monitor PH when dosing 2-part just to make sure I am not causing a huge PH swing.
 

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Banned
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447 Posts
Your pH should find a natural balance if you maintain your alkalinity and calcium levels within acceptable limits. The alkalinity is a natural buffer against pH fluctuations and controls the natural pH within the closed system you have created. The problems come into play when you don't maintain consistent alkalinity-in effect the additions you are making to keep the alkalinity at a 8 to 12 (or 7 to 14 outside ranges) are buffers being added to the tank.

Good luck on the pH issues, I don't check pH routinely, I check alkalinity and calcium and I let the pH fall where it will. My pH when checked typically will run around 8.0; a bit on the low side, but that is the norm for my tank.
 

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Veteran Newbie
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3,825 Posts
pH normally fluctuates. It does in the oceans as tides come and go. Rapid changes in pH, as was mentioned, do stress out some livestock. Buffers occur naturally, so it is not the buffer itself that stresses livestock, but the concomitant pH change. Every cell in every living creature has buffers to keep pH at a stable level so the enzymes that do work in the body can actually work to their full potential. At the wrong temperatures or in wrong pH levels, the enzymes that detoxify substances or process food/waste in all living things become denatured and do not work.

A high pH is a result of a low amount of hydrogen ions in the water, and that is why more flow, and more oxygenation, help with pH levels.
 

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I just finished running a line of 3/8 id from my skimmer to a pilot hole outside. That should bring fresh air to my skimmer and reduce C02 from my tightly sealed house. See how that helps and not to mention the gurgling sound that's annoyed me for a year now is gone. Skimmer is virtually silent and the gurgling is under my deck. Sweet! I'll post back results after testing.
 
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