Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry' started by mediumrare, Feb 27, 2016.

  1. mediumrare

    mediumrare Guest

    Hi everyone. I have a but if a pH conundrum that I hope I could get some input on here.

    My tank has been cycling for a while and it's for through the whole Amonia cycle...etc. a few days ago I put the first fish in. Per the Red Sea kit the ph was around 8.2. Two days later the pH is reading peaked at 8.6 this morning and I started dosing a bit of vinegar to bring the ph down. Mind you at this time I am running just water. Same water I am using for changes in my 40 (salinity by Aqua vitro). I also tested my alkalinity and it was below detection level on the Red Sea kit. I only used like .3 ml of titration fluid.

    Any ideas?
  2. mediumrare

    mediumrare Guest

    Just tested with Red Sea ph again and it's reading 8. Does anyone know if having the ph probe dry for some time can cause it to fail?
  3. jonmos75

    jonmos75 Supporting Member

    Yes if the probe tip is left dry it will normally damage the probe...that is why they are shipped with the tip in some sorta solution....

    You can try to soak the pH probe in a RO/Vinegar bath and then try to re-calibrate it but no guarantees
    Coral reefer and Vhuang168 like this.
  4. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    But a damaged PH probe still doesn't account for the low Alk.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Fix the alkalinity before you fix the PH, or you are chasing a moving target.
    Given high PH, adding baking soda (bicarbonate) as opposed to soda ash(carbonate),
    would be better, because baking soda has less effect on PH.

    But that is REALLY weird for Alk to be that low.

    I would have suspected the test kit (or user error, apologies) before suspecting the salt,
    but given the PH swings, it does sound like low Alk.

    Opinion: I would take some water to your local fish store and have them run a quick test on PH + Alk.
    Or any nearby BAR friend.
    If it is low Alk, replace salt mix immediately!!!!
  6. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    Things to consider

    1. Is your test kit reliable? Check expiration date. Is it a bad batch?
      • Double check your results by bringing water sample to nearby LFS.
    2. Your tank is still new. I personally wouldnt be trying to chase pH. Dont dose vinegar and pH uppers. Just do a big water change.
      • This is why we wait to add fish. Learn the pH and alkalinity relationships before stressing about these changes.
    3. Water change! Do a big water change to bring alkaljnity up and pH back to normal. A big water change will not hurt the fish, but make sure your salinity and temperature are similar.
    What is your tanks salinity and what are you using to measure it?
  7. mediumrare

    mediumrare Guest

    My test kit is brand new (Red Sea) and i just re-testsed everything (my new tank, my old tank and the fresh mixed water) and it seems like the pH in the new mix is close to 8.4/8,5 in looking at the salt label (aquavitro batch tests all) the current batch i'm using is supposed to read out at 8.4 but i have lots of old buckets and their batch tests read the pH at 8.6. I never had pH problems in the past even when the probe was new. I always ran at a pH of around 8.2. could it be because the tank is understocked?

    regarding the Alk, i've read if you overmix aquavitro some stuff may precipitate out of the water, however the alk of the water mix tested along their lines of their batch test (alk of ~9)
  8. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Well, Alk may have precipitated out.
    Check magnesium. If that is very low, and Calcium is high, it can kill your Alk.
  9. mediumrare

    mediumrare Guest

    Good idea but the tank has been empty except for the two clowns rescently.
  10. mediumrare

    mediumrare Guest

    So, to close out this saga, the issue was in the pH probe. New Neptune lab grade pH probe reads tank at 8.3 pH after calibration.
  11. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    But didn't you report low alk? Like really low?
  12. mediumrare

    mediumrare Guest

    Yea, but I re-tested my freshly mixed salt water and the alk is fine there. I also now recall that in the past when Ive started tanks with lots of brand new media, i did experience some faster depletion of alk due to it possibly falling out of solution due to substrate

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