Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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bearwithfish 06-23-2010 07:45 AM

lest start over (again)
ok so i have the tank finally in place... i have re-read all the articles i continually point people to (thank yuo again Pasfur)....
i am going to systematically now tackle water quality.
last night after all was said and done i checked my SG and it was way higher than i wanted it so i topped off with some fresh water and got things back to Normal for my set up (1.026 [same as my LFS ])
now i have not run a full spectrum yet (tonight perhaps) however i did check PH and it was 8.0 (low i know)
i added a little buffer before bed, got up checked this morning and still 8.0. hmmm??? so i guess at this point i need to get the ph part figured out and understood...
some one mentioned that i should not use buffer (sorry mind is short and i am far to lazy to look again ATM) but others have said to use it so i am as usual confused.
so knowing that i would like my PH to be stable and more important stable at 8.3 how can i accomplish this and what are ways to maintain stability.. go slow and talk to me like a child so i can grasp it all please LOL

bearwithfish 06-23-2010 09:01 PM

ok so todays readings when i got up 8.0 tonight 1 hour before lights out 8.3.... i will post tomorrow and friday morning then i am off camping for the week end with my family i will get readings daily after that to establish a trend...
i also read somewhere that a swing as far as 7.7 to 8.6 was typical and nothing to worry about. is this true and should i concern myself with cal and alk more?

bearwithfish 06-24-2010 04:57 PM

8.0 this morning and 8.3 this after noon

teddyzaper 06-27-2010 12:31 AM

you can keep the tank at 8.0 easily. some places like reefcentral even recomend that! id say the biggest thing is stability, if you have a bit high ph or a bit low, as long as it doesnt fluctuate it will be fine. in my opinion, the most successful tank is a stable tank.

Pasfur 06-27-2010 07:29 AM

pH is one of the most commonly misunderstood and abused topics that show up on these internet forums. First things first, if you had a pH of 8.0 in the morning and a pH of 8.3 in the late afternoon, you are fine. pH is not a fixed number and will fluctuate. Your lowest reading will be in the morning and highest late in the day. Using a refugium with a light on the sump, opposite cycle with the display, can help this, but is simply not needed.

When you hear not to use pH buffers do not confuse this with alkalinity buffers. They can in fact be one in the same, and it is HOW you go about using them that makes all the difference in the world. You need to be testing for calcium and alkalinity, and using an alkalinity buffer and calcium supplement. It has been several months since I discussed this on a thread, so i will elaborate here. However, for anyone who is interested, there is an article posted which goes into more detail:

My personal routine is to test for calcium and alkalinity every week. I record the test results so that I can establish trends. I use Kent Marine liquid Calcium chloride and Kent Marine Super Buffer DKH. Kent Marine also offers a product to adjust pH, but this is not what I am trying to accomplish. I do not want to adjust pH, I want pH to remain at the correct levels based on establishing correct alkalinity and calcium levels. Sudden pH fluctuations are very stressful and often deadly to livestock, which is enough reason for me to not mess with pH adjustments.

When testing I am looking for a target range of Calcium at 440 to 460ppm and alkalinity at 10 to 12 DKH. There are 5 possible outcomes:
1) Alkalinity and Calcium are both low. Action: add Calcium Chloride and buffer.
2) Alkalinity and Calcium are both high. Action: do nothing.
3) Alkalinity and Calcium are both within the target range. Action: wait a couple of days and test again, attempting to determine when and how much Calcium chloride and buffer I need to add to maintain this stability.
4) Calcium is low and alkalinity is high. Action: add Calcium Chloride.
5) Calcium is high and alkalinity is low. This is rare. Action: DO NOT add a buffer. Water changes are required. Anyone wanting the chemistry behind this should do a google search on "Randy Holmes Farley" and read his stuff. Beware, your brain will freeze from the complicated chemistry involved. In a nutshell, your minor buffers have fallen out of balance with your calcium level. A series of water changes is generally the only way to correct this. Again, this is rare.

Hopefully this helps.

Pasfur 06-27-2010 07:31 AM


Originally Posted by bearwithfish (Post 410495)
last night after all was said and done i checked my SG and it was way higher than i wanted it so i topped off with some fresh water and got things back to Normal for my set up (1.026 [same as my LFS ])

Not much room for error here. I would suggest 1.024, and don't worry about the LFS salinity. Not ideal, but it is what I would do. I consider the LFS to be somewhat irresponsible running at such a high salinity. Not sure what justification they have for this????

bearwithfish 06-27-2010 07:36 PM

:yourock:as usual Pasfur you are the best .. thanks!!!! now as for the LFS yeah over the last few days i have spoken to others who also use this guy and often it turns out he umm well he is a business man and wants to move his wares as any other would ...... i am just trying to not get suckered again.... and i have learned whare to come for my info LOL... so should i draw off some water and add fresh to reduce salinity? and i completely stoped using the buffer with no ill effects (suprize suprize)

bearwithfish 06-29-2010 01:28 PM

oh did i mention that i am a total bone head who often forgets to keep up with posting??? i had my little brother do my testing over the weekend camping trip and my tank has been stable 8.0 in the am and 8.1-8.3 in the evening. as long as this trend continues over the next week or so i will consider it stable enough to test 1x weekly...
i am starting to do a every 2 day test of KH and Cal beginning tonight... i will post the results and should i forget the results will be in my log by the tank so that i can catch up this thread later (who ever told me to keep a log THANK YOU!!!!!!)

bearwithfish 06-29-2010 01:29 PM

oh y eah i forgot as for the SG i will bring it down after the diatom bloom i am in the middle of when i change the water....

bearwithfish 07-01-2010 07:04 AM

so i thin ki have perfected the art of LEAVE IT ALONE !!!!!!!!!! LOL (basically any how)
i checked PH last night 8.3 added my new clamp on light with 5500K natural light CFL (long story why i decided on this one but trust me the research i read is hard to argue with) and decided to leave it on all the time beginning last night... got up and tested PH again and...... 8.3!!!!!!!!!!!! yes! i think this is really going to maintain the level .. will continue to test over the next few days....
oh yeah got my SG under control as well drew off 4 gallons and added fresh treated brought me down to a comfy 1.024 next water change i will bring it down a touch more (thinking about 1-2 more gallons should do it) and then just maintain.....
now that bloom is almost over i think just monitoring conditions for a few more weeks should put me in a place to consider reef stock finally. i really think all the steps i took with the upgrade have greatly improved how i am doing and the quality of the environment.. i can not thank you all enough for all the help you have given and continue to give me.....
oh and a side note to 1f2f..i took your advice and moved all but a few small pieces of rubble to the DT..... see i learn hard but i learn

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