Fish Room in Progress...

Madison Area Reef Society - Club and reef discussion

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Postby Landon on Mon Aug 06, 2007 7:33 pm

I calibrated the meter this evening with fresh 7 and 10 solution. I check it every two weeks. Very small amount of tweaking if any is the norm.
The Arctic Night-lights. "As if the natural world's been turned upside down." - Lord Mandrake
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Postby Landon on Tue Aug 07, 2007 1:05 pm

I checked the ph bright and early this morning. Its been at 7.6 all morning. To get to the bottom of this low ph situation I am going to provide a bunch of information on the tank to see if we can get to the bottom of this.

Livestock:
Fish: 2 Dispar Anthias/1 Yellow Tang/2 Atlantic Pygmy Angels/1 6 Line Wrasse/1 Cinnamon Clown/1 Tiger Stripe Goby
For the most part all of these fish are under two inches.

Inverts: 1 Skunk Cleaner Shrimp/1 Coral Banded Shrimp/RBTA/GBTA/2 Serpent Stars/1 Crocea Clam/1 Coco Worm/20 Astrea Snails/5 Scarlet Hermits/15 Asst Crabs and Snails

Feeding:
Morning: Frozen Cyclopeeze
Evening: Mysis Shrimp/Cyclopeeze/Krill/Small Amount of Sea Veggies

Hardware:
Lighting: 2/250 W MH 2/96 W MH (On 12 Hour Cycle) 1 PC Screw in bulb for fuge on opposite timer from Halides

Skimmer: AquaC EV 180 (Cleaned every two days)

Pump: Dolphin 2100 (Return) Seio 1100 (Break ups the flow from the manifold)

Heating/Cooling: 300W Heater/10HP Chiller controlled with Dual Stage Ranco (Keeps temp fluctuation to a degree)

Topoff: Controlled w/JBJ Topoff hooked up to RO Resevoir Topoff PH is 8.3

Calcium Reactor: Drip rate adjusted to maintain alkalinity at 11.2 Dkh and calcium at 430. (Has been very stable)

Ph Monitor: Adjusted with fresh fluid every two weeks.

Chemistry/Maintenance:
Nitrates: Undetectable
Nitrite: Undetectable
Ammonia: Undetectable
Alkalinity: 11.2 Dkh
Calcium: 430
Magnesium: 1400
PH: 7.6 to 7.8 (Usually toward the lower end.)

Weekly 10 Percent Water change w/Tropic Marin Pro Reef
Clean out Detritus pockets and clean glass.

What I've Tried
Buffers: Seachem Reef Buffer (Would raise the alkalinity and PH.) Have stopped using this as the calcium reactor is keeping the alk stable and the added buffer would raise the alk to much.)

Kalkwasser: Added 1/4 Tsp Kalk Slurried in RO Water. This would raise PH by about .2 for a few hours then PH would drop back down.

Ran a Maxijet 1200 in the sump with airline from outside. (Seems to have no effect on tank PH.)

Shut off flow of Co2 to reactor today to see what happens.

Fan running between main basement area and fish room.

A little information about our house...
Its old. Built in the 20's. It is by no means airtight. We have central air. Ceiling fans in three rooms of the house. The fish room is in the basement. There is a window in the room that stays closed. (Gets hot otherwise.) Water Heater is vented out of the chimney. Furnace is brand new and properly vented.

Thats all I can think of about the tank. If anyone thinks of some other perameter or bit of information that might be crucial let me know.

This afternoon I'm going to take a cup of tank water and aerate it with the maxijet powerhead to see what the ph does over the course of an hour. Results to follow.

Thanks!
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Postby CUNAReefer on Tue Aug 07, 2007 1:56 pm

Have you ever thought of doing larger, less frequent water changes? I do a 30% change every three weeks.
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Postby Landon on Tue Aug 07, 2007 2:12 pm

CUNAReefer wrote:Have you ever thought of doing larger, less frequent water changes? I do a 30% change every three weeks.


I havent really considered that. What do you feel would be the advantage of larger less frequent changes? Would it help with PH?
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Postby CUNAReefer on Tue Aug 07, 2007 2:19 pm

Ways to lower pH
· Filtering water over peat
· Add bogwood to the tank
· Inject carbon dioxide CO2
· Use a commercial acid buffer
· Water changes with softened water or RO (Reverse Osmosis) water

Ways to raise the pH
· Aerate the water, driving off the carbon dioxide (CO2)
· Filter over coral or limestone
· Add rocks containing limestone to the tank or use a coral sand substrate
· Use a commercial alkaline buffer

What is the Ph of your RO water? Is the CO2 being consumed in your calcium reactor?
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Postby Landon on Tue Aug 07, 2007 2:39 pm

Ways to raise the pH
· Aerate the water, driving off the carbon dioxide (CO2)
I've been running the MJ1200 in the sump with the air being fed from outside. Skimmer is injecting air as well. Water takes a few spills in the sump and on the overflow. Tank is open top. Is this enough exposure to air?

· Filter over coral or limestone
The water is in contact wiht the DSB and Liverock at all times? Would this be filtering over limestone?

· Add rocks containing limestone to the tank or use a coral sand substrate
Have liverock and DSB of aragonite.

· Use a commercial alkaline buffer
Have tried this without having lasting success. Seems to be a temporary fix.

What is the Ph of your RO water? Is the CO2 being consumed in your calcium reactor?
Topoff: Controlled w/JBJ Topoff hooked up to RO Resevoir Topoff PH is 8.3
The calcium reactor is the suspect atm. I have the Co2 off atm to see if I can measure a change.

As far as a substrate I have a DSB around 6-8" Deep and about 120 lbs of live rock.
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Postby Landon on Tue Aug 07, 2007 2:59 pm

I set up a little test for ph with a bucket of tank water and a MJ1200 being fed with outside air. Here are the results...

2:15 - 7.65
2:30 - 7.87
2:45 - 7.93
3:00 - 7.94
3:15 - 7.98
3:30 - 8.00
3:45 - 8.02

Is this enough to assume there is trapped Co2?


Heres a picture of the test.
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Postby CUNAReefer on Wed Aug 08, 2007 11:15 am

Hi Landon,

I have the same calcium reactor as you. There is a automatic release valve for high amounts of CO2, however, small amounts that can lower your PH will not release the valve. One other option you could try is dosing with Super Buffer or Coral Builder. Supper Buffer will raise your Ph, and Coral Builder will maintain it. I also am having similar issues with a lowered Ph. I plan on dosing the super buffer tonight.

James
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Postby Landon on Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:35 pm

Interesting info James. I will be interested to see how the buffer works. Does it have any affect on alkalinity?
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Postby CUNAReefer on Thu Aug 09, 2007 1:22 pm

Yes it does. It helps build your alkalinity. Coral builder helps to sustain the Ph and alkalinity while supper buffer raises it.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/P ... 004+113461

Theoretically, you should be able to increase your calcium levels with your reactor while dosing with the supper buffer to help prevent any drops in Ph or alkalinity.
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Postby Landon on Thu Aug 09, 2007 5:34 pm

Won't this continue to raise your Dkh? The reactor should keep the alkalinity stable right?
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Postby Landon on Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:44 am

Hey again all!

I decided to play around with my skimmer the last week. I run an EV-180. One thing that frustrated me about it was that when I had it dialed in to get the type of skim I wanted the inside of the riser tube would always collect skim on it and I would have to clean it every day. Meisen mentioned upgrading the pump a few posts back so I decided to give it a whirl. I chose to upgrade the Mag7 to an Eheim 1262. It was very frustrating at first trying to get the skimmate results I wanted. After some fine tuning I'm very happy with the upgrade. I also plugged the John Guest fitting on top of the skimmer. This immediately gave me control of the air flow into the skimmer via the air valve as before the air valve seemed to do almost nothing.

I also added an old phosban reactor as a collection vessel. The two holes in the top of the reactor work great as air is allowed to flow out easily.

Here's a couple of pics.

This is with the old Mag7
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This is with the Eheim 1262!
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Postby Landon on Fri Aug 24, 2007 11:27 am

Picked up some new Blue Anthelia from Living Art. That male Angel seems to love having his picture taken. He shows up for photo shoots all the time! :D

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Postby Landon on Sat Aug 25, 2007 10:15 am

Some success on the low PH front!

I ran a tube out of the window hooked up to the air feed on my skimmer. PH increased from 7.6 to 8.01 This is the highest its been since I hooked up the calcium reactor. It will be interesting to see what happens through the day with the lights on.
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Postby Landon on Fri Sep 21, 2007 3:32 pm

New Skimmer came today. I decided on a Euro Reef RC-135. A few quick snips with the pvc cutter and the plumbing was all set. Pretty easy so far, we'll see how the tuning in goes...

Heres a pic of break in.
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