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Serious pH probelm Please Help!!!!


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  1. #1
    CR Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Warner Robins, GA
    Posts
    4

    Default Serious pH probelm Please Help!!!!

    I'm new, and i need help fast so i won't bore you with stuff you don't need...
    55 Gallon Bullet Proof Reef Setup Pper GARF website

    Setup
    ~60 lbs Carib Sea Seafloor Special Grade Reef sade on top of a plenum.
    4 maxijet 1200 on a CoraLife Aqualight Control Center for wave making
    1 of the powerheads is currently connected to the lift tube on the plenum to make the plenum function as an undergravel filter ( per GARF instruction)
    1 55 Gallon order of Reef Janitors per GARF (~40 various snail and ~40 hermit crabs)
    16 lbs. of Garf Grunge (crushed coral,big chunks of rocks, and lots of good bacteria)
    2 lbs of Garf Grunge Plus
    2 - 150 Watt heaters
    IceCap 660 VHO ballast running 2 40 Watt URI 50/50 Bulbs and 2 110 Watt URI Actinic Bulbs

    Age, Activites, and Supplements
    Tank has been setup for 2 Weeks.
    On Day 1 i added the GARF Grunge, Grunge+, and Reef Janitors
    I used Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Proper pH 8.2 to buffer the water.
    Week 1 i added 1 tablespoon of Reef Builder to each gallon of makeup water
    At the end of week 1 i had to redose the tank with Proper pH because the pH had dropped to 7.8 or 8.0 depending on which test i was using.
    Week 2 i added 1 tablespoon of Reef Advantage Calcuim to each gallon of makeup water
    Yesterday the pH was 7.8 again
    Finally got the order of Reef Complete and Reef Calcium in so i dosed two tablespoons of each of those. I did not use anymore buffer since i didn't want to shock the tank inhabitants..
    This morning the pH was 8.6!!!!

    I usaually add about a gallon of makeup water every morning.


    Stats
    Temperature: solid 77 day and night
    Ammonia: 0ppm
    Nitrite:0ppm
    Nitrate:0ppm
    pH: VARIES BETWEEN 7.8 and 8.6!!!


    The Bullet Proof Reef supplement schedule is as follows:

    Qty Description
    2 Tablespoon Reef Plus twice a week
    2 Tablespoon Reef Complete twice a week
    2 Tablespoon Reef Calcium twice a week
    1 Tablespoon Reef Advantage Calcium added to each gallon of makeup water during the 2nd and 4th weeks of the month.
    1 Tablespoon Reef Builder added to each gallon of makeup water during the 3rd week of each month.

    What is happening with my pH??? Every time i use the buffer it gets it right at 8.2, but then the buffering capacity just goes right out.....

    Someone please help me. I emailed GARF twice, got no response. I called yesterday and started speaking with someone, and they told me to call back on the other line (the non-order line), so i did and no one answered so i left a message. No one has called back i'm about to have to go out of town and i am afraid that i'm about to loose a bunch of great hermit crabs and snails. When i first got everything they were so active and would roam everywhere, now no one seems to be moving and all the cerith snails have buried themselves in the sand, the astraea snails wont go more than an inch high on the glass.

    Any help would be appreciated. I'll even take calls on my cell phone. I'm desperate!!!


    Chris

    send me a note if you want to talk to me by phone.

  2. #2
    Reptoreef - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Brigham City, Utah
    Posts
    2,530

    Default

    No refugium??? For a new system, your routine sounds complicated. IMO, relax a bit... To help aide in a balanced system, I suggest an auto top-off of ro/di water, a refugium with RDL(reverse day light for macro algae), and a whole lot less activity. BTW, a "plenum" is not a "plenum" with a riser tube for undergravel filtration... cap it at the base and let it be as Jubert designed. The main concerns are Calcium/alkalinity levels(helps maintain PH, too---a kalkwasser reactor is so sweet for that), water quality, and proper lighting. Invest in the book by Calfo and Fenner..."Reef Invertibrates". Good luck and welcome to Captive reefing!!! I'll be glad to talk to ya by phone if you chose. PM me and I'll give you some info to get in touch.

    Repto
    There's nowhere else I'ld rather be... unless, of course, you're buying

  3. #3
    CR Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Warner Robins, GA
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Thanks for the quick reply.

    I'm following GARF.org's instructions for a "bullet proof reef" if you go to their website you can see what it entails. The system calls for the plenum to be run as an undergravel filter for several weeks before disconnecting the tube and letting it just be a deep sand bed/plenum.

    The only water ever to go in the tank has been RO/DI water, just with the supplements added per the above post.

    All of your suggestions were really great and i apprecieate it so much, but they don't tell me what to do about the pH right now to keep my animals alive.

    If my pH is to high will a buffer bring the pH down?

    What should i do right now to stabilize things and keep my animals alive???

  4. #4
    dakar - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Western Louisiana
    Posts
    4,335
    First Name
    Dave

    Default

    Like repto said.... sounds like an awful lot of additives for a small water volume.

    What are your Calcium and Alkalinity levels? Just out of curiosity what brand of salt are you using?

    Sounds like classic symptoms of OD'ing your tank.
    A good 20% water change and let things settle for a week or so, monitor params just RO/DI top off with no additves, things should settle out then work your way up to the demand.
    Every electronic device is manufactured with smoke stored deep inside... only a true genius can find a way to set it free.

  5. #5
    CR Member
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    Jun 2005
    Location
    Warner Robins, GA
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    Default

    i always and only use Instant Ocean, per GARF.org

    Go there and click on the bullet proof reef section to see everything they talk about.

  6. #6
    jerryc - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    1,345

    Default

    Good advice and i agree about the additives you need to add per your test only
    as daker Sada a good water Chang will do wonders for getting out of balance
    water prims back in line.
    I HAVE A PROBLEM' I'M ADDICTED TO MICROMUSSA

    RazorBack Reef. com
    keepersofthereef.com
    http://www.captivereefing.ws/weblog.php?w=7

  7. #7
    dakar - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Western Louisiana
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    First Name
    Dave

    Default

    If my pH is to high will a buffer bring the pH down?
    What should i do right now to stabilize things and keep my animals alive???
    This will depend on what is driving the PH up to begin with, distilled white vinegar will bring the PH down, but right now I'd opt for a couple of good water changes... 25% or more if you can (try to keep the SG and temp as close to the tank's as possible to reduce stress). Water changes will almost always be the first thing to do for any emergency.
    Every electronic device is manufactured with smoke stored deep inside... only a true genius can find a way to set it free.

  8. #8
    CR Member
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    Jun 2005
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    Warner Robins, GA
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    Default

    ok i changed about 10% of the water and the buffers in the Instant Ocean have returned the pH to 8.2. Thanks for the advice. I knew a water change would do the trick short term, it's just a matter of preventing a future occurence of this.


    Thanks

    Chris

  9. #9
    dakar - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Western Louisiana
    Posts
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    First Name
    Dave

    Default

    Good deal... time to take a break from fretting.

    If you do not have test kits to measure calcium and alkalinity, you should get them as soon as possible. Preferably before you start dosing any more additives.

    The best rule is to never add what you cannot measure or test for. No matter what the product label, website, GARF, or anyone says, test first. No two tanks are the same, and there is no such thing as a 'one-size-fits-all' solution, recipe, remedy, or method in this hobby, well maybe water changes... but even that will vary. Not to knock GARF, they've come up with some great ideas, but the notion of a bullet-proof reef is a bit of a stretch, let's face it they may not turn a profit on paper but something has been keeping the light bills paid.

    Fairly confident that after testing you will find that unless your reef is heavily stocked with calcium demanding animals and such (sounds like this is a very new tank so that should not be the case) that your salt mix will provide the needed calcium and trace elements with just periodic water changes, with very little to no additives needed. My observations thus far indicate this holds true for about 75% of the lightly stocked SW tanks, many other factors come into play for the 25% I'm excluding from my comment.
    Every electronic device is manufactured with smoke stored deep inside... only a true genius can find a way to set it free.

  10. #10

    Default

    The above reefers have given you some great information.Being that your tank is still cycling your Ph will swing back and forth till the cycle is done.I think most of the additives you can be provide during water changes till your ready for coral .Then only add what you test four

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