Ph - 8.27 too high?

fatdaddy

New member
I finally plumbed my two display tanks to a 250 gallon refugium & sump. I'm adding another 100 gallon DSB and refugium this weekend. Yeah, it's an over kill, but I was tired of looking at hair algae and I plan to upgrade one of my tanks to a 220g or better. :rollface:

Question: My Ph went from bouncing all over the place to a very steady 8.27. Is that too high? I thought the ocean was at 8.15.

My salt mix is at 8.15, so I'm confused how I ended up at my current ph. I do dose with kalk which is currently on a drip, but the volume stabilized any Ph changes.

I tested my Ph monitor. That's not it.
 
Every thing I read says you want it at 8.2 and that is where I keep mine. As long as between 8.0 and 8.4 you should be fine. It will also dip at night.
 

IslandCrow

Reef Monkey
Premium Member
That PH is pretty much perfect, and the fact that it's steady is even more important. I wouldn't consider PH high until it starts getting above 8.5.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
I discuss pH issues and my recommended ranges here:

The "How To" Guide to Reef Aquarium Chemistry for Beginners, Part 3: pH
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2007-05/rhf/index.php

from it:

http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2007-05/rhf/index.php#3

What is the Acceptable pH Range for Reef Aquaria?
The acceptable pH range for reef aquaria is an opinion, rather than a clearly defined fact, and certainly varies based on who is providing the opinion. This range also may be quite different from the "optimal" range. Justifying what is optimal, however, is much more problematic than justifying what is simply acceptable. I suggest that the pH of natural seawater, about 8.2, is an appropriate goal, but reef aquaria can clearly operate in a wide range of pH values with varying degrees of success. The pH of highly successful coral reef aquaria often deviates substantially from pH 8.2 for at least part of the day. In my opinion, the pH range from 7.8 to 8.5 is a acceptable for reef aquaria, with several caveats. These are:

1. That the alkalinity is at least 2.5 meq/L (7 dKH) and preferably higher at the lower end of this pH range. This statement is based partly on the fact that many reef aquaria operate acceptably in the pH 7.8 to 8.0 range, but many of the best examples of these types of aquaria incorporate calcium carbonate/carbon dioxide reactors which, while tending to lower the pH, also tend to keep the carbonate alkalinity fairly high (at or above 3 meq/L.). In this case, any problems associated with calcification at these lower pH values may be offset by the higher alkalinity. Low pH stresses calcifying organisms primarily by making it harder for them to obtain sufficient carbonate to deposit skeletons. Raising the alkalinity may mitigate this difficulty by supplying extra bicarbonate to them.

2. That the calcium level is at least 400 ppm. Calcification becomes more difficult as the pH falls, and it also becomes more difficult as the calcium level falls. It would not be desirable to push all of the extremes of pH, alkalinity and calcium at the same time. So if the pH is on the low side and cannot be easily changed (such as in an aquarium with a CaCO3/CO2 reactor), at least make sure that the calcium level is acceptable (~400-450 ppm). Likewise, one of the problems at higher pH (above, say, 8.2, but becoming progressively more problematic with each incremental rise) is the abiotic precipitation of calcium carbonate, resulting in a drop in calcium and alkalinity, and the resultant clogging of heaters and pump impellers. If the aquarium's pH is 8.4 or higher (as often happens in an aquarium using limewater), then it is especially important that both the calcium and alkalinity levels be suitably maintained (that is, neither too low, inhibiting biological calcification, nor too high, causing excessive abiotic precipitation on equipment).
 

fatdaddy

New member
How would I bring it up? I have a large sized Nitrate reactor, and I'm planning a Ca & Kalk Reactor.

Do I need a Ph Controller eventually?
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
Bring up what, your tank pH? It is fine where it is. :)

I do not recommend that folks "control" tank pH with an active controller. There is too much risk of a problem from mismeasurement.
 

fatdaddy

New member
Hm, it seems like I should have kept a few more data points before saying it was stable. My Ph hit 8.5 with the lights on.

> How would I bring it up?

My bad. How do I keep the Ph down?
 

BlastoEric1589

New member
increasing your KH (within a safe range of course) will reduce the pH swing of your water.

KH is like a ball and chain on pH. the smaller the ball, the more the pH can move. the bigger the ball, the less the pH can move.

i keep my KH around 12 degrees of carbonate hardness. and i have very little pH instability.
 

fatdaddy

New member
Thanks for the tips and links.

I set up a plastic 100g livestock water trough with a 20 inch sand bed, seep gate, and overflow over the weekend. I'll get the lighting done next weekend and get a reverse cycle going with chaeto.

Then it's on to auto top off w/ a kalk reactor. :)
 

fatdaddy

New member
Just to leave a trail of bread crumbs for anybody that searches and reads this thread, a big problem here was that I had my probe in a lighted tank. Algae (or a thin layer of slim) was growing on the probe and distorting the Ph measurement.

Moral of the story: Put your probe in the sump or other unlighted area. :)
 
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