Can't get my ph over 8.0

Semiaquatic

I have had my tank for about 6 months now and I have never been able to get the ph over 8.0 it usually runs about 7.9 but when I add seachem marine buffer, it only tends to drive the alkalinity up.
I have heard that corals calcify much better at a ph of about 8.2-8.3, is this true? Any tips on how to get the ph up? I will be doing a 30-40% water change here in a couple of days so hopefully that will help. Btw I use Red Sea coral pro salt mix


 

Dom90

I would not use any chemicals to buffer pH, it might cause a pH crash. Use something like this:



or maybe this one:
 

Semiaquatic

Thanks for the advice!


 

PuffPuff

Dom90 is right, I needed my ph to be higher than an 8. I got my self the caribsea aragonite sand. worked like a charm. super spike in ph and naturally!! which is a plus!!!
 

LiterallyHydro

Do you currently dose? You may be able to start mixing kalkwasser into your top off to help with Ca, Alk, and your pH. Just make sure the auto top is set to slowly fill into the tank or you'll have a pH spike.
 

Semiaquatic

I dose calcium. My alkalinity is already very high (14-15 dkh) so I haven't dosed alkalinity but if I could get that down to a normal level, I would start dosing kalkwasser




I'll have to pick some aragonite sand up today or tomorrow. Any tips on how to get it on the sandbed without covering everything else? And will I need to stir the current sand into it to keep the bacteria at the surface?




And any recommendations on what size grains to use? I run a good bit of current and I don't want it blowing around anymore


 

LiterallyHydro

PVC pipe is your friend with adding sand to established tank. It will let the sand settle to the bottom without clouding up your tank.

But do not add more than half an inch or so at a time, or else you might cause the organisms in the sandbed to die.
 

delta5

And any recommendations on what size grains to use? I run a good bit of current and I don't want it blowing around anymore

I'm using CaribSea Aragonite in a 40 gallon breeder with 2 Aqueon 500 pumps, quietflow 55/75 and a emperor 400. No issues with sand being blown around.

Whatever you go with, just make sure to rinse it really good.
 

Dom90

Something similar to this would suffice:



 

PuffPuff

the sand I purchased stated to not rinse. so I didnt. added it to the tank, was cloudy for 2 days then super clear.
 

Semiaquatic

Cool I'll check it out and add slowly. Thank you all for your input


 

LiterallyHydro

Any time.
 

delta5

the sand I purchased stated to not rinse. so I didnt. added it to the tank, was cloudy for 2 days then super clear.

Was it live sand?
 

PuffPuff

yes delta5 it is live sand.
 

LiterallyHydro

Reason you don't rinse live sand is because you'd be killing the dormant bacteria, making it a waste of money.

If you are just adding to an existing sandbed this doesn't matter and can be rinsed.
 

PuffPuff

LiterallyHydro said it best. paying for live sand and washing it out will defeat the purpose of buying "live" sand in the 1st place.
 

Semiaquatic

If I have sand that has already cycled, is it necessary to pay more for live sand


 

Dom90

Most of your beneficial bacteria live in the filter so I don't think you need to waste money for "live sand".
 

LiterallyHydro

Reef tanks usually don't have filters in the same manner as freshwater tanks.

The surface area for bacteria colonies is the live rock and sand. Live sand is not always a waste of money. The issue though is you don't know how long the bag was sitting on the shelf. Could have been weeks or years.
 

Semiaquatic

Yes. Keep in mind that this post is in the saltwater section


 

Dom90

Ok let me just clarify, by "live sand" are we talking about products such as CaribSea Ocean Direct etc?
 

LiterallyHydro

Yes.
 

Semiaquatic

Should adding aragonite sand to my existing aragonite sand raise my ph? And will it get exhausted? Because I didn't realize it but I was already using aragonite




And yesterday, I started having a brown film that quickly accumulated on my glass. It comes off easy but every several hours I have to clean it off or it looks cloudy. I don't know what the issue is. The tank has been getting hot in the house lately. Like 80-82 I'm fixing that soon. The ac wasn't working properly


 

delta5

Should adding aragonite sand to my existing aragonite sand raise my ph? And will it get exhausted? Because I didn't realize it but I was already using aragonite




And yesterday, I started having a brown film that quickly accumulated on my glass. It comes off easy but every several hours I have to clean it off or it looks cloudy. I don't know what the issue is. The tank has been getting hot in the house lately. Like 80-82 I'm fixing that soon. The ac wasn't working properly

I wouldn't think your sand has lost it's ability to harden your water. Its also not a miracle worker either.
 

Semiaquatic

My alkalinity has always been high (13+) so I don't know if the sand is buffering too much. I just can't get my ph up. I've heard that under 8.0 the corals won't calcify as fast but I don't know how much truth is in that


 

LiterallyHydro

My alkalinity has always been high (13+) so I don't know if the sand is buffering too much. I just can't get my ph up. I've heard that under 8.0 the corals won't calcify as fast but I don't know how much truth is in that

What is the Alk of your freshly mixed salt water? 13+ Is a bit high for corals, enough that it could even cause problems with their growth. Your ideal range is 9-11 dKH.
 

delta5

My alkalinity has always been high (13+) so I don't know if the sand is buffering too much. I just can't get my ph up. I've heard that under 8.0 the corals won't calcify as fast but I don't know how much truth is in that

Are you usinf RODI water? Have you checked it to make sure you're getting 0ppm?

I use rodI for freshwater but i'd imagine this would be the same. Mix rodI with your salt mix. Take readings until you have the salinity correct. Check ph of your mix. Ph should be good?

So your problem is in the tank. Check for waste build up, dead inverts/fish, and make sure you have enough circ in your tank for gas exchange.
 

Semiaquatic

I use distilled water and Red Sea coral pro salt mix. It should have an alkalinity of 11 I believe. I need to do my tests on my mixed saltwater to make sure everything is in line. I might have to do water changes more often


 

delta5

I use distilled water and Red Sea coral pro salt mix. It should have an alkalinity of 11 I believe. I need to do my tests on my mixed saltwater to make sure everything is in line. I might have to do water changes more often

Are you measuring ph in the tank in the morning or right before the lights go out?
 

LiterallyHydro

Are you measuring ph in the tank in the morning or right before the lights go out?


This. Your pH is different at various times of day in saltwater systems.
 

Semiaquatic

I do it in the evening


 

Semiaquatic

An hour or so before the lights go out


 

delta5

An hour or so before the lights go out

Have you checked to make sure your skimmer is working and collecting waste in it's cup?
Have you tried to create more surface agitation? If your ph is 7.5 or higher then you should focus on the alkalinity first. Do you have calcium test?
 

Semiaquatic

I don't use a skimmer. My calcium stays 460. I need to see what my water tests at for alkalinity now that I did a water change


 

matsungit

So you don't use a skimmer? That may be a clue because of acidic byproducts from broken down waste. A skimmer will export organics before they can mess with your water parameters.
 

Semiaquatic

I replace my filter floss every other day and I never have any nitrates that show up on my tests. I run a pretty low nutrient system


 

Semiaquatic

But yes, a skimmer is on my shopping list in the next couple of months


 

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