Question on PH

Discussion in 'Saltwater Beginners' started by Salukis97, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. Salukis97New MemberMember

    Hello all. I've had my 75 gallon FOWLR up and running for a week now.

    I have approximately 100 lbs of cured live rock I purchased from a local person's established tank.

    I have approx. 2 inches of oolitic aragonite sand as substrate.

    There is a 45 gallon sump with another 20 pounds of Live Rock Rubble for added filtration.

    Protein Skimmer is an aqua-c Remora Pro located on the sump. Currently Running.

    Tank is filled with all RO/DI water. Salinity is within normal parameters.

    Current Known Water Parameters:

    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrites: 0
    Nitrates: 0-10 ppm
    PH: 7.8

    I know the ph is at the low end of the acceptable range.

    My question is this: Should I expect the ph to rise at all on its own, or will I need to use buffering agents? I have checked the ph 3 times, and all 3 readings have been 7.8

    Thanks in advance.

  2. agsansooWell Known MemberMember

    Hello and welcome to FishLore !

    Ph is always in a constant swing through the day/night. This is normal. Your is in acceptable range. 7.8-8.3. If ph falls below 7.8, then you should take steps to raise it.

    What is your calcium and alkalinity levels ?
  3. Salukis97New MemberMember

    Thanks for the reply.

    I just checked my ph again and it is now pushing 8.4 if my eyes are reading the color chart right. So that is definately a fluctuation from last night. This is the first time I have checked it in the middle of the day.

    My alkalinity is at 300 ppm

    I'm not sure about calcium. I'm buying a test kit for calcium when I get off work today.

    I've also been waiting on an ammonia and nitrite spike, but nothing has happened yet. I've put some fish food in the tank to give it something to break down. Is it possible that since I got the live rock straight from an already established tank, that there is already enough nitrifying bacteria in the tank to prevent it from going through a full blown cycle?
  4. Oil_FanWell Known MemberMember

    How are you testing your pH? Not all test kits are created equal.

    Also you're not likely going to get a cycle as the LR was from an established tank. Unless the rock had time to dry out, you should be good. I'd probably give it another week just to sure.
  5. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning. I was just reading over this thread, note: I'm not a salt tank keeper and I had a question on OilFans post #4. The original poster said they purchased live rock from an established aquarium to seed it. In Oil's post they state "you're not likely going to get a cycle as the LR was from an established tank". Is this a typo? I'm a bit confused.
  6. harpua2002Fishlore VIPMember

    Not my post so I don't want to put words into anyone's mouth, but probably not a typo. If you get live rock that is from an established tank, it is ready to convert waste products, and you won't see any cycle as long as you get it home quickly and don't give it enough time to start to die off. I recently purchased about 20 more lbs of great quality live rock from another hobbyist who was tearing down a tank and added it straight to my display. It was totally fine and I didn't see any cycling at all. This isn't always true of rock from the LFS though, many times the rock at the LFS isn't completely cured and the die off will cause a cycle.
  7. Salukis97New MemberMember

    Thanks for all the info guys.

    Yeah, I'm guessing there is not going to be a cycle. My local petco fortunately has a bonified reef geek running the fish section, so I have made him my friend. He is also of the opinion that since the live rock I purchased was cured and local there was probably little to no die off and the nitrifying bacteria needed is probably already present.

    Ammonia: 0
    NItrites: 0
    Nitrates: barely readable
    Ph: Has been running at 8.0 - 8.2 during the day. Haven't checked it at night in a few days.

    I went ahead and added two yellow tail damsels from a smaller fish store in town on the evening of the 30th. I was told they could be aggressive, but are usually more mild mannered than other damsel fish. I observed them for a couple days and they were loving all the nooks and cranies the live rock. They are also eating everything I put in front of them.

    I was at Petco on the 2nd getting some cheato for my fuge, and making friends with the aforementioned reef geek. He offered me a discount on a couple percula clowns because he was leaving that day for vacation and was trying to get rid of as much stock as possible because he didn't trust any of the other employees to adequately care for the marine animals while he was gone. I went ahead and took the two clowns for 20 bucks total and he threw in the cheato for free. Sounded like a good deal to me.

    Anyway, after I put the clowns in the display tank, the yellow tails immediately went to work bullying the clowns. The bullying has pretty much stopped, but the clowns just kind of hang out in one corner of the tank. If they approach any of the live rock, the damsels chase them away. The clowns are eating and appear healthy otherwise. I just feel bad for them. I think I am going to try to get rid of the damsels. I am wishing I had never put them in there. I know netting them is out of the question unless I remove all of the rock. I did move the rocks around some when I intoduced the clowns hoping it would throw off the damsels, but no luck. I think I will try the 2 liter soda bottle live trap first. Any other suggestions? Am I being too quick to judge the damsels? Should I wait longer before I try to remove them? I know it's only been a few days, and this is a problem of my own making, but I would rather just nip the problem in the bud. I don't want to add another fish just to watch it get bullied.
  8. harpua2002Fishlore VIPMember

    IMO you'll need to remove the damsels. They'll pick on anything they can, pretty much, and might limit your stocking options if you were looking for peaceful fish. This is reason #1 why I've never wanted to keep any damsels other than clowns. ;)

    I had to catch a coral-munching dwarf angel from my display a while back and I ended up just removing most of the rock.

    Remember to take your time with stocking. Your live rock may be cured, but your tank is still very new and will take months to mature and stabilize. You probably already know that, but just a thought. ;)
  9. agsansooWell Known MemberMember

    A lot of us made this same mistake. I'm one also. Damsels can be very aggressive. When I first setup my tank, one yellow tail killed two on my percula clownfish. :( I had to remove all of my live rock just to get that devil fish out of my tank ! Good luck.

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