ALK and PH dropping in new tank

Discussion in 'Water Parameters and Additives' started by brettb2020, 16 May 2013.

  1. brettb2020

    brettb2020

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    My tank has been cycling for about 20 days now but the alkalinity is being consumed like my tank is full of SPS. The low alkalinity is probably causing the low PH too.

    I am using Red Sea coral pro salt and the alkalinity on day one when I filled my tank was 12dkh and PH was 8.25 which is normal for that salt. As they days went by I noticed the PH dropping on the reef angel. on day 6 I tested the water just before a water change and alk was 6.5dkh and PH was 8.05.

    Since then I have been maintaining and slowly raising the KH with Red Sea KH Coralline gro and I have done another water change. The alkalinity and PH are quite stable now but I have to keep dosing. When I start stock the tank with corals I will use Red Sea Reef foundation B for ALK.

    There is nothing in my tank other than a few pieces of dry/dead live rock with no Coralline as it doesnt exist in my tank yet. Is it normal for the KH to still drop like that?
     
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  3. Perky Pets

    Perky Pets Sponsor

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    Are you using a phosphate remover / binder ?
     
  4. brettb2020

    brettb2020 Thread Starter

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    Im using Orca bio cubes only. Would that affect it?
     
  5. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    what is your magnesium level?
     
  6. brettb2020

    brettb2020 Thread Starter

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    Mg is 1400ppm
     
  7. Perky Pets

    Perky Pets Sponsor

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    If the dry dead liverock your using was full of life ( organics ) when it was taken out and dried.

    Once you used it , there's a possibility that the rehydrated organics dropped your P.H and Alk.
    BUt for it to be that bad , your Ammonia , nitrite should also test sky high.

    have you got a skimmer ?

    Other things that drop alk and P.h are :
    Low oxygen or carbon dioxide ( co2 from calcium reactor. )
    Very high organic load ( over feeding ) even thou i know you dont have fish.
    A super high Magnesium level , will drop your Alk.
    Adding allot of R.O can definatly drop alk and P.H as the Void of R.O will draw the High alk out of the tank to find equilibrium and R.O if not too fresh can drop in P.H quiet quickly and effect the tank.

    Last thing i can think of is if you used some salt and not the whole bucket - or didn't stir up the bucket , you got a portion of the buckets salt with elements that had started to "separate " and the P.H / alk might have been a weak mix.

    You can use the aquavitro products as its got the highest P.k (9.3 )( the strength of P.h ) and may help stabilize the P.H and alk of your tank.

    Maybe there's something i cant think about , so ill tag along to see.
    D
     
  8. scubaninja

    scubaninja

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    Brett it's totally my phantom coralline coming back from the dead :p Its kickstarting :lol:
     
  9. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    Hmm, thats a rather strange occurance...
    Normally, in a new tank, alk takes forever to drop if you don't have calcifying organisms...
    The only thing that i can also think of is high carbondioxide levels, but i seriously doubt it will drop it that low...
    Perhaps you should just double check it with another test kit...
    As for the PH, 8.05 isnt TOO low... Mine generally drops to 7.9 (sometimes 7.8) in the mornings...
     
  10. brettb2020

    brettb2020 Thread Starter

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    Yes I do have a skimmer, and its skimming just not a lot without a bio load.
    I dont have calcium reactor.
    there is always an open window right next to the tank so CO2 levels should be fine.
    I havnt added alot of water.
    When I mixed the salt water I used 5.5KG from a 22kg bucket but I tested that water and all parameters where spot on. I even mixed some yesterday for a water change and that tested good. ALK 11.6dkh.

    So the only thing can be is the dead rock absorbing it?

    loooooool ur a chop :tt2:

    It is strange. il take a sample to LFS to test. However, when I test freshly mixed salt water the ALK is 11.6dkh and PH is 8.2 which is about right for coral pro salt.

    Thanks for help guys! Will keep monitoring it.
     
  11. scubaninja

    scubaninja

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    you say that now, but watch for when my coralline minions start to take over everything
    :slayer::slayer::slayer::slayer:
     
  12. brettb2020

    brettb2020 Thread Starter

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    oooooooooooo Im scared!!!! hahaha! :tt2:
     
  13. brettb2020

    brettb2020 Thread Starter

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    Today the PH was 7.8. That's getting really low now and I don't know what could be pulling it down. Nobody has been in the room since Friday and a window is always open so CO2 can't be the problem. The only thing Iv been adding is Red Sea bacto start and nitrifying bacteria. The alkalinity has also been low around 7dkh so Iv been adding Red Sea KH coralline grow to raise. Everything is from the reef mature pro kit.

    The only stuff in may tank is Dry/dead live rock, caribsea substrate, carbon and Orca Bio cubes.

    My Nitrates are also 10ppm. What would cause it to be so high? My phosphates are at 0.04 so will have to get titanium cubes to bring the nitrates down.
     
  14. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    Have you had time to verify your test kits accuracy?
    Why dont you give aquavitro 8.4 a go. Its a fantastic kh bufferbut also helps increase your ph as its phis higher than most buffer products...
     
  15. brettb2020

    brettb2020 Thread Starter

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    Yes I did get my water tested at my Lfs and got the same values. Iv been doing some reading and seems a PH drop during cycling is normal because ammonia is somewhat acidic specially when using dead rock. The ammonia is still quite high so will wait till it drops. I actually bought some aquavito ph8.4 today:thumbup:
    Didn't want to start adding stuff till I found the problem though.
     
  16. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    Cool, yeah, probably a good idea to finish the cycle first before worrying too much about perams...
    Have you added any bacterial addatives to help speed the startup?
     
  17. brettb2020

    brettb2020 Thread Starter

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    Yes Red Sea bacto start and nitrifying bacteria.
     
  18. Albert Terego

    Albert Terego

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    Have you considered/investigated abiotic precipitation as a reason for the drop?
     
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