How do you measure your pH

Discussion in 'Water Parameters and Additives' started by VicZA, 6 Oct 2014.

  1. VicZA

    VicZA

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    So I understand that stable pH is quite an important parameter in a reef aquarium, especially with lps and sps corals ... but how exactly do you measure your pH ?

    I have a Red Sea kit that I use that has a pH test in it but I must say that I am not entirely convinced that it works very well ....

    ... so for the guys that have been in this game for some time and have potentially used a few different methods to read this .... how do you measure your pH ?
     
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  3. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    pH pen is best, the test kits are notoriously hard to read.
     
  4. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    i dip my finger into the water and taste, a skill i was taught by a shaolin reefer in tibet :p

    i use a ph probe and monitor :)
     
    Last edited: 6 Oct 2014
  5. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    pH probe and monitor, one on my carx and one in tank. Continuous monitoring vs a snapshot ;)
     
  6. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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  7. VicZA

    VicZA Thread Starter

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    reason I am asking is I see a bit of bleaching starting to happen in my corals and was wondering if a fluctuating pH could be responsible, but whenever I read it using the Red Sea test kit all I ever get is 8.2
     
  8. Francois

    Francois

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    It all depends, a fluctuating pH from 7.9 -8.4 is normal but you don't want your pH do go below 7.9 or higher than 8.4. What are your other parameters at the moment?
     
  9. VicZA

    VicZA Thread Starter

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    Calcium = 360
    Alkalinity = 8.7
    Magnesium = 1600
    Ammonia = 0
    Nitrites = 0
    Nitrates = 2
    Salinity = 34
    pH = 8.2
    PO4 = 0.02 (30 June) don't have my own PO4 tester - have to borrow
    temp = 25
     
  10. Francois

    Francois

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    Those parameters looks good. What corals are you seeing the bleaching in?
     
  11. VicZA

    VicZA Thread Starter

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    @Francois thought I would just upload some images.

    First 2 images, I am not sure on the name of this coral, but you can see some "spots" appearing but a much larger "chunk" at the back of the coral (does not get too much light at the back) - may be a problem ?

    This coral is positioned very high in the tank and seems to have done well in this position from the start. Only noticed these "spots" and "chunks" very recently. Had the coral since beginning of April

    Coral A 01.jpg

    Coral A 02.jpg
     
    Last edited: 7 Oct 2014
  12. VicZA

    VicZA Thread Starter

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    This is some bird's nest - a frag and a larger piece. Also done well since getting them in August (frag) and April but recently looking a bit too white

    Birds Nest Frag 01.jpg

    Birds Nest 01.jpg
     
  13. VicZA

    VicZA Thread Starter

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    and finally some Cauliflower Coral (also had it since April) positioned very close to the first coral, also recent poor show ....

    Cauliflower Coral 01.jpg

    Cauliflower Coral 02.jpg
     
  14. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    That looks more like physical damage. Do you have any fish that may be nipping?

    Bleaching would normally start either at the base or the tips, not really in patches all over the coral.
     
  15. VicZA

    VicZA Thread Starter

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    If I can explain something about my lighting too ....

    I don't have dimming lights (I use 2 x Vertex Illumilux 900 - one Bianco and one Blue only) so what I do is I put the lights on timing switches. One comes on 1 hour before the other and then goes off 1 hour before the other.

    Recently though I tried a 3 day "black-out" to try to fix a Cyano problem. After that I put both light on the same timer so that they would both go on at the same time and off at the same time

    Could this have caused some stress to the corals ?
     
  16. VicZA

    VicZA Thread Starter

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    I have seen my Bicolor Blenny nipping at some coral .... but not often ... are they notorious for that ?

    .................. actually just saw him do it again !! Maybe it is worse than I thought
     
    Last edited: 7 Oct 2014
  17. Francois

    Francois

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    This could be the cause:blush:, I would say never go without light for so long with sps. Changing in light patterns without acclimatizing your sps to it will bleach them. Sps dont like any sudden changes in their environment especially you parameters and lighting.
     
  18. VicZA

    VicZA Thread Starter

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    must say as well though that I have been watching my tank for the last hour and that Bicolor Blenny takes lots of bites of the Bird's Nest corals .... I have a friend who would like one but they are a mission to catch .... any ideas ?
     
  19. VicZA

    VicZA Thread Starter

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    Coral definitely stressed ... has stringy bit coming from the tips now .... never seen that before.

    One other thing that has changed. I had to banish my hermit crab to the sump because he was killing all my snails and when I did this I grabbed some old rock that I had in the tank at one stage and stuck it in the sump with the crab. They were once live rock but now dead as they have been lying around for about 2 months. Could these rocks somehow "poison" the system ?
    @dallasg @carlosdeandrade

    Coral A 03.jpg
     
    Last edited: 7 Oct 2014
  20. Francois

    Francois

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    You can use the plastic water bottle trick with some brine shrimp as bait to catch the Bicolor Blenny.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: 11 Apr 2016
  21. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    That SPS looks like it's releasing spaws for breeding. COULD BE WRONG. In terms of the rock, they shouldn't, it's dead, they do however leach PO4, all rock has PO4 bound up in it. try get a good PO4 test kit.
    I am not sure of the blennie, @dallasg knows fish characters better than I do. I have also never kept a blennie.

    SPS hate change, love stability. Even buying and placing in a tank is always a gamble, unless your tank is VERY stable.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
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