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PH and other testing questions


alchameth

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Ok I have read quite a few topics on the subject of PH, some say buffer, some say don't just use better salt etc.... all this leaves me a bit confused.

 

I am cycling my 12g nano for about a month now. had misc problems with trAtes and temp and flow etc. Here is where I stand and I am looking for some advice.

 

12g cube with 12lbs of LR and about 6-8lbs of LS

The rock is very alive, I have some major growth, brown fuzz, little hairs, and red and green spots that are growing what seems to be plant leafs. 4 chamber filter, C1 has the heater, C2 has large mesh aeration sponge, with about 2 inches of fine sponge, I clean this weekly, C3 has 1.5lbs of rubble, and C4 has my intake hose for my MJ900, which puts me at about 20X cycle per hour.

 

My readings come out as

Ammonia = 0-0.2 PPM constantly

nitrite's - 0.2 PPM constant

nitrates = 5-10 PPM constantly

PH has always been 7.8-8.0

 

I am using purified water (RO/De-ioz with nothing added back), bought from the store and mixing my own salt water, my gravity has been coming out at 1.022-1.023 on the dot for the whole month. Lastly the salt I am using is Instant Ocean. Now I have been trying to buffer with Kent Marine Pro Buffer dKH, I admit I have not been doing it every MORNING like it suggests, but I have been doing it every day for 10 days with no change.

 

Ok so down to it, how can I get my PH to an acceptable level, few points off but I don't want any chance or reason once I start adding my crew, which I guessing has to be soon as my rock is starting to "poop" brown onto my sand; I say this because until agitated it looks like little brown worms but when it gets mixed up it just browns my sand.

 

I have quite a few (6) FW tanks and this nano has taught me patience so I do not want to rush it.

 

BTW I am very happy with the rock and sand I bought from Prem Aquatics, a lot of very nice color variation's on the nano rock they are selling and as soon as I find a site to upload a pic i will post one. I was able to make a very nice cave and leave room for the coral I eventually want to add once I get all this worked out.

 

Look forward to some advice on all this.

 

Thanks in advance :D

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What test kit are you using? If you're still reading ammonia or nitrites, you haven't finished cycling or you have a crappy test kit (could also be your pH "problem").

 

Is your tank open top, or closed? Closed tops can lower pH slightly due to inefficient carbon dioxide exchange into the atmosphere.

 

Also, I wouldn't use the buffer you are using without testing calcium and alkalinity, because that is what it's using to control pH. If you calcium and alkalinity are not in equilibrium, it will throw off your pH. By adding more calcium and alk, you don't change the face that they aren't in equilibrium, so your pH won't change. If the above two things don't help, begin testing for calcium and alkalinity, and adjust those into equilibrium. Your pH should follow.

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EtOH_is_good

testing during the first month is perilous because you worry about everything when really the tank is just stabilizing. to me dosing during the first month is just a waste of chemicals esp if you don't test for what you dose.

 

as you may have already read, pH fluctuates during the day. be sure to test at the same time of day for the best measure of change. to alter the pH try to get some more surface agitation to help rid the tank of C02.

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testing during the first month is perilous because you worry about everything when really the tank is just stabilizing. to me dosing during the first month is just a waste of chemicals esp if you don't test for what you dose.

 

as you may have already read, pH fluctuates during the day. be sure to test at the same time of day for the best measure of change. to alter the pH try to get some more surface agitation to help rid the tank of C02.

 

Just got that MJ900 mounted right yesterday so have the scoop agitating the water, the stock one couldn't do it without shooting water up.

 

I always do my tests around 5-6pm every day, the lights have been on for 3-4hours by then.

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My 12g cube has been up for 3 months and my ph has consistantly been 8.0 and everything is healthy and growing. I added a air stone to help aerate and get rid of CO2. This helped some. I do not dose anything in my tank but do weekly water changes.

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Thanks for the advice, with the new power head mounted and mixing up the water, and a change in my cooling fan this got the PH up to the 8-8.2 range and holding.

 

Everything else has been doing very well, did another 3 gallon water change to drop the trAtes down below 10 and everything else is right at 0

 

Got a little CUC on the way, 12 snails, 1 crab, 1 shrimp... these rocks are INSANE with fuzzzzz

 

Is this too big of a crew to start with? I have a friend with a 55g SW I could temp house some in if this much might cause issues

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EtOH_is_good

i say keep the cuc hungry. the more snails cruising around for a meal the better. of course, you need to get them out fast if they starve to death. i'm personally going to now keep more snails than recommended in my tanks so that my rocks never get fuzzy again. of course, i've always put too much lr in the tank, so there was always too much surface area for my undersized cuc.

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