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Using Air pump in reef??


PuppyReef

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PuppyReef

Can you share your thoughts? I set up an air pump outside my window, running a line into my reef tank without an air stone. I wonder if this setup could potentially increase the PH since it pulls in air from outside. Also, I enjoy the aesthetic of the bubbles coming out of the rock.  

 

(And no micro bubbles since I’m not using the air stone) 

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geekreef_05

Well, PuppyReef. Its a good thought. So I hate to break it to ya... 

 

I have a strong feeling it wont do anything for your pH. And Ive done alot to try and boost my pH. Those big bubbles arent dissolving in the water. They just get released into the room. The benefit is the water surface movement. Maybe your getting some outside air into the reef as it mixes at the surface.. but.. 

 

..there was a great study, its probably 30 years old now, where a university study tested an air stone in an aquarium. Its better than no water movement. But its not enough to provide even close the amount of oxygen and pH improvement that a basic powerhead can provide, by creating turbulent surface movement. 

 

Easy enough to test with a test kit and determine the difference. 

 

That said, if there's some other way to effectively move outside air from that window onto the surface of the reef, that would help to increase pH and 02 within your reef. However, I believe the most effective solution would be to use a skimmer. If you want to boost your pH, hook that airline into a Reef Glass skimmer or similar model and you'll see a significant increase within a week. 

 

Hope that helps! 

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mcarroll
22 hours ago, PuppyReef said:

Can you share your thoughts? I set up an air pump outside my window, running a line into my reef tank without an air stone. I wonder if this setup could potentially increase the PH since it pulls in air from outside. Also, I enjoy the aesthetic of the bubbles coming out of the rock.  

 

(And no micro bubbles since I’m not using the air stone) 

I wonder why you're trying to increase pH?  Usually anything 7.6 or higher doesn't seem to be a problem for most people.  

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Well, i would respectfully disagree with the above. 

 

PuppyReef, i think your on the right track. pH is important. Its worth a deep dive and its worth time and exploration to find a solution for your particular reef. All reefers who increase their pH to keep it stable between 8.2 - 8.5 report excellent results. Everyone should check out the latest observational data and make their own conclusions.

 

But...7.6 is brutal. That's right on the margin for an inhospitalable environment.

 

Reminder that pH is an exponential scale. So the difference between 7.6 and 7.8 is like a 25% acidity change. Which is significant.

 

PuppyReef, i support your pH journey. 

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I don't remember who said it anymore, but to paraphrase them:  Corals don't care about pH.  

 

Corals only care about the things they need to survive:  calcium, alkalinity, magnesium, co2, etc.  

 

pH is an indicator for some of those things or we wouldn't care about it either.  

 

But since we have test kits for almost all those other things, reefers typically test them directly instead of looking at pH, which is a moving target throughout the day.

 

Assuming you aren't reading too much into the number, pH can still be interesting and useful though!

 

BTW, I think you have to be talking about peak pH levels...that's the only way a normal reef tank will ever see that kind of pH level.

 

I think your "disagreement" may be with not getting that I was talking about the opposite – the lowest pH someone is likely to see during the day.

 

I hope you agree for the sake of any newbs watching that 7.6 and 8.5 are both inappropriate targets for pH – we don't really recommend specific pH levels in this hobby, let alone extreme ones.  There are good reasons that are explainable with science and math, some of which are explained really well (by an expert) in the links at the bottom. 👍

 

For what it's worth, I also still don't know why the OP wanted to raise pH, so I dunno how much of our commentary applies to what they have in mind.  🤷‍♂️

 

Supporting that deep dive on pH... 😉

image.png.e8c1c74eb85559081098d34b36c71fdf.png

(From: https://reefs.com/magazine/chemistry-and-the-aquarium-the-relationship-between-alkalinity-and-ph/)

(This will also help: Alkalinity Conversion Calculator)

 

That chart shows what the pH of seawater is at any given alkalinity level for three representative ambient CO2 levels. 

 

Two "low" CO2 numbers (green and blue)  – representing pre- and post-industrial CO2 levels.

 

One "high" CO2 number (in red) – representing average household indoor CO2 levels.

 

Plug in your system's alk, and you get an idea of what your pH will be at those CO2 levels.  (Other in-tank processes also impact pH, usually lowering it.)

 

If you can compare that with a data log of your tank's pH like this, you can get a good idea of the demand your corals have for CO2:

image.thumb.png.085d9ce2214ab33097cfdbdf52fd68bd.png

(From: https://www.thereeftank.com/threads/ph-dropping-low-at-night.224236/ – For ref they were trying to run low-flow and no-skimmer, so aeration was very poor. Hard to say what other issues there were.  This was an example of chasing pH, pure and simple.)

 

Also...

 

Not the end-all-be-all of info on the subject, but here is some generally solid reading on the topic.  I'm so glad that reefs.com and reefkeeping.com still keep those archives online!!  All but the last link are by Randy Holmes-Farley (thank you, sir!):

 

There's lots to know!!  🙂 

 

 

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