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PH going nuts

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speyside712 View Drop Down
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    Posted: November 17 2017 at 9:48pm
Hey guys,
I've noticed that everytime my wife starts cooking and fires up the stove or the oven the ph in the tank plummets.
She loves to cook, so this is a common occurence. I know I know, its hard to complain about being provided with delicious food everyday!

I'm sure the problem is the gases produced from the gas range and oven. Carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide levels rising in the house must be the cause.

The result is pretty dramatic, the ph will usually drop about 2 to 3 tenths of a point, for example today it went from 8.1 to 7.8 in the hour she was cooking dinner. As my wife's favorite hobby is cooking and baking, she will sometimes spend the entire day in the kitchen on the weekends with something new going in the oven every hour. On days like that, the ph falls off a cliff sometimes all the way from 8.2 to 7.4!

Opening the windows helps a little, but now that its getting closer to winter that doesn't seem to be an option.

Anyone have any ideas here? Ever experienced the same thing?


For a little background here: my tank is pretty new, 90 gallons, 5 months old. I dose 2 part using brs dosing pumps and manually dose phyto plankton daily. I have a refugium with chaeto that is lit 24/7 to help fight the nightly ph swings.

I don't dose anything else to maintain ph. Is there a buffer I should be adding to help maintain a healthy ph? Should I run my skimmer's air intake outside?

Edited by speyside712 - November 17 2017 at 9:49pm
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Krazie4Acans View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 17 2017 at 9:59pm
Skimmer air intake outside would help as would a C02 scrubber on the skimmer air intake. .

Honestly unless your tank is showing signs of reacting to the change I personally wouldn't worry about it.
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phys View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote phys Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 17 2017 at 10:54pm
What do you keep your kh, cal and mag? Usually, its bad to chase ph... might cause more harm than good. But buffers would help keep it stable.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote speyside712 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 18 2017 at 12:27pm
Both my calcium and alkalinity are a bit low. As its a new tank im still trying to get the dosing requirements dialed in. I am up to dosing 40ml a day of each of the 2 part solutions. My alkalinity has been at 7 now for a few weeks and the calcium is at 420. Ideally id like to have 440 and 9 instead.

I just tested my magnesium and it is 1440. I have never dosed magnesium. I am still working through my first batch of 2 part. I was under the impression most peoppe wait until they used up a batch of 2 part then dose the magnesium portion all at once before starting the next gallon batch of two part.

The "all at once" instructions sound a bit scary to me. I was planning to read up on that quite a bit more before actually going through with it.


I have never considered a CO2 scrubber, but that sounds like a great idea to me. They look pretty inexpensive too :)

Edited by speyside712 - November 18 2017 at 12:28pm
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Mark Peterson View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 19 2017 at 12:24pm
My advice: Get the Alk up to 8 dKH ASAP and stop worrying about pH. Stop watching pH. Unless coral shows stress, the tank will be fine. 

I have not checked pH in any one of the many hundreds of tanks I've set up and worked on for more than 15 years. Starting in 1993, pH was one of the things I checked, until about 1996 when I found out about Alkalinity and it's importance in the overall scheme of things. 

I frequently check Alk and Ca and rarely worry about Mg. 

Ca and Mg can be increased a lot (200 ppm) and very quickly without any ill effects. It's best if Alk is not increased faster than about 1 dKH in a day, but I have increased it by almost 2 dKH all in one dosage and the tank did not show any bad effects, but that was going from Alk of 5.x to ~7.x. (If a tank is in distress, it's okay to raise/lower some things quickly to healthy levels.) Like I indicated above, add enough Alk solution to get it up to 8 dKH today. Leave the daily dosing regimen as is and follow Alk and Ca for the next few days. Then adjust the dosing accordingly.

Drawing skimmer air from outside is what a lot of people I know have done, but did you know that algae growth is a very natural way to help keep pH at healthy levels. It's a new tank with limited algae growth, am I right? Chances are, there's very little Coralline Algae too. In this case some Macroalgae placed in the display would be a great thing for a whole host of reasons. I have some beautiful Feather Caulerpa available. 

Another good move would be, if there is a Refugium, run the lights for a longer photoperiod, even 20 hours/day would be good. 24/7 illumination works for temporary periods to increase pH and reduce pollution but just like humans, algae also needs to sleep for at least a few hours during times of hard work.

Text/Call 808-345-1049 for some of this beautiful Caulerpa.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 19 2017 at 12:29pm
Alk at 8.x is perfectly fine and Mg at 1440 is awesome. Increasing Alk will cause the Ca to drop a little but if you watch over time, you will likely see that whether the Ca is at 400 or 500, it makes not a bit of difference. Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote phys Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 20 2017 at 1:14am
Not having proper alk, mag, and cal levels can cause ph to swing more than normal under your conditions. Bringing it up SLOWLY should help but you wont see it perfectly stable. Why not just dose your mag consistently along with the others? Stability is pretty important on a lot of levels... not so much on mag, but it cant hurt to do it. If you balance your alk and cal properly, you wont be chasing them back and forth as much. That means you'll want to have your calcium sit around 420 if you want to keep your alk at 8.25dkh... otherwise, if the calcium is too much higher than that, you may see it disappear as it calcifies your internal surfaces. Which means, you just waste your money as it doesn't go into the corals as much as it should. 
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