Problems getting my PH to drop in established tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-17-2006, 07:34 AM Thread Starter
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Problems getting my PH to drop in established tank

Ok, I've had my 50g tank about 1.5 years. Reactor 1000, JBJ Regulator & Milwaukee controller. These past couple of weeks it's taking forever to drop the pH.

My tap water is naturally 7.2-ish and I usually like to drop the pH to about 6.0 to keep some BBA in check. I used to have no problem getting down to 6.0. At most, with my bubble rate, when the controller turned on it would only take an hour or so to hit my target and shut off. But now, the pH is hovering around 6.4-6.5 and then it takes forever to drop any increments below that, if at all. The controller never shuts off because the pH doesn't seem to be going down. I could swear it's been on consistently.

I'm injecting AT LEAST a bubble a second. I can see the bubbles in the bubble counter and the bubbles are visible entering the Reactor 1000. No problems there. No leaks. No real increases in surface agitation, aquarium cover, or plant mass.

A test kit reading confirms the pH of my tap and aquarium water (although, agreed, the tank water reading could be anywhere from 6.6-6.2 on the test kit).

I tested the probe in some Hanna Instruments 7.01 buffer solution and got an accurate reading. 7.0. I don't have any low pH buffer solution... could the probe be failing out on the lower pH spectrum? Is there any low pH household solution I could check the probe in?

Also, I did have my C02 tank filled at a local dealer a few weeks back, but can't imagine how that would affect things. I've used them before and there's obviousy CO2 in the tank because it's at least achieving a 6.5ph in tank. The problem seems recent, but I can't rule it out it started somewhere around the refill.

For now, I just nudged my controller dial up some to shut the controller off (and injection) off.

PS - I have the SMS122 Milwaukee meter and still using the original probe when I bought it in Nov. 2004.

Any thoughts team?
- Stumped
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-17-2006, 03:23 PM
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What is your KH of your tap water and your tank? Something might be raising the KH in your tank.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-17-2006, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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my KH is about a 4-5. I've never known KH to affect pH like that though.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-17-2006, 08:55 PM
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Is there any reason why you're elevating co2 levels to such high levels? At pH 6.5 and with a KH of 4, you should be getting more than enough co2 in concentration to get rid of your BBA algae (already in mid 30s). Dropping your pH from 6.5 to 6.0 will double your co2 concentration.

KH does affect the amount of time that it takes to drop pH. With enough buffer in the water, it takes longer.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-18-2006, 03:27 AM
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A bubble a second sounds really light to me. Try 3 or 4 and see if that drops it faster. But I agree, that a pH of 6.0 seems too acid.

How old is the SMS122 electrode? After a year it's suggested to replace. I got my replacement pretty fast from Aquariumplants.com for $29.00 I think.

BTW, a pH electrode will give crazy readings when nearing their end of life. It will give readings, but wacky ones. After a year of age, I would definately replace an electrode. There is a hydroponic supply in LA where I ordered my Hanna pHep replacement from. Can't give the name as its on my computer at the office, but if you want it PM me and I'll get it to you. Cost was almost as much for the electrode as for a new Hanna pHep 4... $42 bucks comes to mind.





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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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My probe is a year and a half old. I've ordered a replacement from aquariumplants.com. I kept my pH low because my KH used to be like a 1 or 2. I was surprised to see the KH was higher now, so no need I guess for the extra low ph

The black spot algae still persists. Maybe I'll start another thread on this.

Thanks!
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