Planted Tank Enthusiast
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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?