pH suddenly not reaching set point - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 01:12 AM Thread Starter
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pH suddenly not reaching set point

I have a relatively new tank. I set it up about 5 weeks ago, planted it, and am currently cycling the tank. I have a GLA system for CO2, an inline diffuser (Atomic), and a Milwaukee controller.

Everything worked as expected until a few days ago. My pH is now not reaching the set point, and it looks like, I am sparging CO2 constantly (although I'm not monitoring usage 24/7). I'm getting some algae issues in the tank, but it doesn't look like anything in my return line from the filter where the diffuser is located.

Are the inline diffusers very susceptible to fouling? It seems 5 weeks, with no current fish load isn't long enough to foul the ceramic element, but maybe I'm wrong.

Anything that might be a result of cycling that can affect buffering and the ability to drop the pH?

Anything else I should be looking at?

The drop checker actually looks similar to what it did when the pH was at set point, and the plants are growing like crazy, but I'd like to make sure that continues with a correctly operating CO2 system

thanks
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 03:32 AM
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Check for leaks, especially around check valves and other connections on the CO2 line. I've had a check valve split at a seam so it slowly got worse, but the bubble counter looked fine. All it takes is a tiny crack or knick in a line

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natemcnutty View Post
Check for leaks, especially around check valves and other connections on the CO2 line. I've had a check valve split at a seam so it slowly got worse, but the bubble counter looked fine. All it takes is a tiny crack or knick in a line

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That might have been it. Snugged everything up and it is back down to set point. Might snoop it anyway, just to see if there still might be a small leak

thanks for the suggestion
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 04:44 PM
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One of the most common ways to loose a tank of gas is by not checking and doing it very slowly and completely. Seems when we start, we are feeling rushed and that leads us to really waste a lot of time and money. I think of it this way. It may take 10-15 minutes to really dl a complete and thorough soap check but if I don't it may cost me at least an hour and the cost of gas totake things apart, drive to refill and return it.
So I now figure I really DO have time, keeping mind that the tank gauge does not tell me I losing/using any gas until ALL the liquid is gone and I'm running on fumes!
But I might also throw in that ceramic diffusers do have a bad habit of stopping up way to often and it is not the fish load but the water hardness, etc. which changes the time.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 06:51 PM
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Possibilities are limited here. Either the co2 flow is too low, the co2 is leaking, or the kh spiked.

For leaks, check by putting soapy, bubbly water all over key areas of the co2 connection to look for leaks. I had this happen once because I lost a grommet on a bubble counter when replacing the water.

Kh can be done with a water test.

Flow with a bubble counter.
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