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Reefahholic

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So I'm trying to follow was the ARM course a no go?
A lot of people use it. It works, but for me I try to use a media that melts at the highest pH level possible. We all know the more gas needed to melt the media I will drive the pH down in the tank which directly impacts coral growth. Slows it down.

Now if you have an air exchange unit, Kalk Reactor, CO2 scrubber, pulling attic or outside air into the skimmer, 6,000 sq foot home…this may not affect you at all. ;-)

I find so many people saying their pH hits 8.4 or 8.5 and that they don’t have an issue with pH, but they haven’t calibrated their probes or they need recalibration. Plus, a lot of reefers run crappy probes. The pros struggle with pH and have huge systems in warehouses where pH shouldn’t be an issue at all. Yet they dose things like Potassium Hydroxide to keep pH up. Speaking about ACI specifically. The point I’m trying to make is that most people have a problem with pH even though they say they don’t. Especially when a person isn’t running/dosing some of the things I mentioned above. Most probes will drift over time and need to be recalibrated and cross-checked frequently. Otherwise, you make “think” your pH is high, but actually it’s more likely sitting at 8.1 :)

So buying a media that melts at 6.8 like TLF reborn is the best way to go vs a media like Triton that melts at 6.0. Or you’ll end up pumping a lot of gas into the system. The pic below was when I took my scrubber offline, unhooked the skimmer line from outside and stopped my Kalk dosing just before I shut down the last system. Went from a high of 8.3-8.4 to 7.77 and a low of 7.55 and it was still falling. 🤨

689E3A0C-86FA-4395-8ADC-62C3CD705905.jpeg
 

Illusiveman

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Well to your point of all the things that you did when your pH dropped, you did created a lot variables. It's very possible that one only out of the three of those variables you created maybe the main point that's causes the pH to drop or even something that you haven't tried. I would always recommend to do the process of elimination and find what factor helps your pH the most. You may find out that you don't need media at all. I my case, I could not for the life of me get my pH above 7.8, tested it with multiple test kits, made sure that Mag, Cal, Alk was all in range. I'm very certain that running media would have helped my pH if I would have went that direction. But, the moment I ran and airline connected to the skimmer outside, BAM!, my probe peaked at 8.36, recently calibrated and also confirmed with two different test kits.

The point I'm trying to make is that in this hobby we tend to over think water chemistry and we forget about the basics on what pH is and what effects it. The same could be said with any other target element we are trying to reach. If you find out what is actually causes the low pH, you can fix it. I will say that I am mostly against using any type of media in our aquariums, mostly because of added cost and maintenance, but also because, every time I've used media, it will fix one problem and cause another. I see media as a band aid for most problems and not correcting the root cause.
For example: Suppose an aquarist starts using reborn and gets the target pH they want, but then a problem of phosphates start to increase. Then that person that uses media start using GFO. Then what is the effect of using GFO? It seems like a cycle starts to happen and then you have some crazy conspiracy theorist pop up and starts to blame the big reefing markets like BRS making up scheme to take all our hard earned dollars spending on media just to enjoy the reefs we love!

Sorry had to add a little bit of humor in this post, it was getting to serious. :) Love to continue the discussion.
 

Reefahholic

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Well to your point of all the things that you did when your pH dropped, you did created a lot variables. It's very possible that one only out of the three of those variables you created maybe the main point that's causes the pH to drop or even something that you haven't tried. I would always recommend to do the process of elimination and find what factor helps your pH the most. You may find out that you don't need media at all. I my case, I could not for the life of me get my pH above 7.8, tested it with multiple test kits, made sure that Mag, Cal, Alk was all in range. I'm very certain that running media would have helped my pH if I would have went that direction. But, the moment I ran and airline connected to the skimmer outside, BAM!, my probe peaked at 8.36, recently calibrated and also confirmed with two different test kits.

The point I'm trying to make is that in this hobby we tend to over think water chemistry and we forget about the basics on what pH is and what effects it. The same could be said with any other target element we are trying to reach. If you find out what is actually causes the low pH, you can fix it. I will say that I am mostly against using any type of media in our aquariums, mostly because of added cost and maintenance, but also because, every time I've used media, it will fix one problem and cause another. I see media as a band aid for most problems and not correcting the root cause.
For example: Suppose an aquarist starts using reborn and gets the target pH they want, but then a problem of phosphates start to increase. Then that person that uses media start using GFO. Then what is the effect of using GFO? It seems like a cycle starts to happen and then you have some crazy conspiracy theorist pop up and starts to blame the big reefing markets like BRS making up scheme to take all our hard earned dollars spending on media just to enjoy the reefs we love!

Sorry had to add a little bit of humor in this post, it was getting to serious. :) Love to continue the discussion.
True that. In my case it’s definitely small apartments contributing to low pH. 3 people in 600’ exhaling 24/7 is not healthy for a reef.

What helped the pH the most? I’ll list them in order.
1. Recirculating CO2 scrubber (not good longterm)
2. Kalk
3. Running skimmer line outside.
4. A lot of surface agitation

What hurts my pH the most besides the small apartment? Definitely the CO2 gas from the CaRx.

As far as media’s I’m with you on that one. I rarely run GFO or Carbon. I run passive carbon sometimes in a filter sock, but not for very long. Carbon can really make the corals stressed with more efficient light penetration so I go very slow. GFO on the other hand can strip the water too much so I run a high flow rate through the reactor (less contact time) with only small amounts at a time.
 

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Here’s something to try. I’d like to see someone run this test with before and after results and report back.

If you’re worried about ca Rx media adding p04, after rinsing the media, refill a 5g bucket with rodi then place a maxi jet feeding a small gfo reactor for a week or so out of your 5g bucket. Then refill your ca reactor with this media. After a few days test the effluent po4.

I performed a similar test and am now seeing p04 readings in the .06-.1 range compared to .25 pre gfo rinse/cycle.
 

Reefahholic

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Here’s something to try. I’d like to see someone run this test with before and after results and report back.

If you’re worried about ca Rx media adding p04, after rinsing the media, refill a 5g bucket with rodi then place a maxi jet feeding a small gfo reactor for a week or so out of your 5g bucket. Then refill your ca reactor with this media. After a few days test the effluent po4.

I performed a similar test and am now seeing p04 readings in the .06-.1 range compared to .25 pre gfo rinse/cycle.
That’s probably a good idea. Nuke it with a canister full of GFO with slow flow rate. I but it would knock it down pretty good.
 

Cody

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You can see why I like reborn. Mine melts easily at 6.8

However, the new reborn is loaded with PO4. Sucks because I don’t use Lanthanum anymore.
Maybe that’s why I only ever have to dose Nitrates and not phosphates. I’ve always used Reborn too.
 

Reefahholic

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I'm using my apex with two probes. I almost nuked my tank using a Milwaukee due to failure. It was reading like it was working but found out it wasn't and causing ALK spikes. I had the apex so just decided to use it instead of buying another Milwaukee. Never had an issue afterwards.
So it was reading like how? Milwaukee has been an excellent monitor for me, but I’ve never used the controller. I have a buddy using it to control is reactor and no problems in at least 2 years now.
 
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Bullitt519

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Honestly idk, I got it used and wasn’t calibrating. It was showing the reactor was at 6.7-6.8 but was turning all my media to mush. Calibrated it several times and was still not shutting off the C02 Hooked the probe up to my apex and calibrated it. Never had an issue again.
 
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Bullitt519

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If it was turning your media to mush, ph was probably too low (and the probe was off, too).
Like I said controller was reading like it was working but definitely wasn’t even after calibrated. So I trashed it and never had an issue again using my apex.
 

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in stock.
 

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