Help PH 7.30-7.35

I finally got a ph probe for my display and I have discovered that my ph hovers between 7.30-7.35. I know it’s supposed to be about a point higher for a reef and most of my acros die or are unhappy.

How do I safely raise the PH in my tank? My other paramaters are now quite stable (PO4 under control) so this seems like the key issue to address.


That’s surprisingly low… I’d worry about testing error. Have you calibrated the probe?

If this is a new probe I think I would try re-calibrating it. 7.3 is extremely low and you would more then likely see that with how your corals grow. Most people will tell you these days, don’t go chasing PH. if your corals look good then it may just be as simple as calibrating the probe. Could add ozone or a air scrubber if it really is in fact low. Personally I only worry if mine drops out of the normal but for the most part my main growing system is steady at 8.11 as my lowest to 8.75 as my peak I have been going through some growth spurts also this tank is dosed with esv 2 part throughout a 24hour period. My other system (just fish and a few shrooms) runs 8.26 lowest to 8.52 max in the most current readings for the past week with zero dosing.

1 Like

Hey, no I have not calibrated it. I’ll do that right away. Thanks.

1 Like

Mine lives in a super low range and cant get it to change I have a co2 scrubber on it as well

You may need to calibrate your probe. Not sure how often you are supposed to calibrate the apex probes. The solution is cheap so very worth calibrating to make sure.

Off topic how is your fusion working on mobile for you? Mine freezes up everytime I load the app or the webpage so I have to use the computer.

I have re calabrated it multiple times and it still wont work right I have also called and emailed neptune a bunch of times about it and my fusion works well it’s the only part that has never stopped working

It might be worth double checking ph with another test kit. Some guys have had to put the skimmers air tube outside of house to keep ph up or use ozone or a co2 scrubber

I live in mid Delaware and my water is terrible. lots of sediment and my PH starting off is low. like others said to chase the PH can be more disastrous if done incorrectly. 7.3 is pretty low, Iv only seen that in water with medications. More importantly for your corals health is Alk. typically low ph gives low alk in my experience. So i think after you calibrate you should check your salt water before adding to see if maybe your water or mix is creating this issue. You also could look at your Alk and make sure Alk/Calc is in line with that low PH. my PH sits at 7.95 which is fine as that is consistent but I make sure my alk is good.

1 Like

Where did you wind up with this @TheProfessor?

The calibration fluid just arrived a couple of days ago. I still need to do that but, as you might imagine, it’s been a little crazy lately.

I did place an air wand in my sump but no change in ph is registering (which only reinforces the sense that that probe is either faulty or needs calibration).

I’ll be sure to share my results as soon as I have something.

Still mystified by my ongoing PO4 issues. I changed my feeding to strain out the water from the frozen mysis, and reduced my Reef Roids dosing in half, but I’m still getting spikes up to .08. I think part of it might be two things 1) leaving filter socks in too long, and 2) when I remove a bunch of the chaeto from my algae reactor (once a month) the PO4 goes up when there is less chaeto to soak it up?

At this point I’m just guessing because nothing makes any freaking sense. I’ve even started to wonder if the enormous Haddoni (I swear it’s gotten even bigger) just produces too much waste in a 120 and that drives up my PO4. Silly I know, but wtf, my water shows 0 tdm, I feed once every other day, my nitrates are low, blah blah blah. Bangs head on wall.

1 Like

Po4 spike and lack of nitrates is part of your problem. When you raise your nitrates the po4 will lower. Po4 balanced well with no3 is actually really good I keep having issues with my red sea nitrate pro reads nitrates as 12 but api reads 0 with I have noticed that corals are showing lack of no3 along with very little algae showing from po4 not being balanced. New test coming but I aim for 10 to 16 no3 now with po4 .04 to .1 since I have gone this route I have been able to boost my par and gain more colors. I now run 500 to 800 par where my main sps grow outs are.
Reef roids will boost po4 big time if you over do them. I wouldn’t go by what they suggest on how much to use. I mix it up really thick to target feed the shrooms then I can dilute it with more water to feed the other corals. I feed once or twice a week.

Ok, I finally got the probe calibrated and my PH is, drum roll, 8.28. So that’s the good news.

The bad news is I still don’t know why my corals are dying. I’m in the process of losing a bubble gum chalice I got from ASR, a Red Planet Frag from Donovan, and some heads on one of my hammers.

My PO4 has been under .08 now for 6-8 weeks. My nitrates are between 5 and 1 ppm (that side of the light pink on the Salifert test. I can’t get my alk totally dialed in, but when it goes up and down it’s by no more than .01/day. I just haven’t managed to find that spot where it just sits. My calcium is at 410 which makes sense since I am running a calc reactor.

It seems like my PO4 spiked from 0 to .08 when I removed most of the chaeto from my reactor and now it’s back down to .02 (a week or so later when I’m sure there’s a bunch of new algae in there). I don’t get it.

I feed frozen mysis once every other day and I strain out the mysis and dump the fluid down the drain. I do reef roids once a week, but I dose about 1/3 of the recommended amount.

I will say that my lobos, my gonis, one set of my acans, my duncans, and my frogspawn look VERY plump and happy. My red hammer is very happy too.

Could I have too much light? Too little? Too much or too little current? I’m starting to think it may not be the water quality?

It’s all very mystifying. I will admit that thoughts of bailing on the hobby have started to creep in. Sigh.

What are you using to test po4? I find the Hanna ULR phosphate to be the best for low range testing. When nitrates raise they naturally will drop po4 and vise versa fme. One thing that can get overlooked very easily is salinity. I dose esv which will boost salinity after some time.
That is odd how only some are being affected in your tank. polyp bailout on lps can be to much flow or not enough nutrients. chalices like lower light and lower flow and nutrients as for sps take a number cause it could be anything lol.

That’s much better!

I usually find my LPS to be the first to show signs of nutrients being too low. They’ll deflate and then a day or two later (if I don’t do anything) my SPS show reduced polyp extension. Sounds like your LPS are all happy, so it shouldn’t be nutrients are too low IMO. It could be light related. That’s hard to say for sure without trying some things. Can you move one unhappy coral up and one unhappy coral down? See if one looks better in a week or two.

I use the Hanna Low one, rather than the ultra low. I could acquire an ULR but since I already own the Low one . . .

My salinity is stable at 35ppm.

It could be that the torch is getting too much flow. It could be that it’s a delayed effect of the nasty PO4 spike 2 months ago? Hard to know. Some of the polyps bleached, then over hte course of 2-3 weeks they bailed. Whole head full of polyps plopped off yesterday. Some were bleached some were not.

About 2-3 months ago I cut down my flow from highs of 70% on the MP40s to a high of 50%. I also switched from the programs that change the flow pattern a lot to just setting them to alternate sync/anti synch. I have 2 MP40s one at either end of the 120. Lots of flow even at 50% but maybe I should reduce to 40% max.

Adam, I’ll see what I might be able to move. The acros that keep dying are all at the top of the tank with 450ish PAR. I think the bubble gum chalice got hurt by a nearby Pocillopora growth and that seems to have just set off rtning. Not sure.

I do have this obnoxious pocillopora infestation that I just can’t seem to beat. There are polyps everywhere growing new bits of it. They seem to beat just about everything near them into submission. At this point I would have to remove so many rocks to stop it . . . Of course, the Pocillopora doesn’t die! Grrr. I rue the day I put that crap in my tank. Novice reefer making mistakes that just punish me over and over. Sigh.

1 Like

450 is a good high range in higher nutrient tanks. Maybe that’s the issue? I’d try the up/down experiment as more of a down experiment then.

Or, maybe I’ll just program my lights a little lower. I think that’s easier than moving the corals tbh.

1 Like

450 par is a good number if you have nutrients. ulns and high par ime have not done well. sps will bleach and lps will lose color. Ideal par for red planet is in the 200-250 range to hold the green and red colors. going higher it tends to lose the green. LPS tends to do better in lower par as well unless acclimated well but i believe the standard is in the 150-250 par ranges. Also depends on nutrients though and every system is different.
Something to note when it comes to par I have noticed when i read my par with flow on it will fluctuate from how the water is moving in the form of about 300 par fluctuation with flow off Last i checked I was closer to the 400-500 par range at that time with flow on I was reading 500-800.

Alk and po4 swings can do damage down the road after you thought everything was fine. Unfortunately I have experienced the spikes in both categories while trying to find that perfect balance mainly po4 problems over anything else though

I dont quite understand the pocilipora infestation. How did it end up everywhere? my bubble gum chalice beats anything it has ever touched.

1 Like

Some pictures of the Pocillopora infestation. When I had the mother colony in the tank she would “snow” polyps all over the place. They glom onto rocks and make new ones.

I could add more photos but that gives you a pretty good sense of how extensively the polyps have spread throughout my tank and are growing new ones.

You can also see my sad, sad WD in that last photo. It’s been hanging on like that for a while.