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Willapa

Sudden pH drop

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My pH always hovers between 8.1 and 8.3 or so but it tanked last night to 7.3. Everything looks fine and nothing died. Any ideas? pH probe issue?

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Oh, and I run 2 part so no worries with CO2 from CA reactor


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Posted (edited)

Do you have any calibration fluid you could test against?  That would tell you if your water pH is actually low or if your probe is the problem.

Edited by SuncrestReef
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Good call, I luckily had some hanging around and just tried and it's 1.1 under on both the 7 and 10 solution. So looks like tank is fine just probe going bad. Guess I'm in the market for a new one! Thanks!


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Just curious, how old is the probe?  I've read that they need to be replaced every 2 to 3 years.

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About 4 years, guess it was overdue. I should probably just replace my temp probe at the same time. It could cause major issues if it went hay wire.


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1 hour ago, Willapa said:

About 4 years, guess it was overdue. I should probably just replace my temp probe at the same time. It could cause major issues if it went hay wire.


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Well the 1st thing to do is not make any wild changes, before investigating the issue further. I would 1st re-calibrate your probe, then continue to watch the variation over the week. Many people don;t even bother with a pH probe and have no issues. It was something we used to concern ourselves with more in the 90's but chasing that number has lead to many tank crashes. If it is in fact 4 years it may be time to replace it, BRS has some dual junction probes for a good price.

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I monitor it in case my alk doser gets stuck for some reason and have Apex cut it off if pH spikes. Is that all that 90s? When it's been rock solid over 8 for months and then tanks to 7, it causes concern. I checked tank again with an old pH test kit and it was normal for my tank despite what probe now says. Bad probe is definitely the problem.


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17 hours ago, Willapa said:

I monitor it in case my alk doser gets stuck for some reason and have Apex cut it off if pH spikes. Is that all that 90s? When it's been rock solid over 8 for months and then tanks to 7, it causes concern. I checked tank again with an old pH test kit and it was normal for my tank despite what probe now says. Bad probe is definitely the problem.


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Nope using it for a doser  is a great utilization and a good way to know when to test an alert given a particular variation. Alk doser wasn't mentioned in your 1st post, so had no idea if you were trying to chase a specific number. Had i been discouraging you I would have never mentioned BRS dual Junction probes, or Replacing it for that matter. I was just trying to convey not to make any sudden changes to raise that number based off a probe reading is all. I'll be sure to stay off your threads from now on. ;)

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I would definately recalibrate and keep using it. Even if the measurement does float around, it is still useful like say your dose goes crazy or something, it will still pick up that swing.

Also, clean it lightly with a toothbrush, scum on the glass probe can cause errors in conductivity measurements.

usually the sign that you need a new probe is that you cant get it to calibrate. meaning the measurement is too far from the standard that the software will give you an error and not let you calibrate. 1.1 is a pretty big swing, my blue labs would not let me recalibrate that far of a swing.. but maybe apex will.

cheers


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Well I gave it a shot. I cleaned it and it calibrated fine but drifted out of calibration in a hour or so by over a point. Guess I'll toss it. BRS has some replacements for reasonable prices.


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When using calibration fluid is it the same temperature as thr tank water? 

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A .8 drop and no death is almost always a probe issue.

If you have had the air conditioning on and the doors closed constantly for awhile it can cause pH problems as well. We normally only see that in the winter, but with the smoke lately I know many of us have had the houses closed up.

Since the smoke is gone I would recommend opening a window today for a bit as a just in case method. Get some fresh air into the house.

Good luck! 

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When using calibration fluid is it the same temperature as thr tank water? 

Hmm, I didn't know about this. Good to know. It's not exactly cool in my house these days, so solution was probably 74 and tank water 78. I'll float the solution for a bit when I calibrate my new probe.


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A .8 drop and no death is almost always a probe issue.

If you have had the air conditioning on and the doors closed constantly for awhile it can cause pH problems as well. We normally only see that in the winter, but with the smoke lately I know many of us have had the houses closed up.

Since the smoke is gone I would recommend opening a window today for a bit as a just in case method. Get some fresh air into the house.

Good luck! 

Yea, all corals are happy as ever, so ordering a probe soon. I definitely see some lowering with a bunch of people in the house raising the CO2, but never that far. Thanks though.


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I don't think windows open/closed etc would make that much difference. maybe .2 but not in the area you are seeing.

probes typically last a year or so though you got a good one!!

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Update here: got a new pH probe in yesterday and things are back in check. Just got another neptune probe.....figured if it lasted 4 years, might as well try another one. Picked up a new temp probe while I was at it.
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