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  • Weird pH problems

    Hi, all...

    I have an Octopus monitor on my tank, and recently moved the pH, orp and temp probes together from the sump to the main tank (240g). The probe is properly calibrated, and I checked it again this morning. I have two issues:

    - I always run very low on pH; generally, from 7.75 to 8.0. Always have, even with my older 75g before I upgraded. In the past I've tried dripping kalk, etc., but could never get decent pH in the tank. It doesn't seem to have a huge negative impact, but it's a bit worrisome. The tank is in an enclosed room, no chance for a window near it, etc., and I've tried things like plumbing the air intake on the skimmer to the outside, but it's all had a very minimal impact. I'm looking for ideas about increasing pH in a zeo tank.

    - Since moving the probes, I get some weird results. In particular, my morning pH is around 7.9; however, when the MHs kick on (2000W or so), the pH reading in the tank plummets for a short while; as an example, it got down to 7.48 this morning for about 3-4 minutes, then went back to 7.75, and slowly rose back up to the 7.9 range over the next half hour. Tank temp remains constant during that time (I have 2 chillers). Is some sort of temporary interference happening? Is my tank pH really plummeting to 7.5 for a few minutes when the lights come on?

    Very odd problem...

    Arthur

  • #2
    If you are running eballasts I would almost guarantee thats the wierd reading when the lights kick on... I would move the probes back to the original postion and see if it still pccurs... To much time in the Arcade is my real quess heheh just kidding..

    Jeff

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    • #3
      Hi, Jeff...

      The ballast are PFOs. It does seem very odd that it happens as soon as the lights come on...but then why does the pH go right back up within a couple minutes (even though it's depressed by at least 0.1 from then on)?

      With the probes back in the sump this never happened...but the danger is that if the recirc pump dies, the probes in the sump would continue to show me nice cool readings on temp while the main tank boiled, since the chillers dump into the sump. The probes need to be in the main tank.

      Arthur

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      • #4
        Arthur... Can you re-route the cable? It may be the interference... maybe shut off the ballast near where the probe lead goes over the tank edge to see it the problem remains when the other light comes on.

        SteveU
        “People are very open-minded about new things - as long as they're exactly like the old ones.”
        ...Charles F. Kettering

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        • #5
          PFO is not eballasts so that wouldn't seem to be the source of the interference.. That is wierd and I can't seem to think why the readings would differ at all... My 400 watter are eballasts and I have the same problem.. What I do now though is calibrate then when the lights are on... That way when the lights come on I know I am getting good readings... Not sure still though why a magnetic would be putting out interference...

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          • #6
            The ballast is still sending power to the bulb regardless of type. It takes more power to start the bulb than keep it lit (maybe more resistance?).

            SteveU
            “People are very open-minded about new things - as long as they're exactly like the old ones.”
            ...Charles F. Kettering

            Comment


            • #7
              Yea I knew the interference from the eballasts was from the bulbs and not from the ballast itself.. I was unaware magnetic sent out interference aswell.. I never had any problems with any probes using magnetics in the past... Good to know though for future..

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              • #8
                I use the Octopus and have 4 400 e-ballast blueline The probes are in the main tank. I have never had any problems like you are having. Are you sure your Temp probe is still good? I use all lab grade probes and the Octopus is the 3000 model.

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                • #9
                  Hi, all...

                  Yah, the probe is relatively new, and lab grade. It seems to work fine when in the sump, and it may be working in the tank too - heck, I guess it's possible my pH dips a lot when the lights come on. It just seems odd, and I have a feeling something else is going on.

                  The ballasts are under the tank, so the wire routing doesn't come near them. The probes are now closer to the actual bulbs themselves though, 400W SE Radiums.

                  I'm going to test tonight and watch the pH monitor as I turn on the lights. I suppose it's possible I have a mild electrical interference in the tank associated with the lights, and since the probes are electrical this could be causing the issue; it also seems to be affecting ORP (jumps by 150 points when the lights come on), but not temp (which stays steady). Not sure how to fix this.


                  Arthur

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                  • #10
                    Yeah thats strange. My Octopus and the probea are on one end of the tank and the ballasts are on the opposite end. My probes are all located in the far left corner of the tank. It does sound like some type of electrical interference. Hope you get it fiquired out.

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                    • #11
                      Do you have a grounding probe in the tank at all? Maybe that would help..

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                      • #12
                        where did u guys get the lab phrobes from i just got my aquacontroler today and wanna get them
                        Nick
                        Nick
                        180G SPS Mainly
                        10 Bulb T5 Starfire
                        Calcium Reactor
                        3 Tunze 6105's
                        Profilux Controller
                        ATB Return w/ wavysea
                        ATB M External Skimmer


                        Comment


                        • #13
                          No, no grounding probe. I've always believed that I should find and fix current leaks rather than shunt stray current out. It might be worth a shot, but I'm stilll hoping I can find the problem.

                          Arthur

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                          • #14
                            Nick,

                            I don't know about the Aquacontroller. We are using the Octopus Controller/Monitor. www.customaquatic.com sells reg and lab grade for the Octopus. They are over $300 for all three: Temp,Orp,PH. They may sell probes for the Aqua also.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              any other links out there ????/
                              Nick
                              Nick
                              180G SPS Mainly
                              10 Bulb T5 Starfire
                              Calcium Reactor
                              3 Tunze 6105's
                              Profilux Controller
                              ATB Return w/ wavysea
                              ATB M External Skimmer


                              Comment

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