Usually warm water temperatures
For the past few days, things have been 'odd' and I couldn't really figure out what was the cause. Both of my tanks were suffering from depressed pH readings, to the point that I became very concerned. pH 8.0 for the high at the peak of the lighting period is not good at all. My zoanthids and bubble tip anemone have looked so much better in the past. Plus the 55g reef has been running hotter and hotter as well!!!! What is the deal?!
I added some Seachem's Reef Buffer to get my numbers up to 8.3 again. It works as advertised, and both tanks went up rather quickly but the livestock seemed unaffected. However, the BTA looked horrible. I'm not sure what is wrong with it, but I have a feeling if I can't turn things around soon, it'll end its life all too soon. Here's a day's worth of images, taken about every hour:
While trying to figure out why the BTA was so deflated, I did a series of water tests. dKH was up to 15.7, but that isn't all that high...
A water change was done on that tank, replacing about 25% of the water. I may do this again a few more times, in case there is something missing from the water that the anemone needs. Another water change was done for my son's tank as well, as the nitrates were getting up there and it was really overdue.
My urchin is done bulldozing my corals any longer. Last night he picked the wrong spot to hang out and I was finally able to pluck him out and put him into my son's tank. I like the Urchin, but not when it knocks corals into each other - this leads to chemical warfare between them and one always suffers loss.
Regarding the high heat issue of the 55g, I don't know what caused it. My house is all electric, and the weather has been cool. Humidity has been up as we've had some good rainfall, but still it wouldn't account for these higher temperatures. I don't like my tank getting over 82F ever, and prefer it to be around 80F. So for a few days, it was getting to 83F and 83.4F, which lead me to open doors and windows and turn on the fans full blast. Even in the summer the tank wasn't that hot! Soon I was floating icepacks in the sump to get it down to 82.6F When the house temperature reached 76F, I turned on the A/C for 24 hours to see if that might help.
I have a Red Footed Snail that has been in my 55g for over 6 months now. On Reef Central I found out more details about it - how it is a cold water snail that prefers water at 76F or below. Although that is the standard, it has continued to do well in my tank even though the water tends to run around 81F daily. Well, this may seem silly, but I don't want the snail to die. Not because I love this guy, but mainly because I was told it would not last. It has been doing quite well, but I knew if my tank is at 83F it won't be much longer. So even though the reef appeared unaffected, I had to drop the temperature to save my Red Footed Snail. :D
I turned off the Mag 12 to my protein skimmer for 12 hours a day, to reduce any heat it might be adding to the water, and cleaned the pump in case it was suffering some type of restriction. Then I cleaned the Mag 9.5 return pump in case it was overheating. And I pulled out the heater in the sump and turned it down even further (it is set to 73F but those numbers never (or should I say rarely) correspond with the real water temperature).
Today the tank was at 77F in the morning, and 80.4F during the peak of the day with the skimmer running. My guess is that the heater was turning on, and humidity from the weather was adding to the problem. Dirty pumps may have added a little as well, but they weren't that bad and had been cleaned about three months ago. I know plenty of people that don't clean their pumps ever!
pH has begun to stablize at their proper levels again, without having to add that buffer again.
Like I said, things were 'odd' but seem to be back to normal. :) Oh, and my snail seems okay even after this steamy event.