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Bunch of General Problems


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So to start I have a 40gallon breeder with a 4x39w HO t5 light, it is running with a protien skimmer and chaetomorpha in the sump, Im also using carbon and chemipure elite. My flow is good I have a mag 9 for the return pump and 2 koralia evo 750s. My parameters are salinity 1.025 ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 0 calcium is around 350-400 depending on the day and ph is now at 8.1-8.3 alk is alittle low at 6 dkh. I have been doing weekly water changes of 4-5 gallons. So my ph kept dropping and I think it was because of my top off water. So I have been buffering the ph of my top off water now and it has helped to keep the ph up. My alk was also low but I think it is getting better now that ph has stabilized at 8.3. I have a few lps and im having a hard time keeping the calcium levels up. Ive been using a 50/50 mix of io and oceanic salt mix and im mixing it with r/o water. Im not a fan of dosing because the more things I add to do that I can mess up the more likely my tank will end in disaster. Im just not sure what to do. Should I start to dose calcium some how? if so what is the best way? what is the easiest way? Also do i need to test for other things? Basically what is the best way to get my tank to have stable high quality water parameters?

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I'm not sure on mixing salt, but try testing your water change water before you put it in your tank.

And if it's low maybe get a reef salt like instant ocean reef crystals.

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What Trolldoll said...


Alk dictates pH stability, not the other way around. you can raise alk with baking soda or a two-part alk supplement. I suggest picking a value between 7 and 10 and sticking with it. Also, Magnesium helps keep both calcium and alkalinity stable (simply put). Your mag should be in the 1300 -1350 range.

your calcium should not fluxuate that much in a day... what test kit are you using?


Oceanic is known to have higher calcium levels, IF you are truely having ca issue, and you don't want to dose a 2-part...


OH... and how long after mixing up your new saltwater do you put it in your tank? I recomend mixing it up a day ahead of time to let the pH and alk stabilize. then test it and see what your starting with.

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Verify your salinity measurement and refractometer calibration (not with RODI!) maybe you are not mixing the salt up to the levels you think you are.


Ignore the title and read this thread. It may be relevant.


EDIT because I've cocked up every link I have posted tonight.

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Thanks for all the replies.


jtgordon20 I havent been checking the values of the water I mix(except for salinity and temp) but im going to start as of next water change i do.


Trolldoll Do you have a recomended test for mag?I I have been dosing my ro top off water so it has a ph of 8.3 when I add it to the tank.....is that not good?


Chyendra I have been using API tests and I brought my water to 2 different LFS to have values verified. The kits are all accurate. As for salt mix I have been using IO and oceanic combined because of the higher calcium content associated with oceanic. As far as mixing water I leave it mix it the pail with the heater, airstone, and powerhead.


nibor I just ordered a refractometer online it should come in next week sometime, for now I have been using a hydrometer.


BTW those links were both helpful

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The refractometer should come with calibration solution.

As far as mag test kits go, I've only used two. Red sea is terrible (very difficult to interpret) and now I use Salifert and it's great.

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Thanks Chyendra i guess im gonna order the salifert test... my refractomter came in today but it had no test solution so im going to take it to my LFS and see if I can calibrate it off their water.

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Thanks Chyendra i guess im gonna order the salifert test... my refractomter came in today but it had no test solution so im going to take it to my LFS and see if I can calibrate it off their water.

Double check the box the refractometer came in, there was a bottle attached inside my box that I didn't see since I opened the other side of the box. Just a heads up.

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