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sapling

Another Alk help thread + general water quality

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sapling

Hey everyone, So I didnt want to hijack other peoples threads just to ask, and although I felt like I could infer the answer from other's posts, I didn't want to jump the gun yet.

Essentially I used to use the API GH liquid test to test for my alk, but I have recently got a Hanna dkh checker to start more accurate testing, and watched the videos I could on proper testing and what not. I had decided to start recording my Alk to see my trend in it. I noticed it drops .2-.4 dkh every 24 hours and wondered if its the corals or could something else be the issue? and if that drop merits a need to start dosing yet. I have been doing water changes about every 3 days since I started recording, to bring the Alk back up. the trend looks like this;

 

25g AIO


7.6 dkh 5/17 3pm
7.4 dkh 5/18 3pm
7.0 dkh 5/19 3pm
7.7 dkh post WC that night at 10pm
7.4 dkh 5/20 6pm (was unavailable to do test until later)
7.2 dkh 5/21 3pm

I started testing my salt mix after mixing and I noticed my reef crystals was 9.9 dkh 5/19 for reference and i do 3 gallon changes.

so another of my questions is if 8 dkh is a good number to shoot for? I noticed alot more coral growth now I am changing the water in response to dkh at or below 7. the thing that worries me is going much higher because I have a biopellet reactor and do not want to accidentally alk burn my corals, when I can get the biopellet reactor pushing my tank towards very low nitrates. 


my testing from before water change on 19th was

520 ppm Ca (API Calcium liquid test)
7.0 dkh alk (Hanna ALK checker)
1.0255 s.g. (refractometer I calibrate with fluid before all testing)
0-0.03 ppm PO4 (Salifert Phosphate test)
15 ppm nitrate (API liquid test)

are these okay parameters to have? I use chaeto in a chamber, starting up biopellets, a protein skimmer, and water changes for nutrient export. my corals dont seem unhealthy, and I think since being more frequent with the water changes its helped alot with growth in my pocillopora and branching montipora.

anyways, thanks to everyone who responds,

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Dreichler

Frequent water changes (in my opinion) can eliminate having to use extra equipment like reactors and skimmers.  I have a 45g mixed reef with nothing but pumps, lights, and a heater.  The only filtration besides the bacteria in the display is chemipure blue.  I do a 25% water change every 6-7 days.  The tank has been up and running for about 5 years without any addition filtration equipment.

 

In regards to your Alk...  Corals will use up your Alk on a daily basis, as you’ve noticed yours drops about 0.3-0.5 every 24hrs.  My alk consumption is about the same, so every other day, I dose 10mL of ME Coral kH to bring my alk back up.  I believe the instructions are something like “5mL per 25 gallons to raise alk by 0.1” so do the math for your tank and you can figure out a good dosing schedule.  

 

Like i said, for me, weekly 25% water changes and chemipure blue takes care of everything for me from calcium, phosphates, nitrates, magnesium.  The only thing I dose for is alk and I dose very little, just for replenishment.  

 

One last note, chasing perfect parameter numbers can sometimes be more difficult to achieve than just maintaining good husbandry.  Maintain good husbandry by doing some things on a daily basis like keeping the glass clean, digging around in the sand bed and turning up sand so it’s not stagnant and building up sulfate, use a turkey blaster thing to blow detritus off rocks and crevices.  

 

If if I didn’t touch base on any of your questions, let me know.

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sapling

thanks for the fast response! I would like to use less filtration but I have a habit to overfeed due to a finicky eater,


would you consider the other tests are okay? I dont have a test for magnesium yet , but it's on the list after I can get a better test for CA,

I neglected my tank for a month due to life, and Im trying to get it back to better health, Im glad the aquarium didnt crash or show signs of stress, although I did develop a bubble algae issue, which is very hard to deal with for me when my clown enjoys biting me way too much to the point I rather do maintenance at night.
 

is manually dosing alk the next step from no dosing, aside from more water changes? are there side affects from dosing? I know the ph can change, especially if you dose too much alk at once, but Im not sure of specifics if BRS explained it all in their videos about dosing. 

Also, I am really bad about blasting my rocks, but I always get afraid to, cause when I've cleaned small areas before, my corals act negatively to it, with all my zoanthids closing up, and other corals looking generally pissed, I am not carpet bombing my tank with nitrate/ammonia am I?
 

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Dreichler

As far as your other tests, they seem fine but nitrates seem high, but that’s probably just the API test.  Instead of doing more frequent water changes, just do larger water changes once a week, but try not to take more than 7 days to do a 25%-30% water change.  For dosing, doing a larger water change may actually raise the alk a little above 8 and can keep it there with minimal dosing.  For blaring your rocks, the zoas will close for a minute, but it’s not problem, just blast them gently, your just trying to blow detritus off the rocks it doesn’t take a lot of water force to get it.  Stirring your sand bed will help keep everything clean as well.  If you feel there’s enough to cause a spike in nitrates or phosphates then do it, and then do a 35% water change.  For getting rid of the algae and keeping it gone, I used Red Sea NO3:PO4-X also know as “NOPOX”.  It worked great as long as you follow the directions on the bottle CAREFULLY.  

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Clown79
4 hours ago, sapling said:

thanks for the fast response! I would like to use less filtration but I have a habit to overfeed due to a finicky eater,


would you consider the other tests are okay? I dont have a test for magnesium yet , but it's on the list after I can get a better test for CA,

I neglected my tank for a month due to life, and Im trying to get it back to better health, Im glad the aquarium didnt crash or show signs of stress, although I did develop a bubble algae issue, which is very hard to deal with for me when my clown enjoys biting me way too much to the point I rather do maintenance at night.
 

is manually dosing alk the next step from no dosing, aside from more water changes? are there side affects from dosing? I know the ph can change, especially if you dose too much alk at once, but Im not sure of specifics if BRS explained it all in their videos about dosing. 

Also, I am really bad about blasting my rocks, but I always get afraid to, cause when I've cleaned small areas before, my corals act negatively to it, with all my zoanthids closing up, and other corals looking generally pissed, I am not carpet bombing my tank with nitrate/ammonia am I?
 

When your tank starts consuming alk where you need 3 water changes a week to replenish, it's easier to dose.

 

Negative effects from dosing is dosing incorrectly. 

 

Your target number is where your tank start at with your waterchange.

 

So after a waterchange, if the tank is at 7.7 alk, that's what you want to keep it stable at. So you will need to dose according to the daily drop from 7.7

 

Using a 2 part doser is easy. You dose equal parts of alk and ca so both stay balanced.

 

You can manually dose.

 

As for blasting rocks. Corals will react to the release of crap in the rocks. Unless you are directly blowing the corals roughly, there is no harm.

 

Blasting rocks is important to remove detritus buildup.

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