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Piti80

Alkalinity depleted over hours!!!!

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Hi, i am new to the forum, but i have been keeping tanks for almost 30 years, i usually figure out my problems but not this one. I have researched and Ive found similar problems but no one came to a definitive conclusion. 

 

I have a 2.7 gallon pico reef that has been running for almost a year, but in the last tree months the alkalinity falls from 9.8 to under 5 overnight, i replace evaporation with kalk every day, and add alkalinity and no matter what i do within hours it drops to 6 then 5 etc. My test is good, i test at the same time i test my other tanks with the same test, and everything is ok but this one tank. 

 

I have sand three leather corals some zoas, one florida ricordea a very small xenia that is disappearing, another softy and two tiny mini carpet anemones, the anemones are doing better than everything else. O and i only keep 2 sexy shrimp 3 snails. I have a small refugium in the back with red and blue lights that come on at night. Nitrates are 0 or untraceable no matter how much i feed, and my test is good just like the other one. Calcium is 440, mag 1400, in the last month i have done 50 to 75% water changes weekly, with reef crystals and still all drops overnight. Ive done an 80 % water change with water taken out of my biocube, with no improvement. 

Any ideas? I pretty much have to dose my calk water, (2 tea spoons per gallon). Plus 4 ml of alk two part, every day, in a 2.7 gallon tank. I forgot to mention i have a gorgonian too. 

 

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Not sure why it's happening. Since you have no issues in your other tanks.

 

I have multiple tanks and it is odd that at times even when you run them the same things happen in one but none of the others.

 

 my pico's, I don't test them or dose.

 

My 1g I did 100% weekly waterchanges, that's it. 

 

My 5g, I do 15% 

 

Corals are/were happy and growing quickly, which included sps.

 

My 25g and 10g I test frequently and dose.

 

 

When you say it's dropping 5-6 do you mean 5 or 6 dkh in a few hrs?

So from 9dkh to 4.5dkh?

 

That seems very odd.

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Thanks for the quick reply and yes is droping from nine dkh to 5 or even lower overnight, im basically dosing the same amount that in the bicube wich is pretty stocked! I included a picture. And water has been replaced in its totality a few times by now, by the amount of water changes im doing. 

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Calcium when it drops below 420 which is like once every 2 weeks, because i assume the kalk is replenishing it. I understad they are supposed to be dosed in same amounts but the time i did that calcium when up through the roof. 

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I don't know the answer to your question, but is that the Penn Plax Vertex? It's gorgeous!

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Gorgonion is gorgeous.

 

In nature, carbon dioxide solubility as carbonate & bicarbonate molecules supplies alkalinity to the reef.  Do you have a cover over your tank to control evaporation.  If so, proper gas exchange at air water interface may be hindered, preventing good gas exchange. 

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Thanks!! And im not sure if it is the vertex or not, but i bought it from petco, they keep them at the store. 

 

 And is not only alkalinity depleting, calcium is too now, i so not keep a top because if i do the temperature rises to over 80, and last night i tested and alkalinity was, well i only used .30 ml om my red sea test, wich is under 5 and had the same result with the salifert, and calcium was 350, just for the hell of it i went all out and dosed 7 ml of each plus top off water with kalkwasser, I only tested for alkalinity after and it was almost 14, then in the morning on my way out to work, i dosed 2ml of each again, tested just now and alkalinity is 6.7 and calcium 400. Im totally lost. 

Im going to do 100% water chamge tomorrow, and then daturday agaim, because i just dont know what else to do.  

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Do a 100% waterchange.

 

Test tank right after water change to get your target numbers

 

 test alk and ca everyday, same time of day for a week

 

Document the results

 

No dosing during this time

 

That will help determine what's going on.

 

The changing in doses, not using 2 part equally, the kalk- may all be adding to the problem.

 

 

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

 

Do a 100% waterchange.

 

Test tank right after water change to get your target numbers

 

 test alk and ca everyday, same time of day for a week

 

Document the results

 

No dosing during this time

 

That will help determine what's going on.

 

The changing in doses, not using 2 part equally, the kalk- may all be adding to the problem.

 

 

 

 

I would try that. Test fresh mix (Alk/Ca/Mg) b4 and after WC. 2part might be a safer solution. 

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A couple of things, if magnesium is too low, adding calcium or alkalinity will push the other out of suspension (it will precipitate).  Try to confirm your magnesium level with another kit (or have your LFS test it).

 

And you cannot mix alkalinity and calcium (add Kalkwasser here too), or even dose these consecutively, or there will be precipitation.  Ideally you'd dose calcium one day and alkalinity another.  If needed to dose both on the same day, wait a couple of hours in between.

 

I agree with Clown in that Kalkwasser could be complicating the dosing of two part.  Given that you are having problems, I would try one method or the other (Kalkwasser or two part) but not both.  And don't test for at least an hour after you add anything.

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I dose Kalk as as well in both my tanks, it's a nice money saver.

 

You cannot get a reliable test after dosing, Alk will appear artificially high for 15 to 30 minutes.   Always test at the same time each day, prior to any dosing.  Test again the next day.  Even if it's super low be sore not to add too much at the same time.  In addition, never add just one part of 2 part, always add both parts, at different times, in different locations if possible.  Base all dosing on the Alk test.  I rarely test for calcium, as long as Kalk and two part are used (same dose both parts) it won't fall too low or get too high.  

 

One question though.  In the pictures above one tank has an acro in it.  Who's tank is that?   

 

 

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42 minutes ago, markalot said:

I dose Kalk as well in both my tanks, it's a nice money saver.

Sure, but you're not having problems that we're trying to diagnose.  I was just trying to simplify things in order to help figure this out.  I think precipitation is the most likely cause.

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59 minutes ago, seabass said:

Sure, but you're not having problems that we're trying to diagnose.  I was just trying to simplify things in order to help figure this out.  I think precipitation is the most likely cause.

 

Yea, I agree, I was careless with the response.  I would go Kalk only because it should be more than enough for this tank, but all the advice is good IMO.

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I use esv bionic.

 

I have dosed both parts 5 minutes apart and have had no issues in doing that.

I've also dosed hours apart and no issues.

 

Per the instructions

 

"Once the temporary cloudiness from the Alk has disappeared, you can dose the second part"

 

 

You can dose 1 part and not the other per their instructions as but only to get them to the desired target levels and then you are to dose in equal parts 

 

 

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i will do 100% water change tomorrow night, test right after and then test wvery night for a week with no dosing. Thank for all the replys. 

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22 hours ago, Clown79 said:

 

Do a 100% waterchange.

Is that safe? Will the rock exposed to air not lose bacteria?  Just curious as I’d be prepared to do that if ever necessary 

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5 minutes ago, Aurortpa said:

Is that safe? Will the rock exposed to air not lose bacteria?  Just curious as I’d be prepared to do that if ever necessary 

30-40 percent but bacteria multiplies in quite a rapid rate (hours). And new bacteria will be introduced with new patch of salt water as well (most plastic containers are contaminated that helps bacteria growth). I think he should be fine. Maybe a micro spike. 😉🤣

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1 minute ago, A Little Blue said:

30-40 percent but bacteria multiplies in quite a rapid rate (hours). And new bacteria will be introduced with new patch of salt water as well (most plastic containers are contaminated that helps bacteria growth). I think he should be fine. Maybe a micro spike. 😉🤣

Interesting!  Good to know!

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Just now, Aurortpa said:

Interesting!  Good to know!

Just don’t quote me on this. Lol

It’s purely speculation based on study I once read. 

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Actually, the nitrifying bacteria reside on the hard surfaces, not in the water column.  Only an insignificant amount would be lost during a typical 100% water change.

 

As for the exposure to air, nitrifying bacteria are aerobic. I suspect that they might even benefit by the exposure to oxygen.  Consider how a bio-wheel works, that is constantly being exposed to air.

 

Just like the corals, the bacteria will remain wet during the exposure and will be fine.  There is no danger in losing your biofilter during short term exposure events.

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4 minutes ago, seabass said:

Actually, the nitrifying bacteria reside on the hard surfaces, not in the water column.  Only an insignificant amount would be lost during a typical 100% water change.

 

As for the exposure to air, nitrifying bacteria are aerobic. I suspect that they might even benefit by the exposure to oxygen.  Consider how a bio-wheel works, that is constantly being exposed to air.

 

Just like the corals, they bacteria will remain wet during the exposure and will be fine.  There is no danger in losing your biofilter during short term exposure events.

That seems very logical to me!

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47 minutes ago, seabass said:

Actually, the nitrifying bacteria reside on the hard surfaces, not in the water column.  Only an insignificant amount would be lost during a typical 100% water change.

 

As for the exposure to air, nitrifying bacteria are aerobic. I suspect that they might even benefit by the exposure to oxygen.  Consider how a bio-wheel works, that is constantly being exposed to air.

 

Just like the corals, the bacteria will remain wet during the exposure and will be fine.  There is no danger in losing your biofilter during short term exposure events.

I think you might be right. I went back to this article to refresh my memory and they have tried to establish count of bacteria in water column, chemical or mechanical ways to remove it and reproduction rate. Sorry for confusion. 

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2 hours ago, A Little Blue said:

Sorry for confusion.

Not at all.  I just wanted to emphasize that 100% water changes are safe to do (bacterially speaking). :smilie:

 

The large swings in parameters are perhaps a bigger concern.  And while a 100% change should rebalance the tank's water chemistry, it will cause yet another swing.  It might even introduce some ammonia (which is a more common contaminate in salt mix than most realize).  Although, it might still be worth it.  It would certainly be easier than trying to fix through dosing.

 

Perhaps a series of large-ish changes would move the parameters in the right direction without such a sudden change.  Although I don't know that another major swing is going to make a lot of difference at this point. :unsure:

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