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olig

Oli's New Fluval 13.5

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olig
8 hours ago, Ratvan said:

What's the reading without removal? 

So my phosphate story is back at the end of August it was at 1ppm (with Nitrates at 10ppm) which is when I realised I had a problem due to not testing over the previous few months. I am not experienced enough to work out when things are wrong by eye until they get bad!

At this point I addd the clearmax bag into the back chamber and started a process of reducing both. Firstly with bi-weekly water changes and then over the last few weeks with phosphate reaching 0.04ppm and nitrates 3ppm I went back to the normal once per week water change. 

Given that both Nitrates and Phosphate continued to reduce between readings taken after water change and before the next I know they are being pulled out by more than the water change.

Testing yesterday gave me Phosphate 0.01ppm and Nitrate 1ppm which is getting too clean for my liking given I want to keep my alviopra and goniopora's happy - hence pulling the clearmax bag. I'll do readings again tonight to see if its changed with a day without the bag. 

 

Whilst I know Nitrates are used by coral and algae growth my worry is without anything keeping the phosphates in check they'll start rising quicker than just water changes can keep under control. 

 

I plan to graph my results at some point, just haven't got round to it yet

 

Thanks all

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Wonderboy

Sounds like you have a good approach - phosphates get used by algae and coral, too

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olig

so I went to my local fish shop today...

 

 

 

The new purchases are - 5 bumblebee snails, an acan, an emerald crab, a Red Sea Calc, Mag and KH test kit and some Red Sea Calcium buffer. 

 

 

So as I've discussed on here before I don't currently dose anything but have noticed that the KH has been dropping, so as getting some clean up crew to help with my bubble algae and just keep the rocks a little cleaner I took some water with me to get a mag and Calcium test to see where things are at, and as their test told me that the calcium is low that lead to the calcium buffer and the test kit as I agree with the policy of not adding anything I can't measure. 

 

After todays water change my parameters are: 

Nitrate - 0ppm

Phosphate - 0.01ppm

KH - 9.3dKh

Calcium - 360ppm

Magnesium - 1440ppm

 

So as expected both the KH and Calcium are much lower than they need to be, so the plan is to add the Redsea A and B to get them both back up.

 

My goal is to get back to the Red Sea mixed reef recommendations of 11.5KH and calcium at 450ppm so that there isn't shouldn't be any big changes for the corals to withstand when I do my water changes. My plan to do this is to add 0.4KH per day and 8ppm calcium over the next week / 10 days so the change is gradual - does this make sense or should I be bringing it up more quickly? 

Once I've got it back to where it needs to be I'll then work out how much I need to be adding each time I dose. With my dosing I'm planning on doing it twice per week so the tank isn't surprised when I go away and can't do it every day due to a holiday - again good logic?

  

 

 

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Wonderboy

Sounds good to me

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olig

Is there an amount of time that should be left between dosing and testing the water for that thing? 

I added both the KH and Calcium talked about above about an hour ago and then tested just now and found my values for both much higher than expected from the amount I have added in. Could this be due to testing too soon after adding it? 

I'll test again tomorrow before adding anything to see how things differ once it's had 24 hours since a dose. 

 

Also my new Acan is looking happy and settled in now. 

 

 

 

 

IMG_20191001_175127.jpg

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mcarroll
On 9/23/2019 at 4:17 PM, olig said:

Logically

If only!

 

For better or worse none of this stuff is set up according to logic, it is set up according to biology and ecology.    

 

If you have not done any reading outside of your product literature, I would highly suggest reading up on alkalinity in reef tanks and maintaining alkalinity in reef tanks specifically. (Read everything you can find on the topic by Crain Bigman and Randy Holmes-Farley.)

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olig

@mcarroll thanks for the advice - I will look for more info from them. 

I havn't relied only on the product literature, have spent alot of time reading on here other forums and with youtube videos. 

 

Is there anything that I have said in here at all that is totally wrong and I should be doing differently? 

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olig

So I'm still trying to get my head around dosing. I'd love to get myself a dosing pump to automate it but first I want to work out how much I need to dose each day to so that I can find a pump that's accurate at the right amounts or rule out automating it if none of the pumps are both at a reasonable price and accurate for the small amounts I expect to require. 

 

I've been testing regularly and this week I've been testing every day to try get as much data as I can for myself but I've had some strange results. 

6/10/19 - KH@10.7 dKH and Calcium@450ppm

7/10/19 - KH@9.9 dKH and Calcium@435ppm

8/10/19 - KH@9.6 dKH and Calcium @425ppm

9/10/19 - KH@9.6dKH and Calcium @420ppm 

 

So can you can see I had a big drop in the first day with much smaller drops in the following days on both KH and Calcium. (no KH drop at all since yesterday). Does this make sense to people or do you think something weird going on without a constant usage?

 

I'm trying to follow the Red Sea reef care recipe for a mixed reef (Alk 11.5 and Calcium 450) but aware these are the high end of the safe levels so keeping myself just under at the moment to keep safe till I get myself stable. 

 

Should I take the full change over 3 days (1.1dKH drop & 30ppm) and dose daily to cover that @0.36dKH & 10ppm per day or do you think I should try get more info from testing first? 

I don't want my KH to drop any further so will be adding some back in today but I will keep testing to see what my daily changes are. 

 

From these calc's I will need about 1mm of each KH and Calcium per day - should this also be a red flag that something isn't correct as the red see recipe recommends 3 x the volume of KH to Calcium in its recommended dosing amounts. 

 

Also, can you recommend any dosing pumps that can accurately dose 1ml per day? I know most are designed for higher volumes. 

 

 

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Wonderboy

Sorry I don't know much about dosers, but I do agree that you should get more info - keep sharing the info here - also, I'm wondering if you did a water change before starting to take readings

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olig

 Having done my week taking measurements every day with manually calculated doses of both KH and calc every other day I found that to keep things stable I needed to add 8ml of the KH and 9ml of Calcium across the week. 

I'm still a little confused about this having had some days with no change in one or the other and bigger jumps on other days but I guess this is just a symptom of corals being living things and not machines doing the same thing all the time. The second thing I'm still confused about is the ratio of KH to Calcium, the Red Sea recipe recommends loads more KH than Calcium but my tank seems to be using calcium slightly quicker than KH. 

 

This week I decided to take the results from the 5 days repeated testing and dose every day with 1.5ml of each solution. 1.5 being less than the 1.6 KH and 1.8 calc I calculated had been used each day as I feel going slightly low is safer than adding too much and making it too high. I then didn't test between Saturday and today so I could look at the results of cumulative doses and days of use together instead of worrying myself about how much each day uses and re dosing based on that. 

 

After Saturdays water change my results were KH 10.2 dKH and calcium 440ppm. I didn't dose that day as the water change will have added some of both and I don't want to make too much of a change each day. Having dosed 1.5ml Sun, Mon and Tues my results are now KH 10.5 dKH and the 450ppm Calcium. 

 

I'm really happy with this test and feel like I'm moving some way towards a solution with standard amounts dosed each day. As my results have gone up 0.3 dKH and 10ppm I'm now going to reduce the amount I add each day to 1ml of each (esp as I've not added anything today so the results would be higher today if I had). I've picked 1ml out thin air as a number but again working on the logic that gradually reducing KH and Calcium is safer than it getting too high I'd rather I need to increase it next time I test than find I've taken my tank out of the safe levels by accident. 

 

 

I also went to my LFS at the weekend to have a chat about dosing pumps and new tanks..... I've got my eye on the Red Sea reefer 170 which will fit in the space the evo is currently with much more space to hide cables a future dosing pump ato and the like but trying to work out the pro's and cons of second hand vs new and if its a big enough upgrade or if I'll want to go bigger again in the future... 

 

Anyway back to the dosing pumps, when we were talking about if the pumps are accurate enough for the fractions of a ml that I need to adjust mine by the advice was that the pumps are unlikely to be that accurate, but the solution is to water down the KH and Calcium I have with 9 parts water and 1 part solution which then means my pumps will need to be adding ten times the current volume over the day - which can even be spilt into multiple doses with the pump to further increase the stability. This made total sense and makes me feel much better about how I'll implement that in the future. Big shout out hear to reefkeeper rugby here, brilliant shop who are more than happy to talk tanks, kit and corals with me even when I'm only popping in for some ro water. I've never had any reason to question the advice I get from there and the tanks are always lovely and clean and they clearly care about the animals they have in stock. 

 

If anyone here has a Red Sea reefer 170 or other 60cm size tank and wants to help convince me its worth the purchase feel free to help persuade me to do it. 

 

Thanks all

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olig

also I forgot, a couple of additional photos of the corals 

 

 

 

 

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