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Vaideen

My params

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Okay so,

 

My pipefish and SPS pico's parameters are a little off. I've tested for calcium and magnesium a few times before and they've always been at good levels (~450 ppm and ~1350 ppm respectively). Alk levels, however, have always been way too law: varying from 5 to 6 ppm (even new water from after a water change). I use natural sea water, which usually has a lower alk, but I use the same NSW for my softie and mangrove tank, which has an alkalinity of 12.9? Then again, I did dose magnesium one time when it dropped to ~500, because the mangroves were looking sick. Then again then again, I've done quite a few water changes afterwards? 🤔

 

Soooooo..... what's the deal?

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The water you use, if it has low params(6dkh is low) then as alk is consumed, it will drop even further.

 

You need to test alk everyday for a week to watch the consumption.

After waterchange and everyday after for 7 days.

 

When mag drops to below normal levels it causes alk and ca to not balance.

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My magnesium is always at good levels, and so is my calcium.

 

Last night, I tested the alk, which was around 7, though it dips to ~5.5 sometimes. Would a low alk still be bad if kept stable?

 

I'll test the alk again tonight to see how much is consumed.

 

It still doesn't explain why my softie tank has a higher alk but with the same water source.

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9 hours ago, Vaideen said:

My magnesium is always at good levels, and so is my calcium.

 

Last night, I tested the alk, which was around 7, though it dips to ~5.5 sometimes. Would a low alk still be bad if kept stable?

 

I'll test the alk again tonight to see how much is consumed.

 

It still doesn't explain why my softie tank has a higher alk but with the same water source.

Soft corals don't use up alk, that's why its staying consistent.

 

Hard corals use alk and the more you have the more alk consumed.

Stability is key but you want normal levels of stability.

 

 

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Yep I know softies don't use up alk. But the water I put into the SPS tank is the same as the water I put into the softie tank. And that water has an alk of 6.5. So idk why the alk is increasing.

 

I'm doing tests right now. The source water has an alk of 6.5. The source water, lowered to an SG of 1.025 (originally 1.030), has an alk of 6.1. Turns out the "baking soda" I've been trying to boost the alk with is actually epsom salt (should've labelled that tub). I've since found the real baking soda and now, the Salifert Test Kit isn't changing colour when I'm testing for alk. So I'm guessing that my alk is ridiculously high now?

 

Trying to sort it all out now.

 

EDIT: Okay, so I think I overdosed with the baking soda (2 teaspoons), so it's good that I still had the water in a bucket, before I poured it into the tank. I eventually mixed the over-alk water with under-alk water and now, my alk sits at 11.8 😁. SG is 1.027, which is a tad bit too high, but oh well, at least my alk is finally at a good level.

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Salinity being stable is as important as alk being stable.

 

11.8 is a high alk. You certainly don't want to raise alk too quickly.

 

How do you plan on keeping ca and alk balanced while using banking soda for the alk?

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I thought ideal alk levels were 8 to 12?

24 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

How do you plan on keeping ca and alk balanced while using banking soda for the alk?

Oh yeah I should've thought about that. Plz explain 😁

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Soft corals do use alk - they actually use it up faster than calcium or magnesium. Also, young tanks will devour alkalinity quickly as they establish bacteria beds. 

 

Alkalinity is the main source of organic carbon in a reef tank and it can be consumed very quickly by bacteria and fast growing soft corals. I've had zoanthid gardens eat 1.5 dKH of alk per night while calcium never changes over a 6month time span. GSP can also devour it quickly.

 

I've never used NSW, but heard a lot of reefers have trouble keeping alk stable with it because there's a lot of biology in NSW gobbling it up and it's low on the alk side anyways. Another reason wild reefs are having problems with bleaching because the natural levels of low alk in sea water leaves little room for buffer, so the tipping point is fast and brutal. Doesn't mean we have to keep captive tanks with low alk.

 

So, the choices here are to do a lot of NSW water changes to keep alk from getting too low, or add a bit of baking soda between water changes to buff it up to 8 or 9 because < 6 dKH will cause problems. 

 

The 'balanced' Alk / calcium process is mostly for SPS dominant tanks. Once a tank is established alk consumption usually slows more in balance with calcium uptake unless like my example you have a massive load of fast growing soft corals. 

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7 hours ago, Vaideen said:

I thought ideal alk levels were 8 to 12?

Oh yeah I should've thought about that. Plz explain 😁

Here is documentation on reef chemistry, what it effects, how they work together.

 

http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-05/rhf/

 

When alk rises, calcium drops and vise versa so keeping them balanced is beneficial for all stony corals.

 

 

There is a great article on advancedaquariast.com 

Regarding calcium and alkalinity

 

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4 hours ago, blasterman said:

Soft corals do use alk - they actually use it up faster than calcium or magnesium.

Though I’d imagine that they still use up alk more slowly than hard corals?

4 hours ago, blasterman said:

I've never used NSW, but heard a lot of reefers have trouble keeping alk stable with it because there's a lot of biology in NSW gobbling it up and it's low on the alk side anyways. Another reason wild reefs are having problems with bleaching because the natural levels of low alk in sea water leaves little room for buffer, so the tipping point is fast and brutal. Doesn't mean we have to keep captive tanks with low alk.

Always wondered why reef tanks keep a higher alk than natural sea water.

4 hours ago, blasterman said:

So, the choices here are to do a lot of NSW water changes to keep alk from getting too low, or add a bit of baking soda between water changes to buff it up to 8 or 9 because < 6 dKH will cause problems. 

I reckon it’s more economical to follow the baking soda path, a little goes a long way to boost alk.

4 hours ago, blasterman said:

The 'balanced' Alk / calcium process is mostly for SPS dominant tanks. Once a tank is established alk consumption usually slows more in balance with calcium uptake unless like my example you have a massive load of fast growing soft corals. 

I’ll have to look into that, my goal is an SPS dominant tank 🙂

2 hours ago, Clown79 said:

Here is documentation on reef chemistry, what it effects, how they work together.

 

http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-05/rhf/

 

When alk rises, calcium drops and vise versa so keeping them balanced is beneficial for all stony corals.

Thanks buddy, I’ll look into these. 

 

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