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Qball77

Reef crystals high levels

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Qball77

So I'm just curious, does anyone else have high calcium and alk levels after a water change using reef crystals? If so, how do you deal with the swings? 

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Aquatic Spendthrift

Time to start dosing 😁. You have many options, calcium reactor, 2 part and kalk or you can just increase your water change frequncy.

Reefcrystals purpsofully have elevated levels of alk cal and mag. 

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Natereef
13 hours ago, Qball77 said:

So I'm just curious, does anyone else have high calcium and alk levels after a water change using reef crystals? If so, how do you deal with the swings? 

 

Either keep your parameters to meet the reef crystals or switch salts. Reef crystals have elevated alk, not sure about calcium though.

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ninjamyst

I mix Reef Crystals with regular Instant Ocean.  50/50 mix.  Saves me money too.

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Clown79

I used to use it. I never had high levels, could barely keep magnesium in normal levels.

 

I found it very inconsistent but that's my experience with it.

 

What are the levels you are getting?

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Qball77

My ca usually starts at 470-480 and alk is 11-12 with a mag around 1250. After a week or so after the water change the levels stabilize around 450, 9, and 1300. My corals don't seem to like the big jump. Especially my toadstool. He closes up after each water change. I actually waited for almost a month to do a water change cause everyone was super happy but my nitrates kept creeping up so I broke down and changed. I also removed some of my chaeto hoping it would help. Time will tell. Happy reefing

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Clown79
7 hours ago, Qball77 said:

My ca usually starts at 470-480 and alk is 11-12 with a mag around 1250. After a week or so after the water change the levels stabilize around 450, 9, and 1300. My corals don't seem to like the big jump. Especially my toadstool. He closes up after each water change. I actually waited for almost a month to do a water change cause everyone was super happy but my nitrates kept creeping up so I broke down and changed. I also removed some of my chaeto hoping it would help. Time will tell. Happy reefing

 

Have you tested the levels right after mixing salt and then right after waterchange?

 

Have you tested alk every day to see the consumption rate? 

 

Have you shaken or mixed the bag of salt before use?

How long are you mixing the water?

 

I found RC inconsistent and after every waterchange, my levels were different in my tank. 

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mcarroll

What do your nitrate and phosphate levels tend to be?

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Qball77

Nitrate 5-10 and phos is 0 as best I can tell. 

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mcarroll

Having elevated nitrate levels along with no available phosphates is a problem for your corals.

 

Each time you do a water change you probably reduce PO4 closer and closer to zero, tweaking your corals further.

 

If you add phosphates up to 0.03 ppm into your water change water  I am willing to bet that your corals perk right up.

 

I would also stop doing anything extra you are doing to remove nutrients from your system. This includes GFO, extra biofiltration, growing macroalgae, and anything else besides your basics: a protein skimmer and live rock. 

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Amphrites

Honestly nitrates under 20 are pretty safe for almost all inverts, iirc WWC has a tank up in the 50's which is absolutely thriving (I don't recommend that though lol). Maybe try keeping them below 15 or so if you have a light bioload and just dial in some two-part dosing instead, if you went for a month before things got "uncomfortable" your mineral consumption and nitrate production are probably low enough that you might not *need* more than a 10% or so monthly water change. Some hobbyists dial their tanks in to need less than that or no waterchanges at all. But reef crystals have an alk of like 12-13 @ 1.026 salinity and quite high calcium and mag as well, it'll swing you pretty much no matter what you do, you could try a mix of 2/3 reef crystals to 1/3 instant ocean to keep things cheap and easy.

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Clown79
5 hours ago, Qball77 said:

Nitrate 5-10 and phos is 0 as best I can tell. 

I have personally found my corals, the complete tank has done better with po4 levels. When 0 I had poor growth and colours.

 

My experience has been more algae when I have higher nitrates but not with high phosphates because both my tanks run high phos levels and I have no algae. 

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