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Alk question


MVS

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I recently checked my Alk and noticed a decline form 5.5 – 2, over a 1 month period.

My PH is around 8.2

Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate are all 0

SG is 1.025

 

Haven’t tested for any other elements

 

My tank is going on 4 months now. I know that the acceptable range is from 2 – 5. Just curious what could have caused a decline?

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Pretty soon you'll have to start charging me for your advice.lol

 

I do weekly water changes.

 

Although, I recently bought a new small box of instant ocean to tied me over while waiting for a shipment of Tropic Marin pro; can't wait to switch. I started out with Instant Ocean so I can't imagine why that could be a problem. Unless of course it happened to be a bad batch.

 

Is this reading of 2meg/l ( I believe that's how it's formulated) something to be concerned with?

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It might be an instant ocean problem....Do you have a lot of corals in your tank?

 

BTW: Dont buy tropic Marin Pro unless you are running a calcium or kalk reactor....Buy the regular stuff

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Nooooo don't tell me that.

 

I bought tropic Marine pro around three weeks ago, I'm not sure if I can return it at this point. What's the side effect of using TP-Pro.

 

Regarding the corals, I have one small colony of yellow polyps, around 7 heads of candy cane, and a nice colony of ric - mushrooms.

 

Is this the cause of the problem?

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Your alk and calcium are going to be low if you use that TM pro....Its made to be used with a calcium or kalk reactor.....

 

I doubt your corals are the source of the problem

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Biological processes will sap your Alk. If you don't consistently add it will consistently go down. The nitrogen cycle for example.

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2meq is close to natural conditions.

 

Am I reading that right that you had 5.5 meq? That's really high and without something driving that it's hard to keep carbonate equilibrium that unbalanced.

 

Is there white stuff on your heater? Coralline growing? Those are 2 places your carbonate could've gone

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So in other words the reduction of Alk is a result of the addition of coral, a fish etc. Is this reading of 2 a level to be concerned of?

 

PS Does anyone else know of the side effects of using Tropic Marin-pro with a calcium reactor?

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Im guessing with the use of a calcium reactor the levels will be right one....Or thats what they intended....

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Thanks for all of the responses.

 

I’ll try my best to return the TM-p and replace it with the standard version. That sucks, there should be a warning that the use of the product is intended for calc reactors and so forth, it's very misleading.

 

It’s good to know that the level is still in an acceptable range. To answer your question MrAnderson, great name, no I haven’t noticed a deposit on my heater but I have had a slight increase in corallin algae.

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Yeah I know....I cant believe TM didnt market the salt better....Ill bet more people would have bought it if ti was marketed right,....

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No worries about the 2 reading. NSW levels in my opinion are always good to shoot for but keep in mind the volume of water you're dealing with here and how quickly the parameters can fluctuate. If you can keep you're alk at the lower end of good and Ca and pH are in good order than that's great, but most do like to have the alk a little higher just to be safe. Someone please correct me on alk if I'm a little off, I read with dKH.

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I believe that Alk and calcium have an inverse relationship so a reading on the lower side should indicate a strong reading of calcium. I would imagine that this is desired even if you’re just keeping softies and basic LPS, right?

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To degree, but not necessarily. Must still test for all of these as binding, CO2 levels, etc. will play a role. But the relation is true.

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I hate to bring up a dead post but one thing recently occurred to me. In the past I didn't top off my water, there was really no need to. Over the past couple of weeks however, I’ve added maybe ½ a cup to a cup of distilled water per week. Could this be the culprit of the decrease in my Alk? Maybe I should treat the top-off water with a PH booster?

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Over the past couple of weeks however, I’ve added maybe ½ a cup to a cup of distilled water per week.

 

1/2 a cup to a cup a week? man, i'm topping off about half a gallon a day, usually once in the morning and once at night. but then again i live in the desert, and my fuge doesn't have a lid yet. this summer is going to be rough, gonna need that ATO pronto.

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lol!!! That’s a great response.

 

I know it seems like nothing but it’s only a 6g nano cube; more 5 gallons. Believe it or not, 1 cup of distilled water can bring the SG level down almost a full .001 of a point.

 

When you top off do you add any PH buffers of just dump some freshwater into the tank?

 

Thanks

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  • 2 weeks later...
When you top off do you add any PH buffers of just dump some freshwater into the tank?

 

Thanks

i use RO/DI that comes out at about 8.2, so i don't buffer. i've had pretty good luck with a constant pH without screwing w/ it too much.
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I believe that Alk and calcium have an inverse relationship so a reading on the lower side should indicate a strong reading of calcium.

 

There is no "inverse relationship" of alk with Ca. The level of one does not cause the level of the other to go up or down, unless you're talking about extreme levels leading to precipitation, in which case a spike in one or the other causes them to go down together.

 

Ca and carbonate are consumed/precipitated in equimolar amounts as CaCO3.

 

This is one of the biggest misunderstandings in all of reefdom.

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If you're replacing water for evaporation than you are losing nothing but water. The minerals as well as everything else stays in there, so if anything maybe your alk would go up but there should be no real major effect. I used to get a kick out of customers that came into the LFS that I used to work at that had problems and the first thing I'd ask about was water changes and I'd get "Well I don't even need to do changes, the water evaporates so fast that I'm adding new water all the time." Good stuff. Also, Genotype if your rodi is coming out alkaline then it's not working properly, you may need to replace the membrane.

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think of it as a jar of marbles. two colors, but both marbles. adding one does not take away the other, but merely uses up the jars holding capacity of either. the trick is how much of each color marble without overflowing.

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What if the marbles that are added are not equivalent and the presence of the new addition is distributive to the marble jar?...lol

 

Seriously, maybe the water that I’m adding in with a reading of 6.0 PH is throwing of the equilibrium? I’m not 100% sure if this is really relevant but my alk did drop substantially.

 

I purchased a new PH & alk test kit by Seachem so hopefully I’ll be able to get a more accurate results. My dilemma is, whether or not I should rise the PH of my tap off water or just ignore the low alk reading of 2 and PH of 7.9 and focus on the inhabitants. Everything does appear to be fine so after all why, why try to fix something that may not be broken?

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Also, Genotype if your rodi is coming out alkaline then it's not working properly, you may need to replace the membrane.

Actually after this thread was posted and my xenia shriveled I started paying more attention to alk. My tank is young, about 2 months, and at first my alk was pretty high, around 6 meq/L, and I mistakenly paid more attention to other factors such as high nitrates. Turns out my alk was really low recently, around 2 meq/L, pH was low too, around 8.05 in the morning, ~8.2 during the day. I started adding a buffer to stabilize pH to 8.3, which also raises the alk 1 meq/L per dose. Now my alk is reading 5 meq/L, but then again the reference water that comes with the test kit which is supposed to read 4 meq/L reads more like 5. So I'm thinking my alk is 4. In the morning right before my lights come on the pH is reading 8.2.

 

I moved the rock that the little grey lump that used to be my xenia is on to my fuge (which I read on WWM) and a day and a half later it's starting to perk up a little, but still far from healthy. I wonder if I should leave it in there after it gets better :huh:

 

g

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