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Need to lower my alk NOW!

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Mark Peterson View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 10 2010 at 9:22pm
Don't you have some new Alk and Ca levels to reportQuestion Confused

Originally posted by Laird Laird wrote:

...My ph was low for a while so I was slowly using a concentrated buffer to bring it up.
That is a common mistake. You are not alone. Smile
I hope what I say next makes sense.

Number one: Is pH the same as Alkalinity? No. Basically, pH is a measure of the amount of CO2 in the water. Simply said, Alkalinity is a measure of the amount of carbonates in the water. The "Buffer" products talk about raising pH but what they are really raising is Alkalinity. Because pH follows Alkalinity, when the Alk rises, so does pH. It's a chemistry thing.Smile

Number two: Should a hobbyist even worry about pH? Yes, but not really. There are two things that should be done so that a hobbyist never has to be concerned about pH.
 1. Test Alkalinity regularly and add baking soda solution to keep it somewhere near the middle of 8-14 dKH, 3-5 meq/L or 150-250 ppm. This topic has received a lot of discussion here lately so that's enough here.
 2. Get CO2 out of the aquarium as fast as possible. The biggest CO2 producer in a typical reef aquarium is the sand bed. CO2 is moved best when water flow is moving swiftly from the depths to the surface; from the bottom of the aquarium to the surface, but it doesn't stop there. The surface water must be rolling or agitated by the rising water stream. A follow-up point to this is to ensure that the rolling water comes into contact with plenty of fresh air so that the CO2 can dissipate and O2 can enter the water. This is why it's bad to have glass covers or tight fitting canopies over a marine aquarium unless there is a fan to blow in fresh air.

I hope this makes sense. For what it's worth, I have not tested pH forever, but I test Alk and Ca regularly.


Edited by Mark Peterson - September 10 2010 at 9:25pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jcom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 10 2010 at 9:32pm
Sounds like a disaster was averted!  Clap
 
Hey, you should start making your own 2 part Ca & Alk.  I used to be a Tech A&B guy until I found out how easy it is to do.  Been saving mad $$$ ever since.
 
 
I have 5 gallons of high grade Calcium Chloride and could sell some to you.  For the Alk, I just use Arm & Hammer baking soda.  Just mix the right amounts with RO water and you're good to go.  They're they same as the stuff you buy at the LFS.


Edited by jcom - September 10 2010 at 9:37pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Laird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 10 2010 at 11:45pm
Calc 250
Alk 15
Mag 1100
Indefinite hiatus from sw aquariums.

Once I have my glorious return I'll set back up the following.
50 Gallon rimless cube.
180 Gallons mixed reef paradise
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Laird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 10 2010 at 11:52pm
I'd be interested in buying some of that calc from you.   Didn't you also get one of those Sps packs from r2r a couple months ago?
Indefinite hiatus from sw aquariums.

Once I have my glorious return I'll set back up the following.
50 Gallon rimless cube.
180 Gallons mixed reef paradise
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jcom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 11 2010 at 12:12pm
PM sent.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 11 2010 at 7:20pm
Okay good.
- Alk was at 23 and has dropped to 15. That level will be fine now because it will easily drop into the acceptable range as the tank uses Alkalinity. The Alk range is 8-14 dKH.

- Ca was at 200 and has risen to 250. This is still an emergency situation. Hasn't it been about  3 or 4 days since the problem became apparent? By now you should have poured in approximately 6 cups of Ca solution to raise the Ca 50ppm per day which would have put it at the bottom of the range today. The Ca range is 350-550ppm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Laird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 11 2010 at 10:45pm
As of now it's only been two days.   I've been adding the max amount that the bottle says I can.   I've put around 5 cups in.
Indefinite hiatus from sw aquariums.

Once I have my glorious return I'll set back up the following.
50 Gallon rimless cube.
180 Gallons mixed reef paradise
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Mark Peterson View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 12 2010 at 4:42pm
Sorry, but the bottle gives a maximum so that someone without understanding won't add too much when it isn't needed.
Do the instructions say anything about testing Alk to see if what you are adding changes the Ca level?
The tank needed more Ca than I even guessed.
Remember, I said that you can raise Ca by ~50ppm daily. You have not been adding enough Ca solution. The tank remains in a stress condition. It needed so much Ca that it sucked it up as soon as it hit the water. It is eating Ca faster than you know which is why it is still showing only 250ppm. If you follow what I am suggesting, at some point within the next few days it will reach equilibrium and the dose amounts needed will decrease.


Edited by Mark Peterson - September 12 2010 at 4:48pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Laird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 14 2010 at 7:15pm
Things are about back to normal.

I was curious, is there any calcium strip tests that are worth a damn?   Its not a huge pain to test it the way I currently do, but it would be nice to just dip a strip in to test it.  
Indefinite hiatus from sw aquariums.

Once I have my glorious return I'll set back up the following.
50 Gallon rimless cube.
180 Gallons mixed reef paradise
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