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Chasing Alk

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chuckfu5 View Drop Down
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    Posted: April 09 2017 at 10:34am
After my last disaster with Alk ( burned everything ) I purchased a new red sea test kit.

I've been monitoring this week and this is what I have yesterday after about a gallon water change with reef crystals.

Calcium - 470
Alk - 7.0
Magnesium - 1450

I'm trying to get the alk up to 9 DKH so I have only been dosing Kent's part B. I dosed 1 tsp.

I've been out of town for the last few days so I missed some testing and dosing.

This is in my 13.5 gallon Fluval EVO. It has a total water volume of about 10 gallons.

I've also noticed that my top layer of sand seems to be clumping together since I've began dosing Alk.

The tank is heavily stocked with sps crags and a few large wall hammer colonies.

I just want to do right by everything need some guidance in this area.

Any thoughts on how to proceed?

Edited by chuckfu5 - April 09 2017 at 10:37am
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phys View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote phys Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 09 2017 at 4:46pm
Id stop dosing and do water changes. It'll add a better balance to the tank than just dosing. You'll also change those values everytime you do a water change. So get the whole tank's water changed over the next couple weeks and by then it should be properly balanced to your new salt. Then I think it would be ok to start dosing. Also, make sure your test kits are working by comparing them to others. Also, what is your salinity?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chuckfu5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 09 2017 at 5:08pm
I usually change about 5 gallons every two weeks.

I think my tank is using more alk than I can replace with water changes, that's why I've started dosing.

These are brand new red sea test kits.

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Adam Blundell View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 09 2017 at 5:14pm
That is some serious water changing.  Which is great.

I wouldn't dose anything.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote phys Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 09 2017 at 5:33pm
How many and what kind of corals do you have?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chuckfu5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 09 2017 at 5:51pm
Several different frags of acros which are entrusting and growing good.

Couple large pieces of Montipora. Couple different chalice. A large colony of xenia. Several small zoa colonies and 3 large wall hammer colonies.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote phys Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 09 2017 at 5:53pm
Interesting.. Can you post a pic of the tank?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chuckfu5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 09 2017 at 7:31pm
Originally posted by phys phys wrote:


Interesting.. Can you post a pic of the tank?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote badfinger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 09 2017 at 9:14pm
Stop dosing all together, you don't need it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chuckfu5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 09 2017 at 9:22pm
Originally posted by badfinger badfinger wrote:

Stop dosing all together, you don't need it.


Curious as to why you say that? Isn't 7DKH on the low side? I was trying to get it to 8 or 9.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A Reef Oasis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 09 2017 at 10:10pm
"Unfortunately, calcium and alkalinity are linked in many ways in reef tanks, and these links can lead to serious problems if they are not fully understood. If, for example, you add too much of a calcium supplement, you will drive down alkalinity as you get precipitation of calcium carbonate in the tank. Likewise, adding too much of an alkalinity supplement can result in reduction of calcium. Consequently, trying to correct one problem can cause another. Moreover, if you try to correct a calcium or alkalinity “problem” with the wrong type of additive, you might accomplish nothing more than creating limestone in your tank." THIS IS WHY YOUR SAND BED IS CLUMPING, PRECIPITATION OF CALICUM CARBONATE.
"Alkalinity for our purposes here is comprised of bicarbonate and carbonate. The vast majority of alkalinity depletion in most tanks also comes about by the precipitation of calcium carbonate. In this process, as alkalinity is depleted by 1 meq/L, calcium will be depleted by 20 ppm. There are some other processes that can lead to alkalinity depletion, including partial cycling of nitrogen (from organic compounds to nitrate and no further) and the incorporation of magnesium into calcium carbonate, but these are generally much less important than calcification." Randy Holems-Farley
you are basicly preforming a 50% water change what are you testing the day after a water change? What is the salt testing in a bucket a day after it is mixed? these tests would be a good place to start.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tileman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 09 2017 at 11:05pm
Originally posted by chuckfu5 chuckfu5 wrote:

Originally posted by badfinger badfinger wrote:

Stop dosing all together, you don't need it.


Curious as to why you say that? Isn't 7DKH on the low side? I was trying to get it to 8 or 9.
\

I have to agree with Chad.  Your coral isn't big enough to be using up all the alk.   I would suggest just doing waterchanges as well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tileman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 09 2017 at 11:09pm
Natural seawater is 7-8 dkh alk    So you really don't have to worry.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote phys Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 10 2017 at 12:07am
yea, your corals aren't very large so you shouldn't have to be dosing as much as you are.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shane H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 11 2017 at 3:41pm
Also, you may consider changing 2.5 gallons per week.  It's basically 2x the work, but the fluctuations of your tank will be much smaller and the need for dosing should be eliminated.

Good luck!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chuckfu5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2017 at 10:45am
Ok....i did my water change last night, 3 gallons. I was at 7 DKH before and after with the reef crystals salt mix 10.4. Measured this morning and am at 8.4. I dropped 2 DKH over night.

Calcium was at 450 after the water change.
Magnesium was at 1600.

I'm obivsouly for whatever reason using a lot more alk than I can compensate with water changes.

I checked the mixed salt and it has a DKH of 10.4.

Should I try to get my all that high or just try to keep it around 9 dkh?

Edited by chuckfu5 - April 15 2017 at 10:46am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2017 at 1:44pm
Just don't adjust it. The water changes are perfectly fine.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chuckfu5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2017 at 2:30pm
So it's ok to go fro. 10 down to 6 or 7? I thought stability was key to corals.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sabeypets Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2017 at 1:35am
Stability is key, the problem is the chemistry going on in our saltwater boxes. It is not as simple as adding an alkalinity adative. The smaller the tank, the harder it is to keep stable, and the less room for error.
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