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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok I've never dosed or attempted to adjust water parameters with buffers or upper/downers in my tank.Just WC's . My alk has continued to drop and has bottomed out at 1.8. My tank is the nutrient jungle we all remember but I'm cautious to adjust because of my nem and my year long battle to revive him .
Is this statement I read tonight true ?
Tropic Marin Pro Reef was designed for reefs that tend to acquire a high alkalinity after years of using calcium reactors and kalkwasser. Keeping a lower alkalinity has been found to allow corals to better absorb calcium. Depending on the values of alkalinity in your reef , it might be best to use Tropic Marin instead of TM Pro Reef, or vice versa.
I'm using Coralife salt now but want to change .
Here's the jungle I call my tank .
Do I attempt to raise my alk with Reef Builder as directed or take a different coarse of action .
Just as a side note . I ordered a custom Mod rack for filter pads and media and will be better suited to adjust my skimmer . I also got the Modded Skimmer cup
http://shop.mediabaskets.com/Red-Sea-Max-Media-Basket-RSM3V20.htm




 

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Alkalinity should be at least 8. I stay between 8 and 9.5.
I would aim for this range.
I've used Reef Builder for a couple of years for my make-up water.
Don't add supplements or buffers until you know your current values. If you are 8 or below, I'd say to slowly add some Reef Builder.
 

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You are going to have to start dosing something to keep your parameters in check. Changing salts is not going to make your alk needs go away ;)

I suggest kalkwasser manually dripped or something like a 2 part kit from BulkReefSupply.
 

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As suggested by Tony, fix those things that are wrong, and don't look for "Magic bullets." Corals and sea life in general has evolved in seawater fairly close to what is in NSW today; running a system with excessively high or low values that are outside the range of NSW parameters is counteproductive to the darwinin selection process of the last 82 M years since the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event. Equimolar amounts of alkalinity and calcium are consumed to make aragonite skeletons, requirinug that we replace them in such a manner. There are, however, other phenomena occuring in closed marine systems that consume alkalinity, so you will need to consider using some type of alkalinity builder along with hermatypic supplementation in order to maintain your alk WNL. Keep in mind that your total system alk is NOT what determines your pH in the system, but it does affect the amplitude of the daily swings and the final level of pH shift (usually to bring it closer to normal limits). The real determinant of system pH is pCO2, and it is affected in surface waters by
  • Photosynthesis (removes CO2)
  • Calcification (removes CO2)
  • Systemic heating (removes CO2)
  • Oxidation of organic materials (dead plants, animals, coral slime decomposition adds CO2)
  • Dissolution of Aragonite (both CaCO3 → Ca++ + CO3 and Ca reactors out of adjustment increase CO2)
  • Increases in atmospheric CO2 above the tank (increses due to "tight" home environments and increases in fossil fuel use, mfg of concrete, etc.)
In addition, there are other sources of protons in the tank that consume alkalinity, the least of which is calcification. The very act we encourage in hermatypic corals produces a proton for every molecule of calcium carbonate it produces (see "Geochemical Perspectives on Coral Mineralization," Anne L. Cohen and Ted A. McConnaughey: (sorry, I cannot find my original reference notes, but the article is available on the 'Net, or email me-tdw) and McConnaughey TA, Falk RH (1991) Calcium-proton exchange during algal calcification. Biol Bull 180:185-195). any process that produces either CO2 or protons (acids) will consume alkalinity if allowed to accumulate in the closed system water column.

It should be clear to you that it becomes quite important to limit both CO2 accumulation and excess proton production in your system to prevent this relative loss of alkalinity. There are several fixes, but for the most part they involve either prevention of excess proton protuction (good skimming to remove organic materials from the water column, siphonoing mulm/detritus, good husbndry of DSBs or their removal, etc.) or providing good gas excange of CO2 to prevent accumulation (no glass lids, use of outdoor air through the skimmer, etc.) or removal of CO2 from the water (use kalkwasser for top off, which has the benefit of converting CO2 to alkalinity but adds Ca++ also, a potential problem if running a Ca reactor as well). Water changes will fix this to some extent, but may not provide enough alkalinity for systems with major problems with CO2 accumulation. Use of sodium bicarbonate (Na HCO3) adds sodium to the system with the alkalinity. Given enought time and quantity of bicarb, may skew the conservative element profile of your ASW.

If you're going to change the salt, look at a good salt that already provides excess alkalinity without providing a ton of extra calcium at the sme time (plain IO, not RC). By doing this, you can continue to use the Ca rector without problem to supplement your hermatypic losses, yet base your water changes on when the alk level begins to drop (or just do the right thing and change 10-20% every two to three weeks in systems where total volume<75 USG or every three to four weeks in big systems). Systems with such a water change schedule can stand an occasional blast of bicarb to correct alk nadirs without skewing the conservative package. The regular WC's will maintain Mg, and help insure the export of non-skimmable wastes as well.

HTH
 

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another reference for the above post:

"Calcification generates protons for nutrient and bicarbonate uptake;" T.A. McConnaughey a, J.F. Whelan b, Earth-Science Reviews 42 ( 1997) 95- 117.

a-- Marine Research. Biosphere 2 Center, Highway 77, PO Box 689, Oracle, AZ 85623 USA
b-- U.S.G.S., Box 2.5046, MS 963, Denuer, CO 802250046 USA
Received 21 February 1996; accepted 12 July 1996
 
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