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Discussion Starter #1
my calcium (390ppm) and alkalinity (6dKh) levels are low in my 29G BIOCUBE. i've heard that dosing with PURPLE UP will help raise both these parameters and then once they get in range i could switch to a 2 part buffer like B-ionics. is this true?
 

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Skip the Purple Up and go right to the 2 part dosing. Purple Up is nothing more than a calcium/iodine supplement and it's benefits are questionable.

You need to test/dose for calcium, alkalinity and magnesium if you want to maintain a good balance. The three work together and trying to maintain just one or two is hard to do.
 

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How important is it to test magnesium? I'm starting to dose with the bionic 2 part system and I can test for calcium and alkalinity but I don't have a mag test and they are very pricey..so is it really a must? I mean if you get the calcium and alk perfect then wouldn't magnesium be stable since they work with each other?
 

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Magnesium is the key to keeping the other levels correct, you can't just maintain the two. Here's a simple visual, if you think of Calcium and Alkalinity as each being on ends of a seesaw then magnesium would be the balance point in the center. Without magnesium being correct, you will have trouble getting the other levels where they need to be.
 

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Okay so as a Newbie..what should I do. I have the bionic 2 part system but have yet to start dosing..I have tests for calcium and alkalinity but no magnesium. So start dosing after I get a test for magnesium? But if my magnesium is low then what? My calcium has been kind of low, I lost a lot of coraline algae. I want to start heading more towards some reef and coral but I want to make sure I have the perfect water. So any suggestions would be great!
 

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You can start dosing the 2 part according to the directions on the bottle. Off the shelf products come with pretty safe recommended doses and it won't cause any problems. As long as you are doing routine water changes, the magnesium shouldn't be far off.

Once you get your magnesium test kit, I'd check that level and get it right before tweaking the calcium/alkalinity levels. It's not uncommon to have to dose different amounts of the two solutions to attain the right levels.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
ok..i started dosing with b-ionics 2 part buffer over the last 2 weeks.
here's the before and after.

calcium 390ppm > 480ppm
alkalinity 6dKh > 7dKh

my question is....i was testing every few days and saw my calcium raising but no change in aLK. so i began to just dose my tank with part 1 (aLK) and my calcium continued to rise, but aLK stayed around 6-7. i am adding 5mL of part 1 to my 29g every few days. should part 1 be milky? is there a chance the bottles can be labeled wrong? i thought that part 2 would be milky which it isn't.

also i got a magnesium kit and tested with a result of 1000ppm.
i now am dosing with kent tech M.
 
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