The Reef Tank banner

1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to understand all of these things. Well, not the shoelaces... I have a pretty good grasp on those... finally.

Has anyone got a good link, or a good set of links to information on these things without going into chemistry class hell? I'm looking for something well written in plain english that describes this. Preferably in one place... reading different articles can lead to a lot of confusion due to contradictions, or just that they aren't tied together and it leaves it up to me to make those connections and add it all up. With all the different factors here, that's tough for someone who doesn't know anything about it.

What exactly is the diff between adding calcium and kalk to your tank? What are the the different ways to do them? How much do you determine how much you add? How fast do you add it? How does pH play in? Carbon Dioxide?

Having this reef has just been a process of learning one thing after another, and now I've moved on to this subject. My corals all do just fine in my tank, I've got some softies, LPS, and even a couple small SPS. They all open and look pretty every day, but they aren't filling out any.. I'm just not seeing any growth. I know it doesn't happen overnight, but I've been watching for months and not seen a lick of difference in any of them. I think calcium may be my culprit. I'll be buying a test for it soon.

Thanks for any help.
 

·
Just some guy, you know?
Joined
·
22,684 Posts
Heh. I didn't know you could cut PVC with a shoelace.

I don't bother with Kalk. I used to but it ticked me off.

I now add a homade 2 part very cheap, and I NEVER add anything I can't test for. Get the Salifert CA test kit, and pick up a Salifert Alk kit as well, both are very important for SPS. Shoot for a Alk of 9, and a CA of 425 and keep them stable there and your SPS will be happy with at least that.

Also undetectable amounts of PO4 and low to no nitrate are helpfull, plus a powerfull skimmer, good flow (~40X intank turnover), and strong light.

Whiskey
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Get the Salifert CA test kit, and pick up a Salifert Alk kit as well, both are very important for SPS. Shoot for a Alk of 9, and a CA of 425 and keep them stable there and your SPS will be happy with at least that.
I plan to get some tests for this. I do have a alk test and calc test, but they are both cheap brands. I'll report on those in a minute... but you say to keep these things stable.. how pray tell? That's part of what I'm looking for.

cheap test results:
The fasTest Alk says my tank is 5.6 german degrees carbonate hardness or 5.6 DKH and the Doc Wellfish calcium test says it's about 350 ppm And finally, my el cheapo Doc Wellfish Saltwater Master Liquid test kit says my pH is 8.0... I think.

I am in need of a water change, and plan to do that tonite. From what I can tell, it appears that the DKH may be hindering the calcium from being "usable" by my coral. But that's not a very educated guess. But I don't know how the pH fits in the equation either. Hence, I'm looking for some pointed reading that makes sense of how it all works as well as how to maintain it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks weatherman, I'll take a look.

And just to make this a little more fun...Here's some goodies I found in a box that came with one of my tanks when I bought it from another reefer. I've not put any of these in my reef because I don't know if they are necessary or if they are right for me. I assume they aren't made to hurt my tank... they wouldn't sell so well if that were the point of them... but nonetheless, none in my tank yet.

First of all, I have a 1 lb jar of Kent Marine Superbuffer dKH.
I have a small jar of Seachem Marine buffer. These both look to support a proper pH of 8.3. The Kent Marine jar also says it will raise dKH

I also have a two part solution of B-Ionic Calcium Buffer System. It looks as though there are two parts here, one to help the Alk, and one to help Calcium.

I'm reading labels... but you know, they only want to tell you how great the product is..
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,355 Posts
just eavesdropping... :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Now Tom.. I know you know a little about this subject.. Some of your posts have made my head spin...:rotflmao:

Please chime in... hopefully you won't feel like your beating a dead horse...

Even if it's another brain pretzel post, I promise to read it and do my very best to understand it! :)
 

·
Just some guy, you know?
Joined
·
22,684 Posts
WOW, 5.6 DKH? Seriousally?
That is WAY low.
You need to bump this, but be carefull, go slow. 7Dkh is the lowest you ever want to go, 8-11 is a good range, I like to keep mine at 9 for a bit of a buffer zone.

350 PPM CA is also very low, this is not nearly as big a deal though, you can bump it a bit faster. You want to shoot for 400-450, but ballance it with your ALK. If your Alk is 9.0 then 425 PPM CA would be the number to shoot for.

From here on out you should find out how much of each of these you need to add DAILY to maintain these levels.

This is why your SPS at least arent growing. Conferm your results with the salifert kits, then get a quality CA and ALK buffer, 2 part is great, or make your own 2 part, and maintain your levels.

You found your problem :thumbup:
Whiskey
 

·
Just some guy, you know?
Joined
·
22,684 Posts
I also have a two part solution of B-Ionic Calcium Buffer System. It looks as though there are two parts here, one to help the Alk, and one to help Calcium.
Sorry didn't read this, this is a good thing to use to get your CA and ALK in line. I like the liquids like this best because it is easy to measure than dose.

This will tell you how much you need, but go slow, make sure you select DKH not MEQ/L on the alk side and make sure it's not expired.
http://jdieck1.home.comcast.net/chemcalc.html

Whiskey
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
245 Posts
I have used the B-Ionic system in my tanks. I am currently using the Ca part to restore a Ca deficiency in my main tank without using the Alk. Once I get things in line and my Alk returns to about 9 and my Ca to about 450, I will restart my Ca reactor to see if it will keep things in line.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,355 Posts
ditto on bringing your alk back in line, use the reef calculator to get there, it will determin how much you'll need to add of each part to balance your calcium/buffer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
GRRRRR ok, this is making me crazy.

As I was rummaging around through the boxes of stuff that I have. As I mentioned, much of it I got when buying a tank from another reefer calling it quits... I found yet another Alkalinity test. This one is another Doc Wellfish. So I tested my water with it.

Yesterday, I was guessing at best that I was reading the fastTest results correctly to get a dKH of around 5.6. With the one I just found, it reads somewhere in the 8-9 dKH. I did do a dose of both parts of the B-Ionic last night, so maybe that's helping to raise the number, but I really wouldn't have expected that big of a difference from one dose. Or should I?

I'm really hoping that the Salifert tests are easier to read than these worthless things. I'm trying to get them... The LFS here in town want 2x the online price or more for Salifert. Except one LFS... which happens to be about 45 minutes each way for me.

Would I be wise to get a Mg test also? Or wait till I get the Salifert Alk and Calc and see what they say before I go for more tests and confuse me poor pea brain any more?
 

·
Just some guy, you know?
Joined
·
22,684 Posts
I did do a dose of both parts of the B-Ionic last night, so maybe that's helping to raise the number, but I really wouldn't have expected that big of a difference from one dose. Or should I?
STOP!!

How much did you dose? How much should that have rased your levels?

This is potent stuff, and it can cause real trouble if mis-used. Please don't mess around!

Know what will happen, dose slow, drip for hours, dose no more than half in a single day, and confirm that is exactally half of what you need with a quality test.

Get the mag test, might as well since you are ordering anyway.

Whiskey
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
EEKS! your bit stop is mighty scary!

The bottle says to dose 1ml for every 4 gallons. I've got about 65gal according to the water volume calculator, so I dosed 15ml. This is the recommended daily dosage, not even what the bottle recommends to raise it.

According to the chemistry calc that was linked on this thread yesterday, I need something like 200 mL. Because of my lack of faith in the test kits, I decided not to do anything too crazy, but to do what would typically be a normal daily dosage. I'll retest also with the other test kit I have and see what it says. They test in very different ways. This way, at least I'll be comparing apples to apple... even if they may be slightly rotten apples.

Planning a trip either tonite or tomorrow to drive across town for the Salifert kits... I ain't touchin nothing else till I get them!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Beats me...

I'll tell you what's working for me though... post test results, dose, post new test results and compare Wiskey's reaction to a color chart. :)

Ok, I just tested with the same kit as yesterday.

It works out to 1.4dKH per drop of reagent. It took 4 drops yesterday, and 5 today. So a difference of 1.4dKH rise from yesterday. According to this test, I've gone from 5.6dKH to 7.0dKH
 

·
Just some guy, you know?
Joined
·
22,684 Posts
EEKS! your bit stop is mighty scary!

The bottle says to dose 1ml for every 4 gallons. I've got about 65gal according to the water volume calculator, so I dosed 15ml. This is the recommended daily dosage, not even what the bottle recommends to raise it.

According to the chemistry calc that was linked on this thread yesterday, I need something like 200 mL. Because of my lack of faith in the test kits, I decided not to do anything too crazy, but to do what would typically be a normal daily dosage. I'll retest also with the other test kit I have and see what it says. They test in very different ways. This way, at least I'll be comparing apples to apple... even if they may be slightly rotten apples.

Planning a trip either tonite or tomorrow to drive across town for the Salifert kits... I ain't touchin nothing else till I get them!
Ok, this sounds safe enough, except for one thing, I would dilute what you dose in RO/DI water then drip it in. Don't mix both together, use 2 different drippers. The reason I say this is some of these 2 part things have a HUGE effect on PH and adding a buch at once would not be the best idea.

From the sound of the last post it was like you had just up-ended the bottles in your sump.

7 Dkh is low, but allot safer than 5.6, I would hold off now and get the Salifert kits, or find a friend with some to test your water. The problem I see here is you have a bunch of kits that are reading different, and probably expired.

Whiskey
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top