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Sailfin
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Discussion Starter #1
I just checked our reef... is our Alk too high? If so, how do I bring it down? I have Kent superbuffer dKH but that's for bringing it, according to the instructions...

6:00 pm after 7 hrs of MH / VHO actinic lighting:
Sg: 1.024
temp: 80 (fan with variable speeds according to temp runs through MH hood; we don't run heaters)
Ca test w/refractometer: 380 (goal is 400+, have 2-part plus Ca Chloride, have been adding 1oz ea of the 2-part almost daily)
pH w/pinpoint probe calibrated last week: 8.16
dKH: 14.7, meq/L 5.26

test kits are Salifert, Alk kit is new.

Isn't the Alk too high? I almost ran out of syringe reading before it turned a very pale translucent pink.

Other than soft corals, we recently added one blue acropora and 3 tiny maxima clams (groups of 3 on sale -- doing great so far, feeding phytoplankton and Reef Frenzy 2-3x/day per PA instructions)

Thanks so much!
 

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Sailfin
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Discussion Starter #4
OK -- we just set the tank up with the same water and 1/2 new water about two weeks ago... does it need a water change already? I can boost the Ca with Ca Chloride... should I do that? I was going to aim for 425 - 450

DI water.... I've been advised to get an add-on DI filter for our RO maker. PA told me since I didn't have any algae problems at all, and no film algae, that I didn't need the DI unit. They don't test with a TDS meter for people b/c theirs is all electronic or built-in or something like that... but w/no algae problems of any kind, they advised to save the $$ and not get one. Hmmm.

So in summary... do a water change now? And is 13 gal enough change for a 120 gal system? Thanks!
 

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Maybe a local store might have some. Walmart's water go's for .33/gal but I am unsure if it is DI. DI water is the only way to bring ALK down that I know of. Maybe your LFS has some water that you could purchase.
 

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Who told you no di and to feed 2 to 3 times a day phyto? :doh: If it was Jason im calling him tomorrow.Alkalinity is high and if you keep feeding like PA said you will have an algae problem,dont always go by what they say.Di filters are great to get your TDS down to zero,you dont even know what your TDS levels are so how can they say no way your set up is new now they are not helping me convince you of the importance of a good water change with ro/di zero TDS water.
 

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Sailfin
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Discussion Starter #9
OK -- they said feed the new tiny clams 2-3 times a day... otherwise, twice a week as we always did... back when we had sps/lps corals.

It was not Jason, but an employee who's been there for a long, long time. Anyhow, he was saying that since we don't get algae problems... we likely don't have anything for a DI to get rid of... ??

So... are you saying a water change won't help?

Should I stop the B-Ionic additive too? I only started it once this new setup was started. Prior, I hadn't added anything for a long time.
 

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If you have a clam less than 3" it should be bowl feed not tank feed,I promise you if you tank feed 3 times a week you will have algae problems,I cant anwser on the wc issue because I dont know your TDS reading of you wc water,I have been doing this a long time now also
and can keep any size clam no problem even have them spawn in my tank,I know you trust PA but I thought I had earned the same respect in opinion with you.:thumbup:
 

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when you go and set up the next water change, set some aside adn let sit 24 hrs. test that, see what the Alk levels are.
Stop adding the 2 part system for now. that is what is helping keep the alk level where it is. a good size water change shoudl be done to get everything back to where you want to be.
Cant tell ya anything about the clams... casey is the man for that..

Order your TDS from the LFs or get one on line, knowing what is going in to the water and coming out is important.
some reading on this for ya.
 

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Sailfin
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Discussion Starter #12
Casey said:
...but I thought I had earned the same respect in opinion with you.:thumbup:
You certainly have and then some! But with both of us standing there and them saying you don't need this, etc... it didn't happen. Sending you a PM for all the details that aren't relevant to this thread.

And thanks to you both for your replies. Tim, the water is always a few days old w/salt etc before we add it. I"ll test the Alk this time on the new water before adding it.

Thanks!
 

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Shirley, several things are going on here.

First, feeding the clams. Phyo is phosphate in a bottle. Do bowl feed them, not the whole tank.

Alk will come down on it's own. Just don't dose any more until it's down.
Also, when you dose, you're running BB now. Probably the first thing people notice is that BB consumes a lot less alk/carbon than tanks with sand beds.
Don't dose so much alk.

Calcium is not limiting. I would not try to push the limit on Ca. That leads to very unstable conditions and levels that are hard to maintain. I run my Ca at 300-350 and everything is just fine.
Running high Ca will also mess up your pumps, UV, etc.
 

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Sailfin
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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you so much, Jerel!

OK... so how do we feed phyto to the acropora or pavonia? Or is the Reef Frenzy sufficient? So never put phyto directly in the tank? Maybe that's what was so screwed up a few yrs ago when we used to use phyto 1-2x/wk... right into the tank every time. High phosphate, high nitrates. Alk was often too low, then.

I was dosing 2-part b-ionic -- so I'll stop doing that.

And I won't worry about the Ca being "only" 380.

And as I told Casey, I'll definitely feed the clams outside the tank.

So does it need a water change already?

Thanks!!

PS: And we're running an RO unit, not RO/DI ... just fyi... at this time. I'll order a TDS meter to see what's going on with the water we make.
 

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I don't think you need a water change right now at all. I think you need to let it settle down.

You know your corals are meat eaters, right?

You were dosing phosphate before and you had a sand bed. What sand beds do best is migrate phosphate into them and store it. You were overworking your sand bed and the bacteria in it were consuming the carbon. That's what alk is = carbon.
Those bacteria are programmed to work in a phosphate limiting environment. They snatch up every bit of phosphate they can, migrate it into the sand bed, to use later when they divide. That's the main purpose of sand beds, removing P from the water column. That process also consumes a lot of carbon/alk. Unfortunately again, phosphate storage inhibits the layering of different oxygen gradients, inhibits nitrification/denitrification, and causes sand beds to burp. ;)

From now own, dose your two part, but think of them as two separate additives. Add one and test, add the other and test.
 

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Sailfin
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Discussion Starter #16
I thought the 2-part had to be added first part 1 followed by part 2 all at the same time period...

So you're saying I should add part 1 and then test alk right then? How long before testing? and if it's still high, add part 2? I'm adding 30cc's at a time.

Your description of the sand bed "burping" made more sense than anything I've ever read before trying to understand the "nutrient sink" thing...
Not that I totally get it, yet, but it's making more sense.
 

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Sailfin
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Discussion Starter #18
well duh... yeah, it is. It's ESV B-Ionic buffer system. part 1 is Alk and part 2 is Ca

Maybe if I hadn't started using that (hadn't in a LONG time) this wouldn't have happened.

OK... so you can add one and not the other? or different amounts of each? I always added equal parts per the directions... ???

Thanks! :)
 

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Sailfin
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Discussion Starter #19
And yes, I knew the corals are meateaters... but thought the sps also gained nutrition from the phytoplankton. Not? So only the clams need the phyto?

I wonder what we were "feeding" phyto to back in the old days -- when we first started the reef... and didn't have clams... ??

I guess I better test phosphates now.
 
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