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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I haven't been the best with keeping track of my parameters the past few months, as everything up until now was consistent. I tested my DT water yesterday and my New Salt Water as well. Below were my findings...

DT
SG 1.026
Ca 425
Mg 975
Alk 6.72
pH 8.27
Temp 77.8

NEw saltwater (power head and heated for about a week)
SG 1.025
Ca 455
Mg 975
Alk 6.1

I used Salifert tests and Instant Ocean Reef Crystals. I’m pretty confused here. Not sure why my Alk has dropped significantly (even new saltwater). I’m using the same salt, kept heated with power head for about a week, sometimes more. Calcium is up, Mag is down? Not sure if I need to start dosing or not yet. Next Monday I'll make more new saltwater, a day before my next water change. Normally I would have made new saltwater yesterday after my water change. I'm really confused as I have never had this problem before. My Alk was always consistently around 10 and my Mg was always around 1200.

Any help is appreciated.

-Blair
 

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Could be bad mix or possibly settling in shipping.
I don't know how they keep the chemicals from settling out due to vibration in shipping.
 

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I wouldn’t use that water until this is sorted out. My guess is that the test kits are wrong (are they expired?) or the salt has gone bad either from settling or humidity. If it’s the salt thing I would replace it and toss that water, I would not use it.

As far as the tank goes I would verify the kits are good before dosing anything. Often your lfs can double check your results for a nominal fee.

Whiskey
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I wouldn’t use that water until this is sorted out. My guess is that the test kits are wrong (are they expired?) or the salt has gone bad either from settling or humidity. If it’s the salt thing I would replace it and toss that water, I would not use it.

As far as the tank goes I would verify the kits are good before dosing anything. Often your lfs can double check your results for a nominal fee.

Whiskey
Test kits aren't expired. I cross referenced with API Alk test, and gives the same results.

I'm going to try and make some more saltwater tomorrow so I can see if I can get my parameters back up with a water change.

Unfortunately I had done a water change (only 10g) when I discovered this, so inevitably it brought my Alk down to 5.6 dKH now. So I'll definitely need to get my water tested by a friend AND make some new saltwater.

Thing is I buy boxes of IO RC and I empty the bags into a bucket that I once bought IO in. So the salt is getting mixed up prior to adding it to water.

-Blair
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well I’m back in business...almost lol.

I’m guessing my salt settled and wasn’t mixed enough, or I had it mixing in the mixing station for too long and it precipitated?

I mixed a gallon up from the same bag which I made the original batch from. That tested at 12 dKH, 1155 Mg, and 485 for Ca.

I pulled a new bag from another box, mixed the salt up good in a bucket, and made a one gallon batch. That tested out at 10.08 dKH, 1260 for Mg, and 485 for Ca. So now I’m filling my mixing station with RO/DI and I’m going to make a batch and do a PWC to bring my Alk in my DT up from 6.

-Blair
 

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That sounds much better!

One other thing that might have happened. Do you add salt to water? Or water to salt? Because if you were to put the salt in, then pour water over it (especially if you do it slowly) the very high levels of things like Ca, Alk, Mg (because of all those buffers in the salt being in a tiny amount of water) will cause them to precipitate out. Once these things precipitate out of solution, they will not re-dissolve, and the levels will remain low once the proper salinity is reached.

Just thought of this possible cause that I probably could have explained more clearly.
Whiskey
 

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That sounds much better!

One other thing that might have happened. Do you add salt to water? Or water to salt? Because if you were to put the salt in, then pour water over it (especially if you do it slowly) the very high levels of things like Ca, Alk, Mg (because of all those buffers in the salt being in a tiny amount of water) will cause them to precipitate out. Once these things precipitate out of solution, they will not re-dissolve, and the levels will remain low once the proper salinity is reached.

Just thought of this possible cause that I probably could have explained more clearly.
Whiskey
but that would have lowered calcium and it was high.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That sounds much better!

One other thing that might have happened. Do you add salt to water? Or water to salt? Because if you were to put the salt in, then pour water over it (especially if you do it slowly) the very high levels of things like Ca, Alk, Mg (because of all those buffers in the salt being in a tiny amount of water) will cause them to precipitate out. Once these things precipitate out of solution, they will not re-dissolve, and the levels will remain low once the proper salinity is reached.

Just thought of this possible cause that I probably could have explained more clearly.
Whiskey
No I add salt to water. My process is turn a valve and my RO/DI fills a 32g brute trash can and at a certain level I turn on the heater. Then when it is like 3/4 full I turn on the powerhead and add 15 cups of salt.
 

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No I add salt to water. My process is turn a valve and my RO/DI fills a 32g brute trash can and at a certain level I turn on the heater. Then when it is like 3/4 full I turn on the powerhead and add 15 cups of salt.
That's not the cause then. In fact you do better than me because you heat your water before adding the salt. I just get the right amount of water then add salt and turn on the heater at the same time.

Whiskey
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok so I'm still having some issues and I'm not sure what the heck is going on here.

Sunday I tested my DT which came in at 5.76 dKH, Ca 425, Mg 1035. Monday my DT was 5.44, 420, and 1035.

Sunday my new saltwater came in at 10.08 dKH, Ca 485, and Mg 1260. Monday my new saltwater came in at 9.12, f460, and 1170.

I did a 20g WC (70g total system volume) and my All came up to 6.88 dKH, Ca was 450, and Mg was 1110. This WC and testing was yesterday. Now today the DT is 6.56 dKH, 470 for Ca, and 1110 for Mg.

I also tested my new saltwater which was stagnant since yesterday around the same time due to the pump cavitating, so Alk came in at 8.64 dKH, Ca was 470, and Mg was 1275.

I'm at a loss here. Now the trashcan I use does have build up on the bottom, so I cleaned that up a good bit, but I have a hard time believing that had something to do with it.

Maybe it is time to start dosing my DT? My largest Kenya Tree is all closed up, which kind of worries me only because I've had it for so long and its huge. All my other corals (8 head frogspawn, 4x4 Acan, 2 head Aussie Hammer, 1 head hammer, small birds nest, multiple kenya trees, zoas, toadstool, and GSP.) are doing fine.

Any help is appreciated here.

Thanks!!

-Blair
 

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