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RIP Steve Irwin
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright so after testing my tank for the first time in a long time a couple weeks ago and finding the KH terribly low and finding my Ca through the roof I ordered a Magnesium test kit and found it at maybe 1200 or so. So I added some of that and got it up to 1400 and I also over time buffed my KH/Alk back up but did it slowly so I did not stress everything (over a period of almost 2 weeks I brought it back from 4.5 to 8.0) I now noticed that my Ca level is at 500 compared to it testing higher than that the time previous to all of this. Anyways my thing I am getting at with all of this is today I tested my KH then topped off my tank (for a couple hours as I have no auto top off.) I just add 5-10 gallons every 3 days or so directly from my RO. After topping my tank off my KH went from 8-7.5 and when i tested the source water it was at like 10 or so???? So if it was higher going in why would it result in a drop in the long run? I hope this makes sense....maybe I need to test the source water over again but I am sure this is what it was when i tested before. I won a kalk reactor a while back and have been meaning to hook it up but I want to hook it up directly to my r/o with a float switch or whatever. Does anyone have theirs set up like this? What auto top off do you run?
 

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TCMAS Member
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Especially with Kalkwasser, I would never hook it up directly to a continous water supply. Something goes wrong, you could have a real mess on your hands with Kalkwasser. Doubtful you could hook it up directly as the pressure from the RO/DI is too great for most reactor and will cause to bulge.

I use Kalkwasser exclusively and still have to deal with Alk lowering so that won't necessarily go away but may reduce the need to add as much.



If you using just RO water for top off you can add some ALK buffer to it. I doubt your RO water has much buffering in it so I wouldn't really trust that pure RO water alk reading.
 

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Semi-retar...eh...retired
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In addition to what David said, kalk can only provide Alkalinity if it has enough CO2 to react with. There is no pure Alkalinity component of kalk (only the OH molecule, which needs to react with CO2 to form bicarbonate - HCO3). If your tank is low in CO2, that hydroxide reacts with other things instead and you won't see the Alk maintenance.

I'm not sure I completely understand your KH issue, but KH will naturally decline over time - especially if you have a sandbed. But FWIW, I normally keep mine in the 7-8 KH range, which is basically what the ocean is. You're fine there. There's a chance that your high Ca (even with higher Mg) is consuming some carbonate immediately...and precipitating.
 

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RIP Steve Irwin
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Graham said:
There's a chance that your high Ca (even with higher Mg) is consuming some carbonate immediately...and precipitating.
So is this bad, or how can I get an accurate test, I tested today and it came out at 520 or so
 

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RIP Steve Irwin
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5,500 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
David Grigor said:
If you using just RO water for top off you can add some ALK buffer to it. I doubt your RO water has much buffering in it so I wouldn't really trust that pure RO water alk reading.
When you say add some alk you mean Kalk right? So in doing this do I mix it with seperate water and put the water saturated with Kalk into my new water for the water change after the salt has been mixed in and it is ready to go? Thanks David and Graham for helping me understand this a little more clearly.:)
 

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Semi-retar...eh...retired
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No, I think he means something like Seachem Reef Builder (what I use) or Kent Superbuffer, etc....or even baking soda. They all add carbonate, which is the only real way to directly increase Alk. Go slow, though. You don't want to make drastic changes to the buffering system...

I'm sure your Ca reading is accurate (enough). Get some KH buffer to increase the Alk. FWIW, I personally keep my Mg at 1200 and see no need for any higher...In the end, you're best off staying as close to NSW levels as possible - all the way around.
 

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Got Crabs?
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Use a alk additive like bi-onic. Or you can use baking soda to raise it. Just make sure you raise it slowly.
 

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TCMAS Member
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Correct, if your using RO/DI for topoff, you can add some Alk buffer of your choice to the water vs. having to manually dose it. Of course, you will have to figure out the proper ratio of ro water to additive so that it maintains vs. raises once it is at the level you want.

If you use Kalk in your topoff water, I don't know of a way to add an Alk additive to it, you have to do it seperately.
 

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RIP Steve Irwin
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5,500 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Oh ok. I do use the Superbuffer DKH in my tank now and brought it up over a week and a half to two week period from 4.5 or 5 tp 8.0 It is there right now and I plan on testing every other day..next time I do a water change I will get the salt mixed up and aireaite it and then I will test the KH/Alk and buff from there so my tank does not drop and then go back up. :doh:The Salifert DKH/ALK test kit is what I use so if I read that right when my KH is in line then my Alk is in line too correct? They are obviously not the same thing but how do they relate?
 

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big fishy
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I add Kent superbuffer to my top off water. I was adding a couple of teaspoons every time I fill the top off container. Currently I am playing with the amount because with the chiller instead of fans I have have less evaporation so in turn less top off water is going into my system.

Ken
 

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RIP Steve Irwin
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey Ken! That is the very reason I may tank the chiller plunge on this 125 I am setting up. It is just having T-5 but it would be sweet to run it at 78 degrees. What kind did you get and how do you like it? ps sorry I am running a 20 topic thread here. :lol:
 

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big fishy
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941 Posts
I got the Aqua Logic trimline cyclone I beleive it is, the drop in type. I whent back and forth for a long time before buying one but now that I have it I am really happy. One thing to keep in mind is that these things put out a lot of heat when running. They advertised this type as being compact for small areas but I cant see putting this thing in a closet or an enclosed space with all the heat it puts out. But wht a relief not to have to worry about the summer temps and having to turn on the central air just to keep the tank cool.
 
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