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Discussion Starter #1
OK WTH!!! I mess with my alkalinity, and my calcium drops. I mess with my calcium and my alkalinity drops. Now both powder additives arent supposed to mess with the other. Here is the weird thing though. If I dont touch my tank, my calcium stays steady at around 440 and my alk at around 2.60. I know that is a little low for alkalinity, but should I just stop messing with it? To me it seems like it may still be in the acceptable range. Then again I dont know jack-squat outside of the fact that the polyps are out every single day on all of my SPS corals even with that low of an alk.

My purple and brown acro is turning green though. Seems to be a long transition in the making as it has been doing it for around 2 months now. Polyps are out, it is growing like nothing I have ever seen, it is simply turning green. Then again I purchased it from a store that uses 20K bulbs and I use 14K bulbs. I hate how the colors can flux. You cant buy an SPS in a store and keep it looking the same unless you use the exact same halide bulb the store is using it seems to me. Even the small SPS frags that are on the left hand side of my tank (since I am only using one HQI bulb on the right hand side waiting for the other bulbs to get here) their polyps even fully extend and their color hasnt changed at all.
 

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kid impersonator
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I bet your pH is low, around 7.8

if it is, you'll never get the levels to balance out

someone much smarter than me can explain,
but at the low pH, the calcium can't disolve like it should
or something like that
so you are actually are getting a false Ca reading
 

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How are you checking pH?
search Tom s (TDWyatt) posts for an in depth explanation, I m sure some who graduated from Keys Biology institute will see the light ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I use tropic marin. I've tested nearly every salt on the market and found this one to be the most stable. The Reef Pro one. I have an old PHep that I got donated to me, I purchased a pinpoint because I wasnt sure the PHEP was accurate - then I have red sea and salifert. Every single one points to 8.3 or 8.4. Heck, 9 out of 9 stores point to that also.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
On another note though, I might try out the new Red Sea Pro Reef salt. That stuff is supposed to be gooooooooooooood. Supposed to maintain a calc level of about 440 at 1.025 SG by itself. I am not to into IO salt. I myself have been around the block a number of times.
 

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I have used IO salt for the past 2 years. I mix it in 5 gallon buckets with a Rio600 power head. I add 2.5 cups of IO salt to 5 gallons of water and let mix with the power head for 12 hours. Then i test the salinity and add more IO salt as needed. I let it continue to run with the Rio powerhead for another 12 hours before i even think about using it on my tank.

Then i have tested the water before using and it follows.

pH-8.1
Ca-350
dKH-9.9

This is on IO salt. All i add is a little bit of marine buffer and some Reef Calcuim and my water is ready for a waterchange.

pH-8.3
Ca-425
dKH-9.9

I also have some Reef Builder on hand in case my pH is fine and my dKH is low.

I also mix some Kalk to slowly drip during the week. I drip about a gallon a day into my system. In my tank my levels stay constant and never had them change from these for a while now.

pH- 8.2 - 8.4
Ca- 400 - 450
dKH- 9.6 -9.9


I do weekly WC's of anywhere between 10 - 20 gallons a week on my 72gallon. I have a shallow sand bed that i use a gravel vac on weekly to clean. I have about 90 - 100 lbs of rock in my tank.

Just some food for your brain to think about IO salt. Casey also uses IO salt and uses the same stuff i use to add to my tank and he gets the same results as i get.


Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I am talking about my 55 in this section. I do 25% water changes every friday. I start the water on Wednesday, use a RIO800 with the venturi fully open (heater of course). I then add the salt Wednesday night and test everything Thursday night and adjust everything accordingly. I then add the water to my tank on Friday. I think that most of us do that.

The thing that I am talking about though is the stability of chemicals. If I mess with one, it effects the other (which is normal). I dont get though how if I dont touch it, my calc and alk and stront and mag maintain steady and I mean STEADY for 4+ days in a row. That is what worries me. As if no calcium abosrbtion is occuring. Then again my calcium only goes down when I feed. Symbiosis type thing I guess. I will wait and see.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I am using RO/DI water, always have. I am actually using 5 different things to test my PH including the "baking soda" method, salifert and red, pinpoint and PHEP.

When it comes to brands, I have been through everything. I found the seachem powders to be the best. Kent was ok, but I didnt want to have 10 bottles laying around my house. B-Ionic seemed to shoot up my iodate levels to a little about .06 which I didnt like. Then I tried C-Balance for awhile, and my parameters were still all over the place. I tried Tech-CB, blah blah blah.....eventually finding out that Seachem Advantage Calcium (the powder) and Reef BUFFER keeps my tank the most stable. Since the Reef Buffer adjusts both alk and PH without overshooting it.

Thing is that Acros are HIGHLY sensitive to fluctuations in alkalinity. Outside of that, I wouldnt care if it hit 2 or went up to 4. I need the most stability that I can get and cant seem to obtain it.
 

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kid impersonator
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well, my guess was shot out the window

My only fool proof solution is get a CA reactor
As soon as I added one onto my system
my pH, Alk, and Ca have become stable (and at the right levels)
 

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PH, Calcium, and alk are inseperably connected. you cannot move one without affecting the others. I agree with knowitall, a calcium reactor is a big help in keeping the levels perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Twitterbait said:
PH, Calcium, and alk are inseperably connected. you cannot move one without affecting the others. I agree with knowitall, a calcium reactor is a big help in keeping the levels perfect.
Not to sound rude, seriously, but I believe I already said that. I know that Alk levels upping will cause calcium levels to deplete. Also CO2, Calc and Alk are all what effects your PH. Problem is - in the short form - if I want my PH and calc to be stable and stay there for a week or more - then I need to maintain my alk at 2. whatever 60 I think I said. Which is just really odd.
 

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Don't worry about maintaining Alk... the less additives you put in the tank the better it will be. work on your calcium levels instead. it is much easier IMO. from your comments it sounds like you have your plan... let us know how it works.
 

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wharyat said:
What are your magnesium levels?
Ditto n the Mg request, there are usually issues with the conservative element proportionality of your seawater when you begin to see issues like this. There is a mathematical term called the supersaturation quotient for your cacium levels with respect to your alkalinity. It is the product of your calcium concentration times your alkalinity concentration mutiplied by some constant factors for the water column, divided by a standard for the water column with respect to a standard for the calcium and akalinity concentrations. If you are at supersaturation, any change to one of these concentrations will increase the total value of the suersaturation quotient and precipitation will ocur if the water is at the max concentration for the conditions in your tank. Increasing either calcium or alkalinity at supersaturation will precipitate both elements in equimolar amounts (equal numbers of molecules) until your supersaturation quotient returns to normal. As an example, suppose your value for the supersaturation quotient is 6.0 at supersaturation, and the value for the Ca = 0.425 and the dKH = 14.1 (not real values, but I included coefficients, etc. in these for an example only, the math is much more complex than this) :
  • 14.1 x 0.425 = 6 as the supersaturation quotient (remember, not the actual numbers)
If we increase the calcium, it will raise the conditions within the tank by that amount, and until the calcium comes back down as calcium carbonate precipitates to values for the dissolved ion product for a value of 6, then it will continue to precipitate:
  • 14.1 x 0.500 = 7.05, precipitation will occur until it reduces the supersaturation quotient to 6.0
  • 13.25 x .450 =~6.0 (actually 5.9625) which ends up dropping our overall alkalinity, but increases out Ca ion concentration. A fine powdering of CaCO3 snow will appear in the tank
This will continue unless the ions are added in balanced amounts to prevent this phenomenon from occurring (see the Kiedemani cacuators for this determination). Other factors may affect your water column's ability to maintain supersaturation, such as drops in salt concentration, changes in Mg concentration, or other related issues. They will actually drop the ability of the water to hold supersaturation, making the quotient drop even more.

We need to test your water column for pH at the beginning and the end of your photoperiod after performing the borate (20 mule team borax) test for the probe to see how well it is actually measuring pH.


Get us a value for your Magnesium ion concentration using a salifert test kit, an accurate answer for the borax test, then the values for your pH at 7am and 7 PM (or just prior to lights coming on and just after they go out), as well as a refractometer value for your salinity. This will determine how much your pCO2 value is (intimately linked to these values), and will determine if this is a factor in reaching your supersaturation. It will help to know bout how often and how much additive you are putting in the tank on a reguar basis (no guessing, if you don't know, state that as an estimate)


Looking forward to your responses, see the following for more info:

http://thereeftank.com/forums/showthread.php?t=67560

http://thereeftank.com/forums/showthread.php?t=66265

http://thereeftank.com/forums/showthread.php?t=65873


HTH
 
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