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Old 09-09-2004, 04:16 AM
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Default Confused about Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness

I am very confused. Please help me !

I bought what I thought I needed to address PH, Alkalinity and Calcium levels in my tanks and now I am confused.... Please help !

1) I have the Salifert Alkalinity/Calcium Hardness Test and a calcium test fron SeaTest. Does a Calcium Hardness test actually test the same thing as the Calcium test ? or are they really 2 different things ?

Also.. when I ran the Salifert test, the chemicals never did change from Blue/Green to Pink/red orange. What does this mean ?

2) I have Kent Superbuffer DkH and CalxMax.

- Superbuffer DkH says "designed to adjust the pH in saltwater aquariums to the optimum range of 8.0 - 8.3 while building the KH".

- CalxMax says "A two part balanced ion supplement for maintaining calcium and alkalinity. CalxMax will not disrupt ionic balance and will replenish salts lost due to protein skimming. "

I bought them assuming that they are complimentary products and that I need to use both of them. The Superbuffer to adjust PH and the Calxmax to increase calcium levels and build alkalinity.. please confirm that I understand this correctly !

Thanks,
Allen
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Old 09-10-2004, 05:13 PM   #2
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Default Re: Confused about Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness

Hi Allen!

While I don't pretend to understand all of this either...here are a few articles that have been helpful to me. I do understand that calcium and alkalinity are NOT the same, but the articles can explain it better than I can. I hope they help! I am still sort of a newbie myself!


http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/nov2002/chem.htm

http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-0...ture/index.htm

http://www.3reef.com/cgi-bin/yabb/Ya...on=display;num =1082929185

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Old 09-10-2004, 05:37 PM   #3
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Default Re: Confused about Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness

I had the same problem with the Salifert calcium test kit. I had to fill up the 1ml syringe again and keep adding drops to get it to change.. then it changed color with one full syringe and a little more of a second one.. then I calculated it the ppm. *That made my calcium reading 550ppm. *(500 is the amount for a reading of 1 full syringe) (50 is the extra I added from the second)
Hope I didnt confuse you.. because I confused myself too!

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Old 09-10-2004, 08:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: Confused about Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness

Allen,

The links birdlady provided are great reading and should help you gain an understanding. (Thinks birdlady)

In the meantime here's a simple answer (that's the kind I like)

Calcium hardness is a term used to describe the calcium content of water. It sounds like you have 2 calcium tests.

IMHO you should not add anymore of the stuff you have until the levels come down to where they registar on the test kits (unless you know what you're doing and have a good reason for doing it). [smiley=laughingsmiley2.gif]

Carbonate hardness (dKH) is a measure of the contribution of carbonate and bicarbonate to total alkalinity. Calxmax adds both calcium and carbonate alkalinity while Superbuffer-dKH is simply a pH buffer and alkalinity or carbonate hardness (KH) builder.

I think if you use the CalxMax to get the calcium and dKH where you want it the pH should end up right where it needs to be. With the Superbuffer-dKH you would need just a calcium supplement. You shouldn't need the Superbuffer-dKH and the CalxMax both (assuming a normal bio-load). At least that's my understanding (somebody correct if I'm wrong).

Hope this helps,
Ted
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Old 09-11-2004, 04:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: Confused about Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness

I am still a little bit confused but I think I get it. I will read those articles birdlady ! Thanks to all for your assistance. I'll let you know how it goes !
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