Ca, Mg and Alk Help

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by kcbrad, Mar 11, 2010.

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  1. kcbrad

    kcbrad Giant Squid

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    And that's why I'm thankful you did it first! ;)
     
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  3. wiigelec

    wiigelec Fire Shrimp

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    I also use Oceanic salt and fresh mix calcium levels are right around 500 ppm...

    What brand tests are you using? Have you tested multiple times with the same results?

    Also...

    Kalkwasser is probably one of the most difficult and potentially problematic ways to dose calcium and alkalinity, mostly because the solution has an extremely high pH.

    I find a two-part calcium / alkalinity supplementation scheme easier to start out with.

    Finally...

    It is my opinion that one should not dose anything without first testing every week for several weeks and recording the results to determine chemical parameter trends, for example is the calcium level steady, rising, or dropping. When dosing begin slowly with only one parameter at a time, again with several testing periods to determine trends. It is quite easy to get things totally out of whack (ask me how I know);D
     
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  4. kcbrad

    kcbrad Giant Squid

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    I used Salifert test kits, and they are brand new. The expiry dates on them are 2013 or something. I only tested once. I didn't think my levels would be so low because my hammer coral is growing by the day! But, I guess they are....

    I'm going to test my newly made saltwater tomorrow and record the levels. Then I plan on doing a water change and testing the tank's water and recording it. I plan to test for several weeks before dosing and keeping track of the results. I'm not going to rush into anything!

    With regards to kalk increasing pH, ReefSparky advised me to dose the kalk at night, when the pH drops.

    Thanks for your thoughts!!
     
  5. ReefSparky

    ReefSparky Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Keep in mind that kalk dosing would be done in a scenario where calcium is being consumed in a tank, (i.e. SPS dominated or a few clams). I suspect with some weeks of testing you might find out that your current "shortage" of calcium is more attributable to your salt mix, rather than your corals consuming calcium.

    As for the pH dropping at night; I think this is more pronounced in SPS dominated tanks, because corals that photosynthesize during the day (taking in CO2 and releasing O2) contribute to a rise in pH during the day, and at night--this isn't happening, so the pH tends to go down.

    Kalk is commonly used in SPS dense tanks because it not only adds calcium to the water, but it also lessens the nightly tendency of pH declining.

    Again, in your case, KC, with mostly zoas and a euphyllia or two, I think that a good salt mix with a higher calcium level, coupled with routine testing and addition of calcium solution like Bulk Reef Supply's two part solution might be a better plan of attack than dripping kalk.
     
  6. kcbrad

    kcbrad Giant Squid

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    Okay, I tested my newly made saltwater and here are the numbers:

    Salinity - 1.025
    Ca - 640
    Mg - 1380-1410 (lost count of a drop or two)
    Hardness - 15.2

    So....looks like my calcium and dKH are high - are they too high? Or is it okay, since the numbers will drop once the water is added to the tank?

    Looks like my salt brand is okay! Hopefully if I stay on top of water changes that will keep the numbers up, for the time being.
     
  7. kcbrad

    kcbrad Giant Squid

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  9. wfb2270

    wfb2270 Corkscrew Tentacle Anemone

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    have you re-checked your tank water???
     
  10. steve wright

    steve wright Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Ca - 640?
    did you mean 460?

    I have 2 calcium test kits , Tropic Marin and Red Sea and neither of them measure beyond 500 - you have to repeat test with smaller volume of water and then calculate the level based on that

    I did make mistakes when 1st started testing, to much of this, not enough shaking between drops etc - giving me false high values on Calc and in fact mag , until I got used to using the kits

    Id get those numbers re checked - your testing procedure confirmed , because last thing you want is to make changes in your parameters based on test results that might be in error (get the kit checked out it could be a rogue?)

    but IMO even if the numbers above are correct, doing a 10% water change will not cause any problems, due to the fact the new water and the elements in it, will be dilluted
    into you tank - thus not increasing your existing numbers by to much .

    Steve
     
  11. wiigelec

    wiigelec Fire Shrimp

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    I agree the titration types of test kits do involve a slight learning curve...
     
  12. kcbrad

    kcbrad Giant Squid

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    No, lol I mean 640! I did half the amount of water in the vial, so then I multiplied the results by two (per the instructions). And I re-tested the tank water for calcium, and it was off the charts!!