Frustrated to breaking point!!!

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by Stingray, Mar 23, 2014.

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  1. Stingray

    Stingray Blue Ringed Angel

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    West Midlands,UK
    Ok guys, i'm really getting so frustrated to the point where im seriously debating giving up the hobby, for the last 2-3 weeks i am having to add marine kent tech cb 2 part, 2 tsps of each calcium and alk, my tank at present is consuming 2dkh daily, and even though i dose calcium this stays around the 390-400ppm mark

    I have tried binging up my magnesium as suggested to 1400 but when i added recommended amount by RHF to sump 3 days ago i have no increase?

    I have no clue where its going or if the tanks load is consuming this amount.

    Params at present are

    salinity-1.024
    ph-8
    ammonia-0
    nitrite-0
    nitrate-0
    phosphates-0
    magnesium-1320
    calcium-390
    alk-6-7 by tomorrow morning before dosing this will be 4-5dkh, i test all parameters with salifert and jbl test kits.

    I run a skimmer 24/7, and also a small amount of rowaphos in a tlf reactor, mp10, tunze-2025/2045
    150watt halide run 8hrs a day,

    no precipitation

    I have included shots of livestock/corals left centre, and right see below to give you a idea of load
    I do however have a considerable amount of coraline algae on the rockwork.

    im testing daily calcium/mag/alk multiple times just to keep a eye on things, im at my wits end, just do not know whats causing me to use so much alk, im scared to add any more then this because some of my corals have closed up, namely zoas,
    sory for the assay, any more info needed i will get it up asap,
    I have read about sand using alk in clumps any info on this

    Thanks in advance.

    Left
    [​IMG]

    Centre
    [​IMG]

    Right
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2014
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  3. Stingray

    Stingray Blue Ringed Angel

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    Forgot to mention i do a 25% water change every sunday, using instant ocean reef salt, and keep a small bag of carbon in my filter sock.
     
  4. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    1. The zoanthids should not be the 1st to show adverse reaction to a lower alk value. I would look for an alternative reason for those zoanthids being closed up.

    2. What test kits please?

    3. Have you considered changing to a different salt mix?

    4. Yes coralline is probably contributing to it at least some degree.

    5. Have you considered using a dosing pump.

    Hardly seems worth leaving the hobby for, there will be a way to get the values dialed in. The question is do you manually want to dose daily or change over to a dosing pump, if dosing is not something you want to get into than stick with soft corals, change your salt mix and do more frequent water changes.


    Edit: Change your salt to Reef Crystals/continue with the same water change regime.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2014
  5. Kevin_E

    Kevin_E Giant Squid

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    Honestly, I dontvsee much in your tank that would require dosing. Seems like precipitation issues, not consumption...especially 2 dKH. Your water changes probably bring you back down from your dosing.

    Your water changes shoukd provide enough all and calc for lps and softies.

    If you're having success, I wouldn't bother chasing numbers.

    Jmo.
     
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  6. Stingray

    Stingray Blue Ringed Angel

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    Thanks for swift reply Corailine,

    1-The zoas closed up due to me adding more then the recommended amount of kent tech alk part.

    2-test kits are mentioned above.

    3-No

    4-ok

    5-from what i have read dosing pumps are risky of developing faults and flooding the sump, aswell as being expensive, is it possible to add baking soda or calcium flakes to my top up, daily?

    I have just bought a new 25kg salt bucket so a change is not a option at present, all i need to get to the bottom of is why my tank is consuming a hefty 2dkh daily.
     
  7. Stingray

    Stingray Blue Ringed Angel

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    Thanks for reply kevin, i to would agree i dont see what would use it, and i thought precipitaion was something i could see with the naked eye(correct me if im wrong)

    my water changes take my params up shortly rather then down, especially when the alk is as low as 4-5dkh
     
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  9. Marshall O

    Marshall O Giant Squid

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    BRS dosing pumps are $80 each, less if you get them on a group buy. Two of those, 1 gallon jugs, tubing, two very simple timers, and you are good to go. Using timers will prevent the pumps from running longer than they should, though either way there is no chance of them flooding your sump since you are drawing from 1 gallon jugs (so at most two gallons). From there, just test as needed and make sure your jugs never run empty.

    However, as already mentioned, it seems just by changing salt mixes you can avoid dosing daily anyways.
     
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  10. Billme

    Billme Eyelash Blennie

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    hey stingray- I can understand the frustration. I recently had similar problems understanding Ca and Alk. For what it's worth I now have it under good control. Ca and Alk work together (or against each other). The following articles should help you get an understanding of the relationship. The first article was the most helpful to me and I frequently refer back to it.
    Chemistry And The Aquarium: Solving Calcium And Alkalinity Problems — Advanced Aquarist | Aquarist Magazine and Blog
    Calcium and Alkalinity by Randy Holmes-Farley - Reefkeeping.com
    A Simplified Guide to the Relationship Between Calcium, Alkalinity, Magnesium and pH by Randy Holmes-Farley - Reefkeeping.com
    Let's talk about Alkalinity, Calcium and Magnesium in an SPS Tank - Reef Central Online Community
     
  11. Swisswiss

    Swisswiss Caribbean Reef Squid

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    hang in there stingray
     
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  12. DSC reef

    DSC reef Giant Squid

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    Get some reef crystals stingray. I use aquavitro and dose alk everyday to stay at 10dk and calcium once a week but I have a lot of corals and a clam consuming it all. Also, test once a day around the same time to get a true baseline of params. Testing multiple times a day will give you different readings and add frustration..