Please help with stabilizing Alk

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by Bob F, Oct 8, 2014.

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  1. Bob F

    Bob F Bristle Worm

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    For months now, I have been battling to keep my Alk up and have no idea why it is dropping. I only have some soft corals and some LPS (Large galexea, Open brain, Duncan). The Galexea and Duncan have been growing so I know there are taking some up but coraline algae has not really been growing and would even say some dyed off. I originally though it was because a lack of water changes but I have bee religiousely changing 15% to 20% each week due to a cyano problem (which I am winning). The highest I get it is around 7.8dkh but if I do not dose between water changes it drops to around 6.8 mid week and no matter how much Red Sea part B I put in it never gets above the 7.8 dkh. Although, I never put more than 30ml in a day to avoid a spike. So what the heck could be pulling the Alk down?
    Calcium stays almost constant at 420, it drops a little now in then to say 400
    Mag stays constant at 1320
    Phos and nitrate near 0
    amonia 0
    PH around 8.1 I use API kit so iffy on color
    I use Reef Crystals new batch tests at 7.8dkh
    70 gallon reef with sump I am now using Phosban in reactor, skimmer, and cheato in sump.

    I recently began Kalkwasser but this does not entirely make sense to me since the Calcium half I do not have an issue with but just can't see me continue to dump in Part B. I eventually want to get some SPS but I will no put in tank atthese levels and can't imagine how much the alk would drop if I did put in an SPS

    Any suggestions? I seem to eventualy figure out things but this really has me stumped
     
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  3. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    Always start with the test kit and double checking results against another.
    If your values are correct you could try another salt mix like Red Sea Coral Pro.
    Consider a dosing pump system secondary to the size of your system is you're going sps.
    The alkalinity value always decreases much more quickly than Ca, without a consistent dosing program you're just chasing your tail, I know this 1st hand.
    You could also try BRS 2 part which I think is a better product.


    http://aquarium.bulkreefsupply.com/reefing/Dosing-Pump
    http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-05/rhf/

    You could also go the baking soda route.
     
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  4. Bob F

    Bob F Bristle Worm

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    Thanks Corailline, I did double check test kits at LFS, so assuming I am good there. I admit I need to be more consistent with approach as i am trying to readjust often but very surprised how much it drops so quickly with what I have in tank. I think I will try the Red Sea Coral Pro after I finish off the salt I have left. Do you think I should put the Kalkwasser on hold until stablize with the BRS Soda ash (which I will try as well) or should I continue with the Kalkwasser to help in the stabilization?l
     
  5. Billme

    Billme Eyelash Blennie

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    When I changed from api to salifert the tests were quite different. With API it always showed 10 dkh. With salifert it varied between 8 and 10. I'd suggest salifert. If your LFS is using api also you'd expect the same results.
     
  6. Bob F

    Bob F Bristle Worm

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    I hve API for PH only. I use the Salifert for the alk and have the Red Sea kit for Mag. Maybe I will just buy another kit just to make sure Coming to end of reagent anyway
     
  7. Billme

    Billme Eyelash Blennie

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    For comparison, I add 15 ml/day of carbonate. I have a 40 gallon. The biggest user in my tank is a 5" clam.
     
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  9. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    For now your numbers are fine, except for that drop in Alk to the 6's, pH is fine. Personally I like Kalk but I have only used it for nanos (anything less then 30 gallons), you should start to see some noticeable corallline algae growth. So if your ok with kalk for now that is fine.
    If you want sps you'll eventually have to move up to a consistent dosing of Ca/Alk in a 70 gallon tank, or a Ca reactor. A rare few can pull it off with water changes only.
     
  10. Vinnyboombatz

    Vinnyboombatz Giant Squid

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    Reef Crystals are a better idea ime.;)
     
  11. mdbostwick

    mdbostwick Vlamingii Tang

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    You should be able to increase your Alk by 1 dkh daily safely. I use this to find the amount to add. And if you need to calculate your water volume use this link. Once you get it where you need it just track how much it goes down each day and calculate how much you need to add each day. I use baked Baking Soda mixed in RODI which works great and it cost me about $5 from Sams for what seems will be decades worth of baking soda.