Properly raising alkalinity

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by tomekc, May 19, 2011.

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  1. tomekc

    tomekc Plankton

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
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    Hello Everyone

    I am trying to raise my Alkalinity to proper levels. Currently my water parameters are:

    Tank size is 90 gal.
    Temp 78F
    pH: 8.36 during the day 8.20 during night +- 10%
    dKH: 6.06 or 2.36 meg /L
    Calcium: 450
    Magnesium 1320ppm
    Ammonia - 0, Nitrite - 0, Nitrate - 3,Phosphate - 0.13

    The ph is measured with Apex probe so I know it's accurate, I also measured with Salifert test kit.
    The other parameters Were measured with Salifert test kits. I also measured the Phosphate and Alkalinity with both Salifert and Hanna checker and got pretty much the same result.

    I'm trying to get Alkalinity to at least 7 or 8 dKH.
    The Alk was lower around 5.3dKH a few days ago. What I did was slowly started adding Brightwell Aquatics Alkalin8.3 Buffer. This raised the Alkalinity slightly to where its at right now. Also I started adding Kalkwasser with my Top Of water yesterday. I mixed 2 tsp of Kalk in 5 gal of Ro/Di water.

    So I have few questions. Should I continue dosing Kalk and adding the Alkalin8.3 Buffer? How is this going to effect the pH, Calcium and Alk further?
    I noticed that after the Kalk and KH buffer the PH rose up at least .10 overall. Will continuing adding thsese further raise the pH?
    Am I doing this correctly? Basically I don't want to mess things up to destabilize the water chemistry balance. Any help is greaty appreciated.

    Thanks
     
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  3. saltyfresh

    saltyfresh Corkscrew Tentacle Anemone

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    u need to rase mag to 1450 and that should help alk is not that big 7-11 is fine but just keep it stable
     
  4. saltyfresh

    saltyfresh Corkscrew Tentacle Anemone

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    sorry it is so late i cant help you now tomorrow i will help u
     
  5. steve wright

    steve wright Super Moderator Staff Member

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    tomekc

    Kalwasser has a PH of about 12 so it is possible continued use of this could increase your tanks overall PH

    but if your dosing manually - dosing at night when your PH is naturally dropping to 8.2 anyway can compensate for this ( you will then end up with improved stability)

    Having said that - -please consider this

    Kalwasser delivers both Calcium and Carbonates in a balanced ratio
    but as you have noted, your tank is not balanced at present , your calcium level is fine where it is, using Kalk to increase DKH will only lead to an increase in Calcium at same time or due to magnesium level, you may just get precipitation and the carbonates fall out of solution anyway

    my suggestion would be to use an alternative product to increase your DKH
    and one that does not affect calcium level

    you may or may not need to increase your mag level to achieve it (SG also has an effect on what levels of Ca and Alk you can maintain in solution )

    thus select a product for increasing Alk (the Brightwell product may prove expensive as its fine for Nano type tanks but you need a lot to make a significant difference in your tank)

    once you have your DKH at 8 or 9 and your calcium has remained around 450ppm
    then you can consider using Kalwasser to maintain both of those levels for future

    if when your increasing DKH to 9 - you find it will not get there or when it gets there it falls back down very quickly or when you do achieve it, you find your calcium level has dropped FYI a calcium level of about 425 is balanced with a DKH of 9 thus if Calcium of 420 and DKH of 9 was achievable with current mag level your fine IMO

    but if you struggle to achieve those numbers that would be a signal to increase the Mag - to 1400 - 1450 and this should then help you to maintain your targetted Ca and DKH levels

    Arm and Hammer baking soda may be an option for you for raising the DKH
    in its unbaked form it can lower PH , thus this product would be fine to add during lights on periods - made into a solution with RODI and dripped at a rate of 2 drips per second into your sump near an area of high flow, whilst monitoring your PH
    is an expensive way of increasing DKH/ Alk