RAPID Alk drops - where's it going?

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by DeeBee, Oct 19, 2014.

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  1. DeeBee

    DeeBee Astrea Snail

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    No film on my tank or equipment but I did notice some snow when I was manually dosing. Typically I have a BRS doser doing the work and would never notice any precipitation as slow as it drips. The snow could point again to low Magnesium but not sure why the numbers don't align to that when tested by two different kits. So odd.

    If raising it to 1450 doesn't work then I guess I will try the other direction. :)
     
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  3. Av8Bluewater

    Av8Bluewater Giant Squid

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    If higher mag doesn't work I would take next step of raising a little more then if that' doesn't work I would get another test kit and take it from there. Are you dosing calcium at the same time?
     
  4. evolved

    evolved Wrasse Freak

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    When you raised it up to 10, what value did you start at and how quickly did you try to raise it?

    I'm going to venture out and say you are dosing too much, too quickly. Unless you're letting it slowly drip over the course of an hour when raising it (and no more than 1 dkh per day), it's precipitating out on you. And I also feel you have the same type of phenomena occurring at night. 100ml is way more than what your tank should be using, and I'm guessing it's precipitating just the same.

    Stop dosing for a few days. Check the Alk level on day one and again on day three or four. I bet it's not moving much. Recalcuate what you need to be dosing daily.
     
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  5. DeeBee

    DeeBee Astrea Snail

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    I appreciate everyone's input and help. I raised my Magnesium to 1450 and have been able to hold alkalinity at much more consistent levels for the past couple weeks. I am drip dosing around 50ml of BRS Soda Ash solution, which seems high for a non SPS tank, but that's better than the nearly 100ml I was dosing. At least things seem more stable now.
     
  6. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Glad to hear it.
    Are you using a Salifert kit for alkalinity too?
     
  7. APC

    APC Gigas Clam

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    Couple of questions/comments? Why the push to get ALK to 10? Are you having problems with your tank in the 8's? It seems like your mag, ca are good and 8 is not a bad Alk reading. Not saying you are wrong to want to go to 10 - I am just honestly curious why.

    100ml a night seems like a lot on that size tank. I have about 300g total volume and put in 300-400 mls per week to keep my ALK in the mid 8 range. I also use BRS 2 part and test with salifert. I do weekly 10% water changes though with reef crystals and that may be a factor.
     
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  9. DeeBee

    DeeBee Astrea Snail

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    Hi Matt. Ran out of Salifert for Alk test so currently using Red Sea Pro for that one. But I was testing with both previously and were giving very similar results.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
  10. DeeBee

    DeeBee Astrea Snail

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    That's a good question because my first post is kind of misleading and I apologize for not giving the whole story. I strive to keep my Alk around the 8.4 range but was experiencing close to a 2 point drop each day. So typically I would get my alk above 8 (after the 1.1ml/hr doser had completed the 1.5 hours of dripping) and then end up at around 6.7 dkh within 4-6 hours. For this example I had tried to boost it higher just to experiment and see what would happen. The result was a solid 2 point drop within hours.

    I still think that the new rate of 50ml a day is high for a tank my size that isn't slap full of SPS - the comment about your much larger tank basically confirms that. So you have to assume there may still be some precipitation just not as much as there was prior to raising my Mg.

    I am currently experimenting with another Alk product that is bicarb/carb to see if it makes any difference over the BRS soda ash. Worth a try.
     
  11. mikejrice

    mikejrice 3reef Affiliate

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    If you continue having a hard time keeping your alkalinity up, you might try adding some Aquavitro Balance into your dosing regimen. It works to balance the carbonate buffer system ratio which helps with keeping your alk higher and more stable.

    In my experience, alkalinity is similar to calcium in that there is a readable level and a potential level. Magnesium can release potential calcium in a system and raise calcium without even dosing it. Balance seems to have the same affect only with alkalinity.

    I currently use it weekly to maintain the carb ratio on all systems that have a regular dosing regimen, and recently I've found that dosing it daily on systems where a kalk stirrer is in use balances the alkalinity against all the calcium and keeps them both rock solid.

    Hands down my favorite chemical.
     
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  12. evolved

    evolved Wrasse Freak

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    Precipitation is the only explanation for it to move that magnitude in that short of a time period.