Where is my alkalinity going?

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by Diver_1298, Feb 11, 2007.

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  1. Diver_1298

    Diver_1298 Eyelash Blennie

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    I have decided to start keeping sps corals and have had my frags now for a couple of months. I even rearranged my tank and changed out and added a couple of power heads. So, I have been testing my calcium and alkalinity levels weekly to make sure they are within my specs. I use Oceanic salt because it dissolves easy and it has high levels of calcium.
    My Calcium was reading around 500 and my alkalinity about 2 meq/liter.
    So, I adjusted my alkalinity up by adding baking soda to about 4 meq/l. A week later I did another test with the same results. So, another adjustment was made. A week later same results :-/ :-/ Where is my alkalinity going? I know magnesium is supposed to help keep these guys mixed properly, So I guess I am going to have to do the PIA magnesium check. Cotton ball filtering and all, titrating for alkalinity is so much easier. Anyone have any ideas?
    And don't ask my what my magnesium level is ;D I don't know yet but I am going to wander off and check it now :tongue4: I have the Mag flake to add if I need it, thanks to one of our sponsors twopartsolutions.com Anyone have any ideas?:-X :-X
    Thanks,

    Jim
     
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  3. amcarrig

    amcarrig Super Moderator Staff Member

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    What's your magnesium level at? ;D

    I'm guessing that your mag is low and that's why you're having a hard time keeping your alk up.
     
  4. coral reefer

    coral reefer Giant Squid

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    Hi Jim,
    with your alkalinity and calcium levels where they are at, you won't have any trouble with your stonies and their ability to calcificate. Just be careful that your pH doesn't drop below 7.8, or calcification will become restricted!!!
    try dosing with Kalkwassser instead as calcium hydroxide is a better buffering agent than borates, carbonates or bicarbonates!!!!!!!
    The best time to add the kalkwasser is at night as your pH may rise significantly. Carbon dioxide administered with kalkwasser will allow for the best pH results....Vinegar and kalkwasser mixed together and dosed will do fine as well!!!
    A high calcium level will lower your alkalinity level!!! My guess is that your magnesium level is too low though and the thing with kalk is that it doesn't contain magnesium and it will continually lower your magnesium level.
    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2007
  5. coral reefer

    coral reefer Giant Squid

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    :LolLolLol :laugh3: :lol: :laugh: :hehe: :laughings :laughings :biggrinbo :laughing0 Oh, by the way Jim...whats you magnesium level?
     
  6. Diver_1298

    Diver_1298 Eyelash Blennie

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    OK, drum roll please..........
    My magnesium level is 1250 to 1300 ppm according to my seachem test kit.
    I even did it twice to see if it would come up with the same results. It took the whole syringe of 1.0 cc to turn the solution blue. I wonder if my RO water is low in ph? I'll check that.
    I've never had too many problems with calcium, it is almost always on the spot or slightly high. Hmmmm, more testing is in order.
    Thanks for the replies :D

    Jim
     
  7. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    My SPS did not like 2 meq alk very well. Much happier with higher alk. As mentioned try getting your mag up to 1350-1400 and check it again. This will probably bring your calcium down a bit too in my experience which is ok. Good luck!

    R.O. is low in pH generally. SeaChem marine buffer helped me in these matters too.
     
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  9. morejongg

    morejongg Astrea Snail

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