Alkalinity

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by herkie, 18 Oct 2007.

  1. herkie

    herkie R.I.P.

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    What should your alkalinity reading be? My test kit shows milli equivalents per liter and I think it reads about 2,2. Will the reading go up or down if you dose kalkwasser?
     
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  3. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

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    Herkie, kalk wont really add buffer to the water esp if your tank is loaded with LPS or SPS corals you will still need to add some sort of buffer either sodium bicarb or sodium carbonate. 2.2 is on the low side you do need to raise it a bit. You can use our calculators and find out how much to add and to do the conversions to dkh. You need it up in the region of 2.8 - 3.0 meq
     
  4. herkie

    herkie Thread Starter R.I.P.

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    Where do I get this stuff Alan. Will I get it in a chemist? How and howmuch do I dose on 250l water?
     
  5. Obi-Wan

    Obi-Wan

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    Well, BASICALLY...

    I assume you have a testkit, WITH a manual of some sorts?

    I'll suppose we ARE talking Carbonate alkalinity

    Let's start with some references.
    NSW RANGES between 6-8dKH
    EQUIVALENT to 2.5 mEq/L


    So, 2.2mEq/L is WITHIN, but at LOWEST SAFELY ACCEPTABLE LEVEL.

    Tanks are closed systems, well ALMOST in a way.

    Some compounds accumulate ..while on the other hand -
    Certain things are depleted, alkalinity MORESO than others.

    MOSTLY due to reacting with organic acids during the BIOLOGICAL PHASE of your filtration PLUS incorporation as BIOMASS of coral, coralline,OTHER algae, invertebrates esp.any bivalve/molluscs.

    Think of alkalinity as "THE ANTACID", and critical shell/skeleton growth component.

    SO maintaining alkalinity a BIT higher

    [3mEq/L ~ 8.5dKh] can ONLY Strengthen AND Enhance the role it plays in our closed home aquarium sytems.

    Kalkwasser
    DIRECTLY affects pH, being strongly ALKALINE.

    INDIRECTLY (by way of reaction with CO2 in water) contributes to a RAISED ALKALINITY.

    So, Herkie, it will increase alkalinity.

    However, you are limited to it's efficacy according to your aquarium CO2 content and biomass of CALCIFYING organisms.

    I'm sure members/mods will point you to a few good links.
     
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  6. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

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    You can get bicarb at Spar or Pick n Pay, i use the Robertsons. Dont add too quickly i mix with ro and then drip it into the system. Check under calculators on the top left hand side of the home page, there is a calculator there that will tell you how much to dose.
     
  7. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

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  8. Midasblenny

    Midasblenny

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    dosing kalk long term requires additional kH Buffer or you`ll end up with an even lower value.
     
  9. Afsal

    Afsal

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    guys i has a kh of 7 and started dosing kalk/vinegar kh is sitting on 9 now .. did the vinegar aid in that
     
  10. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

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    Afsal, how much kalk you dosing to what size system? The vinegar wont aid kh as it is acidic [main reason for adding it to kalk].
     
  11. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    I agree - I use Robertsons or Buffalo...

    Good advice. If your pH is on the high side (8.3 - 8.4) you can use it "as is", mixed with RO water in a ratio of not more than 8 teaspoons per liter of water (more will not dissolve easily).

    If your pH is on the low side (7.9 - 8.1) you would do better to bake the bicarb in a glass dish in the oven at ~120 - 140 C for 1-2 hours and then add it to the RO - the baking drives off CO2 and temporarily increases the pH of the tank water. Baked bicarb is more soluble, and can be added up to 10 teaspoons per liter of RO.

    Kalk will theoretically increase alk, but due to it's high pH limiting the maximum volume added per day to only about 1-2% of tank volume, it most often only manages to maintain the alkalinity, without increasing it. In my opinion it's still a very good additive, and should be used in addition to adding other chemicals.

    Hennie
     
  12. JB

    JB Reeferboy

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    What happens if the ph is too high, lets say 8.6 or so, what happens to corals/fish?
     
  13. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi JB - nothing.... as long as your pH was increased VERY VERY slowly.... It seems that fish and corals are indeed able to adapt - BUT if things are changed VERY slowly...

    I am running my pH at 8.6, without any adverse effects (as far as I can see).... no die-off....
    I believe (DragonReef can back me up on this) that he, as well as Anthony Calfo, believes that it is MUCH better for a reef system to run your pH at 8.6 (not higher though).....

    As long as you also then ensure that you buffer your tank with enough sodium carbonate or bicarbonate, to ensure that there are no MAJOR pH swings in the tank's water.
     
  14. sihaya

    sihaya

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    One thing some newbie reef keepers don't realize is that pH "naturally" swings over the course of the day. It's perfectly normal/healthy for your pH to peak at 8.6 in the middle of your photoperiod (your artificial "noon") and then dip down to 8.2 in the middle of the night.

    This is why when people talk about their pH I always ask what time of day they took that measurement. ;)
     
  15. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

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    Agree with above. Just one question JB, what did you use to test the PH?
     
  16. herkie

    herkie Thread Starter R.I.P.

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    Hi there, Im back again and feeling happy about all the mishaps I had before. Not really happy about the mishaps, rather the outcome.
    Alk now sits at 2,8 milli eq and ph at 8,4. I always feel my colour comparisms are absolutely what they should not be and got my wife who is the artistic type to compare the sample colours to that of the test kit colour charts.
    I must say again that the results are more or less at the correct levels but my knowledge and understanding levels still needs a lot of brushing up.
    Thank you very much to all who gave advice and the much needed moral support.
     
  17. JB

    JB Reeferboy

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    Hagen PH tester

    Not the best of testers so ive read
     
  18. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

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    Yeah, not the most accurate, i wouldn't worry too much about the 8.6 reading, no problem if it is, but i doubt that is an accurate reading. Have you tested your alkalinity if so what is it and again what test kit?
     
  19. JB

    JB Reeferboy

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    About 6.72 (120ppm) according to yet another Hagen test kit
    Using royal bicarb of soda to raise it a bit more.
    After that il be using tropic marine tripple buffer for waterchange/top up water

    I will be going to exotic this weekend for them to check my params.Thing is they use a strip, not a decent test kit. :(
     
  20. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

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    Yeah, lets wait until they verify the parameters and then look at a course of action, the Hagen kits really are not that accurate. I can almost guarantee that with a DKH of 6.7 you wont have a PH of 8.6.
     
  21. JB

    JB Reeferboy

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    ok cool.
    I checked this morning after i added 1.5 teaspoons of bicarb of soda and i have a 7dKH now and my ph is somewhere around 8.3 or so.
    The thing is, with hagen kits, do u have to press the test tube against the colour chart or hold it next to the colour chart(eg: PH tester).
    Cos there is a big difference in colour between the two
     
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