Help on getting Alk, Ca, Mg parameters right

Discussion in 'Water Parameters and Additives' started by Lemar, 20 Mar 2009.

  1. Lemar

    Lemar

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    Hi, i did a 10% waterchange this afternoon. I do this every 2 weeks.
    I tested my parameters after 5 hours and this is what i got:

    Prepared Salt (before adding to DT) - i mixed it 2 days ago
    Alk = 8
    PH = 8.3

    Water parameters of my DT
    Alk = 5
    PH = 8.2
    Nitrite = 0mg
    Nitrate = <1mg
    Ammonia = 0.05
    Magnesium = 1080
    Calcium = 500

    Ok, so i'm a bit concerned about the alkalinity and then obviously the mag and ca.
    The last 3 times I tested the parameters (last 5weeks), the alkalinity was 5, which is now starting to worry me. What can I do, to get it right. Also some help on the mag and ca parameters.
    And what affect will the "incorrect" parameters have on my inhabitents.

    Just a quick update on my tank. 500l, with 100L sump with DSB.
    Currently have a few damsels and 2 clownfish left (after my tank crash 4 months ago). 3 sea urchines, one tube anemone, 3x local anemones a number of snails, finger leather coral
    2 weeks ago i bought 1x zoa's, green sponge coral and a open brain coral. everything seem fine, it's just the last 2 days the open brain is not opening anymore. It's in it's "stoney" state if that means anything :whistling:
    Could it be the parameters or maybe food??
     
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  3. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi Lemar - ok. Get yourself some sodium bicarbonate (Baking SODA).... Get 2 boxes.... Put the contents of ONE box in a oven proof container, and bake at 150 degrees for one hour.

    Then, use one heaped teaspoon of each (the baked and unbaked) of sodium bicarbonate (the one box will still be sodium bicarbonate, the baked contents would turn to sodium carbonate) PER DAY (2 heaped tea-spoons).... Measure your alkalinity BEFORE, and about 2 hours AFTER you dosed..... please post the measurements here.

    BUT - BEFORE you do this, try and get a second opinion on your test kit. Just try and make sure that your test kit is not at fault!

    Good luck with that!
     
  4. Tony

    Tony

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    Is your alkalinity reading in DKH or degrees Meq? If it's in DKH reead below

    Your alkalinity is too low and your calcium is too high. You need to add a buffer of sorts from bicarb to the branded marine sorts before your inhabitants start looking a bit down in the dumps. Use the calculator on the web site. Just increase it slowly over a period of twelve hours. Using sodium bicarbonate will increase your p.H slightly although it's perfect as it is. You want to get your alkalinity to about 8DKH which is what I'm assuming your giving us the readings in.

    The calculator will give you the amount of magnesium to use. You can use epsom salts for this. You want to get your magensium up to about 1300ppm but you need to do this slowly adding the additive every eight hours or so.
     
  5. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    Watch those Alk levels, they are getting dangerously low.

    What test kit are you using ?
     
  6. sunburst

    sunburst

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    I would just dose a teaspoon of sodium bicarb every night and watch my calcium slowly come down to 400. By that time alk should have corrected itself. The danger of driving up alkalinity levels to quickly (washing soda)(baked bicarb) will upset calcium levels.
     
  7. brentnorm

    brentnorm

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    Just try some Reef Carbonate.
     
  8. riyadhessa

    riyadhessa

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    My kh is 20DKH hw do i get it down pls
     
  9. sunburst

    sunburst

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    Not sure if that is at all possible. Interesting to see if you have any calcium left in the water.
     
  10. riyadhessa

    riyadhessa

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    well i manualy does with kent calcium
     
  11. Tony

    Tony

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    Stop all buffer additions and just maintain your calcium. It look like the kent stuff is a buffer as well so be careful.
     
  12. sunburst

    sunburst

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    Out of curiosity, what is your calcium reading. Agree with Tony. Stop the buffer addition. Are you using tap water for your top ups? Do a 50% water change and then Raise your calcium using Calcium chloride. Once you reach 400/450 calcium revert to a balanced calcium/alkalinity regime.
     
  13. riyadhessa

    riyadhessa

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    Thanks guys....I am using RO water that i buy at Sams Aquarium...My calcium is 350mg/l (ppm)...i will stop with the kent product that im using.....Where can i find Calcium chloride...how do i start a thread of my tank? How do i go about doing this? Is there anyone who can help me?
     
  14. Monti

    Monti

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    Before doing anything drastic, I would suggest checking your test kit (what brand is it?). I doubt the alk really is 20.

    Also, just out of interest, what corals do you have (if any with an alk like that)? How often do you dose and test?

    If your alk really is 20, I would suggest a daily 10-15% water changes over a week or so- too much of a change may cause a shock.

    Sorry for all the questions- just trying to understand the root of the problem.
     
  15. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

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    im using tropic marin test kits. i added 1 teaspoon of baking soda last night. was out the whole day so will test when i get home and add some more. what kind of buffer should I buy?
    also the calculator is only working with alk and not mag and calcium. am i doing something wrong?
     
  16. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

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    ps how much epson salt must i add to get magnesuim right?
     
  17. Tony

    Tony

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    Lemar. You can safely add about three teaspoons of bicarb a day. You can add the same with the magnesium but not at the same time as the bicarb. Do this till your alkalinity is at about 8DKH and your magnesium is at 1300ppm. The calculator calculates your dosage seperately not as a collective.
     
  18. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

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    I just did a quick test and here's my results:
    Alkalinity = 6dkH
    PH = 8.1
    Magnes = 1200
    Calcium = 440
    I added another teaspoon of bicarb of soda. Will test again tomorrow, but it seems things are coming together. (just worried, why is PH falling, shouldnt it be increasing)

    Thanks for all advice
    The bicarb of soda is probably just a quick fix, will I have to add a buffer from now on to maintain parameters? Also what exactly is the purpose of kalkwasser. Im not dosing this, should I be?
     
  19. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    Will happen when dosing bicarb.
     
  20. Tony

    Tony

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    This is true. Bake the bicarb in an oven to form sodium carbonate if you want to up your p.H. Sodium bicarb will drop the p.H and sodium carbonate will raise it. A quick way to raise the waters p.H is to add a little kalk even thouugh yours in not dangerously low. Incidently, did you measure the p.H during the lights on or off?

    Your magnesium is getting there and not too bad. About ten teaspoons of epsom salts will sort that out but do this three spoons at a time over a few days. Your calcium is perfect so well done there
     
  21. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

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    ok will bake some bicarb. In an earlier post it was said that i shouldn't add the epsom salts together with the bicarb. can i add the salt now, and then another teaspoon of baked bicarb tonight?
    O and i tested the PH when lights were on. does it make a difference?
     
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