Low readings and dosing questions

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by VicZA, 8 Mar 2014.

  1. VicZA

    VicZA

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    I have never done any dosing besides for Calcium ... been doing that for two weeks using @TheWaterboy Max Calcium. By doing this I have managed to increase my calcium levels from around 275 to 350 so some progress there :thumbup:. However, my other 2 readings are way down (especially my KH :eek:) so please can you assist in explaining how and what to dose to get these levels up.

    All livestock is happy, feeding and growing. A bit of accelerated algae growth though recently.

    Here are my reading as of 5 minutes ago:

    Ca = 350
    Mg = 1040
    KH = 5.6

    Not sure if taking readings at night affects anything ... please explain if it does

    Thanks
    Vic
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
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  3. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    You need a magnesium and Alk suppliment or do a large water change
     
  4. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Will chat to you tomorrow
     
  5. VicZA

    VicZA Thread Starter

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    ok cool .... would rather get some supplements .... not so keen on large water change
     
  6. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    What is your salinity?
     
  7. VicZA

    VicZA Thread Starter

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    1.024 ... last I checked (about a week ago)
     
  8. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    Why would you only dose Ca, and not Mg and especially alk? And why did your params get so low in the 1st place..
    The problem with dosing something like Waterboy Ca, is that it is nothing but a Ca suppliment... Fine for raising, but does nothing for Mg when using it as a maintenance dose.
    Once your Mg, alk and Ca levels are where you want them, consider using a suppliment like Seachem reef advantage calcium, as it adds Mg and Sr in ratios typically associated with biotic precipitation / assimilation.

    You going to need quite a bit if mgso4 ro raise your mg to where you want it, so as Mr Goldswain proposed: decent salt, mix up to proper salinity (35ppt) and do a few water changes to get things where they shoukd be...
    Then maintain with a goid Ca suppliment like seachem reef adv. ca
     
  9. VicZA

    VicZA Thread Starter

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    just looking at the Seachem supplement brochure and I see the Reef Advantage Calcium, Magnesium and Strontium. Does Strontium increase your Alkalinity ?
     
  10. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Nope it doesn't, carbonates do. Sr is used in skeleton formation
     
  11. VicZA

    VicZA Thread Starter

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    So does Alkalinity increase as a result of increase in Calcium and Magnesium ? Or is there something specific that is dosed into the tank to increase your KH ?
     
  12. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    Carbonates and bicarbonates. Reef builder and reef advantage calcium a great combination.
    Prior comments in relation to all your parameters being on the very low side.
     
  13. VicZA

    VicZA Thread Starter

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    Ok so if I start dosing with these two as per recommendations by Seachem will I be on the right path ?
     
  14. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    No disrespect to all that are giving advice but you should first ascertain the correctness of your water parameters before embarking on any chemical changes.

    What test kits are you using?

    Yes all the parameters are affected by the state of photosenthysis as this affects pH and Desolved Oxygen. Best time to measure water parameters is mid your lighting photo period at both peek brightness and darkness. This will give you an idea of the fluctuations of parameters within the photo period of your tank. It is always advisable to test water parameters at approximately the same time for comparison.

    Ivan is asking for your "SALINITY"

    This is a very confusing and common stated error that most aquariusts don't get grasp of.

    If you are referring to Salinity then, 1,024 means that you have 1,024 ppt (Parts Per Thousand) where the average Salinity is 35.5 ppt and your salinity is slightly above RO water.

    Well it is obvious that you are not referring to Salinity and are referring to SG ( Specific Gravity). However SG is temperature dependent and your "1,024" could be anything from a salinity of 29.1ppt = SG 1,024@ 1C to a salinity of 37.5ppt = SG of 1,024 @ 33C.

    What you now need to understand is that salinity includes all irons. Calcium, magnesium, strontium, silicates and the many others within the sea water make up. As a average, reefers have recommended an array of different ideal parameters but all refer to a balance. Your parameters do not seem to be out of balance if your Salinity is low.

    So it is utmost important to establish the Salinity as @irie ivan asked before adding any additives. IMO.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  15. nudibranch

    nudibranch

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    You could use backing soda or purchase a buffer to increase it
     
  16. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Paul additives will increase/decrease parameters. But they can also put parameters out of balance.

    Before any reefer embarks on any water chemistry change. They should understand the basics that affect them. Salinity is that basic.
     
  17. VicZA

    VicZA Thread Starter

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    @Nemos Janitor .... thanks for the detail - makes alot of sense. I will take readings again tomorrow at midday to check if there are huge differences. To answer your question about test kit, I am using a Red Sea Reef Care kit (with Ca, Mg, Alk tests).

    If I may ask a few questions please:

    1 - How do you do a test for SALINITY then ? What test kit should be used ?
    2 - What should the ideal level be for each of these parameters ?
    3 - Is there much of a difference between the Red Sea, Seachem and Salifert test kits ?

    Thanks for your time and advice
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  18. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    1. Salinity is measured with various instruments, the best being a digital refractometer specifically made for seawater, although not overly expensive, not used often by hobbyists. Hanna and Milwaukee make them:
    Seawater Digital Refractometer - MA887 : Milwaukee Instruments
    Alternatively a conductivity pen for seawater is also just as good.
    Most hobbyists use refractometers, quite a few cheap ones available nowadays, although most are callibrated for salt water, not seawater.
    D&D have ones specifically for seawater and I think red sea too.
    2. Salinity should be 35ppt, or 35.5, although difficult to read a 0.5 in moat hobbyist instruments.
    Search the net for ideal parameters, but I am sure the crowd will hit you with their numbers...
    3. Differences between kits.... We can write essays on this, although nowadays the better brands are quite acceptable. Salifert, Red Sea, Seachem, all fairly accurate. Good enough for our intended purposes... Mostly.

    I have an article on here somewhere re salinity, if the mods will be so kind as to post a link for you.
     
  19. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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  20. VicZA

    VicZA Thread Starter

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    Do the average ATC Refractometers measure Salinity as well as SG then ? A little confused here ....
     
  21. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    I can see how you can be getting confused.

    Most ATC refracto's will have a measurement for salinity and specific gravity. As long as you have a refractometer and keep the sg stable within an acceptable range, then your tank will be fine. We keeping marines here, where parameters do fluctuate so you dont need to get hold of scientific grade equipment and debate over 0.5 ppm.

    A SG of 1.024 is fine
     
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