Alk is driving me nuts!

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Ian Baxter

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Stop buying that stuff. It's something they mixed up in house for like $0.35 and probably charged you $20.

For the system volume you have, and how little your demand is, I'd purchase a single dosing pump and run either kalk or TM All for Reef. You're going to spend pennies a month.
I want to do All for Reef. Should I just do my WC, pick up AFR tomorrow and start?
 

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I want to do All for Reef. Should I just do my WC, pick up AFR tomorrow and start?
Sounds like a plan to me. Be aware that calcium formate solutions rely on bacteria to convert it into a usable and testable source. It will take a few days before you see any effects. I would not bother testing for the first week and just continue the 5ml per day as instructed.
 
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Sounds like a plan to me. Be aware that calcium formate solutions rely on bacteria to convert it into a usable and testable source. It will take a few days before you see any effects. I would not bother testing for the first week and just continue the 5ml per day as instructed.
Awesome. Thanks for all your help!
 

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Mixing salt mix above 40ppt will cause precipitation issues.
Just to clarify, OP needs approximately 200-250g of salt to bump up his salinity. I would weigh this amount and mix only tablespoons at a time, repeat next day etc… I like to do things nice and slow.
This way he can check salinity daily and ensure there is no overshoot.

But I do like the other suggestion of mixing it in top off water, that is also nice and slow.
 
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Sounds like a plan to me. Be aware that calcium formate solutions rely on bacteria to convert it into a usable and testable source. It will take a few days before you see any effects. I would not bother testing for the first week and just continue the 5ml per day as instructed.
I did a WC on 3/20 and started dosing 10ml daily starting that day. How long should I go before testing? I was planning on another WC tomorrow as I need to dose Prazi for gill flukes.
 

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I did a WC on 3/20 and started dosing 10ml daily starting that day. How long should I go before testing? I was planning on another WC tomorrow as I need to dose Prazi for gill flukes.

It takes longer at the start, but I'd start tracking alk now.
 
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It takes longer at the start, but I'd start tracking alk now.
I checked my alk and cal with Hanna and they were at 7 and 484. I then did a 10g WC on my 65g tank. My Alk and cal were then 6.8 and 515. I didn't test mag before the WC, but it was 1200 after and 1320 after I did a WC on 3/20. TM AFR chart says to reduce AFR and dose Balling B. What would you suggest? Or am I overthinking all of this?

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The calcium jump is test error, either the first one, the second one, or both. It cannot jump that much.
I get testing error could easily be .2 for Alk, but shouldn't he be seeing an increase in Alk after a 10gal water change if his saltwater is supposed to be mixing to 8-9dkh? To me that seems like something funky is up there.
 
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I get testing error could easily be .2 for Alk, but shouldn't he be seeing an increase in Alk after a 10gal water change if his saltwater is supposed to be mixing to 8-9dkh? To me that seems like something funky is up there.
I should mention my salinity dropped to .024 after the WC when I try to keep it at .026. Tested the premixed water last night and it was good, didn’t test it before the change. I’m about to switch to TM Pro, for consistency as this Fritz Pro seems to be all over the place for me.
 

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I’ll retest that when I get back home. Should I just ignore the mag? I know you have an article about not even testing for that.
Personally I don't test for mag unless I'm looking for an issue. Your mag seems to be an acceptable level for the time being. I'd forget about it for now and retest a few weeks down the road just to make sure. Certainly don't chase a number though. I've had corals do great at 1200 mag and I've had mag that tests above most test kit charts. If you're dosing AFR I wouldn't think about it but every once and a while.

For the time being, work on slowly getting that Alk up. 7dkh certainly won't kill anything, so slow and steady wins the race. Personally from here, you know your dose is slowly raising your dkh, so I'd keep at the dosing and water changes but only test once a week. Once you get to your desired level, lower your dose until you no longer see that number increase. Dialing in your dose takes a long time and constant tweaking overtime as coral growth rate changes. My approach is to use a doser to dose the bulk of my alk. My goal is to keep my alk within .5 dkh of my set target. If I'm off a little bit, I don't panic I just make a small adjustment towards the direction I want to be in. On my once a week testing, if I find my dkh lower than I like, I may bump up my doser by a few mL and dose the missing amount by hand. If I test and find I overshot my target, I lower the dosed amount by a few mL and wait a week to see what the tank is doing. My point is, as long as you're in a generally stable and accepted range, your corals will be fine and continue to grow. The more practice you get at it, the easier it becomes to dial it in. After a few weeks, I generally didn't need to make adjustments on the doser but once every 4-6 weeks as coral growth increased alk uptake.
 

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I’d keep dosing AFR as is or a tad more each day, and keep monitoring alk. Don’t worry about calcium as AFR has plenty and itt will follow along nicely. I also would not frequently check magnesium.
 
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Personally I don't test for mag unless I'm looking for an issue. Your mag seems to be an acceptable level for the time being. I'd forget about it for now and retest a few weeks down the road just to make sure. Certainly don't chase a number though. I've had corals do great at 1200 mag and I've had mag that tests above most test kit charts. If you're dosing AFR I wouldn't think about it but every once and a while.

For the time being, work on slowly getting that Alk up. 7dkh certainly won't kill anything, so slow and steady wins the race. Personally from here, you know your dose is slowly raising your dkh, so I'd keep at the dosing and water changes but only test once a week. Once you get to your desired level, lower your dose until you no longer see that number increase. Dialing in your dose takes a long time and constant tweaking overtime as coral growth rate changes. My approach is to use a doser to dose the bulk of my alk. My goal is to keep my alk within .5 dkh of my set target. If I'm off a little bit, I don't panic I just make a small adjustment towards the direction I want to be in. On my once a week testing, if I find my dkh lower than I like, I may bump up my doser by a few mL and dose the missing amount by hand. If I test and find I overshot my target, I lower the dosed amount by a few mL and wait a week to see what the tank is doing. My point is, as long as you're in a generally stable and accepted range, your corals will be fine and continue to grow. The more practice you get at it, the easier it becomes to dial it in. After a few weeks, I generally didn't need to make adjustments on the doser but once every 4-6 weeks as coral growth increased alk uptake.
Thanks for the advice. Makes me feel better. I’m currently dosing it by hand. Can’t decide on a Doser yet as I’m leaning toward the DOS, but not sure I want to buy all the Apex stuff.
 

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Are you matching the temperature when changing water/ checking salinity?
 
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Are you matching the temperature when changing water/ checking salinity?
Yes. This is the first time I didn’t check salinity before as I did last night. Not sure if I checked it too early as I leave a pump on in the mixing barrel.
 

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Thanks for the advice. Makes me feel better. I’m currently dosing it by hand. Can’t decide on a Doser yet as I’m leaning toward the DOS, but not sure I want to buy all the Apex stuff.
I used a cheap and simple Jebao doser for years. I loved the simplicity of it. In fact, I bought a GHL doser and I honestly kinda hate how difficult it was to learn how to program and adjust. I'm thinking about getting rid of it and switching either back to a jebao doser or to another brand.
 
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I used a cheap and simple Jebao doser for years. I loved the simplicity of it. In fact, I bought a GHL doser and I honestly kinda hate how difficult it was to learn how to program and adjust. I'm thinking about getting rid of it and switching either back to a jebao doser or to another brand.
I was reading reviews on them from Amazon and was worried when some said they dosed everything all at once.
 

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I was reading reviews on them from Amazon and was worried when some said they dosed everything all at once.
Always take reviews with a grain of salt. HAHA

Seriously though, if that's how they worded it, it sounds like it was a user error with programing. It doesn't automatically split doses. You have to program it to do separate doses, or at least mine was that way, I suppose it might depend on the model. If it was meant more along the lines of the doser malfunctioned, every doser can malfunction. Yes, jebao probably has a higher failure rate, but many of us (myself included) haven't had any issues. Plus you get what you pay for a lot in this hobby. When I buy jebao I fully understand it might fail. If I have a problem with that, I don't buy it. For example, my main return pump is a Sicce SDC but my maifold/skimmer feed pump is a jebao pump. I knew when I purchased my return pump that 14ft of head pressure with a 20ft horizontal run was a lot to ask of any pump. I don't have Abbyz money, so I went the next best thing I could afford. I like Jebao, and personally have quite a few of their products on my tanks, but in that instance, with a higher than normal demand I didn't want to risk it. I started off with a jebao doser because I needed a doser for the tank but I couldn't afford to swing a name brand at the time and figured even if I only used it for a year it was a good $70 spent. It served me well, and eventually I upgraded to a GHL doser for reliability and accuracy. For me personally, I don't really see what I gained by going to a GHL over the jebao because I had a good experience with my jebao doser and ultimately feel like I wasted the money. If I were to buy a new name brand, I'd go with a Redsea doser or a couple of Kamoer F1's. If I was budget minded I would just buy a jebao without hesitation again.

Since you're just dosing AFR, I'd take a look at the Kamoer F1. Its a great price for a quality product.
 

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