Alkalinity and calcium problem

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by stickman87, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. stickman87

    stickman87 Active Member

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    So this is the first time I've used reef crystals and my alkalinity is at 8.4 but my calcium is at 450 and magnesium at 1400 not sure why my alk is so low.. Last week was at 9.2 I do have to use a pH up chemical as my pH is low out if my Rodi unit but has not been an issue using the pH up in the past
     
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  2. beaslbob

    beaslbob Valuable Member

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    betcha a tab of baking soda will raise the alk and lower the calcium.
     
  3. Eggpaul

    Eggpaul Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    150 gallon tank. My alkalinity is at 4.5, calcium is 350. 2.5 month old tank. I have 4 fish and a few coral. Salinity is 1.025. I use instant ocean. I have live sand. Should I raise it slowly??

    I do have some green hair algae, wonder of that is keeping it low.
     
  4. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

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    First, that `set of parameters is perfectly fine. There's no need to raise alk. 8.4 dKH is not low. If you still want to, baking soda is a fine way.

    Do not use chemicals designed to boost pH because they necessarily are alkalinity additives, and will boost alk and generally not solve a pH problem.

    pH from a properly functioning RO/DI is never, ever the cause of low tank pH.
     
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  5. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

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    You sure it is 4.5 dKH (low) and not 4,.5 meq/l (high, like starting IO often is)?

    If it is low, then boosting both it and calcium is a fine plan. I'd use a two part system.
     
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  6. Eggpaul

    Eggpaul Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I tested many times with salifert and the ml was at .70, and the chart shows 4.5 dkh or 1.59 meq/l. Api test was 6 dkh. What do you think? I have the brs 2 part, I can raise it slowly.
     
  7. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

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    0.7 mL was added, or 0.7 mL remains? Some people read the syringe and chart backwards. The more you dispense before getting to the endpoint (the color change), the higher the alk is. :)
     
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  8. Eggpaul

    Eggpaul Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I know what you are saying, but no, it was read correctly. The lowest part of the black rubber was at .70 when the color changed to pink.
     
  9. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

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    So you dispensed less than half the syringe of fluid?

    An alk of 4.5 dKH is extremely unusual and I'd double check somehow before believing it. :)
     
  10. Eggpaul

    Eggpaul Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    When I get home I'll post the test with pics just to make sure. I even used the 6.7 dkh test fluid to make sure and it was spot on.
     
  11. lapin

    lapin Active Member

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    Wow you must have some very very very soft water. Where in the world are you located?
     
  12. Eggpaul

    Eggpaul Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Sierra madre, Ca. It's a small town next to large cities but it has its own water supply. I didnt have this issue when I lived a few minutes away in Pasadena.
     
  13. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

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    If the alk is really that low, baking soda is the best bet to raise it.
     
  14. Eggpaul

    Eggpaul Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Can I just use the BRS soda ash? I have it mixed already. I put in 100ml last night (slowly), so when I test it today it will be a bit higher.
     
  15. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

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    Yes, but you'll have to add it more slowly to avoid an excessive pH spike.

    I'd boost 0.5 dKH, twice a day for several days. :)
     
  16. Eggpaul

    Eggpaul Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Here is the starting point. Black rubber at 1.0. End point was .67. I had added 100ml soda ash. It raised dkh from 4.5 to 5.0. Will keep raising like you said.

    Question. Will I have to test water changes and if needed raise the dkh with soda ash also?

    15282494283737890012126308913345.jpg

    15282497428807310668431601077068.jpg
     
  17. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

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    OK, so I can't be sure the kit is working right, but that is what the kit says is 4.5 dKH. :)
     
  18. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

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    Any salt mix should have alk of 7 dKH or higher, so dosing after a water change should not be needed.
     
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  19. Bpb

    Bpb Well-Known Member

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    If you’re keeping a lot of stony corals and run low nutrient levels (nitrate undetectable to say around 1 or 2 ppm, and phosphate from 0-0.02) some may even say your alkalinity is HIGH
     
  20. Eggpaul

    Eggpaul Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    But the 6.7 dkh test regent was spot on.
     
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