Alkalinity Dropping Steadily Despite Dosing

Fritz

Mr.Z

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My alkalinity is steadily dropping suddenly despite dosing. No new coral additions. No other changes other than adding a UV to help combat a algae outbreak. Help me understand. Trident with Trident controlled dosing at 25 ml day alk. Calcium is not dropping despite that dosing channel being off. Mag stable and not supplemented other than water changes.
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I’d recommend checking your UV bulb. I had a similar issue and was going crazy trying to figure it out.

When I pulled out my UV bulb to inspect it, it was covered in a thick sheet of calcification that I had to scrape off and dissolve in citric acid. This was after only a couple months of usage.

My understanding is the increased heat of the UV enabled calcification on the bulb sleeve.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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And I don't recommend balanced dosing.

The myth of balanced dosing is just another marketing dept creation designed to sell products and hurts this hobby. It's a flat out lie.

Unless your tank is crammed full of rapidly growing SPS you should never couple calcium and alk. Alk is consumed by things that don't consume calcium and more often than not depletes much faster than calcium.

Having no calcium consumption and lots of alk consumption is common. Turn up your alk - your tank is not broken. Some guy on youtube with a 200 gallon full of acropora is not dealing with the same chemistry you are.

You continue to exaggerate this "issue", and are misleading folks.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Balanced dosing may be good once your tank is in balance but changes to his chemistry or changes in the animals in the tank can cause unbalanced consumption.

How so?

The only issues that cause unbalanced consumption of alk and calcium are rising or falling (or dosing) nitrate and sulfur denitrators.

Do you know of ANY other process in a reef aquarium that uses only alk or calcium?
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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There you go again. Just dump it in. I literally cannot do that to a 14 gallon tank. It would wreck my system parameters.

If someone knowledgeable were to say dose them 1:1:1 that would make sense. Because after all that is what you are doing.

What is your concern?

My DIY 2/3 part is not 1:1:1. The magnesium part is dosed in much lower volume and need not be dosed very frequently. That said, there's nothing wrong with dosing the mag part in very small amounts more frequently, and that is best in a very small aquarium.
 

homer1475

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What is your concern?

My DIY 2/3 part is not 1:1:1. The magnesium part is dosed in much lower volume and need not be dosed very frequently. That said, there's nothing wrong with dosing the mag part in very small amounts more frequently, and that is best in a very small aquarium.
While MAG is not dosed daily(it can be in small amounts), isn't it in reality a 1:1:1 ratio? After I use a gal of ALK, a gal of CAl, I then add a gal of MAG. Is that not a 1:1:1 ratio?
 

Townes_Van_Camp

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What is your concern?

My DIY 2/3 part is not 1:1:1. The magnesium part is dosed in much lower volume and need not be dosed very frequently. That said, there's nothing wrong with dosing the mag part in very small amounts more frequently, and that is best in a very small aquarium.
My concern is pouring an entire gallon of it into a 9.5 gallon total aio and the salinity swing from doing that.

what I have been doing is Kalk in the ATO, dosing my WC and display (display doesn’t take much) once a week before the water change 1:1 to 10.1 and once a month dosing mag. It’s working great like that.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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While MAG is not dosed daily(it can be in small amounts), isn't it in reality a 1:1:1 ratio? After I use a gal of ALK, a gal of CAl, I then add a gal of MAG. Is that not a 1:1:1 ratio?

No, it is not.

My recipe (e.g, what BRS uses) clearly states 610 mL of the mag part per 1 full gallon of the others.
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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My concern is pouring an entire gallon of it into a 9.5 gallon total aio and the salinity swing from doing that.

what I have been doing is Kalk in the ATO, dosing my WC and display (display doesn’t take much) once a week before the water change 1:1 to 10.1 and 450; and once a month dosing mag. It’s working great like that.

Of course that's a disaster.

I don't even recommend that for a million gallon aquarium.

The amount of the magnesium part that is suggested to dosed once per gallon of the other parts is used is 610 mL (305 mL if using Recipe 2).

If you have a small tank, definitely dose the mag part more frequently and a lower amount.

If you really want to dose it frequently (unnecessary except in very small tank), then you dose it at a rate of 0.16 times the other two. Say, 0.16 mL per mL of the calcium part.
 

Townes_Van_Camp

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Of course that's a disaster.

I don't even recommend that for a million gallon aquarium.

The amount of the magnesium part that is suggested to dosed once per gallon of the other parts is used is 610 mL (305 mL if using Recipe 2).

If you have a small tank, definitely dose the mag part more frequently and a lower amount.

If you really want to dose it frequently (unnecessary except in very small tank), then you dose it at a rate of 0.16 times the other two. Say, 0.16 mL per mL of the calcium part.
I appreciate you taking the time to explain it to this simple mind as well as your clarification! Not to mention everything else you do for the hobby.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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I appreciate you taking the time to explain it to this simple mind as well as your clarification! Not to mention everything else you do for the hobby.

You're welcome.

Happy Reefing. :)
 

BiggestE222

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How so?
M
The only issues that cause unbalanced consumption of alk and calcium are rising or falling (or dosing) nitrate and sulfur denitrators.

Do you know of ANY other process in a reef aquarium y that uses only alk or calcium?
I experienced a need to add calcium chloride to keep my calcium at 450 when I first started adding kalk to match my evaporation and had a newer aquarium. My dkh stayed at 12. My SPS has grown and tank maturing so now alk and calcium consumption deplete more evenly
 

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I experienced a need to add calcium chloride to keep my calcium at 450 when I first started adding kalk to match my evaporation and had a newer aquarium. My dkh stayed at 12. My SPS has grown and tank maturing so now alk and calcium consumption deplete more evenly

Yes, but do not be fooled by folks spreading misinformation.

Alk and calcium demand match exactly with just a very small number of caveats, which I mentioned above.

If you really experienced more calcium demand than alk when using kalkwasser, and it wasn't caused by water changes, that can ONLY be caused by falling (or dosing) nitrate or other alk-containing additives.

In general, kalkwasser is not a balanced additive system, dosing more calcium than the proportional amount of alkalinity, since magnesium goes into the calcium carbonate in place of some of the calcium, lessening the demand for calcium.

long term users of limewater (kalwkasser), such as myself, have rising calcium with stable alk for this reason.
 
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I'm just going to add one comment to this interesting thread @Randy Holmes-Farley , wouldn't you agree that discussing all of this in terms of 1:1:1 in relation to "volume" is a losing battle to begin with? It really depends much more on the molar content of those solutions. So the whole argument is really mute if it doesn't get into molecular weight! I mean, the volume doesn't really mean anything in relation to dosage of compounds unless we reference molar concentrations at the same time.... Then there are the issues of detritus/circulation/pH/aeration/gas exchange...If we are not also talking about those, then ratios don't mean a whole lot... just my 2 cents. :)
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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I'm just going to add one comment to this interesting thread @Randy Holmes-Farley , wouldn't you agree that discussing all of this in terms of 1:1:1 in relation to "volume" is a losing battle to begin with? It really depends much more on the molar content of those solutions. So the whole argument is really mute if it doesn't get into molecular weight! I mean, the volume doesn't really mean anything in relation to dosage of compounds unless we reference molar concentrations at the same time.... Then there are the issues of detritus/circulation/pH/aeration/gas exchange...If we are not also talking about those, then ratios don't mean a whole lot... just my 2 cents. :)

Yes, that is certainly true.

But most commercial 2 part systems (ESV B-ionic, BRS, ATI essentials PRO, etc.) are designed for 1:1 dosing, but some definitely are not (Red Sea Foundation elements) , and at least one (Seachem Reef Fusion) that claims to be 1:1 dosing and clearly is not designed correctly.
 

blasterman

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Look, you are welcome to your opinions. However, at this point you are a flat earther in the reefing community.

You allude to "things" that consume Alk but not calcium.

The only major process I'm aware of is the Nitrogen cycle which consumes and then returns the Alk in exactly the amount lost.

Please provide a list (or just one) of biological / non-biological processes that just consume Alk.

Or are you saying that contrary to scientific and biological mechanisms, CaCO3 which makes up most coral structures is not balanced Ca + CO3 or 1 + 1 doesn't equal 2.

Now the 1:1 ratio isn't exact as Mag and other elements also make up a very small percentage of the coral structures (less than 1% to 4%). But generally speaking most reefers should target the 1:1 dosing. Otherwise, at some point they will trigger a precipitation event that will do a number on their stability.

Also realize that MOST Ca testers aren't accurate enough to measure Ca increase/decrease. Apex Trident is +/- 15ppm. So a 2 dKH rise or drop can result in no measurable change in Ca as measured by Apex Trident. Leading to: "WOW! My tank consumed 2 dKH and no Calcium!" I've estimated Hanna Ca Checker to be no more accurate than +/- 20pm or an equivalent 3 dKH. "Wow my tank consumed 3 dKH and no Calcium!" Definitely don't need balanced dosing.

Actually, calcium and alk aren't fixed in calcifiying corals either. Under low PH conditions corals adapt to higher levels of calcite production and there's a higher ratio of carbonate consumption vs calcium. That does have a scientific basis.

If we listen to you we will have countless threads of people with 600 calcium and 7 dkh. Oh wait....we do.

Because a calcium test has a best case granularity of 20ppm doesn't changes the fact calcium gets extremely elevated with 1:1 dosing unless you have a lot of calcifying corals consuming it.

Maybe you should get your two part dosing off the crucifex and actually look what reefers are dealing with here, or actually set some tanks up and chart out calcium and alk consumption.
 

arking_mark

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Actually, calcium and alk aren't fixed in calcifiying corals either. Under low PH conditions corals adapt to higher levels of calcite production and there's a higher ratio of carbonate consumption vs calcium. That does have a scientific basis.

If we listen to you we will have countless threads of people with 600 calcium and 7 dkh. Oh wait....we do.

Because a calcium test has a best case granularity of 20ppm doesn't changes the fact calcium gets extremely elevated with 1:1 dosing unless you have a lot of calcifying corals consuming it.

Maybe you should get your two part dosing off the crucifex and actually look what reefers are dealing with here, or actually set some tanks up and chart out calcium and alk consumption.

I don't dose 2-part. I'm currently using Kalkwasser and AFR.
 

blasterman

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Look, you are welcome to your opinions. However, at this point you are a flat earther in the reefing community.

And you're the main reason we have reefers with tanks with sky high calcium and low alk.

You can't even think past the horse **** pormoted by the two part industry,
 
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