Alkalinity drops 0.7 dKH in 10 hours

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry by Randy Holmes-Farley' started by Literallyhydro, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. James Kanouff

    James Kanouff Active Member

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    Some interesting feed back from my ALK controllers guys, is the ALK is mostly consumed during the mid to late daylight period. Thats when the auto testers report the most drop and likewise the most needed additions. Anything you can do to level out the rollercoaster is always good. I'm saving for my APEX TRIDENT and DOS combo as we speak. I suspect a slightly higher amount of two part from 1-6pm in a light cycle might be typical to most systems. Maybe a ALK CONTROLER TEST SUBJECT reading this can chime in on their observations.
    Also I have found KALK in the ATO causes more complicated testing and consumption issues when used with dosing and so does high C02 in the home.
    I prefer the Salifert ALK test personally. I have used every one of them to date I think. Hanna is the one I have the least faith in unfortunately based alot off BRS testing videos and my own observation. Its sits on a shelf now.

    Keep us posted on your results. I find testing once a day is enough for me to understand whats going on and I am excited/ anxious to see what a auto tester/ dosing schedule can do for my system growth and stability going forward.
     

  2. Literallyhydro

    Literallyhydro Active Member

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    Now that you mention that, I have tested numerous times throughout the day for a week in a row to see the results. The Alk right at lights on was reading 8.7 on average, then by the end of the photo period it was 8.0 or lower.

    The reason for the thread in the first place is that I don't like how the Alk swings throughout the day like that, but since Alk is seemingly used less at night and mostly during the day, I have scheduled my doser to periodically dose throughout the lights on period. I'll report back on the effectiveness of that.

    Also interesting you mentioned kalkwasser. I've run kalkwasser along with two part for a long time on this system, and I could never seem to get consistent, stable readings.
    In the last week after taking the kalkwasser offline and relying solely on 2 part, the readings are becoming more consistent, and much easier to maintain at the right parameters.
     
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  3. James Kanouff

    James Kanouff Active Member

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    I have found that most people including my self run Kalk to deal with c02 issues. C02 causes big issues in reef tanks and our oceans. It is what we use to make CA reactors because it lowers the Ph so low it dissolves coral skeletons. I see significant issues begin any time I get under 7.55 ph. Common sense tells me that lowered ph via C02 means less ability of corals to bond ALk to them selves at a given time. Meaning when c02 is present then consumption is lowered all else considered stable. Then you add Kalk into the mix. Which it self provided some ALK and CA into the system. But it can precipitate Heavily on a system due to several factors including the current PH in the water column, the amount of dissolved ALK and Ca already in the solution, and the rate at which you adding it into the water column, assuming your diligent about your mixture of KALK to ATO water. Which adds ANOTHER variable and seems to cause the most issues the fastest because it lowers the kalk per given dose and it changes the daily PH its able to offset. I try to have a fully saturated mix at all times to remove the variable of how much goes in with a given additions of ATO. But the system PH does change thru out the day and seasonal evaporation rate. Which then gives me ALK instability even with a fixed amount of 2 part dosing. I sort of gave up on my indoor sps tanks and moved my SPS stuff to the garage to take c02 out of the equation. And have been more successful. I now suggest KALK for beginner or intermediate reefers who have a more basic system and minimal SPS and don't want to dose and want to offset a bit of c02 in the home with the disclosure C02 is the root issue and time fixing that is better time spent. The kalk adds too many variables for a heavy sps tank I think for all but the most experience intune reefers who can manage it along with everything else. Again I think ALK auto tester dosers will revolutionize the issues many reefers have with their systems. Best thing for reefing in many years if i do dare say so.
     
  4. MnFish1

    MnFish1 Valuable Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2018 Build Thread Contributor

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    Curious. do you have a reference for this statement? Alkalinity and pH varies with light on the reef as well. It varies as well in our tanks. It makes sense that alkalinity drops during the day (since corals are taking it up - etc), and also the change in pH - due to photosythesis. Both are natural - and Im not sure theres a huge benefit to having an alkalinity that doesn't have a day/night variation.
     
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  5. James Kanouff

    James Kanouff Active Member

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    I'm not an expert on this, but I'm not aware of any daily ALK swings in the ocean water column "yes under the skin of the living tissues" to any measurable level especially not .7dkh, and very minimal ph swings as well. Maybe someone has a link to scientifically tested 24 hour levels of ocean parameters on a reef. I do not. I suspect the increased ALK uptake some folks report from there ALK monitors is in major part due to the reef tanks higher PH at that time, and not so much other daily light schedule parameters related. In other words a higher ph allows a higher uptake of ALK from the water column in our tanks which is probably also related to the corals harvesting light at that time to some small degree, but not as the driving reason for the ALk drop during the light cycle but more so secondary to the increased ph level at that time from the natural photosynthesis "higher 02/ lower c02 at the given time" in the tank which can come from the corals processes, and algae/ photo plankton growth, as well as KALK, and lack of humans in the room breathing and other variables which all complicate things with a fluctuating PH/ c02 level in the water. An ocean would have a much greater buffer to these issues of course and the basis of the smooth the roller coaster comment I made. What do you think is going on?
     
  6. MnFish1

    MnFish1 Valuable Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2018 Build Thread Contributor

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    Hi - it wasnt about what was going on - per se - I just am not aware that there is any data that suggests that trying (and likely messing things up further) to maintain a completely stable alk (i.e. +- .3 dKH or whatever) is beneficial.
     
  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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    The alk doesn't appreciably swing up and down in the ocean (except perhaps in tide pools and/or very small lagoons).

    Some folks with autotitrators and frequent (or automatic dosing) to stabilize alk think they see better growth of SPS in their aquaria, but I've not seem definitive data to say it is for sure important in general.
     
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  8. James Kanouff

    James Kanouff Active Member

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    Maybe I can get and post some usable data from some folks here on that concept.
    The three reefer users of a ALK monitors that I communicate with, all claim significant growth from the stabilized ALK in their systems soon after adding a controller. And I will vouch for what happens if ALK swings too much as most sps guys will as well. I guess the data would be the longer term test results if they would be so kind as to provide some sort of spread sheet or something directly of the controllers. Rick.45cal an active poster here, a Representative for Coralvue Mr Lasso a local club member of our reef club in orlando, as well as my buddy Jason Vanduren who does not post here often have provided me direct feed back on how they like the units and what they see as a result. all highly recommend it. Two of them I have seen the results first hand and am willing to say that it helps growth on nearly everything in the tank noticeable right away. The only thing Jason added was the monitor in the last three months, so there are no other variables on his improvements except ALK stability that I recognize. Mr lasso went thru a ICH issue and did some significant changes at the time of addition but is a long time hobbiest and what he sees in the corals is likely correctly attributed to the monitor controller stabilizing his ALK during his many times away from the tank. I hope some other users of ALK monitors chime in on what they see going on as well.
     
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  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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    Was the limewater on a dosing pump, or ATO? A dosing pump on a timer would likely allow alk to stabilize better. :)
     
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  10. Literallyhydro

    Literallyhydro Active Member

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    It was hooked to an ATO.

    Time will tell how effective the dosing pump will be for me, and I'll need to dial it in exactly for my system. I'm already much happier with it though, being able to finely control what goes into the tank, and when.

    I might still use limewater for LPS/Soft corals, but I don't plan to do so in my SPS tank.
     
  11. 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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    To be clear, I meant limewater on the dosing pump in my above sentence. :)
     
  12. Literallyhydro

    Literallyhydro Active Member

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    Gotcha, I totally discontinued use of limewater now that I'm on a dosing pump. I didn't use the limewater for pH so much as I was using it to cut down on dosing so heavily. Looking back, it was causing more trouble than it was worth for stability.
     
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  13. Literallyhydro

    Literallyhydro Active Member

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    Should my dosing be split evenly throughout the day, or should the dosing be predominately during the day or night?

    Sorry for a lot of beginner level questions, this is my first time starting to get serious about SPS and I want to do this right.
     
  14. MnFish1

    MnFish1 Valuable Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2018 Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks. But the only way to do it right is to take frags from the same piece and compare growth trying to control everything the same. People tend to see what they want to see.

    The other thing is keeping the alk stable at 7 will likely see lower growth than if the alk is at 10 depending on the other parameters. So. If the people you’re talking about stabilized their tank at the high end I expect they will see higher growth. With all the problems higher growth sometimes entails. The question is it the stability or the overall higher alkalinity
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
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  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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    Probably more demand during the day so dose more then if alk stability is the goal.
     
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  16. MnFish1

    MnFish1 Valuable Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2018 Build Thread Contributor

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    I guess the question I would ask is 'why' stability - vs the level the alk is stabilized at...
     
  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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    I don’t understand. You can stabilize alk at any level you want.

    The trade off is whether to stabilize pH by dosing at night or stabilize alk by dosing during the day.
     
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  18. Literallyhydro

    Literallyhydro Active Member

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    If the Alk is stabilized by dosing throughout the day, does the pH dip at night happen as a result of the corals stopping photosynthesis?
     
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  19. 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.
     
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  20. James Kanouff

    James Kanouff Active Member

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    I think a great question is
    My answer to that is I think were all wondering the same thing right now. GREAT QUESTION.
    With the ability to reliably monitor and track ALK 24-7, new information is available to the hobbyist that was not as reliable or available before. I dose the same amount over 24 hours but I'm re thinking it based on the data I see from the Alk monitors crew which shows a dip/ demand during the end of the photo period each day. There is alot of factors at play here. I tend to want to dose ALK at night to boost my Ph a bit but from what were enow learning that may not be as important as the rapid uptake during the higher PH day light cycle. Dosing certain types of ALK only during the day will further increase the rollercoaster of daily PH but decrease the ALK roller coaster. Some methods of ALK addition actually lower PH initially and may favor this day time need for ALK theory. RANDY knows way more about this that me for sure, and I rely on what I have read from his extensive postings and articles on the subject over the many years. PH is a tricky thing and effects the whole system. There is no question in my simple mind that stable ALK is a goal worth aiming for. How stable and what number remains the million dollar question. Sort of like how "what setting to set your various spectrum Led's to" is the last year or two's hot topic, and with the posting of the big manufacture LED guys n growers settings from many reliable sources for common success of everyone's benefit, which likely helps more folks hit a sweat spot faster and with less losses. I assume data from ALk monitors will give us very valuable information that needs accurately assessed and tested against a control to prove beyond a doubt. And one thing I never expect to get is an answer thats beyond any doubt rock solid proven in this ever changing hobby. But I'm saving my $$$ to get a monitor controller set up because I know, I my self, am not doing a good enough job with my ALK in my tanks. And a little help and data to look over seems very valuable to me right now. I have had several set backs due to ALK swings over the years, that if caught early enough would have saved me months of growth and coloration on frags.

    Something as simple as a Astrenia starfish out break "hundreds if not thousands in a 300DD in two weeks" led to a rapid consumption of my Coraline algae then a drastic rise in ALK due to no more rapid growth of corralling uptake of ALK and MAG. Coralline algae seems to eats up MAG. I saw "or should say didn't see!!!" soon after a rise in N03 as well, as they devoured coraline. Basically a 8.0 -8.3 - to 11.5 rush over 30 days or three tests rounds till i noticed the big issue playing out. I saw colors going off on the acros and some other minor issues and knew something was up but was so busy with start fish I didn't dig deep enough to find the ALK climbing. MY BAD. Mind you I'm siphoning starfish and looking for a solution on that and not considering the other effects they are having on my eco system till it was too late. My KALK ATO along with my Ca reactor had ran things up high fast with out me noticing on my bi weekly ALk test schedule I had fallen into over the last year of very stable ALK over all and a few pesky start fish here and there I was not too worried about at that point. Those star fish took a bite out of me. Harley the harlequin shrimp has done a good job polishing them off the last two months so I got my revenge to some degree. Coraline is coming back fast and ALK demand is changing every week right now. And now ALK levels have regained my well deserved attention in this hobby as it once was when I began. I got lazy. I got bit. I didn't loose anything but some growth maybe a frag or two. But I learned a good lesson, "Every thing effects everything else to some degree". And a ALK baby sitter would save me alot of trouble next time I undoubtedly learn a new lesson about this challenging hobby.
     
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