Alkalinity swing? Ready for acros?

KK's Reef

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I have s small tank. Livestock is one small fish, three snails, 4 hermit crabs and 15 small frags (LPS and SPS). I do a 40% water change once a week. I don't auto-dose anything, but I do dose Red Sea AB+ on Mon/Wed/Fri and Reef Enhance on Sun/Tue/Thur. My parameters are:

Before water change:
Alkalinity - 9.1
Phospate - 0.00
Nitrate - 0.00
Calcium - 472
Salinity - 33.8

After water change:
Alkalinity - 10.4
Phosphate - 0.00
Nitrate - 0.00
Calcium - 477
Salinity - 33.8

Obviously, there's some uptake of alk in a one week span. My question is, does the rise from 9.1 to 10.4 from a water change considered a swing or a shock for acros?

I want to buy an acro or two, but I'm not sure if the change in alk will shock them. I did give acros a shot a couple of weeks ago, but it ended up RTNing within 24-48 hours. Then again, it wasn't in the best shape when I got it and looked to be a maricultured piece.

Thanks in advance for the advice!


NOTE: I know I have to bring the NO3 and PO4 up for coral health and to battle nuisance algae.
 
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homer1475

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While a 1DKH change doesn't seem like a lot, with acros, specially some of the more sensitive ones, that spells pure death.

You pretty much want to keep your ALK from swinging at all, Minor fluctuations aren't bad.
 

BrianReefer

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I have tank full of high end SPS

With my alkatronic I keep swings within .3-.4 dKH, occasionally that will increase to .5-.6 if the alkatronic does a correction during the day while my CaRx is running. In general I find no issues up to the .6-.7 max range. Beyond .8-1+ I have had losses over the following days.
 

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I use a Trident with controlled dosing and I find my sps do better the more consistent I keep my alkalinity. I now try not to have any more than a .25 swing between any two tests.

If you are going to keep more sensitive sps like acropora you will need to start dosing so that you don't drop 1.3 dKh throughout the week and then raise it back up all at once.

Also, normally you don't want to keep nitrate and phosphate at 0, but depending on what tests kits you use it could just be your test can't register the low value. I suspect if they're truly 0 your other corals would currently be unhappy.
 
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Nikoliter

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While a 1DKH change doesn't seem like a lot, with acros, specially some of the more sensitive ones, that spells pure death.

You pretty much want to keep your ALK from swinging at all, Minor fluctuations aren't bad.
So what happens when you buy an Acro from a system in running 8 and yours is 11, and keep them from not bleaching?
 

homer1475

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Don't know I never run my ALK in the 11 range. I run my tank closer to NSW levels. I have found over the years, elevated ALK levels(above 9) does nothing but kill corals.

7.5ALK
420 CAL
1500 MAG(just where IO mixes too)
 

Nikoliter

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Don't know I never run my ALK in the 11 range. I run my tank closer to NSW levels. I have found over the years, elevated ALK levels(above 9) does nothing but kill corals.

7.5ALK
420 CAL
1500 MAG(just where IO mixes too)
Yeah, my coral seemed unhappy at 11. I am switching from Red Sea coral pro to tropic marine……. I have been slowly trying to drop my alk down to prepare for the switch. I only have two small acro right now but so far they have seemed ok
 

elorablue

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You say small tank, how small?
You could consider starting to dose a 2 part or if you don’t want to do that you can adjust the quantity of your water change. Drop it to 20% and see what the swing is.
and ya as you know nitrates and phosphate has to come way up.
 
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I use a Trident with controlled dosing and I find my sps do better the more consistent I keep my alkalinity. I now try not to have any more than a .25 swing between any two tests.

If you are going to keep more sensitive sps like acropora you will need to start dosing so that you don't drop 1.3 dKh throughout the week and then raise it back up all at once.

Also, normally you don't want to keep nitrate and phosphate at 0, but depending on what tests kits you use it could just be your test can't register the low value. I suspect if they're truly 0 your other corals would currently be unhappy.

NO3 and PO4 likely aren't registering on the Hanna checkers. Corals seem happy so I don't think it's absolute zero.

Thanks for the Alk advice. I'll probably have to do a battery of tests for a week or two to find out how much I have to dose to keep the level constant.
 
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KK's Reef

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Thanks for all of the helpful advice, everyone.

I think I might drop the water change to 20% to produce no more than a .5 to .6 change in alk.

The alternative is to change salt from Red Sea Pro to something else, to get down to more NSW levels, and then just dose to maintain that number.
 
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Your PO4 and nitrates both being zero are asking for dinos, it’s also a clue you don’t need to be doing a 40% water change.

What is the reason for doing such a big water change?

It can’t be to reduce nutrients as they are zero,
even before the water change, your alk is also swinging so I can’t see a good reason for it?

Smaller water change will save money, time, add needed nutrients into the tank and reduce the alk swing.
 
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KK's Reef

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Your PO4 and nitrates both being zero are asking for dinos, it’s also a clue you don’t need to be doing a 40% water change.

What is the reason for doing such a big water change?

It can’t be to reduce nutrients as they are zero,
even before the water change, your alk is also swinging so I can’t see a good reason for it?

Smaller water change will save money, time, add needed nutrients into the tank and reduce the alk swing.

Water change was to replace trace elements, and I thought I had high nutrients because hair algea and diatoms were starting to sprout on the sand. I didn't think it was the opposite.
 

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Water change was to replace trace elements, and I thought I had high nutrients because hair algea and diatoms were starting to sprout on the sand. I didn't think it was the opposite.

the diatoms could be from the water changes, as you are doing big changes, any silicate in the water will be feeding the diatoms.

If the only/main reason for the large water changes are to replace trace elements, A smaller change would also do that or dosing trace elements, cheaper too.

Using something like All For Reef would help with your alk swing,,contains calcium and mag and it also has all the trace elements, all in the same bottle.
 
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the diatoms could be from the water changes, as you are doing big changes, any silicate in the water will be feeding the diatoms.

If the only/main reason for the large water changes are to replace trace elements, A smaller change would also do that or dosing trace elements, cheaper too.

Using something like All For Reef would help with your alk swing,,contains calcium and mag and it also has all the trace elements, all in the same bottle.

Agree. The LFS that I get my water from admitedly says their water is at about 11 TDS.

I'm going to go with smaller water changes and will monitor my alk over the next two weeks to see how much it's dropping in that time period.

Heard a lot of good things about All For Reef.
 

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Agree. The LFS that I get my water from admitedly says their water is at about 11 TDS.

I'm going to go with smaller water changes and will monitor my alk over the next two weeks to see how much it's dropping in that time period.

Heard a lot of good things about All For Reef.
There is a lfs I used to buy salt and fish from when I first started reefing .
they told me the only system they use reef salt and rodi water was their coral display .
everything else got cheap salt mixed to 1.018-1.020 and municipal water .
 

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