All call for Randy Holmes

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Tray333

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As everyone probably agrees here Randy Holmes has forgotten more than most of us will ever know about reef keeping. It
would be great if he or someone that has a inside his network would briefly entertain a high Alkalinity Phenomenon question that I am experiencing in my 250 gallon bare bottom with (real reef) rock work. . I have attempted to search out if he has addressed my problems before, but have not found exactly what is going on with my system that Coincides. I have tried, to decrease it with high volume water changes with low alk salt (fritz pro blue), water changes but it will drop initially to 11dkh, but within 24 hours raise to 12.5 per the trident checker. This has been going on for over a year now. My alk used to be no higher than 8.5 previously. I only have fish , soft coral, and anemone, no los or sps in tank. I tried dosing with white vinegar per Randy’s recipe with no change(not sure where I found it before), but I tried it for over 3 months time with no luck. Is it possible for macro Algea to be the culprit?
Even if you are not associated with Randy or team, please pipe in on any guidance.
 
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Zzyzx

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Just curious, is this based solely on the Trident with no other verification, or have you verified with another method not mentioned in the original post?

edit.. also what does everything else test at as far as other tank parameters. It might help someone in determining the cause of your phenomenon
 

Myxini

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I think folks are going to need more information about your system to help you find a solution. Off the top of my head:

1) What else is going into your tank? Are you dosing anything?
2) Where is your top off water coming from? Have you tested the dKH of it? Are you adding anything to it?
3) When you used vinegar, how much did you dose? For how long?
4) What’s the dKH of the mixed saltwater before you add it to your system?
5) Have you verified the dKH values from the Trident with another test?

I’m probably missing some stuff, but this will get us started.
 
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Erin1971Texas

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The best place to post is in Randy's chemistry forum, and then tag him... although he's the moderator there so tagging may be unnecessary.

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so, as myxini elluded to, have you confirmed the reading of high alk with another source?

as much as i hate to say it, because i bought into an apex as well, (just not the trident yet), but readings on things such as pH and salinity, right away even with calibration, may not be correct. if i recall right, i believe that there is instances of this with the trident as well. i dont recall the circumstances, but i know the reef shop here has mentioned something specific to the refills and recalibrating, that if it isnt done 100% right, it doesnt read right.

first things first is that i would confirm the high alk against a normal test kit to see what it comes up with. i suspect that it wont read the same.
other than that, RHF posted in the below thread. this may be a reason why your alk is high, but i dont know your situation to know if it really applies or not

"The only way that alkalinity increases in a reef tank aside from additions of some sort (even if you do not know what additive or water source might contain it) is if nitrate is falling due to consumption by organisms."

 
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Tray333

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Just curious, is this based solely on the Trident with no other verification, or have you verified with another method not mentioned in the original post?

edit.. also what does everything else test at as far as other tank parameters. It might help someone in determining the cause of your phenomenon
Ati icp verified along with sailfert.
 
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Tray333

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Just curious, is this based solely on the Trident with no other verification, or have you verified with another method not mentioned in the original post?

edit.. also what does everything else test at as far as other tank parameters. It might help someone in determining the cause of your phenomenon
 

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Tray333

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I think folks are going to need more information about your system to help you find a solution. Off the top of my head:

1) What else is going into your tank? Are you dosing anything?
2) Where is your top off water coming from? Have you tested the dKH of it? Are you adding anything to it?
3) When you used vinegar, how much did you dose? For how long?
4) What’s the dKH of the mixed saltwater before you add it to your system?
5) Have you verified the dKH values from the Trident with another test?

I’m probably missing some stuff, but this will get us started.
1. Currently dosing Microbact 7 55 mil a day.
2.and 4. Ro di / yes once I test new mix of water is 8.0 dkh before I put into tank.
.1.21 salinity
3. See picture used 250 gallon increases to 16 weeks
5.Ati icp test and salifert
 

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melonheadorion

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so, if we assume that the reading is correct then, then the only source, other than dosing, would be what RHF mentioned in the post i linked which said

"The only way that alkalinity increases in a reef tank aside from additions of some sort (even if you do not know what additive or water source might contain it) is if nitrate is falling due to consumption by organisms."

if your dosing microbacter, technically that is to help reduce nitrate, so it may be the cause of the alk rise. i dont have any first hand knowledge to know if dosing that would cause what RHF mentioned or not
 
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Tray333

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1. Currently dosing Microbact 7 55 mil a day.
2.and 4. Ro di / yes once I test new mix of water is 8.0 dkh before I put into tank.
.1.21 salinity
3. See picture used 250 gallon increases to 16 weeks
5.Ati icp test and salifert
 

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melonheadorion

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Yes,I know my nitrate is off the charts and so is po4, but this the reason my alk will not go down?
If I read what rhf was trying to say in hat thread, the reduction of nitrates may be why. Not necessarily that you have high nitrates, but the method of reducing them might be. I'm going off of heat he is saying, so I don't know the science behind it,but I've read elsewhere that reduction of nitrates like this might cause alk to rise
 

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Yes,I know my nitrate is off the charts and so is po4, but this the reason my alk will not go down?

As folks have noted, If the nitrate declines by consumption, alk is added. If nitrate rises by production, alk is depleted. If nitrate is too high to quantify, this process cannot be ruled out.

Also, do you use any tap water?
 
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Tray333

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As folks have noted, If the nitrate declines by consumption, alk is added. If nitrate rises by production, alk is depleted. If nitrate is too high to quantify, this process cannot be ruled out.

Also, do you use any tap water?
No sir, just ro/di. I will focus on reducing nitrates and see if that is the root of my alk problems. Thank you for answering.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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The chemical conversion of food to ammonia to nitrate consumes alkalinity, and the conversion of nitrate back into organism tissue (like foods) or N2 (denitrification) adds it back exactly.

Thus, if nitrate is steady at any level, it has no impact on alk. It is only rising or fallling levels that impact alk.
 
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Erin1971Texas

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The chemical conversion of food to ammonia to nitrate consumes alkalinity, and the conversion of nitrate back into organism tissue (like foods) or N2 (denitrification) adds it back exactly.

Thus, if nitrate is steady at any level, it has no impact on alk. It is only rising or fallling levels that impact alk.
So does it follow then, that manual removal of nitrates -- via water changes, trimming macro, etc -- will not have the effect of raising alk... This only happens during denitrification?
 

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So does it follow then, that manual removal of nitrates -- via water changes, trimming macro, etc -- will not have the effect of raising alk... This only happens during denitrification?

It only happens when the nitrate is biologically consumed. Uptake of nitrate by aerobic organisms such as macroalgae, corals, etc, is not called denitrification, but it has the same alk effect. Declining nitrate by water change has no alk impact.
 
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