Amonia problem in established tank help

Derek Asbury

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I have had this tank running for 5 years and my levels have been good until not to long ago my calcium started dropping some days up to 60 ppm and then my pH dropped from 8.2 down to 7.4 so I added marine buffer and then my hardness rose to 16.2 I did a 30 gallon water change and got my hardness back down to 9.0 but now I'm reading ammonia .25 is this from my pH drop or my hardness rise does anyone know if it will recover or should I refuse with bacteria
 
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Derek Asbury

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I'm useing api and I can tell there is a problem with my corals today they dont look right
 

Saltyreef

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API ammonia test is garbage. False positives. Plenty of threads on here about it. Stick with salifert.
Other than that, mind posting a full parameter check? Usually that will tell us a lot followed by an ICP test.

Cal
Mag
Alk
Temp
Salinity
Ph
Phosphate
Nitrate

Not too worried about nitrite and ammonia in a 5 year old tank but i would post those numbers too after you get a new ammonia test kit.
 
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Derek Asbury

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Hey is real ocean water good to do water changes with I have used several brands and every store I go to recommends there brand of course so just looking for advice I dont have an R.O so it's not easy to make my own
 

Saltyreef

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Hey is real ocean water good to do water changes with I have used several brands and every store I go to recommends there brand of course so just looking for advice I dont have an R.O so it's not easy to make my own
Yes you can use natural sea water. I used to use NSW when i first started in the hobby because my LFS sold bulk buffered natural sea water. I only recently started to mix my own salt a few years ago.
Dont collect your own water from the ocean though lol.
 
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Derek Asbury

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Yes you can use natural sea water. I used to use NSW when i first started in the hobby because my LFS sold bulk buffered natural sea water. I only recently started to mix my own salt a few years ago.
Dont collect your own water from the ocean though lol.
I know that much my lfs sells a brand of water they call real ocean water its filtered sea water just heard from some lfs it's not any good and after all my problems I'm wondering if that's why I cant ever get me hardness down below 9 something cause the water is at 9.8
 

Saltyreef

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9dkh is a good number. I shoot for 9 to 11. Nothing wrong with that.
Ph unstable and going to 7.4 is more concerning.
If you post your full parameters as requested we can give better answers.
Your magnesium levels may be out of range.
To keep a balanced ph all 3 elements need to be in range.
 
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Derek Asbury

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That's all today I have been doing large water changes and doseing to get those numbers my tank is only about 120 and I have been doing 30 gallon water changes like at least
Looks good to me. I dont think you have an accurate ammonia reading. Its likely zero. Is your ph still at 7.4??
No I got it back to 8.2 and I do have alot of feather dusters out I know they normally go back in if there is ammonia but a few of my corals dont look good today but that could also be from the pH drop then all spike pH dropped on day and the next day all spiked and then the next day I got them both back under control I didnt know the alk spiked that high until it was to late todo another water change
 
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Derek Asbury

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Which lfs do you go to?
I live in corona south of LA and go to a bunch of them I also worked at global aquatics in onterio I like the lax aquarium they have really healthy looking tanks and the people working there know there stuff alot more then me at least I know enough to maintain a tank but these problems is makeing me think I dont I have yet to lose any coral in this tank and I dont want to start now fish on the other hand I've had ich problems with this take for months so I've cleaned the fish out and letting it die before any new ones go in
 
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Derek Asbury

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So you people dont think my pH drop or all spike could of damaged my bacteria and therefore cause me an ammonia problem
 

Hemmdog

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So you people dont think my pH drop or all spike could of damaged my bacteria and therefore cause me an ammonia problem
pH really doesent matter if alk, cal, and mag and stable and in proper ratio. A lot of experienced reefers don’t even check pH. I’ve checked mine once in 8 months. It was 8.2, I was cool with that.
 
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Derek Asbury

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Well what about my all spikeing up to 16.2 dude that tested it for me after telling me I was wrong for useing an api test telling him it tested at 16 so he pulled out a digital test and told me it was 16.2 and said he didnt know his test read that high that he had never seen readings that high I have no idea what caused it other then the marine buffer I added but if it causes spikes like that I wouldn't understand how the company still sells it
 

Hemmdog

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Well what about my all spikeing up to 16.2 dude that tested it for me after telling me I was wrong for useing an api test telling him it tested at 16 so he pulled out a digital test and told me it was 16.2 and said he didnt know his test read that high that he had never seen readings that high I have no idea what caused it other then the marine buffer I added but if it causes spikes like that I wouldn't understand how the company still sells it
For sure was the buffer. I’ve used that stuff in the past on my first tank, had horrible results. That would make sense.
 
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