Aquarium Chemistry Question? Ask the Doctor!

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry by Randy Holmes-Farley' started by revhtree, Mar 22, 2016.

  1. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Expert Contributor Article Contributor

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    Yes, more aeration of any type with high CO2 air will lower the pH if the tank has less CO2 in it than it would in equilibrium with that same air. :)
     
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  2. chomoney

    chomoney Active Member

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    Thanks very much for confirming!
     
  3. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Expert Contributor Article Contributor

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    You're welcome.

    Happy Reefing. :)
     
  4. Marc.The.Shark

    Marc.The.Shark Active Member R2R Supporter

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    Randy,
    Quick question for the master! I'm currently mixing roughly 1/4tsp Arm&Hammer per gallon to my top off water to keep Alk @ 8.5 or so in a moderately stocked 20gal. I'd like to switch to Kalk in the ATO for convenience and can't figure out where to start with the saturation. Trying to find the rough equivalent. Any suggestions would be appreciated!
     
  5. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Expert Contributor Article Contributor

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    I'd use about half as much solid calcium hydroxide as you use baking soda and adjust up or down from there as needed to maintain alk. :)
     
  6. Marc.The.Shark

    Marc.The.Shark Active Member R2R Supporter

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    Well, I'm glad I asked!! Lol. Was thinking I'd need more! Doh! Disaster averted.
    Thanks Randy!
     
  7. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Expert Contributor Article Contributor

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    You're welcome.

    Happy Reefing. :)
     
  8. MacQac

    MacQac Active Member

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    So I'm very frustrated. I've been posting about my new saltwater setup and it just seems to be getting worse as I cannot explain what's happening. I am meticulous with testing and pay close attention to exact amounts. I am trying to just wait it out...
    SG 35 pt (calibrated refractometer)
    Ph 7.9 (apex and Red Sea confirmed)
    Amm 0 (Red Sea)
    Nitrite 0 (Red Sea, API confirmed)
    Nitrate 5 (Red Sea, API confirmed)
    DKH 6.8 (Hanna, Red Sea says 5.5)
    Ca 597 (Hanna)
    Mg 1600 (Red Sea Pro)
    Phos 0.08 (Red Sea Pro)

    My ca and mg have been consistently going up over the past month. Zero additions. I did a 30% water change two weeks ago with IO salt mix. Fish are happy, clove polyps and zoas are NOT happy. Diatom bloom and some green algae. Two turbos and two astrea. Skimmer pulling cup full every 6 days wet skimmate, very dark and stinky.
    AI Hydra 26HD x2 on acclimation, was at 30% but now up to about 50% have another week or two on acclimation. Should I just let the two corals die and start over? I hate hat they're not doing well. Cloves are covered in GHA, confirmed that it's not bryopsis. They won't open. Zoas were beautiful for two weeks, now very dull colored and half are closed. I've been dosing ReefFusion Part 2 to try and get DKH up. Ph is a strain for me, it's 7.55 during the day and 8.0 when doors are open. I have a scrubber which barely helps, cannot drill an outside line. Any ideas? I am trying to figure out what a next step is...
     
  9. Flippers4pups

    Flippers4pups Fins up since 1993 R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Build Thread Contributor

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    A couple questions......

    How old is your tank?

    What is your source water? (RO/DI, distilled.....)

    Chances are your PO4 is higher than your test shows. Run some GFO to aid in starving out the GHA. If your having a Diatom issue as well, GFO may also aid in reducing silicate in the water column that maybe feeding the diatoms.

    If your not dosing Calcium and Mag , I would suspect, with those numbers, possible testing errors are happening or bad test kits. Have your water tested by a trusted LFS to confirm readings.

    Your DKH is not bad, but upping to 8-9DKH is ideal. Raising 1DKH is perfered per day. Using the reef fusion part 2 is okay, but Randy's part 1 for alk is cheaper and is what I use and it raises ph a little. (Baking soda that is baked in a oven, not baking powder!) I then make a solution in a gallon container and dose it as needed using this calculator: http://reef.diesyst.com/chemcalc/chemcalc.html

    I also wouldn't chase PH. In other words, once your water pramameters are stable and you maintain them, ph should be fine.
     
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  10. MacQac

    MacQac Active Member

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    Thanks :) I use RODI that I double check at 0 TDS. Tank is still new, about 4 months now. My biggest confusion is why the ca and mg are going up- theyve been going up for two months with no changes. It's odd. I had my LFS confirm about three weeks ago and he couldn't figure it out. I'm taking another sample today. What GFO should I run, I don't have a reactor.. is there another way??
     
  11. Flippers4pups

    Flippers4pups Fins up since 1993 R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Build Thread Contributor

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    Standard capacity GFO in a mesh bag in a medium flow area. Don't tumble it aggressively to keep the fines from being released in to the water column.

    You will experience the "nasties" (algae, blooms) from time to time since your system is new still. Usually takes around a year to balance/settle, so be patent. Nothing good happens fast in this hobby. Hang in there and it will get better.
     
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  12. Flippers4pups

    Flippers4pups Fins up since 1993 R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Build Thread Contributor

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  13. Flippers4pups

    Flippers4pups Fins up since 1993 R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Build Thread Contributor

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  14. roostertech

    roostertech Member

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    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
  15. TechnicalFisher

    TechnicalFisher Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Randy- I have an almost 5 month-old 50g cube that I intend to be a mostly sps reef tank. Fishload is 1 small clownfish pair and 2 flasher wrasses. I dose BRS kalk via my ATO using an osmolator with the kalk dispenser and RODI water that shows 0 on the TDM. I also dose NOPOX, which I started about 2 months ago, using .75ml per day. Nitrate is 1ppm and phosphate isn't detectable (but I'm still using a high test so I guess that just means it's less than .1, have ordered the Red Sea low phosphate kit). Calcium ranges between 450-475, Alk is fairly consistent at 10 dKh and PH ranges from 8.1-8.25 through the day/night. Salinity crept a bit high (1.028) until a week or so ago as I was using a hydrometer but is now stable at 1.026, confirmed by a newly purchased refractometer.

    I placed a few small starter frags in the tank a month or so ago and, after doing well for a little while, they lost color. Around that time, my nitrates had dropped to 0. I ignored the low nitrates and reacted by assuming my lighting was too intense and lowered the levels. That made things worse and I lost a almost all of a birdsnest frag and most of a superman monti. A hammer coral that had been showing good growth and tissue expansion began receding back up the skeleton. I've gradually increased lighting, while also cutting my NOPOX dose to maintain nitrates around 1ppm and the corals are looking happier, though still pale. Even the superman, which was essentially gone, is starting to show polyps again.

    My question, after all of that background, is whether I should even be messing with carbon dosing on a relatively new tank. My thought in doing so was that I'd get off to a good start by limiting algae and starting a program that I'd stick with. However, I'm starting to second guess that theory. Thanks very much for any insight you can lend.
     
  16. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Expert Contributor Article Contributor

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    Answered in its own thread. :)
     
  17. Ubergroover

    Ubergroover Engineer by day, Musician/golfer/reefer by night R2R Supporter CTARS Member Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    So I have a question That is pre-chemistry (sort of). Does anyone test their source water after it comes out of their RO unit? What is normal? I think I need to change my membrane as the PO3/4 is measuring .25
    Hope I posted to the right place. Thank you!
     
  18. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Expert Contributor Article Contributor

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    If nitrate is holding steady and not getting too low, the organic dosing seems fine to me. :)
     
  19. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Expert Contributor Article Contributor

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    Did you also measure the TDS of that water before and after the membrane?
     
  20. ghawiii

    ghawiii New Member

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    I have the API saltwater and reef master test kits, the instructions state to read the results in a well lit area and compare the vial against the whit portion of the card...do they mean literally against or just in front of? I get 2 different readings against and just in front of. Sorry if this is a dumb question or in the wrong area to ask.
     
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