Getting to SPS

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Shawn_epicurious

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My tank is getting close to six months old.It’s not mature yet, but it is closer than it was yesterday. : )

Covid is killing me! There are certain aspects of this hobby that are beyond me. Installing my calcium reactor and getting it flowing up threw my Neptune... yeah... I’m willing to pay for help. My LFS guy... he’s good! ...someone in his store tested positive. Yeah, no help for 2 weeks and I thought I’d have it going yesterday. : (

The pic below is something that is bothering me. ...it’s what my tank is doing all by itself with the bioload it has, my feeding schedule and my water change habits (and salt). I am trying to turn on a calcium reactor while my “constant” level of calcium is already perfect for SPS. I also get that reactor effects both PH and Alk, which my tank needs help with.

What happens if I over supply Calcium? I don’t have any SPS yet...

942CFD76-5BD2-4693-B623-89E506E8E060.png
 
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CollectOyster04

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Be it dosing or a calcium reactor, if you don't have enough coral sucking out the elements faster than your water changes replenish them, it's unnecessary to be dosing additional elements at this time. I'd keep the reactor on the shelf until your bio load deems it necessary. Otherwise you have the potential for getting everything out of whack by oversupplying. May be better to stick with the water changes for now until you see your parameters continually dropping. Just my .02
 

90's reefer

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I would reduce water changes and start dosing 2 part.
I dosed 2 part, esv, for 6 months in my 120 starting as soon as Alk started to drop below my setpoint, around 1 month in.
You may only need 5ml a day to start.
At 6 months I fired up my carx once I was at 45mls a day to maintain my Alk.
This way you will get a feel for how much alk your tank is using per day.
It was very simple for me as I do not use a ph probe or controller.
Tanks Alk and Ca have been rock solid since firing it up 6 months ago.
Tank PH is unaffected in a properly tuned carc.
 
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Shawn_epicurious

Shawn_epicurious

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I would reduce water changes and start dosing 2 part.
I dosed 2 part, esv, for 6 months in my 120 starting as soon as Alk started to drop below my setpoint, around 1 month in.
You may only need 5ml a day to start.
At 6 months I fired up my carx once I was at 45mls a day to maintain my Alk.
This way you will get a feel for how much alk your tank is using per day.
It was very simple for me as I do not use a ph probe or controller.
Tanks Alk and Ca have been rock solid since firing it up 6 months ago.
Tank PH is unaffected in a properly tuned carc.
I am really beginning to think you are right... I am in that weird place right now... stuck between letting my tank mature a bit more while getting the equipment ready for SPS.... and you know... not having any SPS yet lol. My tank needs Mag and Alk right now... and a bump on PH.
 

90's reefer

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Imo your alk is fine.
I run mine at 7.
Adjust mag to 1350.
Start testing Alk daily at the same time.
This will tell your daily drop and will make setting up your carx easier.
My ph runs 7.9 -8.2 night vs day with zero issues.
My advice is pick your big 3 levels and keep them within your desired range now as it will make everything easier in the future.
 
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Rick.45cal

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I didn‘t put my CaRx online until about 3 years in and the tank was using in excess of 2 dKH a day. I probably could have done it earlier, but until your consumption is reasonably high and consistent, it’s going to be more trouble than its worth. I’m with @90's reefer I’d start dosing 2 part as needed until that becomes hard to keep up with then I’d start the Calcium reactor up. :)
 
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Shawn_epicurious

Shawn_epicurious

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Imo your alk is fine.
I run mine at 7.
Adjust mag to 1350.
Start testing Alk daily at the same time.
This will tell your daily drop and will make setting up your carx easier.
My ph runs 7.9 -8.2 night vs day with zero issues.
My advice is pick your big 3 levels and keep them within your desired range now as it will make everything easier in the future.
My trident tests Alk 4 times a day now. Do you mean with something like a Hanna tester? I’d like to stay around 8.2 on Alk for now and increase that once I start buying livestock...

I’d like to get my Mag within a range of 1,300 - 1,400
pH 8.2 - 8.4
my calcium is fine until I put more livestock in
I’ve been keeping my phosphates and nitrates in the right place by simple (minor) over feeding
I’ve been rock solid on temp and salinity for two months now

My numbers are closer than I thought they be now : )
 

Tahoe61

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My tank is getting close to six months old.It’s not mature yet, but it is closer than it was yesterday. : )

Covid is killing me! There are certain aspects of this hobby that are beyond me. Installing my calcium reactor and getting it flowing up threw my Neptune... yeah... I’m willing to pay for help. My LFS guy... he’s good! ...someone in his store tested positive. Yeah, no help for 2 weeks and I thought I’d have it going yesterday. : (

The pic below is something that is bothering me. ...it’s what my tank is doing all by itself with the bioload it has, my feeding schedule and my water change habits (and salt). I am trying to turn on a calcium reactor while my “constant” level of calcium is already perfect for SPS. I also get that reactor effects both PH and Alk, which my tank needs help with.

What happens if I over supply Calcium? I don’t have any SPS yet...

942CFD76-5BD2-4693-B623-89E506E8E060.png
You are way over thinking this.

Shoot for NSW values.

Just normal salt water, add a simple sps like Birdsnest or Montiporia and then dial it in.
 

90's reefer

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Did not know you had an auto tester.
Just bring up mag to your range and you will be fine.
Im not a fan of controllers so I test by hand.
Not a fan of ph probe controllers for a carx either.
Not a fan of Alk higher than the ocean.
But thats just the way I setup my tank.
 
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Shawn_epicurious

Shawn_epicurious

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You are way over thinking this.

Shoot for NSW values.

Just normal salt water, add a simple sps like Birdsnest or Montiporia and then dial it in.
Overthinking this....? yeah... I’ve been accused of that before lol

....but... I do have a plan : ) most of that plan was learning not to kill everything.... while I let my tank mature a little more
 
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Shawn_epicurious

Shawn_epicurious

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Did not know you had an auto tester.
Just bring up mag to your range and you will be fine.
Im not a fan of controllers so I test by hand.
Not a fan of ph probe controllers for a carx either.
Not a fan of Alk higher than the ocean.
But thats just the way I setup my tank.
alk higher than the ocean... (that didn’t occur to me) my reading has led me to believe that alk around 8.2 leads to great color and an Alk around 12 is good for growth. Have I misread that?
 

90's reefer

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Overthinking this....? yeah... I’ve been accused of that before lol

....but... I do have a plan : ) most of that plan was learning not to kill everything.... while I let my tank mature a little more
Learn how to setup your carx on your own when its time.
You can find all the help you need here.
Its not a piece of equipment that you want without knowing what its doing.
Start with 2 part and dose buy hand and you will be glad you did.
 

90's reefer

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alk higher than the ocean... (that didn’t occur to me) my reading has led me to believe that alk around 8.2 leads to great color and an Alk around 12 is good for growth. Have I misread that?
Yes IMO.
I lowered alk from 8.5 to 7 and see better colors and growth did not change.
Do more research as Alk at 12 is not something you want imo.
 
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Shawn_epicurious

Shawn_epicurious

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Yes IMO.
I lowered alk from 8.5 to 7 and see better colors and growth did not change.
Do more research as Alk at 12 is not something you want imo.
I’m glad I asked.

I would be scared if my Alk ran around 12 I like mine around 7.5-8.
I love this Forum!

so.. adding to my confusion... look at the pic below. Why would they have that much Alk on the cover of their product? I am NOT saying you guys are wrong... I’m saying I don’t know...

BADCBD30-A6B7-4B9B-9604-4F29461D0E19.jpeg
 

WIReefer

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I’m glad I asked.


I love this Forum!

so.. adding to my confusion... look at the pic below. Why would they have that much Alk on the cover of their product? I am NOT saying you guys are wrong... I’m saying I don’t know...

BADCBD30-A6B7-4B9B-9604-4F29461D0E19.jpeg
It’s basically just what you would like to have your own Alk at I just think it’s more of a risk running that high of an Alk my current salt mixes at 7.
 

90's reefer

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Some like higher alk most dont.
Here is a page shot from one of my reef books from the late 80's.
Check out the alk levels!
For me if its good enough for the ocean then its good enough for my tank.
Many people have alot of problems with high alk levels.
20200514_190359.jpg
 
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Shawn_epicurious

Shawn_epicurious

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Some like higher alk most dont.
Here is a page shot from one of my reef books from the late 80's.
Check out the alk levels!
For me if its good enough for the ocean then its good enough for my tank.
Many people have alot of problems with high alk levels.
20200514_190359.jpg
You rock
 

Rick.45cal

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Definitely no reason to run an alkalinity as high as what Red Sea suggests, I’ve often wondered what their motivation in suggesting those numbers is. Your alkalinity is fine where it is, there are some advantages to running an elevated alkalinity in some circumstances but there are also risks associated with it. I‘ve run many different alkalinity levels in my current tank to see if I noticed any differences and for the most part I haven‘t seen any drastic effects on my system. The higher your alkalinity the less your pH will swing so some people who have tanks that run chronically lower pH will see some improvement by running a higher alkalinity. Corals are happiest if you just try and keep it the same. I‘m currently running a Alkalinity of 7.7 dKH and have been for about 9 months now. :)
 
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Shawn_epicurious

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Definitely no reason to run an alkalinity as high as what Red Sea suggests, I’ve often wondered what their motivation in suggesting those numbers is. Your alkalinity is fine where it is, there are some advantages to running an elevated alkalinity in some circumstances but there are also risks associated with it. I‘ve run many different alkalinity levels in my current tank to see if I noticed any differences and for the most part I haven‘t seen any drastic effects on my system. The higher your alkalinity the less your pH will swing so some people who have tanks that run chronically lower pH will see some improvement by running a higher alkalinity. Corals are happiest if you just try and keep it the same. I‘m currently running a Alkalinity of 7.7 dKH and have been for about 9 months now. :)
Back to stability : ) ...things really are sinking in from this thread! You guys really are the best!
 
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