Lowest dkh for sps.

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FishTruck

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Is 7 a good place to be with I’m high nutrients? Many fish, mostly angels, no LPS, using 3 radions xr 15s with 4 60 inch t5 bulbs 6 hours a day. (Aquatic life t5 hybrid)
Ok I mixed it up in gallon of Ro like recipe 1 states. Not all dissolved, when I poured solution into tank, near return pump, return nozzle looks like it blew out a few seconds of micro bubbles. Assuming this was non dissolved alk, let’s say best case scenario it all went to sand bed instead of landing on corals, will it eventual dissolve and become part of the water , or will it just lay on bottom like sand particles?

My take on it is that your TANK will tell what ALK you are going to run... and that is probably going to be close to the ALK that you get when you mix your choice of SW. I have been reading for years that stability is the key... but... then someone posts pictures of a tank looking great with an ALK of (value x)... and you will be tempted to chase that value and possibly disappointed. For me... lower ALK levels (7 is my target) are best and safer for SPS - even when I intentionally tried pushing nitrates up a little bit. But... there are others which much better tanks than mine who prefer different numbers.

And... per the OP... I would say an ALK of 6 is the lowest for SPS that I personally have experienced and found to be perfectly fine.

You are seeing undissolved salt or a precipitate. It will dissolve. Best leave it in the bucket with a power head for a day or however long it takes the mix to look clear before it goes in the tank.
 

sensei

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Seawater alk is a bit below 7 dKH.

Higher alk often gives faster growth for some hard corals, but if there is not adequate nutrition to allow tissue to keep pace with skeletal growth, one may get burnt tips on some SPS.

lower alk (say, 7 dKH) allows you to keep lower nutrients so the brownign tha tmay come with higher nutrients and hence increased zooxanthellae may not happen.

So in really simplistic trams, it may be a trade off between color and growth.
@Randy Holmes-Farley
This is an interesting point.
I always get burn tips when I try to go near or over 8 in main dt.
I have tried to run at 8 several times and it always result it the same thing, even when I do it very slowly.
I have 24 fish and 12 of them are tangs some are 12 " long, my NO3 is 10ppm and PO4 is 0.08. I dose little amount of vodka to keep NO3 at that range. I run BB, Metal Halides and 2 skimmers, 250 pounds of live rock, lots of flow, no filter socks or any other filtration.

In my other tanks going over 8 is no problem.

why could it be?

should I just try to run at 7.0- 7.5?
I wanted to run at 8 - 8.5 to have some buffer in case something happens

Thanks
 

MattL22

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Just up ur dose a little and check daily until u get it where u want minute changes over long period r way to go
 

Dana Riddle

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traxxonwaxx99

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What alkalinity to keep your tank at is a highly dependent on the nutrient level of your tank. If you have an ULNS with virtually undetectable phosphate levels, you want to keep a lower alk around 6.5-7. I've seen tanks with alk as high as 9.5 - 11dkh successfully keep SPS but its because they also have high nutrient levels. There is a bond between ALK - CA and MG and Trace carbonates but there is also an organic bond in corals that synthesis all of that along with organics like PO4.
 
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AJsReef

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Interesting read, while not an SPS expert agree with the points being made. My tank runs low on nutrients and I can’t keep my Alk at 8 without running into issues. I target 7.2-7.6
 

Reef-Masters

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I don't agree that one should not wet skim, nor am I sure it is possible to overskim in general.

I do agree that nitrate and phosphate should not be driven too low in most tanks, regardless of how it is coming about.
Over skimming is common by many reefers. Removing too much organic content from the water prevents a healthy sustainable bacterial load in your system. It is a simple scientific fact that is absolute. There’s a trade off however...you can over skim and dose nopox daily or an equivalent. But the fact remains, wet skimming strips your system of the nutrients the bacterial colonies need to survive and thrive.
 

120reefkeeper

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I’ve personally had mine hit 5 before when I wasn’t paying attention. I’d say realistically 6.5 or higher.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Over skimming is common by many reefers. Removing too much organic content from the water prevents a healthy sustainable bacterial load in your system. It is a simple scientific fact that is absolute. There’s a trade off however...you can over skim and dose nopox daily or an equivalent. But the fact remains, wet skimming strips your system of the nutrients the bacterial colonies need to survive and thrive.
lol

Simple scientific fact?

It sounds like a simple opinion without any supporting evidence.

What evidence do you have that overskimming is "common"?

What evidence do you have that anyone anywhere has actually overskimmed a reef tank?

What exactly do you think is the negative symptom of overskimming?
 

Sylvester

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I’m at 7.4 and I’m using Aquaforest Reef Salt. Constant readings and I can check a quality lab result for all traces.
 
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Rouxdog

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Over skimming is common by many reefers. Removing too much organic content from the water prevents a healthy sustainable bacterial load in your system. It is a simple scientific fact that is absolute. There’s a trade off however...you can over skim and dose nopox daily or an equivalent. But the fact remains, wet skimming strips your system of the nutrients the bacterial colonies need to survive and thrive.
I am not saying you aren't correct but I do know that in the 25+ years I have had reef tanks "simple facts" sure have changed a lot.
 

ReefQueen82

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Just started adding some acro frags to my tank which has been running about 7 months now.

added them two weeks ago, look fine. Checked my alk today and it’s 6!

Used Hannah, and salifert. Instant ocean salt, I don’t have any coraline or many corals (10 frags ) in this 180.

not sure where all the alk is going. Chaeto, phosgard?
8 is the ideal range. I would say the phosgard may be the culprit.
 

DiZASTiX

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My field's been in engineering and advising / management consulting. What's the biggest thing clients hate? Some person in a dang "suite" coming in saying: "Your strategy and implementation aren't correct. I know X, Y, and Z and such and such." If it's worked in a few systems, it can work in yours. It depends on the client. "It depends on the rest of the system."

I would disagree with @Reef-Masters on one piece: for longterm quarantine, I've kept all sorts of corals and other animals, including Acropora in sterile water. The key levers were: consistency, flow, and lighting. Austin Lefevre reiterated the same point in several MACNA talks, paraphrased as "You can keep coral in a bucket as long as there are correct flow and lighting", and of course, water parameters. To be sure, there's no water more "over skimmed" (to use @reef-Master's term) than that, unless they're referring to the: other goodies in the water, as well as the .. how to say, je ne sais quois of the water. Let's ignore that for a moment:

To further @Rouxdog's point, there is an entire buffet of methodologies that may be employed. For instance, OP has a tested alk of 6 dKH. That's low, albeit acceptable, for me, and some of my R2R peeps, but not others: and while @ReefQueen82 recommended 8 as the ideal, I would say 8 is good for certain methodologies but bad for others ("It depends on the rest of the system."). When I first entered the hobby (also decades ago, but who cares), I used at least a 9. Now, I use reduced very low nitrates and phosphates balanced with the KZ-recommended 6.5 to 8 dKH range (my set point is 7 dKH). 8 dKH is not bad unless the methodology you've selected is incompatible with that alkalinity.

@Randy Holmes-Farley has written quite exceptional works discussing alkalinity and other factors. If you wish to "TL;DR him", which I would dissuade you from doing (understanding the logic, the why, is truly helpful, rather than simply asking someone to provide the Cliff Notes to his work), then at least consult his charts as well as this pithy bit: Jason Fox: we chat at MACNA one year: (paraphrased) 'Less alk? Less nutrients, less lighting. More alk? More nutrients, more lighting.' Application? Black Bucket plus 0 nitrates and 0 phosphates equal "you're gonna have a bad time."

This is my proposed implementation strategy. Key takeaways: (1) Different strategies will work. (2) Pick an actionable strategy. Don't promise yourself you'll exercise 7 days a week if this entire QT period you've never so much as jogged in place: so don't centre a strategy on a facet that will lead you to failure because of inconsistent execution.

Implementation:
  1. Select a methodology that appeals to you based on what you can and will do (e.g., high alk for fast growth, KZ/ZEOvit System). Consider this with due diligence, as this forms the basis of quite a few other things; latter changes will effect unnecessary costs and potentially adverse outcomes. Want to go KZ after you've already built out that Triton system .. how unfortunate of you.
  2. Select a salt mix with parameters that are aligned to the methodology you've selected. Like the high alk strategy? Black Bucket might be for you. Like KZ? Tropic Marin Pro Sea Salt might be the thing.
  3. Determine realistic and actionable goals for nitrate, phosphate, amino acids, solid coral foods, &c that are aligned to the methodology and the alkalinity, and execute those goals with the methodology selected (e.g., carbon dosing, AWC, algae scrubbing, DSB, 100% water changes, de-nitrators). How big your target (tolerance) is will be based on the animals selected. How difficult to hit that target (how realistic the goal) will be based on factors including personal skillset, experience, equipment and due diligence.
  4. Determine and execute a flow strategy consistent with the corals you wish to keep, independent of steps 1-3.
  5. Determine and execute the lighting strategy aligned to the methodology and alkalinity.
  6. Maintain consistency in these and do not deviate on items 1 thru 3 except to provide relief to distressed animals or to improve upon their health, but with the understanding that changes may in the short term be detrimental to their health.


lol

Simple scientific fact?

It sounds like a simple opinion without any supporting evidence.

What evidence do you have that overskimming is "common"?

What evidence do you have that anyone anywhere has actually overskimmed a reef tank?

What exactly do you think is the negative symptom of overskimming?
I am not saying you aren't correct but I do know that in the 25+ years I have had reef tanks "simple facts" sure have changed a lot.
 

Phildago

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I am not saying you aren't correct but I do know that in the 25+ years I have had reef tanks "simple facts" sure have changed a lot.
I think he was just saying it's a simple fact that if you remove too much of what the bacteria consume then you'll limit or deminish their numbers.
 
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