Please help with out of balance Alk and Calcium

HenryTT

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Hello all,

I need help to figure out what I am doing wrong and some tips on 2 part dosing.

Tank is 130g with 99.9% LPS coral and has been up and running for almost 1 year.

For the past 7-8 months I have been dosing All for reef and the tank seems stable, however recently I notice my alk is dropping with calcium raising and I switch to two part dosing thinking I will have more control.

For the past two weeks my ALk and CA are completely out of balance and the reading is around 7.5 DKH and 550 Calcium. And I got nervous… then I switch to just dosing ALK with weekly water change “ Tropical marine pro” try to bring calcium down. However I found out more ALK I dose the more Calcium I raise and now it has a reading of 600. I don’t understand why I keep dosing Alk but it’s calcium keep raising

The “test kit” I use is trident and I understand the number might not be accurate but the trend should be correct. Is there a reason why I dose Alk but the calcium increase instead?

Attach is a picture show the test result as well as the trend

81486439-7259-4FD9-B179-99D760651701.png
 
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Dennis Cartier

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This has to be testing error. Dosing Alk is not going to cause your calcium to rise. The graph coming from your Trident, where Ca and Mg are a mirror image (almost) of each other looks very odd. I would have someone cross check your numbers from the Trident and perhaps re-calibrate it.
 
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HenryTT

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Thanks for the reply… I actually has my local fish store cross check it. The number is lower than what trident test but still high … like 500ish on calcium. The thing I don’t understand is why I dose Alk that cause calcium to increase instead or I should say is it possible? Maybe it is a human (me) error that I mislabel my alk pump to calcium pump …. I think I will pick up another pack of Brs 2 part and redo everything again
 
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Dennis Cartier

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Yes, it is not possible to only dose alk and get your calcium to rise. In fact the opposite is what normally happens, you dose alk and it causes your calcium to trend lower.

If you mixed up the solutions, then that could explain the odd results. It would also explain your trend lower in alk. Just like dosing alk lowers calcium, the opposite also is true. Dosing calcium will lower your alk a bit. Dosing in equal parts keeps the ratio constant, or at least that is how it is supposed to work.

If you have been dosing ca thinking it was alk, it may help to explain the odd mg decline as well in your Trident.
 

Joe31415

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When you add Alk to your tank, does the clear solution that you pour in suddenly look like a blizzard when it hits the water as a flurry of little white flakes appear out of nowhere then disappear a few seconds later? If you're using a dosing pump that runs slow or is in a location with really fast water movement, get 20mls or so and pour it right into the tank.
On the assumption that you're using soda ash, if it doesn't do that, you might be adding calcium by accident. In fact, if adding calcium (or mag) *does* do that, then you've almost certainly got your two part mixed up.
It's not uncommon since they all look the same. And, it's certainly not unheard of for someone to complain that, of their alk/calc/mag, one seems to keep dropping despite being dosed while another one is inexplicably rising. The usual answer is that the jugs are mislabeled.

TLDR, see if you're accidentally dosing calcium instead of alkalinity. Does it look like this when you dose alk?
 

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