Raising Calcium, Alk, Magnesium?

Cheeze

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Hi all!

Any suggestions on what I should do/not do or what's best to dose to get these parameters to where they should be? (my stats & story are below)

My tank is cycled about 5 months now, with dry sand & rock. No corals yet, 2 fish and a half dozen snails & hermits. I do weekly 10% water changes with RODI, using RedSea Blue bucket salt. I have a filter chamber with Purigen and ChemiPure Blue, and run my skimmer 24/7.

I've been adding baking soda little by little to keep my Alkalinity stable, but it drops to the high 5's/low 6's if I don't add. My Calcium is also low, and I finally did a Magnesium test and it came back low too:

Alkalinity: around 8 (with baking soda) tested with both Salifert kit and Elos kit
Calcium: 336 tested with Hanna checker
Calcium: 230 tested with RedSea tester
Magnesium: 1110 tested with Salifert kit
pH: 8.2 tested with RedSea test kit
Phosphate: .01 tested with RedSea test kit
Salinity: 1.025
Temp: 77F

I don't have any dosing tools like a Trident. But any suggestions on what I should do/not do or what's best to dose to get these parameters to where they should be, so I can start thinking about adding corals?

And while I'm here :) I have been getting brown hair algae on my rocks and glass, nothing overtaking the tank but it doesn't scrub off my rocks so I don't believe it's diatoms. Guessing this is due to my low Phosphate?
 
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vetteguy53081

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Thanks! Is there any product(s) you recommend that would address the 3? I know there are a bunch out there, but I've never dosed anything before so am a bit clueless
Yes:
Tropic Marin all in one
 

redfishbluefish

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I'd be curious as to your salinity levels and what you are using to measure salinity with those relatively low calcium and magnesium numbers.

Per RedSea, their salt mixed to 35 ‰ should have calcium and magnesium of 430 and 1280 respectively.
 

ctopherl

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Hi all!

Any suggestions on what I should do/not do or what's best to dose to get these parameters to where they should be? (my stats & story are below)

My tank is cycled about 5 months now, with dry sand & rock. No corals yet, 2 fish and a half dozen snails & hermits. I do weekly 10% water changes with RODI, using RedSea Blue bucket salt. I have a filter chamber with Purigen and ChemiPure Blue, and run my skimmer 24/7.

I've been adding baking soda little by little to keep my Alkalinity stable, but it drops to the high 5's/low 6's if I don't add. My Calcium is also low, and I finally did a Magnesium test and it came back low too:

Alkalinity: around 8 (with baking soda) tested with both Salifert kit and Elos kit
Calcium: 336 tested with Hanna checker
Calcium: 230 tested with RedSea tester
Magnesium: 1110 tested with Salifert kit
pH: 8.2 tested with RedSea test kit
Phosphate: .01 tested with RedSea test kit
Salinity: 1.025
Temp: 77F

I don't have any dosing tools like a Trident. But any suggestions on what I should do/not do or what's best to dose to get these parameters to where they should be, so I can start thinking about adding corals?

And while I'm here :) I have been getting brown hair algae on my rocks and glass, nothing overtaking the tank but it doesn't scrub off my rocks so I don't believe it's diatoms. Guessing this is due to my low Phosphate?
It is too early to be dosing. I made the same mistake and just ended up spiking salinity because everything I dosed precipitated out. Your Ca, Alk and Mg will be fine with consistent water changes, especially when there are no corals in there to consume. If you are consistently doing 10% weekly water changes and have no corals, I wouldn't even bother testing.

Even once you add corals, it takes a bit to get to the point where there are enough of them/they are big enough to consume noticeable Ca/Alk out of the water to the point that regular water changes aren't sufficient anymore.

If you really want to raise these levels, get some of the red sea coral pro salt and use a 50/50 mix with the blue bucket doing water changes. The coral pro salt mixes to much higher Ca and Alk levels.
 
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Cheeze

Cheeze

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Thanks everyone!!! Appreciate the feedback and knowledge!

I'm using a refractometer, and check it's calibration with distilled water. I test my salinity a couple times a week to make sure my ATO is keeping the salt levels consistent.

But I'll try the 50/50 mix of RedSea blue and black buckets for now before I start any dosing (with the Tropic Marin). I'm being patient on adding corals until things stay stable, so willing to try this mix out!

Cheers!!
 

Jekyl

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Thanks everyone!!! Appreciate the feedback and knowledge!

I'm using a refractometer, and check it's calibration with distilled water. I test my salinity a couple times a week to make sure my ATO is keeping the salt levels consistent.

But I'll try the 50/50 mix of RedSea blue and black buckets for now before I start any dosing (with the Tropic Marin). I'm being patient on adding corals until things stay stable, so willing to try this mix out!

Cheers!!
Get yourself some calibration fluid. Heard problems with using distilled to calibrate.
 

PICK the Most Tested & Least Tested Parameters of your Tank (Pick 2)

  • Calcium (most)

    Votes: 24 6.5%
  • Alkalinity (most)

    Votes: 263 71.3%
  • Magnesium (most)

    Votes: 3 0.8%
  • Phosphate (most)

    Votes: 24 6.5%
  • PH (most)

    Votes: 39 10.6%
  • Nitrate (most)

    Votes: 35 9.5%
  • Nitrite (most)

    Votes: 1 0.3%
  • Ammonia (most)

    Votes: 8 2.2%
  • (least) Calcium

    Votes: 6 1.6%
  • (least) Alkalinity

    Votes: 2 0.5%
  • (least) Magnesium

    Votes: 29 7.9%
  • (least) Phosphate

    Votes: 4 1.1%
  • (least) PH

    Votes: 13 3.5%
  • (least) Nitrate

    Votes: 3 0.8%
  • (least) Nitrite

    Votes: 111 30.1%
  • (least) Ammonia

    Votes: 152 41.2%
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