Substrate Addition = Plummeting Alk

Shiizee

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Hey Randy,
Recently added substrate to my SPS dominated 65 Gallon Peninsula which was previously bare bottom. It seems like the addition of substrate has resulted in a substantial Alk and Cal drop.

Almost immediately DKH dropped from 8.5 to 7.0, and Calcium from 450 to 400. I adjusted my dosing in response to said drop in an effort to stabilize, going from 30ml of Alk/day to 80ml; and upping Calcium as well (don't remember what it was before). I've been dosing Kalk overnight kind of like Chris Meckley has recommended.

Anyway, levels stabilized and all was good for about 6 days until last night where Alk jumped from 7.5 to 11.5 at 7am. I adjusted dkh dosing back down to 30ml this am, but alk continued to rise to 13.5 by 1pm. Calcium dropped from 390 to 300 between 1am last night and 1pm this afternoon.

Does this make any sense or am I looking at glitches from my Trident? if the numbers are correct, how should I proceed? Stop dosing alk entirely and wait for the number to fall down to 'normal' levels over the next few weeks, or do water changes?
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Bare calcium carbonate can act as seed crystals for precipitation if calcium carbonate. I’d suggest the same advice as for hardening sand:

1. Stop all efforts to boost pH.
2. Stop dosing alk for a bit and let it decline.
3. Reduce pH by switching to a low pH alk mix like sodium bicarbonate, or a calcium organic such as Tropic Marin All for Reef.
4. Ensure magnesium is normal to high.
5. Keep organics and phosphate on the high side.

After a few days of not dosing alk, restart slowly, adding additives to a very high flow area so it mixes in fast.
 

Garf

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Hey Randy,
Recently added substrate to my SPS dominated 65 Gallon Peninsula which was previously bare bottom. It seems like the addition of substrate has resulted in a substantial Alk and Cal drop.

Almost immediately DKH dropped from 8.5 to 7.0, and Calcium from 450 to 400. I adjusted my dosing in response to said drop in an effort to stabilize, going from 30ml of Alk/day to 80ml; and upping Calcium as well (don't remember what it was before). I've been dosing Kalk overnight kind of like Chris Meckley has recommended.

Anyway, levels stabilized and all was good for about 6 days until last night where Alk jumped from 7.5 to 11.5 at 7am. I adjusted dkh dosing back down to 30ml this am, but alk continued to rise to 13.5 by 1pm. Calcium dropped from 390 to 300 between 1am last night and 1pm this afternoon.

Does this make any sense or am I looking at glitches from my Trident? if the numbers are correct, how should I proceed? Stop dosing alk entirely and wait for the number to fall down to 'normal' levels over the next few weeks, or do water changes?
You got some actual manual test kits like salifert?
 
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Shiizee

Shiizee

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Thanks Randy! since implementing the kalk overnight method 18 months ago it seems like my PH has consistently hovered between 8.45 during the day and 8.22 overnight. I'll immediately cease dosing kalk at night, I anticipate a drop in PH as well as Alk and Calcium as a result (please correct me if I'm wrong on this). Should I be doing anything with Calcium dosing or should I leave it the same as it was before this 'event' happened? I hit the re-test button on the Trident just now and here's where I'm at:
Alk - 14.02
Ca - 321
Mag - 1362
PH - 8.36
Temp - 27.2

Nitrate and Phosphate should be somewhere around 18 and 0.09 respectively
 

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