Sudden increase in alkalinity consumption

crazyfishmom

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I have been using All For Reef (AFR) to maintain the big 3 and some traces for several months with beautiful stability. I monitor using the trident and calibrate frequently etc etc etc so I know that my alkalinity has been consistently between 9-9.5. Calcium has also been stable between 425-440. All of a sudden both my alkalinity and calcium levels have been dropping very significantly (from 9 to 8 despite AFR addition so it would be larger without the AFR and from 430 or so to as low as 395 for calcium); I am tuning my AFR to try to counteract the drops.

My question is: are huge increases in alkalinity/calcium consumption typical? I am still trying to increase my AFR dosing to match the current consumption and that’s fine, I am more interested in understanding whether this will continue to increase super significantly so profoundingly so quickly over time.

Thanks all!
 

Lavey29

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Well if you have a heavy stocked tank that is thriving in a growth phase combined with coralline it's easy to see consumption increases. You just need to adjust dosing to compensate for the demand.
 

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I have been using All For Reef (AFR) to maintain the big 3 and some traces for several months with beautiful stability. I monitor using the trident and calibrate frequently etc etc etc so I know that my alkalinity has been consistently between 9-9.5. Calcium has also been stable between 425-440. All of a sudden both my alkalinity and calcium levels have been dropping very significantly (from 9 to 8 despite AFR addition so it would be larger without the AFR and from 430 or so to as low as 395 for calcium); I am tuning my AFR to try to counteract the drops.

My question is: are huge increases in alkalinity/calcium consumption typical? I am still trying to increase my AFR dosing to match the current consumption and that’s fine, I am more interested in understanding whether this will continue to increase super significantly so profoundingly so quickly over time.

Thanks all!
You using a dosing pump or manual? My first thought would be that the amount added has decreased or stopped, obviously not the case if you are doing it manually.
 

Uncle99

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I have been using All For Reef (AFR) to maintain the big 3 and some traces for several months with beautiful stability. I monitor using the trident and calibrate frequently etc etc etc so I know that my alkalinity has been consistently between 9-9.5. Calcium has also been stable between 425-440. All of a sudden both my alkalinity and calcium levels have been dropping very significantly (from 9 to 8 despite AFR addition so it would be larger without the AFR and from 430 or so to as low as 395 for calcium); I am tuning my AFR to try to counteract the drops.

My question is: are huge increases in alkalinity/calcium consumption typical? I am still trying to increase my AFR dosing to match the current consumption and that’s fine, I am more interested in understanding whether this will continue to increase super significantly so profoundingly so quickly over time.

Thanks all!
I get a second opinion to back up your test results to ensure accuracy, before moving forward.
 

twentyleagues

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Depends on corals and coralline algae mostly when you see these sudden consumptions. Could be precipitating also. So if your corals are going through a growth spurt then consumption is going to go up. I would rectify the drop with 2 part and up your afr dosage to the new consumption rate.
 

fishyjoes

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If things have changed recently it's certainly possible to see a huge increase in consumption.

In my case I added some monitipora about six months ago, and a couple of months ago I was able to start opening windows so my PH is up from 7.8 to 8.3 and things are taking off.
I've had to increase dosing to keep up, and it's completely understandable and expected (though I didn't know how much to expect)
 
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crazyfishmom

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If things have changed recently it's certainly possible to see a huge increase in consumption.

In my case I added some monitipora about six months ago, and a couple of months ago I was able to start opening windows so my PH is up from 7.8 to 8.3 and things are taking off.
I've had to increase dosing to keep up, and it's completely understandable and expected (though I didn't know how much to expect)
Interesting; I’m definitely seeing tons of growth and coralline is off the charts just didn’t expect it to be quite so pronounced since I am really having to dial up on the AFR and still doesn’t come close.
 
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crazyfishmom

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Depends on corals and coralline algae mostly when you see these sudden consumptions. Could be precipitating also. So if your corals are going through a growth spurt then consumption is going to go up. I would rectify the drop with 2 part and up your afr dosage to the new consumption rate.
I did an initial adjustment but the new increases in AFR are still not sufficient. But I will readjust and continue to go up. Just seems so much so sudden that I got worried. I have tons of SPS and LPS all doing well and very visibly growing so I guess I shouldn’t be as alarmed but never hurts to ask when in doubt!
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Precipitation of calcium carbonate can cause rapid and large increases in alk and calcium demand.

Check for things like hardening sand, excessive buildup on warm objects like heaters and pumps impellers, etc.
 
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crazyfishmom

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Precipitation of calcium carbonate can cause rapid and large increases in alk and calcium demand.

Check for things like hardening sand, excessive buildup on warm objects like heaters and pumps impellers, etc.
Good points. None that I can see but will do a more thorough check.
 
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crazyfishmom

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Wanted to update and thank everyone for their thoughts.

Turns out the increase in demand is real. No deposits or precipitation happening. Got levels back to where I usually keep them and titrated my AFR dose from 30 mL to 75 mL per day. Also looked closer at my tank and I am definitely seeing a super kick in growth all over the place. Most noticeably my euphyllia are sprouting new heads left and right. My SPS are also growing quickly. I have a stylo that was three inches and is now a full blown colony and somehow I didn’t really notice. At any rate super excited.
 

twentyleagues

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Wanted to update and thank everyone for their thoughts.

Turns out the increase in demand is real. No deposits or precipitation happening. Got levels back to where I usually keep them and titrated my AFR dose from 30 mL to 75 mL per day. Also looked closer at my tank and I am definitely seeing a super kick in growth all over the place. Most noticeably my euphyllia are sprouting new heads left and right. My SPS are also growing quickly. I have a stylo that was three inches and is now a full blown colony and somehow I didn’t really notice. At any rate super excited.
Update that tank thread with at least a fts every month or so, that way you can look back and see progress. Even if you dont get that many comments its really for you.
 

MrGisonni

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Im experiencing the same thing right now. I added a hybrid fixture with vho's to supplement my AI Primes on my 30 gallon mixed reef six weeks ago. After about a month of a transition period, my alk and Ca consumption went through the roof, nitrates almost bottomed out as well. Coral are having a growth spurt.
 

tedfisher496

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I have been using AFR for almost 2 years now, I would suggest a dosing pump for better dosing consistency. Im using a versa doing small amounts every minutes for 12 hrs. Im having to adjust calcium and magnesium out side of the afr solution.
 

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