Tank parameters

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OmuNegru

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Hello reefers,

This post is not about complaining or trying to change /achieve new parameters (yet) but more about trying to understand them.

I have a 5 gallon pico, using rodi and red sea coral pro salt mix. Populated with softies and a few lps (going to try sps soon), established 7 months ago.

My parameters before every weekly water change (25% water change) are:

Phosphates - 0.03ppm
Ph - 8.2 ppm
Alk - 9.5 dKh (10.5 dKh an hour after water change)
Ammonia - 0 ppm
Nitrite - 0 ppm
Nitrate - 5ppm
Salinity - 1.0255
Temp - 78.2 F
Mg - 1460 ppm (1520 an hour after water change)
Ca - 420 ppm (430 an hour after water change)

Now my curiosity is:
I've seen a lot of reefers running approximately the same levels of calcium and magnesium, but lower alkalinity (7-8dkh).
Is my tank running higher? If yes, why?
Are their tanks running lower? If yes, why?

My growth is stable, not crazy but stable and colors look good.

Thank you all.
 
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ScottR

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Hello reefers,

This post is not about complaining or trying to change /achieve new parameters (yet) but more about trying to understand them.

I have a 5 gallon pico, using rodi and red sea coral pro salt mix. Populated with softies and a few lps (going to try sps soon), established 7 months ago.

My parameters before every weekly water change (25% water change) are:

Phosphates - 0.03ppm
Ph - 8.2 ppm
Alk - 9.5 dKh (10.5 dKh an hour after water change)
Ammonia - 0 ppm
Nitrite - 0 ppm
Nitrate - 5ppm
Salinity - 1.0255
Temp - 78.2 F
Mg - 1460 ppm (1520 an hour after water change)
Ca - 420 ppm (430 an hour after water change)

Now my curiosity is:
I've seen a lot of reefers running approximately the same levels of calcium and magnesium, but lower alkalinity (7-8dkh).
Is my tank running higher? If yes, why?
Are their tanks running lower? If yes, why?

My growth is stable, not crazy but stable and colors look good.

Thank you all.
Red Sea coral pro salt mixes at I think 13 dKH. So your alk should be higher, especially after a water change.
 
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OmuNegru

OmuNegru

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Red Sea coral pro salt mixes at I think 13 dKH. So your alk should be higher, especially after a water change.
Thank you, ScottR.
I'm more interested in the value of alk in raport with the calcium. I've seen lots of reefers running lower Alk with the same calcium levels I'm running.
 

guylaga

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Natural Sea Water usually runs around 380 to 450ish. Lower than 400 and you start to see negative affects on coral, so most reefers try to stick to the high end of the scale that gives room for error on testing kits and such.

Alkalinity is naturally around 7 in NSW, so like CA some reefers try to keep this close to NSW as well.

However you find that with higher alkalinity, coral often do growfaster as there is more carbonate for them to utilize and they dont have to "fight for it" since in our closed systems there is a constant battle against carbonic acid.
 

ScottR

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Thank you, ScottR.
I'm more interested in the value of alk in raport with the calcium. I've seen lots of reefers running lower Alk with the same calcium levels I'm running.
With higher alk, the extra available carbonate in the water helps to build the skeleton faster. Therefore calcium will get used up more quickly if your magnesium isn’t too high. High magnesium is another topic however. But if your nutrients are too low and bottom out, this causes burnt tips in most SPS as there isn’t enough food for the tissue to grow along with the skeleton, allowing polyps to form. I see your nutrients are at a good place for SPS but any lower and it could spell trouble. So I’d make sure you have accurate test kits and are performing them correctly.

But my question would be: what type of corals are you keeping?
 
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OmuNegru

OmuNegru

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With higher alk, the extra available carbonate in the water helps to build the skeleton faster. Therefore calcium will get used up more quickly if your magnesium isn’t too high. High magnesium is another topic however. But if your nutrients are too low and bottom out, this causes burnt tips in most SPS as there isn’t enough food for the tissue to grow along with the skeleton, allowing polyps to form. I see your nutrients are at a good place for SPS but any lower and it could spell trouble. So I’d make sure you have accurate test kits and are performing them correctly.

But my question would be: what type of corals are you keeping?
Thank you.

I keep zoas, leathers, mushrooms, a hammer and a torch.

So, should I keep my parameters as they are or should I try and lower Alk. If so, how do I lower Alk to around 8 dKh let's say?
 

Rmckoy

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With higher alk, the extra available carbonate in the water helps to build the skeleton faster. Therefore calcium will get used up more quickly if your magnesium isn’t too high. High magnesium is another topic however. But if your nutrients are too low and bottom out, this causes burnt tips in most SPS as there isn’t enough food for the tissue to grow along with the skeleton, allowing polyps to form. I see your nutrients are at a good place for SPS but any lower and it could spell trouble. So I’d make sure you have accurate test kits and are performing them correctly.

But my question would be: what type of corals are you keeping?
With higher alk .
does it require higher nutrients as well ?

so if you’re near bottom of the nutrient levels .
what’s the effect of having higher alk ?
 

Uncle99

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Thank you.

I keep zoas, leathers, mushrooms, a hammer and a torch.

So, should I keep my parameters as they are or should I try and lower Alk. If so, how do I lower Alk to around 8 dKh let's say?
Stability is king.
For what reason do you want to change good solid chemistry?
I’d just leave that.
 

guylaga

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The nutrient+Alk relation ship is more for SPS, than LPS and softies.

When you get higher alk you get faster growth, but at the expense of more nutrient consumption and if there is not enough nutrients in the tank you will get "burnt tips".

Like Uncles99 said you should just shoot for stability, pick a salt mix and stick with it there isnt really a need to chase numbers.

Depending on what hammer and torches you have they will probably grow pretty slowly anyway, not familiar enough with softies however as I never keep them.
 
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ScottR

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Thank you.

I keep zoas, leathers, mushrooms, a hammer and a torch.

So, should I keep my parameters as they are or should I try and lower Alk. If so, how do I lower Alk to around 8 dKh let's say?
With these types of corals, I wouldn’t worry too much. I’d perhaps look into using the Red Sea blue bucket instead of the black bucket (coral pro). There’s no need for that high of an alk for those types and such a low coral load.
 

ScottR

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With higher alk .
does it require higher nutrients as well ?

so if you’re near bottom of the nutrient levels .
what’s the effect of having higher alk ?
For SPS, I just wouldn’t keep high alk with zero nutrients or near zero. You don’t need to keep nutrients high at all. Many people keep ultra low nutrient systems with different alkalinity. But if you bottom out, that’s when there’s need for concern.
 
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