To dose (Kh Buffer) or not to dose (without other tests)

Jackmot

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Hey!
So, 3 days ago my GSP did not opened fully so I did an Kh test (Salifert) and got 6.4dKh (approx). Naturally I did a water change (2 days ago) to start raising it up and now my alk is at 7.2dKh (approx) but the GSP hasen't opened at all since the water change. Yesterday I went to a LFS and he convinced me to buy the Aquaforest Kh Buffer but i have been hesitant to add it because I do not have Calcium or Magnesium test kits.
I'm still a newbie around the hobby to be honest so I don't fully understand the correlation between these 3. Would there be a problem if I add it worrying only about my Alk??
Also, Do you think this is the reason the GSP has not opened yet?

Ammonia: 0 (API)
Nitrite: 0 (API)
Salinity: 1.024 - 1.025 (Refractometer)
Temp: 24.5-25.0ºc
Light: AI Prime 16HD
Refugium with Chaeto
1 Pulsing Xenia
1 Green Star Polyp
2 Mushrooms
2 Mexican Turbo Snails

Thanks!!
 
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Jackmot

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It's a very small tank. The total volume of the system is approximately 35 liters and I dont dose anything. It's also a fairley new tank, I've only been with the livestock for 3 months.
About the water changes I change approx 7 liters every 2 weeks (except for this week which I waited only 7 days to do the water change because of the Kh results)
 

arking_mark

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It's a very small tank. The total volume of the system is approximately 35 liters and I dont dose anything. It's also a fairley new tank, I've only been with the livestock for 3 months.
About the water changes I change approx 7 liters every 2 weeks (except for this week which I waited only 7 days to do the water change because of the Kh results)

So I don't recommend unbalanced dosing and would just suggest larger or more frequent water changes for now with a small tank.

At some point you may want to dose something like All-for-reef. It's a simple all in one product that provides Alk/Ca/Mag/Trace/Carbon dosing. However, it's a little tricky to get started with.
 
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Got it! thanks :)
Would you mind explaining the correlation between these? what would happened if I do add it and end up unbalancing these?

I'll do my best.

Typically you want to maintain you tanks water close to natural salt water (NSW). Artificial salt water (ASW) does a pretty good job at this.

Ca/Alk are typically consumed in an almost 1:1 ratio.

Buffers are typically something like Sodium Bicarbonate. So adding NaHCO3 will increase carbonate, but also add Sodium and mildly (temporarily) decrease pH.

Increasing your sodium will eventually move your sodium beyond NSW.

Calcium additives typically are Calcium Chloride. The chloride here is used to balance the sodium from the buffer.

So while this 2-part solution keeps Na/Cl (what makes up the bulk of your saltwater ions) proportional, your overall salinity will increase over time. Additionally, there are many less major and trace elements/ions that make up your tanks water such as Mag, Strontium, etc...

Hence many people dose a 3rd part that replenishes these and maintains the salinity.

At the end of the day, this balanced dosing keeps your water parameters stable and inline with water changes. Most inhabitants thrive on stability.

There are many different dosing solutions to maintain your parameters that work differently than above.

One more popular example is Calcium Hydroxide or Kalkwasser. This provides balanced Alk/Ca and can be dosed up to your evaporation limit. Beyond that it will lower your salinity. It also has a desirable pH increase effect and needs to be slowly added to your tank.
 
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Jackmot

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I think get it way better now, THANKS!!!!
I wish I would have heard of Kalkwasser before haha. I'll probably do another water change this friday in order to keep raising the Kh and Calcium together.
Do you think it's possible the GSP hasen't opened because of my low Kh? Do you think it would be ok to aim for a 9dKh?

BTW, do you happen to know if the Aquaforest Kh Buffer also mantains the Kh/Calcium ratio?
 

Uncle99

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I did not see your posting of Nitrate and Phosphate which those GSP love (all softies).
If your zero, that would not be good number.
Allow your corals to feed by ensuring nitrates stay in the 2-10ppm range and phosphate in the 0.05-.1ppm range. EFB3984C-8C1A-4A07-B5F8-E568513FED47.jpeg
 

arking_mark

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Just bought today a Salifert Calcium test kit for a GREAT price so now i can add the Kh depending on the calcium results! :)

Dosing based on calcium measurements is not a great idea as these test are typically inaccurate and prone to error.

The best you can hope for is +/- 15 to 20 ppm accuracy and that's equivalent to 2-3dKH swings.

Thus is why most people dose based on Alk readings which can be as good as 0.1dKH.
 
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I think get it way better now, THANKS!!!!
I wish I would have heard of Kalkwasser before haha. I'll probably do another water change this friday in order to keep raising the Kh and Calcium together.
Do you think it's possible the GSP hasen't opened because of my low Kh? Do you think it would be ok to aim for a 9dKh?

BTW, do you happen to know if the Aquaforest Kh Buffer also mantains the Kh/Calcium ratio?

I do not. If it's a buffer, then it's not adding any Ca.
 

arking_mark

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I think get it way better now, THANKS!!!!
I wish I would have heard of Kalkwasser before haha. I'll probably do another water change this friday in order to keep raising the Kh and Calcium together.
Do you think it's possible the GSP hasen't opened because of my low Kh? Do you think it would be ok to aim for a 9dKh?

BTW, do you happen to know if the Aquaforest Kh Buffer also mantains the Kh/Calcium ratio?

With regard to GSP (which I have owned in the past), may take time to open when 1st introduced to a tank.

Key is to provide correct lighting, flow, and nutrients (NO3/PO4).
 
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Jackmot

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I did not see your posting of Nitrate and Phosphate which those GSP love (all softies).
If your zero, that would not be good number.
Allow your corals to feed by ensuring nitrates stay in the 2-10ppm range and phosphate in the 0.05-.1ppm range. EFB3984C-8C1A-4A07-B5F8-E568513FED47.jpeg
That's a beautiful colony!!
Mine just repoened today :)

Yeah, part of my problems is that i normally get ZERO nitrates. Probably because I have a big ball of chaeto which i'm probably gonna trim over the weekened. I haven't really trimmed it because im still battling some algae and I'm afraid that if I trim it the other algaes will outcompete the Chaeto


Dosing based on calcium measurements is not a great idea as these test are typically inaccurate and prone to error.

The best you can hope for is +/- 15 to 20 ppm accuracy and that's equivalent to 2-3dKH swings.

Thus is why most people dose based on Alk readings which can be as good as 0.1dKH.
I belive that I did not explained myself good enough haha. sorry (English is not my main language)
I mean't that now I can finally monitor my calcium and be sure that whatever I do it's not gonna unbalance my parameters. I suspect my calcium has been going down because of the sudden appareance of Spirorbids and also the growth of my corals (even though they are ALL softies)
I did not knew that the tests where so inacurate. THANKS!!

With regard to GSP (which I have owned in the past), may take time to open when 1st introduced to a tank.

Key is to provide correct lighting, flow, and nutrients (NO3/PO4).
The GSP has been there for 2-3 months and it has growned quite a bit (not as much as my Xenia for sure, that thing is CRAZY FAST)
I belive my lighting and flow are pretty much OK but the NO3 is probably my biggest problem right now as I usually get 0 on the API test.




Here are some photos of my GSP. the first one is approx 3 months old and the second one is today (which is not 100% extended)
PS: A weird thing about my colony is that there's a Spaghetti worm living in it since day 1. Is that usual for others?

IMG_20210516_194911.jpg IMG_20210804_105442.jpg
 

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