IS FOWLR a Reef Tank?????? - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 17 Old 02-07-2009, 04:26 AM Thread Starter
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So you're saying that I shouldn't use electricity.
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post #12 of 17 Old 02-07-2009, 04:33 AM
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lol, a comedian or a misunderstanding?

what he is saying is that he would rather run his tank without electricity then to skip testing/dosing alk.
basically no electricity = 0 success, no testing = 0 success.
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post #13 of 17 Old 02-08-2009, 08:53 AM
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We have been discussing alkalinity in a lot of threads this week. It is a very complicated topic so I have been checking my facts. It appears that my advice on this thread is sound, as you can see here....

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/nov2002/chem.htm
by Randy Holmes Farley
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post #14 of 17 Old 02-09-2009, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, alkalinity gets confusing as does the number of products. Thanks again for the help.

I read the above article. He mentions prior articles that explain the science of alkilinity. Do you know to which articles he speaks? What exactly is Alkilinity? I assume it's way more than the measure of pH. What controls alkilinity? In humans the kidneys control Calcium and Phosphorous. Our Dialysis patients may have low calcium, but high phosphates. The answer to this problem isn't as simple as adding Calcium supplements because they can quickly get deposited in tissues thanks to the high phosphates. We will add Phoslo to lower phosphates which aid in bringing calcium levels up. Can you briefly explain alkilinity in the setting of aquariums or refer to a science based resource? Thank you!!

Last edited by ERDoclovesfish; 02-09-2009 at 02:01 PM.
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post #15 of 17 Old 02-09-2009, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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OK, just read Randy Holmes-Farley's basic chemistry article. So we worry about alkilinity in our tanks because that's how we buffer the production of organic acids by our tank inhabitants. By controlling alkilinity we can make sure the pH in the system stays stable. Moreover, our corals use calcium as part of their building blocks so they need an external source of calcium. However, if we add too much calcium it will bind and precipitate out some of our natural buffers decreasing the systems overall alkilinity and subsequently put us at risk for pH drops. Adding too much buffer can also decrease calcium concentration "starving" the corals of a vital building block. Should we avoid salts that contain borate which would further complicate matters? So Normal calcium w low DK add buffer, Low Calcium w normal buffer add calcium and buffer, low calcium and low DK add calcium and buffer?
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post #16 of 17 Old 02-10-2009, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERDoclovesfish View Post
Should we avoid salts that contain borate which would further complicate matters? So Normal calcium w low DK add buffer, Low Calcium w normal buffer add calcium and buffer, low calcium and low DK add calcium and buffer?
There are a lot of different opinions on this, but is you read carefully what Randy Holmes Farley is recommending, you just missed it....

Normal Calcium w low DKH... adding a buffer probably won't work. In this case the simplest action is to do a partial water change. If you are doing regular water changes, you probably won't get this situation because the presence of borate salts and magnesium should be adequate. Many hobbyists test for magnesium, although R.H.F. says it is probably not necessary.

Low Calcium w normal DKH... add calcium only. If you add the buffer also, you will continue to have readings outside the recommended zone. In fact, this is where you should be adding something like Kent Marines Liquid Calcium supplement, or the Calcium-only part of the B-ionic product. No buffer.

Low Calcium and low DKH... add calcium and add a buffer. The B-ionic product is perfect in this situation.

Here are the 2 links that really break this down:
Reef Aquarist: The pH and Alkalinity Can Vary For Different Reasons
RandyHolmesFarley Alkalinity

Randy recommends not using a salt high in borate because it makes the equation more complicated. Reef Crystals is an example of a salt that has 100x the natural levels of borate.
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post #17 of 17 Old 02-10-2009, 07:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks.
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