Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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bearwithfish 06-11-2010 07:30 AM

a few chemistry Questions
how does one test for and then adjust ALK??? i only ask as (being a bad bad boy) i have not yet done this....

i use a buffer to maintain my PH and have been recently able to get it back to the 8.3 target i was going for but i find that i need to test after i top off even when i adjust my top off water before adding it.. could my skimmer be removing buffer? what are some tricks to keeping things stable... my usual swing is between 8.0 and 8.6 but i have kept 8.3 for about a week solid now...

wake49 06-11-2010 08:15 AM

You have to buy an Alkalinity test kit and a Calcium test kit. Test both at the same time! Your Alkalinity should be between 8-12 dKH and Calcium should be between 400-450 ppm.

I use B-Ionic supplements to adjust Alk and Ca. It is a two part system that is usually added in respect to each other, i.e. when you add one you add the other shortly thereafter. I dose my tank twice a week, but I have so much coraline I get annoyed with it... If you only want to add one, buy a supplement like Kent Marine dKH buffer.

I would stop using the pH buffer, it is high in magnesium and borate and can throw off Alkalinity readings making it hard to keep things stable...

bearwithfish 06-11-2010 08:19 AM

i have the calcium test kit and have stayed at about 480 ppm since day one...... i think its because of my base rock and using Instant Ocean salt which adds Calcium when you mix up the water.....

i will look into an Alk test as soon as i am able to..... or perhaps the next buy will be the API master kit i have been drooling over LOL

Pasfur 06-12-2010 07:04 AM


Originally Posted by wake49 (Post 402346)
If you only want to add one, buy a supplement like Kent Marine dKH buffer.

I would stop using the pH buffer, it is high in magnesium and borate and can throw off Alkalinity readings making it hard to keep things stable...

I personally use Kent Marine SuperBuffer DKH, and I have found that I also have to use a Calcium Chloride supplement to keep the calcium levels where I want them to be. I use Kent Marines liquid calcium for this. So, in some ways, I am using a 2 part additive as well. Which is why the B-ionic product is probably best for beginners.

Just realize, when using B-ionic, if your calcium is low and your alkalinity is high, you don't add both parts. You only add the part that boosts Calcium Chloride. Adding both parts will keep the ratio's of all the major and minor buffering ions correct, provided they are correct to begin with! (This sounds like one of Byron's live plant threads....)

I wrote a nice article on alkalinity and calcium buffering that may help with details. Yes, I just complimented myself, but whatever. :roll:

By the way, I agree with Wake, a pH buffer can be a nightmare in a marine tank!

bearwithfish 06-14-2010 10:56 AM

ok so being a general moron i read somewhere that you can figure your DKH from a KH test or a GH test what is the mathematical equation? just attempting to get my results before i have the opportunity to buy the kit i need (coming in 2 weeks or so BTW)

bearwithfish 06-14-2010 06:10 PM

so here are todays reaqdings i will also post then in the rebound section but i was wondering what you all think of these

No2 = <0.3mg/l
KH = 10
NH3 = 0
Ca2 = 420 (21 drops with the API test kit)

now how to figure dKH? and how do i start to find balance?

wake49 06-15-2010 11:25 AM

KH and dKH are the same as far as I know. KH is carbonate hardness, which is what you want to measure in reef aquaria. Ten is a good number to be at. All the other numbers look good except pH. You want that around 8.3. Is it your test kit possibly? Maybe it is hard to read or faulty?

bearwithfish 06-15-2010 11:38 AM

ok i am glad to hear that something is going right LOL (you have the PM regarding this..... ) any how i have PH buffer but i believe some one mentioned that is not good to use... and honestly in order to maintain 8.3 i would have to dose almost every day for some reason.. i added a 12 inch t5 light to the sump and have it on opposite the display lights and this seems to have little effect.. should i consider a 50/50 or something of that nature?

Pasfur 06-15-2010 08:25 PM

10 DKH alkalinity and 420ppm Calcium. This tells me you are 1) balanced and 2) ready to dose. I suggest purchasing the Bionic product and being adding both parts. Regular testing will tell you how often to dose, and regular dosing will keep both alkalinity and calcium moving together.

I personally wouldn't worry to much about 1 pH test. Wake.... do you think we might want a series of tests, both morning and night readings, over several days before we make any conclusions?

wake49 06-15-2010 08:33 PM

Good idea P.

Bear, did you throw a bag of carbon in the sump?

What salt mix do you use, bwf?
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