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High Alkalinity

This is a discussion on High Alkalinity within the Water Chemistry forums, part of the Advanced Saltwater Discussion category; --> Originally Posted by turk86 The other suggestion was to increase my CO2 output on the Ca reactor to get an afluent of about 6.0 ...

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Old 09-07-2010, 08:05 PM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by turk86 View Post
The other suggestion was to increase my CO2 output on the Ca reactor to get an afluent of about 6.0 for a whle to bust up the high alkalinity and ph!!! What do i do???????????? To many different and opposing suggestions!! All of my ZOE's seem to be melting as well as a very high priced wellsophylia!!!!please help
111111
There is no way i'd even consider increasing CO2 output. The numbers you've given aren't that high. An alkalinity at 12.5 DKH is really not an issue at all. The pH is a touch high, but certainly nothing to get alarmed about. The missing keys to this puzzle are calcium and magnesium. What are your readings?
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Old 09-08-2010, 12:03 PM   #12
 
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I would suggest that you stop dosing the purple up for now, test your alkalinity every couple of days.... wait until it hits 8dkh. When alkalinity lowers to 8dkh then run the full line of tests again. At this point you should be able to correctly judge a proper dosing routine.
I haven't dosed the tank again since I tested and posted my water parameters on 9/1. I tested the water again this morning and my high dKH has not changed at all in the past week. My Calcium is about the same as it was on 9/1 and my Magnesium has fallen by about 125 ppm .

pH: Did not test this morning
dKH: ~15.5
Phosphate: 0 - .03 ppm
Calcium: ~395ppm
Magnesium: 1000 ppm

Ammonia: .25 ppm
Nitrite: Did not test this morning
Nitrate: ~15 - 20 ppm
Specific Gravity: Did not test this morning

What do you guys think I should do to lower my dKH? Should I continue to hold off on dosing the tank with Purple Up and/or Reef Complete? I am concerned because my Calcium should probably be higher and my Magnesium seems to be starting to drop.
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Old 09-08-2010, 01:02 PM   #13
 
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theres nothing in the tank to use these up so it will prob. stay that way.
i suggest testing a new batch of saltwater, if the alk is lower then your tank you can do a 5-10 gallon water change which would help in bringing it down and possibly bumping the cal/mag up some depending on your salt mix.
i would still continue not to use the purple up because i feel this is what drove your alk up to begin with.
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Old 09-08-2010, 08:40 PM   #14
 
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Originally Posted by onefish2fish View Post
theres nothing in the tank to use these up so it will prob. stay that way.
i suggest testing a new batch of saltwater, if the alk is lower then your tank you can do a 5-10 gallon water change which would help in bringing it down and possibly bumping the cal/mag up some depending on your salt mix.
i would still continue not to use the purple up because i feel this is what drove your alk up to begin with.
I'm in agreement on this. I would hold off on the purple up and continue to be patient. I wouldn't worry about calcium until the level drops below 320ppm. Long before then we should see the alkalinity begin to fall.
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Old 10-17-2010, 10:27 AM   #15
 
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Hi guys,

It's been a month and a half since I've dosed with anything. I tested the dKH again today and it looks like it's at 14 dKH according to the API test kit and around the same with the Salifert test kit. My calcium is 440 ppm according to the API test kit (I tested with the Salifert test kit last time). It looks like the dKH may have fallen a little, but it's very little if at all. I read that it should be around 8 - 12 dKH.

Why do you think my dKH hasn't come down? Jon, you mentioned that there was nothing in the tank to use it up and Mark agreed. There are 5 peppermint shrimp, 3 emerald crabs, and a number of hermit crabs in there, though. Wouldn't they use up some of it? Could all of the rock in the tank be acting as a buffer and preventing it from falling?

I would like to add a piece of coral of some kind to the tank. Is the dKH too high to add it, or would it be alright?

Thanks!
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Old 10-17-2010, 10:43 AM   #16
 
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This topic could by itself make a good book, so realize that these comments are oversimplified. In a nutshell, the organic waste produced by your livestock is an acid. These acids deplete your alkalinity. The amount of livestock you have is incidential to the size of your system, which is why you are not seeing any depletion in alkalinity. (Think: freshwater tank... German Dutch Plant Systems, for a comparison.)

Live rock is not a buffer. In fact, aragonite sand is a very poor buffer. Nothing in your tank naturally buffers against the depletion of alkalinity. Which is why I am personally so adamant about the need to buffer for alkalinity and calcium.

Your alkalinity is fine. 12 to 14 DKH is perfect in my book. And the calcium is right on. Feel free to begin adding corals. And from this point on you should be able to dose a balanced additive, such as b-Ionic, to make life easy on maintaining these 2 levels correctly.
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:02 AM   #17
 
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Thanks for explaining how alkalinity is lowered by the acids produced as waste, Mark. I read your reply from my phone yesterday while I was out and picked up some pulsing xenia, my first coral since I kept a small reef tank years ago!

The pulsing xenia wasn't pulsing in the store, but the salesman said that sometimes it pulses and sometimes it doesn't. It hasn't pulsed since I brought it home, either. Is that a problem? Can it go days without pulsing and then begin posing, or do some specimens simply not pulse?

Also, I was advised by somebody at Marine Depot to get two hydor koralia evolution 1050's for my 55 gallon tank. As a result, there is a lot of current. I tried to put the pulsing xenia out of the current as best as possible, but the "stems" still get blown around a bit. Is that ok?

Finally, you recommended dosing with b-Ionic. I had bought Seachem's Reef Complete a while back but have't used it since you guys advised me to stop dosing the tank. Can I use this instead of b-Ionic since I already have it?
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:28 AM   #18
 
personally, assuming your tank has cycled, i would only measure salinity and do water changes for FOWLR on a monthly basis unless you have a huge bio load. I did that for years when i first started. I would only concern myself with the other measurements when you have corals. Typically soft and lps corals have alot more wiggle room when it comes to accuracy, but sps require alot more attention. Even on my sps tank i measure sporatically monthly to to every 2 months or whenever i remember or get concerned by the looks of the corals. Personally i only measure the big 3 to include alk, ca, mg.

BTW you can use arm and hammer(or some other brand) PURE baking soda to buffer your tank if needed. simply bake the baking soda for 10 mins at 350 degrees and let cool (i've also skipped this process whitout issuebefore, but i figure to include this step as that what i've read). then add as needed. i baked the entire contents then store the remainder in my tank stand for future use if needed.
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Old 10-18-2010, 07:18 PM   #19
 
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Personally i only measure the big 3 to include alk, ca, mg.
I agree. In fact, I don't even test for mg. Alkalinity and Calcium are enough for me, unless the alkalinity begins to drop and Calcium stays high, which usually indicates a magnesium shortage.

Quote:
BTW you can use arm and hammer(or some other brand) PURE baking soda to buffer your tank if needed. simply bake the baking soda for 10 mins at 350 degrees and let cool (i've also skipped this process whitout issuebefore, but i figure to include this step as that what i've read). then add as needed. i baked the entire contents then store the remainder in my tank stand for future use if needed.
Ehh... you're scaring me!!! LOL

I would suggest reading some of the material posted by Randy Holmes Farley on alkalinity buffering. The technique above is discussed, along with some carbonate based buffers to help offset the bicarbonate ion in the baking soda. But yes, this technique can be used.

For the extremely low cost of commercial buffers, I personally prefer not to take any chances.

Mike, your Reef Complete is a calcium additive. I would suggest using it in conjunction with an alkalinity buffer, such as Kent Marine Super Buffer DKH. I suggested the b-Ionic product because it is balanced and should keep the ratios of both in check with each other, without the added headaches of frequently testing both and often not dosing both at the same time.
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:57 PM   #20
 
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Thanks, reefs and Mark.

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Originally Posted by reefsahoy View Post
... I would only concern myself with the other measurements when you have corals.
I have some non-pulsing pulsing xenia now, so I'm no longer FOWLR.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reefsahoy
BTW you can use arm and hammer(or some other brand) PURE baking soda to buffer your tank if needed...
That's good to know, thanks, but I'm with Mark that I'd rather pay a little for it for peace of mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pasfur
Mike, your Reef Complete is a calcium additive. I would suggest using it in conjunction with an alkalinity buffer, such as Kent Marine Super Buffer DKH. I suggested the b-Ionic product because it is balanced and should keep the ratios of both in check with each other, without the added headaches of frequently testing both and often not dosing both at the same time.
Meh, thanks, Mark. I thought Reef Complete would be an all in one solution. It sounded so... complete. I guess I'll pick up some b-Ionic to keep things as simple as possible. This is what you're talking about, right? E.S.V. B-Ionic 2-Part Calcium Buffer

Should I only begin to add it if I observe the dKH dropping from the 14 it's at to, say, 8 or 9?

I started a new thread with my questions about the pulsing xenia.
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