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Old 06-11-2009, 03:35 PM   #1
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alk problem

It's my turn to ask the group for help.
My carbonate hardness has been low for the pass week. I have been adding calcium carbonate to try and bring it up. It was at 5.6 dkh and I now have it at 7.24 dkh. I believe the source for the drain in Alk is my immense growth of my coralline algae in my sump. Do I have to dose for alk everyday or do I just get it to it's proper level and then let my topoff water take it from there.
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Old 06-11-2009, 04:17 PM   #2
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I can't really say for sure, but I think that you'll battle the lowering levels constantly as long as the coraline is using it up. This is exactly the reason that folks running heavy SPS tanks add a Calcium reactor. I think.... Hopefully Mike or one of the other really knowledgeable folks will see this soon. Now, I'm curious to know too. lol
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Old 06-11-2009, 04:24 PM   #3
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Just curious as to why you are dosing calcium when your alk is low. BTW....you aren't dosing calcium carbonate....unless you are adding ground up coral skeletons. Calcium carbonate is the result of calcification...as in when hard corals grow or coralline grows.

You should dose sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) for alk and calcium chloride for calcium.
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Old 06-11-2009, 04:32 PM   #4
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There use to be a time that I would have the same problem. I would just add a buffer to my top off water and it seemed to do the job. For some reason I guess since it`s full of grape calerpa I dont have coralline in my fuge.

Sorry I meant Baking soda not buffer.
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Old 06-11-2009, 05:30 PM   #5
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Thincat... what are your calcium levels?
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:03 PM   #6
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I'm only starting to understand a little about the whole ca, alk, mag thing. So far I have not had a problem with keeping levels where I think I want them, so no real help from personal experience....
In all the reading on this topic though, it seems to be said over and over that if you do not have a high enough mag. level it can be tough to keep balance with the ca and alk.

Just throwing that out there to see what it stirs up.
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Old 06-12-2009, 05:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Thincat... what are your calcium levels?
My calcium reading is 480
My Mg reading is 1250
So I'm in the ball Park anyway.
I am adding "baked" baking soda in solution to my sump.
My last reading for dkh was 7.24
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Old 06-12-2009, 05:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Just curious as to why you are dosing calcium when your alk is low. BTW....you aren't dosing calcium carbonate....unless you are adding ground up coral skeletons. Calcium carbonate is the result of calcification...as in when hard corals grow or coralline grows.

You should dose sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) for alk and calcium chloride for calcium.
Oops Capt...I meant sodium carbonate
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Old 06-12-2009, 09:11 AM   #9
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Your #'s are good. Ca is a little high and mag a little low, but those #'s are fine. What salt do you use?
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Old 06-12-2009, 12:59 PM   #10
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I normally use "instant ocean", but the LFS ran out and I had to pick up "corallife". I tested the hardness and it was 8.4dkh. I may have to just increase my daily dosing because I bring it up to ~7 and the next day it's down to 5.6. I mixed my solutions according to Randys formula.
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