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Old 04-19-2005, 09:41 PM   #1
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alkalinity?

Just wanting to know a little about alk. Our test always comes out off the chart high and I wanted to make sure that was indeed a good thing. We have a 92 gal reef.

Thanks,
Kimberly
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Old 04-19-2005, 10:36 PM   #2
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What test kit are you using? Your results shouldn't be "off the charts". You should keep your alk between 9 & 11 dKH. I use a salifert test kit and it's great (I also have the Salifert Calcium test... testing for one without the other is only giving you 1/2 of the equation).
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Old 04-20-2005, 12:59 PM   #3
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Phyl is right - you want proper alkalinity, not 'off the charts'.

if your alk test only tells you "low, normal, high" then you need a new test kit because its not giving you figures and that's the ONLY thing that matters.
SeaChem's basic marine kit comes with most every test except calcium, phosphate, magnesium...the only ones I feel that the typical reef keeper needs (the pros might need strontium and iodine tests, but I sure don't)

Otherwise I did a little testing, and the simple Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Kh test kit works for SW tanks too (I had 3.5meq/l with SeaChem or 11dKh with the AP kit).
But if this truely a reef tank, then you must test calcium also, because alk and cal have to be in balance, or you have problems. Inverts with shells won't be able to keep building their shells for starters. You can also have calcium precipitate out of the water (making it look like an underwater snowstorm).
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Old 04-20-2005, 05:47 PM   #4
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We have the Red Sea test kit. It just shows high.med.low alk. It only tests ph, ammonia, nitrate, nitrite and alk. What test kit do you recommend?

Kimberly
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Old 04-20-2005, 06:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimberly
We have the Red Sea test kit. It just shows high.med.low alk. It only tests ph, ammonia, nitrate, nitrite and alk. What test kit do you recommend?

Kimberly
All you will need now is a Salifert alk and calcium test kit.
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Old 04-20-2005, 06:52 PM   #6
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SeaChem or Salifert. both are good, and give real figures.
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Old 04-20-2005, 10:00 PM   #7
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I talked to the guy at the lfs today and he started to talk about phosphates and said that if we have phosphates, our calcium won't work correctly even if it is there, and to buy the phosphate kit as well as the alk and cal ones. Is that accurate or a bunch of bull? My husband has already spent more $ on this thing than I wanted, but now that we have it I want it to be successful, but I would rather not spend too much more $$. Is there a site I can get those kits at a better price than the lfs?

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Kimberly
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Old 04-20-2005, 10:09 PM   #8
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Phosphates will reduce the rate in which scleractinians can deposit CaCO3 depending on the level. It will not impede proper Ca levels in the water as long as there's a healthy balance between alk, Ca and Mg.

A sure sign you have PO4 in the tank is green algae growing on the glass soon after cleaning and cyano. Unless you are having algae issues, a PO4 kit is not a necessity. Quite often it will be the least used test kit. If you've filled their pockets that much, no reason why they couldn't test it for you occasionally.

Are you using tap or RO/DI water and what do you commonly feed?

Cheers
Steve
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Old 04-20-2005, 10:24 PM   #9
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We do have some algae on the glass. But we scrubbed the glass over the weekend and there is no new growth where we scrubbed. The snails are making good headway in what we couldn't reach.

I am not sure what cyano looks like, so I don't know if I have that or not.

We used tap water, but we just got a RO filter and as we do water changes we will be using RO water. We feed the fish a bit of this green frozen stuff that we got at lfs and some baby brine.

I plan to take some water to the lfs tomorrow for a full test. I just want to have good info before I go there so that I can make more informed decisions and not buy what they tell me I have to have, kwim?

Kimberly
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Old 04-21-2005, 09:10 AM   #10
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Cyano is typically slimy and covers sand or rocks in sheets...
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