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Old 03-05-2013, 02:16 PM   #1
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Hey all,


I've got a 75 gallon tank that has been up for about 7 months now and I've been struggling to keep alk my stable. (Ill include pictures of my charts) it seems to "peak" at about 9. What can I do to help this. I add Brightwell Aquatics kh buffer as recommended every other day (sometimes two days in between) for the last moth. And was under the impression that I wanted to get my alk to about 10.

My tank seems very healthy. I'm seeing natural propagation from multiple corals (sacrophyton, Xenia, ricordias, galaxea, branching hammers, and crown leather) and also seem to have an explosion of coraline over the last few months.

I'm hoping to get to a point where I don't need to dose every other day. Will this happen eventually or is this just part of the hobby? Also, what factors dictate my alk levels?

I know this is a loaded thread so thanks for any/all help
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:47 PM   #2
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Do you use RO/DI water?
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:41 PM   #3
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Do you use RO/DI water?
Yes, I have a BRS 4 stage RODI unit with TDS meter
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:44 PM   #4
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Ro di water is very soft. That could be the reason for alkalinity dropping, also depends what salt mix your using with ro do water, im using reef crystals and noticeds its dkh at 79degrees is a steady 9.5 or 10. Ive dropped from 12-13 dkh to 10 after switching to reef crystals, regular pwcs will help keep it up too
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:00 PM   #5
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You don't really have much in the way of corals that will consume alot of alkalinity. Alk is used when corals form their hard skeleton. It's also used when coralline algae grows, so that may be what's using it. If you are seeing a drop in alkalinity, you should also be seeing a drop in calcium and to a lesser extent magnesium. When corals grow their skeletons or coralline algae grows, they use a defined amount of alk, calcium and magnesium in that process. For every aprox 2.7dKH of alk "lost", you should also see a drop of about 18ppm calcium and 2 ppm magnesium. Do you also test calcium and magnesium? Depending on how often you do water changes and which salt you use (some are very high in calcium) you may not notice the calcium dropping, but it is none the less.

Natural seawater is around 7dKH alkalinity. I keep mine between 8-9 dKH. As long as you stay in the 7-10 dKH range you are fine.
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:06 PM   #6
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You don't really have much in the way of corals that will consume alot of alkalinity. Alk is used when corals form their hard skeleton. It's also used when coralline algae grows, so that may be what's using it. If you are seeing a drop in alkalinity, you should also be seeing a drop in calcium and to a lesser extent magnesium. When corals grow their skeletons or coralline algae grows, they use a defined amount of alk, calcium and magnesium in that process. For every aprox 2.7dKH of alk "lost", you should also see a drop of about 18ppm calcium and 2 ppm magnesium. Do you also test calcium and magnesium? Depending on how often you do water changes and which salt you use (some are very high in calcium) you may not notice the calcium dropping, but it is none the less.

Natural seawater is around 7dKH alkalinity. I keep mine between 8-9 dKH. As long as you stay in the 7-10 dKH range you are fine.
+1 any reef with alot of lps or sps will suffer these drops in levels. I have a few lps, and alot of new coraline growth, dang coraline! Lol
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:20 PM   #7
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I'd look into getting a dosing system going. Either with an aqualifter or maybe the brs, do you already have a controller? Super easy once you get it set up
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:34 PM   #8
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I use aqua vitro's Salinity mix for reefs. I do a 5 gallon water change every other week (10 of 75 gallons a month) As far as I can tell I don't know why my calcium and alkalinity drop. Most of my corals are softies (Xenia, crown leather, zoa colonies, etc) with my only stonies being branching hammer, Galaxea, and a small frag of sps. Can coralline algae really effect my tank that much? I thought regular water changes would keep a tank going until the colonies matured; maybe I'm wrong.

Thanks for the ideas.
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:14 AM   #9
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Your water changes arent enough to keep with ur livestock using up the calcium and alk. Do one 5 gallon change every week. I do a 4 gallon change on my 40 gallon every week and i still get low reading the day or two before water change day
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:27 PM   #10
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Are you adding calcium to or just alk increaser?
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