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Old 11-06-2004, 10:13 PM   #1
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calcium/ alk

Ok. We got the alk test kit today. Our alk results are 3 the ca is appx 650. How do I get the alk up? I know I can get the ca down with water changes but what do I need to add to get the alk up in the 4 to 6 range?
ph 8.2
ni 0
na less than 5
sa 1.025
amm 0
ca 650
phosphate .25 or less.
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Old 11-06-2004, 10:59 PM   #2
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An ideal alk range would be 3.5-5. You ca is way too high, are you adding a lot of liquid calcium? Any type of marine buffer or plain old baking soda will raise the alk. I would stop dosing ca until you get in the 400-450 range, then bring your alk slowly up until you get things in balance.
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Old 11-07-2004, 11:52 AM   #3
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Exactly how much baking soda and how often to bring it up slowly. I need measurements and times cause I do not want to make it worse. I stopped the calcium a couple months ago as soon as I tested the 650. Been doing water changes regular so it may have gone down some. I will retest today. Should I add the soda with water changes or just to evap water? Do I need to get the ca down first or go ahead with the alk? I'm not a newbie the salt but I am a newbie to alk and ca. All my corals and inverts seem to be thriving so I don't think I've screwed things up too badly.
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Old 11-07-2004, 01:03 PM   #4
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For Ca to climb like that with no additions for several months, I would suspect the Mg is low. Instead of using chem additions to correct the low alk, I would instead suggest you do several large water changes. It will correct most of the problems depending on your saltmix. As long as/if the Mg is low, you will have no success trying to maintain the alk.

Once the chem is back in ionic balance, you can then start fresh and begin whatever maintenance routine you have chosen to keep the balance.

Cheers
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Old 11-07-2004, 07:11 PM   #5
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If he has been doing regular water changes, I doubt his Mg is low. (unless he's using some poor brand of salt).

I agree...he's so far out of whack that large % water changes are the best plan at the moment.

After that, he should stop trying to bolster Ca and ensure he's moving Ca/Alk together using a balanced additive.
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Old 11-07-2004, 11:31 PM   #6
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Test mg then consider the 3 measurements together, its the only way to know for sure. mg should be around 1350 ppm give or take (Thats nsw level from what I have read) Not all salt mixes are created equal, so your salt mix may be your problem with the ca levels if your changing water on a regular basis (one way to find out is to test a fresh mix). As for soda and all that, imho, I would not do anything (Other than stop all dosing of anything) until you test mg levels. ca/alk and mg have this really nifty symbiotic relationship, so correcting the alk levels without knowing the entire story is dangerous. Not like its all going to hades in a handbasket dangerous, but still, you should know what your correcting for and why.
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