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Old 03-24-2013, 10:13 PM   #1
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Can't Get Ca, Mg, Alk Levels Up

Hi there, reefers!

I've had a 28-gallon nano going for about nine months, and have been slowly adding new frags to it (plus a new 2-inch maxima!). Recently I've been having a LOT of trouble keeping my calcium, magnesium, and alkalinity levels up. I use B-Ionic, and I'm now dosing 50 milliliters a DAY of each component, and my levels are still low: 340 for Ca, 1200 for Mg, and 10.8 for alk. (The alkalinity seems to stay a bit closer to normal than the Ca and the Mg, usually. Also, these measurements are right before daily dosing, so the levels probably increase a bit after I dose.) Any idea how this could be happening? This is my first reef aquarium, but 50 mL a day seems ridiculous for a 28-gallon tank. I've only got about 10 frags in there, and I'm doing 5-gallon water changes weekly. Any advice would be hugely appreciated!

James

More information:

28-gallon JBJ Nano Cube
150 watts of LEDs—10,000 K white and royal blue
Two 425 GPH powerheads (malfunctioning as of a few weeks ago, getting more like 200 GPH each)
Two 280 GPH return pumps
Protein skimmer
5-gallon water change every week
Feed mysis shrimp, hard pellets, Phyto-Feast, other treats

Salinity: 1.025
Calcium: 340
Alkalinity: 10.8
Magnesium:1200
Phosphate: near 0
Temperature: 79 degrees F

Inhabitants:
2 clownfish
1 melanurus wrasse
1 2-inch maxima clam (aquacultured, baby!)
1 red fire shrimp
1 red starfish
Turban, turbo, nassarius, and nerite snails
Acropora, montipora, birdsnest, zoanthids, blastomussa, ricordea, lithophyllum, leptoseris, pulsing Xenia, galaxea
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Old 03-24-2013, 11:09 PM   #2
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Are you using b-ionic's Mag. Product as well? Once you get your magnesium to about 1350 you calcium and alk should level out
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Old 03-24-2013, 11:39 PM   #3
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Nope, I'm not using B-Ionic's magnesium product. Is it necessary to use it in addition to their two-part calcium/alkalinity product? The reason I ask is that I know the two-part stuff already has magnesium in it, and it seems like all three of my levels are similarly far from normal, rather than magnesium being even lower than the others…
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:22 AM   #4
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The two part should level out Mag too. And with your 5g water changes, I doubt your mag levels would decrease like that. You're sure the test kits you're using are of the best quality? I wouldn't depend on any API test kits. They'll work, but for serious matters its got to be Salifert or Hannah for me. Even redsea leaves too much to be eye-balled when dealing with the color titration kits.
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:15 AM   #5
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You missed mentioning your PH. I had similar problem before. With low magnesium you can never raise you calcium with B-ionic. You need to raise magnesium first then adjust calcium. However, magnesium has a reverse interaction with PH. Meaning lower PH has a tendency to raise magnesium.
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:48 AM   #6
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A two part is not best to fish levels out of wack IMO. I would due the mag and calcium individually until they are correct then go back to the two part
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:07 AM   #7
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How long do you mix your salt water and what brand of salt. I would check your fresh mix of salt, sometimes they have bad batches of salt might want to start there first
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