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Old 07-26-2010, 01:34 AM   #1
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dKH Levels and Calcium

Hi everyone!

I just got my aquarium up and running with live rock and have been doing some tests and I would like just a little bit of advice

Parameters:

PH: 8.2
dKH: 7.5
Sal : 1.023
Calcium: 400

Now, I think my dKH is a little bit on the low side... What do you guys think? I am currently using Instant Ocean Reef crystals as my salt mix with NO other additives.

I would like to increase my calcium to 450 and my dKH maybe to 8.5, unless you guys do not believe it is necessary.

Also, If I were to go the dosing route, I do not have any sort of dosing pump right now... Does anyone have any advice on this?

I am going to be placing an order with Dr. Fosters and Smith here shortly, does any one have any experience with
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Aquarium Water Quality & Testing: Hanna Instruments Testers


I am considering getting the PH/EC/TDS one, if it is worth while... if not I might save my money and get pinpoint down the road.

So to recap, are my parameters OK or no?

If I do decided to dose supplements, what should and I order and how should I dose?

Is the Hanna tester any good?
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:22 AM   #2
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What are you using now to test your water? While the results look OK, they aren't what you should be getting using Reef Crystals. It has a MUCH higher calcium and alk levels than what you are showing. Maybe if you bumped up your salinity to natural seawater levels (1.026), your parameters would rise and be more inline with what you should be getting from Reef Crystals, which is usually around 490 calcium and 13 dKH alk.

The only way you will know if you need to dose anything is by testing. Depending on which corals you get, you may not ever have to dose anything.
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:28 AM   #3
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Have you completed the cycle in the tank and then completed a 30% + PWC?

How big a tank is this?
I dose using Randy's two part mix (see bulkreefsupply for Ca, Mg). But you are close enough that just PWC's should keep you in check.
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Old 07-26-2010, 12:48 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies guys,

this tank has only been set up for 2 days now. It is a 55 gallon. I will look for you when I get home for the test kit names, but I found the hardness test at my LFS, and I am sure it is not the BEST test kit ever. It is from a German company, I do remember that, and is designed for Salt Water.



The CA test is a Red Sea test.

I do want some alternatives for testing, I am considering a pinpoint unit for calcium. Do you have any recommendation on a hardness test?

As far as salt content, that is with a refractometer.
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Old 07-26-2010, 02:47 PM   #5
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Forget about testing anything other than Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate till you have cycled your tank.

How are you cycling?
Was the LR fully cured?
Did you get it from the LFS? How long was it out of water before going back in your tank?

Tank size?
Pounds of LR?
Substrate (sand, crushed coral, bare bottom)?
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Old 07-26-2010, 03:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmor1701d View Post
Forget about testing anything other than Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate till you have cycled your tank.

How are you cycling?
Was the LR fully cured?
Did you get it from the LFS? How long was it out of water before going back in your tank?

Tank size?
Pounds of LR?
Substrate (sand, crushed coral, bare bottom)?

The live rock was bought from a guy I met a while ago, 100% cured and COVERED in coraline algae. His tank was completely cycled and extremely healthy. I currently have 60 pounds in a 55 gallon tank. It was out of water for maybe five seconds before going into my tank, as I transported it in coolers and buckets full of his water.

The substrate is "live sand" which I ordered from Dr. Fosters and Smith, its Carib Sea Ocean Direct Sand. There is about 60 pounds of sand in there, which is about 1" sand bed everywhere.

I don't expect much of a cycle to be honest, because of the live rock I put in...
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:51 AM   #7
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Sounds good. You may not have much of a cycle at all using good, cured live rock.

The German made test kit may be a Sera kit. If so, they are OK at best. Very cheap (cost wise) but not very accurate. They only measure in increments of 1 dKH, so if you are reading 7 dKH, it may actually be either 6, 7 or 8 dKH. I personally only use Salifert kits for alk testing. They are extremely accurate and very easy to read, but they are a bit more expensive than an Sera, Red Sea or API kit.
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:36 AM   #8
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API for Alk works great for a fraction of the price. For everything else I use Salifert or Elos along with Hanna for PO4
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:39 AM   #9
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With any of the liquid test kits you should use a pharmacy measuring syringe to measure out the 5ml of water required for a test. The line on most of the test vials is off by a good fraction. When using one of those vials I use the syringe from an old Salifert test kit.
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