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Old 07-09-2015, 07:31 PM   #71
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Question: yesterday at my lfs, a woman tested my water and told me it came out as 2 dKH. She told me that's why my fish have been dying. I just did a water change, and I tested my water afterwords. It came out as 9 dKH.

Is this just because I did a water change, and my KH went up? How does KH levels decrease?


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The minerals are absorbed by your fish and your other living organisms so in your case, I would venture to say that the coralline algae is probably absorbing a high amount of it. Just for kicks, try testing the new saltwater before you mix in the RO water and see just how much you are diluting it with just the freshwater. If it is a lot, your buffer may not be enough to compensate.
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Old 07-09-2015, 08:11 PM   #72
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The minerals are absorbed by your fish and your other living organisms so in your case, I would venture to say that the coralline algae is probably absorbing a high amount of it. Just for kicks, try testing the new saltwater before you mix in the RO water and see just how much you are diluting it with just the freshwater. If it is a lot, your buffer may not be enough to compensate.


I never added a buffer for alkalinity, just pH. I'm just really confused how it could have gone up so much with just a 30% water change when my pH remained the same????


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Old 07-09-2015, 08:23 PM   #73
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I never added a buffer for alkalinity, just pH. I'm just really confused how it could have gone up so much with just a 30% water change when my pH remained the same????


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In addition to calcium magnesium and other ions play a role in acid buffering. These other elements are not being used by the algae therefor still present in the water column and keeping the ph up.


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Old 07-09-2015, 08:24 PM   #74
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Same test kit?
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Old 07-09-2015, 08:25 PM   #75
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Same test kit?

Yeah


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Old 07-09-2015, 10:03 PM   #76
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I never added a buffer for alkalinity, just pH. I'm just really confused how it could have gone up so much with just a 30% water change when my pH remained the same????


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Because you didn't add for alkalinity, this helps explain why the drop. As I suggested, test your new saltwater for KH. This will be a good indicator of what you have happening in the tank just from the rock and what's growing on it. Remember, you are diluting this value as well when you add the RO water to it. KH is not a "stable" value. It changes through usage. It lets PH fall when it's not present in higher amounts and helps maintain a high PH when it is. It works in a similar comparison to nitrates. High nitrates in a tank usually means a low PH as well. I'll even bet that if you check the KH tomorrow, it will probably not be as high as you saw it after the water change.

Hope this helps
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Old 07-11-2015, 12:38 PM   #77
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Because you didn't add for alkalinity, this helps explain why the drop. As I suggested, test your new saltwater for KH. This will be a good indicator of what you have happening in the tank just from the rock and what's growing on it. Remember, you are diluting this value as well when you add the RO water to it. KH is not a "stable" value. It changes through usage. It lets PH fall when it's not present in higher amounts and helps maintain a high PH when it is. It works in a similar comparison to nitrates. High nitrates in a tank usually means a low PH as well. I'll even bet that if you check the KH tomorrow, it will probably not be as high as you saw it after the water change.

Hope this helps
+1 Andy is right. The pH, kH, Mg and Ca interact with one other. Without adding anything, kH will go down gradually when topping off with ro water having 6 dkH. Due to the "balancing act" effect, pH will also be affected by kH and Ca. While Mg in your case is minimal without corals. Raising the pH with additive is a bad idea since it will further drop your kH and at the same time shock your fish and most likely the cause of your fish dying when compounded with low kH. You should adjust your alkalinity by adding pure baking soda to your top off water. It will stabilize your pH. Make sure you have enough water surface agitation instead of additive to raise pH. It will give comfort to your fish with more oxygen.
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Old 07-13-2015, 02:12 PM   #78
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+1 Andy is right. The pH, kH, Mg and Ca interact with one other. Without adding anything, kH will go down gradually when topping off with ro water having 6 dkH. Due to the "balancing act" effect, pH will also be affected by kH and Ca. While Mg in your case is minimal without corals. Raising the pH with additive is a bad idea since it will further drop your kH and at the same time shock your fish and most likely the cause of your fish dying when compounded with low kH. You should adjust your alkalinity by adding pure baking soda to your top off water. It will stabilize your pH. Make sure you have enough water surface agitation instead of additive to raise pH. It will give comfort to your fish with more oxygen.

I'll check my alkalinity every day and add a buffer when needed. P.S I got an urchin after testing my water (all the test came out great including my alk and calcium) and so far it's doing great, eating all my coralline algae.


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