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Old 05-02-2013, 04:08 PM   #1
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Increasing alk

My alk is testing at 5...what is the best way to increase it to normal limits? I do about 18% or so water change every 1 to 2 weeks. I recently change to reef crystals mix.
Appreciate any input
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Old 05-02-2013, 04:32 PM   #2
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If memory serves I believe using baking soda in your top will raise alk. I'm not entirely certain so do a google search on it.
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Old 05-02-2013, 04:50 PM   #3
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Does it being at 5 pose some harm? If so what? Also does it mean something else is out of whack? I read up on it before but I'm unclear of the risks vs benefits of adding baking soda
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Old 05-02-2013, 04:55 PM   #4
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baking soda does but i've heard it can mess up your PH or somethign like that. I had alk at 5 too and read ALOT about it. I decided that in order to raise my alk i should use a reef program designed to rais alk but not to mess up your calcium and mag. All 3 are related and if you just start boosting alk it can mess up your levels of the other 2. I started with b-ionic 2 part cal/alk. It didn't give me the results I wanted but I've heard others swear by it. I then purchased the RedSea reef foundation 3 pack. It's calcium/Alk buffer and magnesium. I instantly saw my levels rise and using the 2 part I'm at 420 for calcium, 8-9 for alk and 1350 for magnesium. It just took figuring out the dosage for each to maintain proper levels but now I dose every second day the same amount and my level stay the same. My sps are growing like crazy so I know it's taking the stuff out of the water.

I'm sure other companies make good products too but out of the 3 I've tried (I tried sea chem too) the Red Sea seems to be working the best.

Lots swear by only doing water changes and I do about 20% a week but my sps take so much out of the water I'd have to do daily water changes to keep up with the demand it seems. Maybe I should cut my lights back and slow them down but I can't, I like watchign them grow too much...lol
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Old 05-02-2013, 04:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noturaveragereefer View Post
Does it being at 5 pose some harm? If so what? Also does it mean something else is out of whack? I read up on it before but I'm unclear of the risks vs benefits of adding baking soda

Ya if your alk is low your coral will grow very brittle. I had a frogspawn grow a new branch when my alk was low and when I touched it, it fell apart. Its sorta the glue that holds the calcuim together in simplistic terms. Thats what the Alk and mag do from what I've read...
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:02 PM   #6
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And that's kind of what I heard about adding the baking soda. Everything is doing great..except for a small frag of zoas for some reason they've been more closed than usual for the last week or so.. I'll look into to Red Sea product...didn't seem like I had an issue till I switched mixes. My calcium was fine 420 the last time I checked..but I don't have a mg testing kit...which means that's probably off?
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:12 PM   #7
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ya it's probably low too, mine was. Again I don't really endorse any products but this one worked for me.
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:13 PM   #8
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Go with the two part easier for keeping them balanced. Google advanced aquarist cal/alk good info by Randy Holmes.
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:23 PM   #9
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Thanks! I really appreciate everyone's input. I have this coral accel stuff in the meantime, I'll grab the 2 part supplement this weekend most likely. This coral accel is kind of like a multivitamin for coral.
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:39 PM   #10
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When you say your Alk is 5, are you measuring dKH or meq/l? Also, are you using API? I was using API and the kit says it is 1 drop per dKH. I was running between 7-8. When I get a better test kit, their measurements are in meq/l at a rate of 2 drops per meq/l. The conversion is 2.8 dKH per meq/l. So if you've been following along, that means 1.4 dKH per drop. It turns out both kits used the exact same number of drops to change colour, at 8, when I did my comparison. So API is saying dKH = 8 and the other is saying meq/l = 4, which is 11.2dKH.
So if your Alk is meq/l of 5, it is high, but ok
If you use API, your 5 may actually be 7, which is on the low normal side.
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