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Old 08-08-2007, 03:27 PM   #11
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You are correct, that was supposed to be directed to Chase..Im just as bad with names in virtual reality as in RL..Whodathunkit. ; )
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Old 08-08-2007, 03:27 PM   #12
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Dupe.
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Old 08-08-2007, 05:28 PM   #13
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I thought the CA level in natural sea water was about 420ppm. My CA level is always lower than 420ppm that's the reason I want to raise it. That and most publications I've read suggest CA levels between 400 & 450 for good coral growth. Here are my test results taken moments ago including Mg.
Ammo, Nitrite, & Nitrate = 0
PO4 is less than 0.03
CA = 380
KH/Alk = 4.7 ml, 8.4 DKH, 3.06 meq/L
Salinity = 1.025
PH = 8.0
Temp = 77.9
Mg = 10.80
Time = 3:38 pm, est.
API master test kit is used for Ammo, Nitrite, Nitrate and PH. Salifert for the remainders.
Test tubes are always cleaned before and after use.
RO/DI water is used (Kent Marine Mexxima 60) and membranes are about 1 month old.
I use a Aqua C EV 180 skimmer and I also have a fluval 305 which is loaded with Purigen, RowaPhose, and Chemi-pure, all of which have not reached their expiration dates.
I have about 200 pounds of LR and another 50-60 pounds of LS in a 120g tank.
There is also a 40g sump/fuge which has some LR, LS, a small piece of Chaeto and a small Mangrove.
Lastly, I perform a 15% water change weekly and the last was performed this past Sunday.

Did I leave anything out?
Any advice or suggestions?
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Old 08-08-2007, 08:46 PM   #14
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Your parameters look pretty good. Not sure what units that Mg reading is, but with your 15% weekly water changes, I'm guessing that it's in the OK range.

In the beginning of this thread you mentioned your Ca readings were 320 or 350, but now I see they're at 380. If you're not dosing with anything, then I'd be suspect of those initial readings. 380 is totally reasonable. ccapt had a good suggestion - keep track of your ca levels over the course of several weeks and get an idea of what kind of ca depletion you're encountering. Then you can figure out what kind of supplementation (if any) you need to do.

Regarding Ca levels in natural sea water, depending on your source of information, you can find it listed anywhere from 380 to 450.
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Old 08-08-2007, 10:27 PM   #15
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Thanks Kurt for you help. I think the 320 reading may have been a mistake. I have tracked it over several months as I keep a log of all tests, additions to tank, changes in feeding habits, etc. Since I began adding more corals over the last month or so I noticed that the CA reading right before a water change is 350 or thereabouts. After the water change it is always 380 or 390. This tells me that it is depleting over the course of the week. That's the reason for my original question. I want to keep it closer to 400 at all times as opposed to having the steady depletion down to 350 by weeks end.
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Old 08-09-2007, 12:50 AM   #16
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Sounds like you've done your homework already with regards to knowing how much Ca you're going through!

Regarding Ca supplements, I use a 2-part solution for my tank. I've used both B-ionic and C-balance, and can't say I really see any difference between the two. The homemade 2-part ccapt mentioned is the same stuff, more or less. I also add some TurboCa solution to my PWC water to boost it up to 400ppm Ca so I don't dilute things down with my water change. I'm happy with how I'm doing, and my Ca levels stay between 380 and 400 with alk at 9 dkH or so. (And Mg averages about 1200 give or take 40.)

You definitely have other options for Ca supplementation, but I'm not familiar with them. The 2-part solutions are pretty no-brainer, with nothing to mix or stir, or extra equipment. But from what I understand, they are probably not very economical for large tanks with SPS corals. Unless of course, you go the homemade route.
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Old 08-09-2007, 04:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
Since I began adding more corals over the last month or so I noticed that the CA reading right before a water change is 350 or thereabouts. After the water change it is always 380 or 390. This tells me that it is depleting over the course of the week. That's the reason for my original question
You need to find the daily usage and dose accordingly to maintain chemistry. Measure Ca/Alk everyday for 2-3 days while making NO additions or PWC's. Find how much Ca/Alk are consumed everyday(Ca/Alk use is in direct relation to each other). Use this calculator to find out how much 2 part(or other product) to add everyday, or as needed, to keep Ca/Alk levels steady.
http://home.comcast.net/~jdieck1/chemcalc.html

The cheapest/easiest solution for Ca/Alk maintenance on most tanks, as Kurt said, is a balanced 2-part additive for Ca and Alk (or Kalkwasser for evaporation but you'll need a doser etc.). I use the DIY 2-part sold on www.twopartsolution.com (along w/ kalkwasser. I have a very high demand). HTH
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Old 08-09-2007, 04:52 PM   #18
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Mg = 10.80
Do you mean 1080? That is not bad, but IMO Mg should be no less than 1200, and between 1200-1300 ideally. Mg is used much more slowly than Ca/Alk, but is also used in direct relation to the two. Usually monthly or bi-monthly additions of Mg are plenty, even in demanding tanks such as SPS tanks. Test your fresh SW to be sure it has proper levels before use. FWIW IO is one salt that is low on MG. HTH
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Old 08-10-2007, 08:01 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by cccapt
The only thing I dose in my tank is Randy's 2 Part which keeps my ca, alk and mag where they should be.
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-02/rhf/index.php
Thanks cccapt for this site. I plan to use one of these two methods.



Quote:
Originally Posted by MT79
Quote:
Mg = 10.80
Do you mean 1080? That is not bad, but IMO Mg should be no less than 1200, and between 1200-1300 ideally. Mg is used much more slowly than Ca/Alk, but is also used in direct relation to the two. Usually monthly or bi-monthly additions of Mg are plenty, even in demanding tanks such as SPS tanks. Test your fresh SW to be sure it has proper levels before use. FWIW IO is one salt that is low on MG. HTH
Yes, 1080 (too many tests that day). I think the methods in the site produced by cccapt above will account for or raise the Mg level. The salt I use is Reef Crystals.



Now moving to another subject within the same topic. Controllers. Someone mentioned that I could get a controller to 'control the amount dosed in the tank. I believe the one they had was an ESV. If I remember correctly there were two 1 gallon bins. One for CA and the other for Alk. There were tubes running from each into what I thought was a contoller and from there into the sump.
Can anyone tell me more about these or something that would allow me to automatically dose the tanks if I am off base?
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Old 08-11-2007, 09:25 AM   #20
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Glad you found that useful. The ingredients are pretty easy to find too. I get Arm&Hammer baking soda from the grocery store and bake it before mixing with water. I use recipe #1. If you can't find DowFlake or 1 of the ice melts for the calcium, you can use Kent Turbo Calcium. I used to use Turbo Calcium until I hooked up with a local reefer who buys bulk DowFlake and bulk magnesium chloride hexahydrate. It's a bit more expensive than DowFlake, but works exactly the same.
Also, for the mag, I haven't tested mine in...well real long ago...so I just add about 1 cup after every 1/2 gal of the other 2 supplements. All my parameters were balanced last time I tested for mag, so as long as I keep my alk and ca in line, my mag should be right there too. (Randy, I'm trusting you on this one...lol)

As far as controllers and dosing, I'm a DIY guy and the few "auto top off" gizmos I tried were more work than manual dosing. I evaporate about 6 qrts/day so what I do is when I add water in the AM, I dose my aprox. 1/4 cup of alk and in the PM I add my calc with my top off water.
If you can just find a dosing pump with 2 seperate chambers, you can set it to add however much of each solution your tank uses every day.

I just want to add this little comment. We are tring to keep the water in our tanks as close to Natural Sea Water as possible in the small closed environments we have set up. So, after going thru the extra work of adding supplements and extensive testing, why do some ppl mix their water to 1.024 or 1.025 SG? NSW has a SG of 1.0267 or 35ppt with a refractometer.
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