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Old 03-22-2014, 04:59 PM   #1
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Low alk in my nano

After switching from the API test kit to a Hanna checker, I've seen that the alk dropped from 8-9 (API) to about 6.9 (Hanna). I do weekly PWCs, and calcium is at 492 when I tested last week (Hanna checker). pH is approx 8.1-8.2.

Since this is a nano tank, what's the safest way to increase the alkalinity without crashing pH or precipitating calcium? I was thinking of baking some baking soda in the oven (400 degrees for an hour or so), and add a pinch to some tank water, then into a high flow area. I'm hoping not to have to do a regular dosing regime, since it is a smaller tank, but if needed, I can add some to the ATO reservoir.
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Old 03-23-2014, 01:24 PM   #2
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I have a 29 gal nano and I use 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda per gal of ro/di just to maintain the alkanity. You can increase the ratio a little bit to increase the alkalinity and then back to the regular ratio. No need to bake it and should be in ato.
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Old 03-23-2014, 01:53 PM   #3
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What salt are you using?
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Old 03-23-2014, 02:19 PM   #4
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Reef crystals

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Old 03-23-2014, 03:12 PM   #5
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Low alk in my nano

If it was my tank I would do a larger than normal water change, wait about 24 hours and test again. If it's back in a normal range I would test it every day or every other day for 2 or 3 weeks and see if it's dropping a consistent amount each test and see how the wc's affect your levels, and then make a plan of action based on that be it dosing or increased wc's ( either volume or frequency)
Edit: make a log of it so it's easier to study/share on here
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Old 03-23-2014, 05:59 PM   #6
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Point of clarification: those numbers were pre water change, which are done every 7 days.

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Old 03-23-2014, 10:25 PM   #7
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Fresh mixed water is 8.9.
Reading today, pre change- 5.9.

I will measure every day and see when it drops below 7.0.

Luckily, I'm an anal engineer and log everything
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:29 PM   #8
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Do you have good water surface agitation?
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:41 PM   #9
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How heavy of a stony coral load do you have?
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Old 03-24-2014, 12:04 AM   #10
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If you are dosing cal and not supplementing to raise alkalinity then that may explain your alkalinity is low after a week. Before raising alkalinity, first make sure mag is within acceptable level like 1300.
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