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Old 05-07-2007, 10:04 AM   #31
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Ok. Thanks MT. I want to ask a question to everyone here. i dont want to seem like such a noob but can you guys post the ideal water parameters for a saltwater tank? In other words, to make my water perfect where does it need to be?
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Old 05-07-2007, 10:40 AM   #32
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ammonia 0
nitrItes 0
nitrAtes 0-10
pH 7.6-8.4 (even if it is a little low or high, stability is best)
salinity 1.020-1.026 (again stability is best, but you want a little higher if keeping corals)
temp 72-82 (again stability is best, you don't want a swing higher than 2 degrees)
Ca 420ish
not sure on the other reef numbers, a reefer will have to help us out on those.
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Old 05-07-2007, 11:07 AM   #33
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Well i guess the only thing thats off is my ALK and my calcium. Thanks. Any input from a reefer would be great.
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Old 05-07-2007, 11:51 AM   #34
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I believe alkalinity should be 8-12 dKh, but have heard from others that with corals the higher end of that (10-12 dKh) is better.

Unless you're doing SPS corals, that calcium number could probably be 400ppm or so and be just fine.

I've read two different things on Magnesium - one is that it should be at least 1300ppm, and the other is that it should be 3x your calcium reading. Sooo... I guess if you're in the 400ppm Ca range, a Mg reading of 1200-1300 would be good. (Magnesium is important to help Calcium levels high. You normally won't have to dose it as you'll get it in PWCs, but if you ever have issues in keeping your Ca levels high, check to make sure you're not Mg deficient.)
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Old 05-07-2007, 01:02 PM   #35
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ok. im buying a master test kit with all the kit and kaboodles. lol (reminds me of the commercial)
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Old 05-07-2007, 03:09 PM   #36
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Usually salt mixes will provide the proper amount of magnesium. I never had a need to test or dose magnesium before switching to primarily SPS coral. It would not hurt to test it to be sure though. Here is a quick article explaining Ca, Alk basics. http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/20...ture/index.php
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I've read two different things on Magnesium - one is that it should be at least 1300ppm, and the other is that it should be 3x your calcium reading.
SW should be ionically balanced. For certain Ca there is a corresponding Alk number that is "balanced". Basically the higher you run Ca, the higher you should run Alk(while staying with in the limits) or vice versa. Having mag at 3x Ca provides balance, but anywhere between 1250-1350 is fine. There is a popular online calculator that also provides balanced numbers (in addition to how much of each supplement to add).
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Old 05-07-2007, 03:17 PM   #37
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Here are some proper levels-
Alk- 2.5-4 meg/l (times by 2.8 to get value in Dkh)
Ca- 380-450
Mag- 1250-1350
Ph 7.8-8.6 (preferably at least 8 )
Sg- reef 1.024-1.026
PO4 < .03 meg/l
Nitrate <15 ppm
Running your levels in the middle of those ranges is best. It allows for some natural fluctuation without going too high or low. It also allows some room for test kit and/or user errors for the same reason.

Be sure to buy a quality test kit. What salt mix do you use?
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Old 05-07-2007, 07:52 PM   #38
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I currently use Instant Ocean. Its what they have at my LFS. When i get home tonight i will do another Water change. hopefully my Ca/ALK levels go down a bit. This hobby is confusing at times because so many people have different opinions on what works for them that when you ask questions, you always get different suggestions. I feel that its pretty consistent here. Awesome forum!
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Old 05-07-2007, 10:14 PM   #39
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The advice we give here is proven- look at the gallery

I used IO for a couple years. IO test at about 350 ppm Ca, 3.5 meg/l Alk, and if I remember right about 1100 for mag-I know it is a little low in mag(using RO/DI water). I always boosted the Ca of my fresh SW to match my tank which I like to run at 400-435. 350 ppm Ca is the absolute lowest you want, so it's not a good place to start IMO. Kent turbo Ca works perfect for this. FWIW I use Reefcrystals. It is good on everything except Ca which is about the same as regular IO. Here is a calculator that makes adding buffers a snap- http://home.comcast.net/~jdieck1/chemcalc.html
All salt mixes are high or low in something. Best to find one and stick/work w/ it. Salts w/ low parameter(s) are an easy fix. One's w/ parameter(s) that are too high are less desirable IMO. Once you get the tank chemistry where you want it, just match your fresh SW to match it. That way when PWC's are done the new SW will not be raising or lowering any parameters you want steady.
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Old 05-09-2007, 06:40 PM   #40
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Hey guys, my levels are just about where they need to be. Nitrates, Nitrites, Ammonia = 0. PH 8.0. Ca = 460. kH = 14. I still need to work on my hardness but have had a crazy coraline growth. I guess purple up and lighting are working fine.
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