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Old 12-02-2008, 10:15 PM   #1
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Q: about using kalkwasser for alkalinity control

Hi gang,
on my 37 gal , 45# LR, 20 # sand:
May have lost emerald crab today, don't think it molted, appears to be the whole crab. Making sure I didn't kill him, So,

Water tests:PH 8.2, SG 1.024( adj for temp), Amonia 0. Nitrites 0, Nitrates 10, alkalinity at 3.0 (and was the last time also), safe to say it stays at 3. I have read my inverts want a min of 3.5 and I'm looking to get it up a little, I also still struggle with keeping PH at 8.2, this is a relatively new eco system , about 4 months old. I have to use a tad of buffer at each water change to keep PH at 8.2. I understand this is as indication of an existing problem and I am not sure where to start.
Here is the deal:
No protein skimmer . Bio wheel power filter w /no other media, HOT magnum w/ no media only for surface water agitation ( blows hard across tank lots of waves), corner power heads, weekly 3 gal PWC w/RO , IO salt.

Q:Should I use kalkwasser to add calcium for inverts AND stabilize alkalinity at the same time, and if so can it be used w/o protien skimmer. At what dosage ?

Q:Reef crystals better for inverts?

(Livestock: 1 very small green chromas, 2 small pajama, 2 medium banner cardinals, 1 small flame angel and 1 or 2 emerald crabs. Total fish length about 7".) Q:Maxed out?????

Thank you in advance for any answers you can give.
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:45 PM   #2
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Question one I would try PWC`s first. I do weekly PWC`s with oceanic and keep calcium at about 450-480. I would suggest that first with your Salt mix and if it dont help then you`ll have to get others to help on the supplement with kalk. I`ve never used it.
Question two I dont see why it would be better. That goes along with question which salt is best. If you ask ten folks you`ll get 11 different answers.
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:56 PM   #3
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1st thing is calcium or alkalinity has no affect on invert health or growth. You need stable ca, alk and mag for coral growth.
2nd is kalk will help maintain ca and alk, but isn't a good choice for raising either. If you need to raise alk, dose baking soda. If you need to raise ca, dose calcium chloride (Kent Turbo Calcium).
I'm assuming the 3 you mention for alk is 3 meq/l. That is suprisingly low for IO. It typically tests about 4 meq/l or 12 dKH. What brand test kit are you using? Reef Crystals has a higher calcium level than IO and the alk is about the same.
You bioload seems fine, but I think that's about all you can have in there.
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:54 AM   #4
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I agree with the first post, but I would have to say imo, calcium levels do have an affect on invert health to a point. Try PWC's and if you don't have a reactor, look up Randy's Recipe for dosing...nice and cheap and works great.
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Old 12-03-2008, 08:05 AM   #5
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I'm sure you are speaking of inverts as in crabs, shrimp, and the like instead of coral, but in case for the future; In speaking of coral and those that utilize a calcium-base:

Calcium absorption by corals fuels their calcification, the process of constructing their skeleton, along with other factors such as light for photosynthesis, water movement to bring them their nutrient-load and flush their systems, etc. An invertebrate, coral or not, that has a skeletal base composed of calcium (calcareous) needs to have adequate levels in order to build, grow, and remain healthy.
Alkalinity allows resistance to rapid changes in pH by buffering solutions and influencing the internal calcification rates of corals.
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Old 12-03-2008, 09:03 AM   #6
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Thanks you all . Yes to meq/L , used Instant Ocean dry reagent test kits. There are no corals in here, just crabs and snails. Did have Emerald crab die, fine one day dead the next, just got me second guessing my tank parameters. I will buy a different brand of Alkalinity test, compare results. I may also switch to reef crystals just to try something different, already have 5 gal R/C un-opened. Might bump weekly PWC to 15% , go to a full 5 gal change.
If PH will not stay stable I will then try Randy's recepie for dosing, looks like his receipe #1 would be best for me, only as a last resort to raising both alkalinity and Ph at the same time.
As for now I will hold off from any knee jerk reaction, get a different alkalinity test, and bump up PWC to 15%, see what happens.
At least I know what to do if I still have a problem. I am no longer concerned about calcuim for crabs and such as the PWC's should be enough for that.

thanks again,
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Old 12-03-2008, 10:37 PM   #7
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Follow up info:
Got seachem kit today and did alkalinity test, at 4.0-4.5 meq/L , that should be normal. PH at 8.2 so not concerned about it for now. One thing I noticed about my made up salt water is I actually did pH a test on a new saltwater mix after 24 hr w/ airstone and it tested at 8.0, so I believe the previous test kit is a piece of crap, I will test a batch of new water with the seachem test kit and see what I get.
Also, the last batch of saltwater came from publix RO bulk self dispencing unit, mixed salt myself, aerated for 24 hr, closed for storage, and went to pour and was a tad bit cloudy, any idea why?
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Old 12-03-2008, 11:37 PM   #8
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I usually have to let mine mix for 48 hrs before the cloudiness disapears.
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Old 12-04-2008, 08:10 AM   #9
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Ok ,Thanks,
Joey
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37 gal FOLR for my daughter ( she is 6 yr old)
3 gal Pico mini reef.( for me)
24 gal Aquapod (wife's) reef, now cycled and currently emptying my wallet.
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Old 12-04-2008, 11:08 AM   #10
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im sorry to hear about your emerald crab, i really like emeralds, i have two in my tank, one is just under an inch and the other is just over a half inch which i have not seen in a long time, i have not seen the smaller one in the past 4 or 5 weeks, after i introduced the larger emerald i didnt see the smaller one around much anymore but i did see it a few times. i have not seen a corpse anywhere and i dont think a hermit would attack an emerald, but i do know from watching my emeralds that they dig out small burros under rocks and hide under things. ive put sea weed in opposite sides of my tank and after a day all of it is gone, thats my only assurance that the emeralds are still around.
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