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Old 04-13-2011, 11:03 AM   #31
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380 is what mine is showing to After playing with it some this morning I have decided that the second part if you take your time dripping it it will make the drops bigger than if you drip it fast which would be the reason for it taking less drops giving a lower reading??? Just a thought not 100% sure if that is it?? Im gonna try another test kit
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:29 AM   #32
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I would think a different kit would be a good idea. I haven't had too much trouble with api kit but you gotta be real careful with the counting, not sure how the salifert works as it's one of the few tests I dont have yet from them.
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:16 PM   #33
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sorry folks, but i've never had a reading of 400 from instant ocean. your test kits are off. if they are API, i know the reason.
+1 for salifert.
you need to use a 2 part product to raise calcium. when you add calcium, you effect the alk. do not add straight calcium, purple up..coral builder...etc.
bulk reef supply sells the cheapest stuff. there are also many reef grade salts that are closer to natural sea water.
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:20 PM   #34
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This is what I was wondering about my test kit As for Instant ocean I agree I was lucky to get 300 ppm from it that is why I switched to coral life salt
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:21 PM   #35
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I use reef advantage calcium and reef carbonate at the same time, made by seachem. That sound about right x
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:28 PM   #36
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I guess the next question is Are additives a temporary solution?
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:40 PM   #37
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The more simple you keep things there is less chance of error. Water changes are the simplest. I am a firm believer in understocking and water changes. For your tank 15 gallons a week is about right.
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:46 PM   #38
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I like simple to I have been trying to avoid using any additives I want everything to be natuaral if possible I have been doing to small of water changes I only do 5 gallons a week I am going to do bigger water changes and see where that gets me
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:51 PM   #39
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Mr. X, do you like c balance from two little fishies? I was thinking on going that route..

thanks in advance.
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:59 PM   #40
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Additives are not necessarily "not natural". I don't advocate putting in any additives that you don't know your existing levels of, or just putting them in because someone said to. But additives to correct a deficiency is fine in my mind. Most of these additives, as far as calcium/alk/mag/trace minerals are 100% natural, as far as ingredients. There's nothing unnatural about calcium chloride, epsom salts, etc.

If your calcium demand is high enough, and you want to keep a consistent calcium level, you'll have to dose calcium/alkalinity. You may not be at that point now, but if you keep adding corals or your coralline algae takes off like gangbusters, you'll need to do it in the future - assuming you want consistent calcium levels between water changes.

After reading Mr X's comment about adding straight calcium, I need to add a little disclaimer to my "... use TurboCalcium to raise your Ca levels..." comment. Adding just straight calcium, which TurboCalcium is, will definitely lower your alkalinity. The two go hand in hand - you can't have higher calcium with high alkalinity. (Not that 420 calcium is "high".) But as you raise one, you'll lower the other. From my experience with IO, the little bump you're talking about in Ca won't really lower the alkalinity *that* much. But for sure... when changing any parameters like that, have a test kit handy and make sure your alkalinity is still where you want it.

I haven't tried IO for a long time, but within the last year or so they've changed the formulation. The Ca is higher now than it used to be. That might be why the higher numbers seem off to some that have used it in the past. Then again, I've also found the API calcium test to be really fussy. And I traced it to the same reason - how hard you push on the bottle and how big the drops are really skew the results. Salifert is much more reliable and consistent - less room for human errors.
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