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Old 10-10-2012, 09:46 PM   #31
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Gents- I really do admire your coral growth. I have a few more questions for you on calcium and alkalinity. I do my weekly water changes, and my calc remains at 420 ppm and my Alk at 125 ppm, which my research shows is correct. Would you mind advising me of what calc and Alk levels you target for your reefs? I read somewhere that for optimum growth you could target above 125 ppm for Alk. Is this true? I read 125-200 ppm. I also read that if I dose Alk separately, I could end up dropping my calc, is this true? Sorry for all the questions but I want to get this right. My zoas are extremely slow growers based on the growth rates you mentioned earlier. Thank you!
Steve
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:26 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Gregcoyote
I have made adjustments over the years and using test kits have gotten it to 35ml of each part dosed over 24 hours. That is in addition to 1 gallon of kalkwasser each evening as a slow drip. My total volume of water is about 500 gallons.
My apologies to the OP for this question but-
Holy cow how big is the tank and sump?
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:28 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emerald76

My apologies to the OP for this question but-
Holy cow how big is the tank and sump?
Display tank is about 290-300 gallons, shape makes it a bit of challenge to calculate.
2 sumps, one is 80 gallon (algae scrubber system) and the other is 60 gallons (dual protein skimmers)
30 gallon frag tank

I wish it was bigger....
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:39 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanderson417
Gents- I really do admire your coral growth. I have a few more questions for you on calcium and alkalinity. I do my weekly water changes, and my calc remains at 420 ppm and my Alk at 125 ppm, which my research shows is correct. Would you mind advising me of what calc and Alk levels you target for your reefs? I read somewhere that for optimum growth you could target above 125 ppm for Alk. Is this true? I read 125-200 ppm. I also read that if I dose Alk separately, I could end up dropping my calc, is this true? Sorry for all the questions but I want to get this right. My zoas are extremely slow growers based on the growth rates you mentioned earlier. Thank you!
Steve
Be patient, I have had corals just hang on for months, then suddenly take off. Your levels are fine unless you are going for a lot of SPS corals. Calcium and alkalinity balance with each other. In most cases it's hard to get calcium too high as it will just drop out of solution as white particles that can cause some tank cloudiness. I have had this happen more than once and the other side effect is explosive coralline algae growth to the point is it a pain in the a**.

Alkalinity I like in the 10-12 dKH range. Almost all alkalinity solutions are either sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) that raises alkalinity without any major pH increase and sodium carbonate (soda ash) that also raises alkalinity but also increases Ph. If you have a older tank like mine that tends to be lower Ph, I use sodium carbonate.

But my main source of calcium (the two parts are good at maintaining cal and alk levels, but really isn't so good at building them up) is old fashioned Kalkwasser. Some like automatic ph controlled calcium reactors for high coral loads, but I like simpler, so I use a old school method. I also dose magnesium, selenium and trace amounts of vitamins and iodine on automatic dosing pumps. Again, my coral load is very high.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:58 AM   #35
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Thanks so much for the education. For the Alk increase, could I simply use Arm & Hammer baking soda right off the shelf or do I need to use something more aquarium specific? When I did a quick search on line I see quite a few options that are pool/spa specific and state they will raise ph.

Thanks
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:00 AM   #36
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For what it's worth I use B-ionic 2 part and have been having great success with it.
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:37 PM   #37
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Convict- thanks for the response. In researching this via Google (LOL) I read what Greg stated" 2 part is good for maintaining parameters, but not for raising them higher if you want to jump to a bit higher over the norm". I look at your zoas and compared to mine, I am seeing extremely slow growth. I just don't get it. Everything looks healthy, and my parameters are steady due to weekly water changes, but the growth is not there.

I must apologize for jacking this thread. That really wasn't my intent, but you all hit on a topic that I have been researching quite a lot recently.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:21 PM   #38
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I used B-Ionic for years, then I figured out what was in it and have started mixing my own to great success and much lower costs.

You cannot just add baking soda, there are some steps first and you need to do it slowly in concert with calcium additions. Look at BRS, they have extensive information on this.

My zoas are growing 2/3 the way down in my tank (about 32" from the lights) and are getting PAR 160-200. Moderate flow.
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:05 PM   #39
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A few new zoas to add to the garden

First pic is all of them together but I decided to space them out all over the middle section of rocks which you'll see in the last pic
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:07 PM   #40
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Looks great!! Heres mine so far!
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