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Old 05-19-2005, 06:52 PM   #1
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Water Parameters

I have been having trouble keeping my Ph up for a few months now. When ever I test it, it is 8.0 or 8.1 and has not gone above that for a long time. Now I am having trouble keeping ALK up where I like it. It is between 2 and 2.5. CA is up at 480. All other parameters are fine, ammonia at 0, nitrite at 0 and nitrate at 5, temp 80. Any suggestions on how to get Ph up to 8.3 and ALK up to 4-6? I am doing bi-weeklyish 15% water changes using Coralife salt. Is it time for a buffering addative or just time to try a new salt? Thanks!
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Old 05-19-2005, 08:30 PM   #2
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you can use Pure Washing Soda (Sodium Carbonate) to increase PH but not Sodium Bi-Carbonate (suitable for freshwater only), however i would researh this first as i have not tested it and do not know the correct measurements.
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Old 05-19-2005, 10:30 PM   #3
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I use Kent marine superbuffer. Stays around 8.4
Water changes will buffer your water some also
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Old 05-20-2005, 01:54 AM   #4
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Kent SuperBuffer here too..8.2 jus' about ev'ry time.
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Old 05-20-2005, 10:52 AM   #5
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Lando,
have you tested your magnesium? Mg is usually kept at a good level with normal water changes. However if magnesium gets too low, it'll cause problems keeping calcium and alkalinity in balance...which sounds like that could be a piece of your problem.
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Old 05-20-2005, 11:40 AM   #6
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I was going to suggest testing mag/strontium also. (mag should be 3x Ca). And with your Ca all the way up at 480 you might have problems getting your Alk up high enough. Try letting your Ca fall a bit, checking your mag and increasing your dosing of alk to see if you can't get it back in balance.

What does your saltwater test out at and what S/W are you using?
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Old 05-20-2005, 12:07 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone. I will test my new batch of SW I am mixing now. I will also test Mg and let the CA fall a bit. I would like to try to stay away from using buffers if at all possible. I will see what this next water change does and go from there. SuperBuffer may be in my future.
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Old 05-21-2005, 02:08 PM   #8
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I just tested my fresh batch of SW and here are parameters of the mix. I used Coralife salt.
NH3/NO2/NO3- 0
Ph- 8.1
ALK- 4.5meq/L
CA- 420ppm
PO4- 0.1ppm
Temp- 81F
Should I be woriied about a Ph of only 8.1 in a fresh batch of SW? It has been in dark.
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Old 05-21-2005, 11:10 PM   #9
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That's a shocking amount of PO4, huh? *shudder* Your other numbers for the freshly mixed look good. If you did a series of 20% water change you'd probably be able to get your alk back in line. Otherwise buffering it should get it back into range. What ever happened to the Mg test?
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Old 05-22-2005, 03:54 PM   #10
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I would strongly suggest testing the tanks Mg level as Malkore suggested. Low alk - high Ca is almost always caused from low Mg.

As for your pH level, 8.0-8.1 is not really a concern. Test your levels first thing in the AM and just before lights out to see what your total daily change is. This will tell you if it's a concern or not.

Do you drip kalk and do you have a refugium with macro's?

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