Originally Posted by awillemd1
I have only been dosing Kent Marine Liquid Calcium and the Kent Marine Superbuffer dKH
as needed. That is, when I have noticed that the dKH
is way out of line I have been using these additives. The amount I have been using is about 2 teaspoons of the Kent Marine Superbuffer dKH
every 12 to 24 hours until the dKH
reaches around 10. I have also been squirting in the liquid calcium.
This is moreso what I've been suspecting. A larger less regular dosing routine will in most cases make maintaining balanced difficult to say the least. Smaller more regular doses would help solve your problem. If a large addition of buffer is added, it will have a tendancey to force down the Ca
and vice versa when adding large amounts of Ca
I have been less careful about an overdose of that as I have been told you can pour a lot in and not hurt anything.
For the most part this is quite true. What works best though is finding out what the total amount of additive (CaCl
) is needed to raise the Ca
to the desired level. Then simple divide that amount over 5-7 days if a large amount is needed. Twice daily additions being more advantageous than one large daily dose. The slower you increase the Ca
level over several days, the less likely it will impact alkalinity if at all.
Unfortunately, I don't have a Mg test kit. I will have to try my LFS.
Might not be worth buying a kit but at least see if they can test it for you. Personally I don't test the Mg
more than a few times a year.
I use the IO salt and I always add extra calcium to it because it historically has come in around 350 ppm Ca.......OK, I will plan to make several water changes, starting tonight. Once I get the system to a dKH of around 10 and a Ca level above 400 I will plan to test every other day for a week to determine my rate of depletion.
Be sure to correct the Ca
imbalance before doing the water changes or you will have a much harder time of it. What is the alk
level of the IO salts after mixing for a day?
The changes that have happened over the last two weeks is I have upped the hours of lighting from around 3 to around 8 or 9. I am still fighting hair algae, but I have dec ided with the additon of the refugium, the dsb and the Macro algae that I will try and use the algae to burn up the nutrients. This has clearly resulted in more hair algae growing as well as more coralline growth.
The hair algae could be contributing to the alk
drop albeit quite small due to the cycle of growth and die off. It will also affect the CO2
at night depending on the density. I would urge you to run the refugium on a reverse lit timeframe from the main tank. This will help stabalize the pH and reduce the impact on alkalinity. The two algaes (main/fuge) will cancel each other out.
As far as the coralline, this is primarily your CaCO3
consumer at the moment. With the sudden increase in light you will most likely have seen some great growth due to the abundance of spores.
What causes the Mg to be depleted all of a sudden?
The are several things that can affect Mg
, most commonly growth of calcerous animals but heavy additions of buffer compounds will cause it to precipitate naturally.
Should I be supplementing Mg?
Regular water changes should really take care of this for the most part. Sometimes it's addition is necessary but it really depends on your complete routine of supplimetation, what products you use and water changes performed. Two part liquid additives maintain Mg
quite well without a stand alone additive. Small corrections can be made using epsom salts (magnesium sulfate predissolved in RO
), larger additions should be corrected with water changes or a proper magnesium chloride additive.
generally plays a large role in the balance but it's main purpose here is allowing Ca
to saturate the water without precipitating. Think of alk
like oil and water in a salad dressing, it tends to be at odds and separate. The Mg
is the immulsifier that allows them to stay blended together.
When supplimenting with stand alone additives it's also important to use them in an order that most benefits the tank. Buffer/alk
products best being used in the early AM. This allows for less of a total daily gain in the pH and less problems with pH spikes. Mg
should also be added several hours later but before the Ca
addition. If Mg
is added to closely after a buffer, it tends to from carbonate magnesium which is largely useless to the system and precipitates out. With the proper additions made of alk
earlier, the Ca
added afterwards has a much better chance of staying in solution and gaining ground against the alk
without either being affected by the others addition. Mg
should be 3x the level of the desired Ca
to be an effective control.