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Old 07-26-2008, 04:48 PM   #1
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Question General/Carbonate Hardness in Reef..?

OK, so my water is REALLY hard...what should I shoot for with my 14gal biocube, seeing as it is a nanoreef? My general hardness right now is 180, and my KH is 240. I am using the API test STRIP, as they were out of the liquid tests for KH. How will this affect my fish and soft corals? Right now we have a diamond goby, 2 oscellaris clowns, a small bunch of mushrooms, and about 15 small whitish sponges.
Thanks!
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Old 07-27-2008, 10:23 AM   #2
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I don't really understand what those readings are. 180 ppm = 10.08 dKH = 3.6 meq/l
10dKH is fine, but anything over 12 can cause major issues with coral.
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Old 07-27-2008, 12:27 PM   #3
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I don't know...the test strip bottle has the chart on it, I'll try to get a pic of it tonight---it's readings are from 30 and up...not a decimal point at all...hopefully the 10.08 is what it actually means...thanks ccapt!
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Old 07-27-2008, 03:07 PM   #4
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I would not rely upon a test strip of any kind, highly inaccurate. As long as your calcium is not drastically reduced there should not be a problem if you can maintain a high alkalinity. Some people on RC are trying to relation a coral demise with their high alk, but unless there are considerable swings (additives, CO2, etc) I believe there are other variable at play. If I could maintain an alk of 4.5 I would
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Old 07-27-2008, 03:45 PM   #5
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ccapt-How are you converting the ppm (that's what the test kit measures by) to whatever dKH reading you are using? I tried doing a google search, but the suggested conversion (17.9 x dKHppm = __._ dKH) obviously doesn't give me the same number, and I honestly don't understand what the different conversions mean...I read that the 180ppm was a German reading, but other than that, I am lost...Chemistry was not my best subject.

Innovator-I am waiting on the lfs to get liquid test kits for dKh in, all of our other kits are API liquid (master, calcium, and phosphate). Are there additional kits I need?
What is RC?
Alkilinity is the same thing as dKH, right?
As far gMy calcium is staying steady at 380ppm. My lfs said 350-400ppm was what he recommended (what is the conversion method for the measurement you are listing?). Our sg is 1.025, and our pH has remained 8.3-4, nitrites 0, nitrates 5 (I know this is recommended to stay below 20).

Any advice beyond this? Is there a specific book on understanding the water chemistry better w/o getting a degree?
Are my readings ok for me to continue slowly adding soft corals? I had read that corals would not affect my readings by a noticeable amount, that the fish would. We are not getting any other fish, unless we swap.
The guy at the lfs tested my water last week and said everything looked hunky-dory to him, but didn't go into detail.

Thanks so much for your help!
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Old 07-27-2008, 04:19 PM   #6
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This should help you: OZ REEF - Alkalinity Conversion
http://home.comcast.net/~jdieck1/chem_calc3.html

Basic test kit recommendations for cycling, quarantine, and/or beginner record keeping:

NH3
NO2
NO3
pH
Salinity (Refractometer or Conductivity probe)

The only kits needed once cycling is done, imo, are:

pH (I prefer a pH meter, Pinpoint for example)
Calcium
Alkalinity
Magnesium
PO4

Monthly testing of NO3 and bi-monthly of NH3 just for record keeping would be handy-dandy.

If you can purchase the tests yourself then by all means do you own water testing. The numbers your lfs come up with may mean nothing to them, but of significance to you and your system. Remember, no one will know a system better than the person caring for it.
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Old 07-28-2008, 11:02 AM   #7
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I use this alk converter.
ppm-parts per million, dKH-degrees of Karbonate Hardness(German), meq/l-milliequivalents per liter

Here is a page with a bunch of good chemistry articles.
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Old 07-28-2008, 12:38 PM   #8
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ok, so the only two test kits I don't have are the alkilinity and magnesium. I have a bunch more reading ahead of me...thanks again guys!!
~Sarah
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