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Old 10-31-2010, 12:02 AM   #1
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My Water Parameters

OK so I just got my test kit today, so I decided to test my water. Below are my results, please tell me if my results are good/bad, and if they are bad ways to fix it. Thank you I appreciate it.

PH-8.2
Nitrate-10 or less, hard to tell
Phosphate-higher then 10 on the low-range test
Alk-300ppm or 16.8DKH, or 21 English degrees Carbonate Hardness
Cal-510 mg/L
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Old 10-31-2010, 08:49 AM   #2
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your alk is a bit high. should be 8-12dkh.
calcium is high. should be in the 400s. i am thinking your test kit is out of whack. let me guess...API?
are you adding anything to the tank besides just the salt mix?
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:45 AM   #3
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I agree with Doug, and in addition to that your phosphate is extremely high. The recommended phos level should be around .03. Are you using tap water? What brand salt do you use?
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:53 AM   #4
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I agree with Doug and Larry (what else is new)

Here's a link to where you want your parameters to be.
Reef Aquarium Water Parameters
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:49 AM   #5
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My test kit is brand new so I doubt it is out of whack. It is the instant ocean reef master test kit. I use IO salt. I dont add anything else. Yes i have been using tap water bc i have not had the cash for an RO unit. I just got an RO unit last night so i will be using that.
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Old 11-01-2010, 08:36 AM   #6
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you are not going to get that kind of calcium level from instant ocean. the test kit is definitely off. the last i heard, IO was giving somewhere around 320-340 calcium.
just because the kit is new doesn't mean it's accurate. they make these kits for a hobby. this is not pharmaceutical grade equipment we are using. you might try a different brand kit (salifert or elos come to mind).
btw, if you are planning on a reef, you might want to jump up to at least reef crystals salt, which is made by IO, but has more stuff in it. it's much closer to NSW.
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Old 11-01-2010, 08:58 AM   #7
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Doug is on the mark. Test kits also expire in a year or two. Just because it is new to you, doesn't mean it wasn't sitting on a shelf forever and is now expired. Those readings don't make sense for IO unless you are dosing Alk and Ca. IO has always been on the low side for Ca.

Please take a sample to a lfs and ask them to test it for you.
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:48 AM   #8
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Thanks guys I appreciate your advice.
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Old 11-01-2010, 11:04 AM   #9
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Also, what is your salinity? The 1/2 cup/gallon mixes up to about 29 or 1.021 SG (specific gravity). That's pretty low salinity for a reef, I have found that Reef Crystals mixed up at 3 full cups to 5 gallons bring it to right about 35 / 1.026 which is where you want it. That is about 20% more salt mix, so all your readings go up about 20% also (Ca, Alk, Mg, etc.)

Just keep that in mind.

How old is your tank? Not much bio-load, so unless you've been feeding lots of flake food, I wonder how your phosphates got that high - seems wrong.

Try testing your tap water and some of your RODI water for Phosphate. See if your tap water is the source (it probably is, but that's REALLY high phosphate even for tap water)
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:45 PM   #10
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salinity is at 1.025. Tank is over a year old. I use tap water, on an Army post. I dont know but I think that would be where all my phosphates are coming from.
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