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Old 08-04-2006, 09:49 PM   #1
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Need some chemistry help

My 46 gal FOWLR has been up and running for about a month. Tank currently has 2 striped damsels, a flame scallop, a scarlet shrimp, 4 hermit crabs and about 20 small snails. It appears that I have less purple coraline algea on my LR than when I started. It definitely has not spread to any of the LR that had none when I started.

Ammonia is always - zero
Nitrites are always - zero
Nitrates are always - zero
SG is 1.022 and stable
PH 8.3 and stable

I just received some new water testing kits and here are the results of today's tests:

Phosphates - .8 (I put 50g of PhosBan into the AC 300 to help with this)
Alkalinity - 4 on the quick test and 3.5 on the accuracy test
Calcium - 255

I have a new jar of Kent Kalkwasser but the directions are not too clear. Other than mixing it with fresh water; how much should I add and how often to start getting my alkalinity and calcium levels up?

Any other suggestions?
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Old 08-04-2006, 10:03 PM   #2
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i have never used kalkwasser, but calcuim def should be at about 400-450. might want to check the amount of cal in your salt mix. there are other buffers out there as well.
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Old 08-04-2006, 11:38 PM   #3
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Your Ca is low, too low for coralline IMO. You should try adding Ca additive or perform more frequent WC's to raise Ca to 350+ I've never used kalk before. I do use liquid calcium additive from Seachem though.
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Old 08-05-2006, 01:43 AM   #4
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The seachem ca suplement is great stuff, cheap and really concentrated. Your alk is a little low too, i keep mine around 7. Also, what kind of lighting do you have. I have found coraline grows better under PC or CF lights, and not so good under more intense lights like MH's.
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Old 08-05-2006, 04:07 AM   #5
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I'm using a Coral Life 30 watt, 50/50 bulb in the standard hood.

Based on my reading I thought that Kalkwasser was the preferred method of increasing alkalinity and adding calcium? Hmmmm

What are you guys using to increase your alkalinity or buffers?

I do at least a 12% PWC/weekly, if not a little more frequently. I use Instant Ocean salt. Maybe I should use Reef Crystals but I do not have corals or anenomes and assumed the IO salt was adequate.
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Old 08-05-2006, 04:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie
I'm using a Coral Life 30 watt, 50/50 bulb in the standard hood.

Based on my reading I thought that Kalkwasser was the preferred method of increasing alkalinity and adding calcium? Hmmmm

What are you guys using to increase your alkalinity or buffers?

I do at least a 12% PWC/weekly, if not a little more frequently. I use Instant Ocean salt. Maybe I should use Reef Crystals but I do not have corals or anenomes and assumed the IO salt was adequate.
Kalk is a great way of maintaining levels. It won't fix a tank imbalance though. I'd suggest a 2 part additive (B-Ionic) if you're looking to attempt balancing the tank.

IO is generaly lower in Ca, while Oceanic is lower in Alk (but has good Ca). Tradeoffs everywhere

If you're trying to spur up coraline production, you'll probably need to dose up some calcium singly first.
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Old 08-05-2006, 01:26 PM   #7
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I use IO and my Ca levels are constantly 400-430. Are you using the AP Calcium kit? If so, are you sure to measure the drops after the entire vial turns the blue color? After a few drops you will see blue, but if you shake it should dissapear. This sort of titration method can be a bit difficult to read. You want to keep going until the water turns blue and stays there.

Just a thought.
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Old 08-05-2006, 01:37 PM   #8
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I am using a new Instant Ocean kit. I followed the directions very carefully and swirled the solution as drops were added.

I'll double check it again this week.
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Old 08-05-2006, 11:14 PM   #9
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If you are trying for coraline algae I woulg get a better light, probably not going to get much with the 30w.
jmo
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Old 08-06-2006, 10:59 AM   #10
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Is there a better bulb for growing coraline that will fit in my standard 36" hood? I'm not inclined to get an exotic light fixture for my FOWLR tank. I didn't think that it would be necessary.
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