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Old 07-09-2012, 12:08 PM   #1
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Need some Saltwater aquarium advice

Hello all! I'm needless to say a rookie when it comes to saltwater aquariums. I set my tank up about 6 weeks ago. I have gone through the diatom stage hence me adding crabs to my tank. However, for some reason I cannot get my alkalinity correct. My pH is at 8.2. I was told by my local store to give it time but I thought it would be OK as long as my pH was OK..

Additionally. When I had my water tested they said I did not have enough bacteria. I added half a bottle of Insta Ocean® BIO-Spira based on their advice 3 days ago with no change. Thanks in advance for taking time to read my post and for your help!
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Old 07-09-2012, 03:18 PM   #2
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Ph an alkalinity go hand in hand just cause your ph is at 8.2 don't mean your alkalinity is ok I had that problem when I first started an my lfs which is Inland Aquatics suggested I use a product called eight.four it is a ph and alkalinity buffer an wont let ph get above 8.4. I just followed the directions on the bottle. Depending on how off your allalinity is will determine how long you gotta buffer your system I swear by this product it's the best I found and always have a spare bottle
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Old 07-09-2012, 03:35 PM   #3
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Are you using a good salt mix? And do you understand how calcium, magnesium, and alkalinity all effect each other?
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Old 07-09-2012, 03:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbernero
Hello all! I'm needless to say a rookie when it comes to saltwater aquariums. I set my tank up about 6 weeks ago. I have gone through the diatom stage hence me adding crabs to my tank. However, for some reason I cannot get my alkalinity correct. My pH is at 8.2. I was told by my local store to give it time but I thought it would be OK as long as my pH was OK..

Additionally. When I had my water tested they said I did not have enough bacteria. I added half a bottle of Insta Ocean® BIO-Spira based on their advice 3 days ago with no change. Thanks in advance for taking time to read my post and for your help!
First off what exactly is your alk? And all other parameters? Need more information
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:25 PM   #5
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Thanks for all of the comments. I will try to address them all in this reply.
I tried using a pH buffer and it seemed to get better after about 3 days of using. After I stopped using the buffer the alkalinity lowered to about 40. I would prefer not to use chemicals but will . Secondly, I used the Insta-Ocean Salt mix with distilled water when I set the aquarium up. I'm not sure if that is a good mix or not but that is what was recommended to me. Probably because thats what they had..lol. Lastly, Here are the current numbers on my tank:

Nitrates – 0
Nitrates - .5
Alkalinity – 40
pH – 8.4

Thanks again for the replies!
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:32 PM   #6
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Your nitrifying bacteria is not in the water. It is on the surfaces in your tank. The only way to check your bacteria is to see the cycle happen on your water test results.
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:33 PM   #7
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Sorry I forgot to address the calcium question. No i do not understand fully how they all work together. Additionally, There is no ammonia present in my tank. Thanks again for the replies.
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:38 PM   #8
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Your nitrifying bacteria is not in the water. It is on the surfaces in your tank. The only way to check your bacteria is to see the cycle happen on your water test results.
@Melosu58: So are you saying that I will know by the level increasing and then leveling out?
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:13 PM   #9
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That's it. Your LFS played you by saying there are not enough bacteria in your water.

As for the Alk issue, are you planning on this being a reef tank? If not, Alk is not near as important. That being said, you're still quite low. Unfortunately your pH is already high end and trying to raise Alk alone you will be stuck with the buffer solutions you have (i think). If your pH drops tho, I would use baling soda instead. It will raise the bicarbonates better but will raise pH as well (which is why you shouldn't use it now).
I have always used baking soda for raising both pH (indirectly) and Alk in my aquariums, pool and hottub. ITS CHEAPER too.
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:31 PM   #10
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That's it. Your LFS played you by saying there are not enough bacteria in your water.

As for the Alk issue, are you planning on this being a reef tank? If not, Alk is not near as important. That being said, you're still quite low. Unfortunately your pH is already high end and trying to raise Alk alone you will be stuck with the buffer solutions you have (i think). If your pH drops tho, I would use baling soda instead. It will raise the bicarbonates better but will raise pH as well (which is why you shouldn't use it now).
I have always used baking soda for raising both pH (indirectly) and Alk in my aquariums, pool and hottub. ITS CHEAPER too.
Yes I do plan on doing a reef tank if possible..lol
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