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Old 05-02-2007, 10:52 PM   #21
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With adding water to the bags, it is a process of adding a little at a time...never used a drip nor is there really a formula I have used other than "eyeballing" it. I think its safe to say that each time I add water I wait about 10 minutes and then add more and generally the addition of water is 10-15 cycles before the bag is full.

Tested my water today, the alk was high (3.2 or more) and so was the calcium (Test showed 750ppm)...the PH was perfect at 8.2

I am pretty sure that alk and ca are linked, so the tests may be showing inaccurate figures. Off to read the links provided above to determine what to do to bring both down.

Edited to add:
Sounds like my problem is easy enough to fix...the kind of thing you like to find out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by http://advancedaquarist.com/issues/nov2002/chem.htm
Zone 1 is the easiest problem to correct. Unfortunately, it is also very uncommon. In this case, both calcium and alkalinity are on the high side of normal. Moreover, if you leave the tank alone, the problem will likely correct itself, and you will end up in the red target zone (though you may also pass through it into zone 2 if you wait too long).
Will continue reading however.
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Old 05-03-2007, 02:08 AM   #22
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Actually... if your alk was at 3.2 (assuming that's meq/l), that's OK. That equates to about 9 dKh and is right about where you want it... maybe just a tad bit low, but no biggie.

However, 750ppm on Ca - wow. I'm guessing that's a bad reading that you might want to verify before doing anything. With a alkalinity of 3.2 meq/l, from what I understood, I didn't think it would be chemically possible to have a calcium level that high. I believe that's way above the saturation point for that alkalinity, and you'd be experiencing a "snow storm" as the excess Ca precipitated out of the water. Perhaps someone with some more experience will chime in on this one.

Either way... a good lesson either way on why it's important to test while (and preferably before) adding anything to the tank.
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Old 05-03-2007, 10:11 AM   #23
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I agree the reading of 750 on the Ca must be wrong. The alk is actually 3.6 or higher, that was a typo in my post and not what I had written down when testing. I tested again this morning and all the readings were the same, reason for redoing was both my disbelief of the 750ppm on the Ca and I had read the PH/Alk readings are different when the lights go on in the morning (lower) and when they are getting ready to go out in the evening (higher) and the readings last night were within 20 minutes of the lights going out for the evening. My lights are on for about 12 hours total right now, (2) come on and go off 1.5 hours before and after the other (2) with all 4 lights being on about 9. hours. Its their "summertime" lighting, in the winter I drop that down by 3 hours for a total of 9 hours light time.

Now I think I wasted my money on the testing kits purchased. I guess there are good and better, in fact the Alk/PH kit actually talks about getting better products if you want to be more precise so I will ask now what tests some of you use and how accurate are they?
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Old 05-03-2007, 10:52 AM   #24
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What brand of testing kits did you buy? IME PH will be slightly lower first thing in the morning but alk doesn't change at all or just ever so slightly. That also is with ranges in "normal" parameters and the higher ph reading could just be due to your alk/ca being so high.

I am a bit in disbelief that the ca test is correct at such a high level though.
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Old 05-03-2007, 11:42 AM   #25
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Agree with tecwzrd... you keep mentioning your pH/Alk readings like they're the same, but they're not. Your pH will vary through the day by .1 or .2, but your alkalinity should be stable. And the difference between 3.2 or 3.6 for alk is pretty trivial. Both readings are OK.

For Ca test, you can't do much better than Salifert. But the API (Aquarium Pharmaceuticals) Ca tests are pretty darn good for the money. I use both and while I've never had issues with the Salifert, the API test will occassionally read low for me. I think it has to do with the inconsistancy of the "drop" size coming out of the bottle if I'm trying to go a little too fast!

Again, pH and Alkalinity are two different things, and have two different test kits.
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Old 05-03-2007, 11:58 AM   #26
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I am only mentioning them together because they did come in the same test kit, it is the Red Sea brand "Marine aquariums test lab pH Alk"

For the Alk 3.6 is the highest measurement that the kit tests for and the coloration that gives readings ranges from yellow being "Low" 0-1.6 to greenish colors for normal 1.7-2.8, and then the high area defined as 2.9-3.6 which goes from a greenish blue to true blue and my tests (3 times now twice last night and once this morning) show very blue.

The pH test goes from 7.4-8.6 with 7 different color varients. Mine is purple color which the test has 3 purples ranging from 8.2 to 8.6 and mine fell between the 8.2 and 8.4 color.

The Redsea calcium test you start out adding agent A then a some agent B then back to the A a drop at a time until the color changes from pink to orange. Each drop of agent A is 50ppm and each time I have had to add 13 drops before it turns orange.

I think I need to get a full marine testing kit, for all parameters so I can track this. Will look to see what Salifert offers along those lines. (Assuming here that if its offered a full array of tests in one kit would be cheaper than all the different tests separately)
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Old 05-03-2007, 12:33 PM   #27
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IME Red Sea Brand test kits have really been a big disappointment. I've tried 3 different tests with them and I'm not sure if the kits I've had were just old and expired (were bought new) but most read way off from my other tests but typically much lower then other tests i.e. po4/no3 showed 0 ppm when there was traces of both.

I'd double check your results with another test or lfs just to be sure your getting accurate readings. I mostly use AP and have been happy with them. I have a couple of Salifert kits for the things AP doesn't test for and they are fairly dead on.
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Old 05-03-2007, 04:20 PM   #28
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I understand your comment now about alk/ph!

While I haven't used them, I haven't heard anybody say anything nice about the Red Sea brand tests... especially the Calcium. That's surprising that the alk test tops out at 3.6 because that's really not high at all!

Unfortunately, you won't find a "master" kit for the Salifert. And the master kit for API doesn't include alk or Ca. If you're looking for an inexpensive, yet fairly accurate test, I'd recommend the individual API tests for alk and Ca. If you've got money to burn, go for the Salifert.
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Old 05-03-2007, 04:40 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt_Nelson
the master kit for API doesn't include alk or Ca.
The Drs has an AP Master reef kit which has no3/po4/alk/ca for $20.79 It's the one I use.
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Old 05-03-2007, 11:25 PM   #30
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Tecwzrd do you find that one to be pretty accurate and easy to read? I would assume you do since you use it, but dont want to burn more money on kits that do not work well enough to bother with
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