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Old 11-20-2010, 10:24 PM   #11
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OK. I'll try to answer all questions as I go through. I may have fed him too big a piece but he usually spits it out. Unfortunately, he has not come out since. It has now been almost a week since he last came out. I have evergreen starburst who are also miffed. I checked and everything tests fine except for ALK. Yes, I only dose what I have tests for but even those I have stopped. (Iodine/Iodide and Iron) I had been doing really small water changes 5% but with what I thought was good RO/DI water. My ALK is VERY high and I thought water changes would bring it down until I checked my new water and it was higher than my tank ALK. (16+) I knew somwething was up when I had trouble getting the salt to dissolve.

I bought a new RO/DI system and tested that water. It turned color after the first DROP of the reagent. Is THAT normal?? I did a 50% water change with good water and they still have not come out. I'm hoping I'm not too late but it's not looking good.

My Cal is holding at 440 and Mag at 1280. PH holds at 8.2 and all the quality tests Phos, Nitrate, Nitrite, and Ammonia, all read ZERO. Salt is stable at 1.025. ALK has been 16+ for three weeks. Most were happy in the beginning but now everyone is unhappy if not dead. (Lost two turbos, a sand sifting star and most of my snails)

I can't think of anything else to do. If you have any other ideas, I'd love to hear them. Thanks for all you help. I'll keep trying.
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Old 11-20-2010, 11:11 PM   #12
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i would be doing some large water changes until you get your levels in an acceptable range. you don't need to dose anything. you are just causing problems putting all that stuff in your tank. everything you need is in your salt mix.

i think your test kit might be off too. to get an alk of 16+, i would be very surprised to find a calcium level of 440.
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Old 11-21-2010, 12:54 AM   #13
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Agree that your alkalinity test kit might be bad, or there might be some inconsistencies while using it. Normally that high of alkalinity is accompanied by other issues.

What salt brand are you using?

When you say you tested your RO/DI water and "it turned color after the first drop"... what exactly does that mean? Tested for what?

As far as stuff being ticked off and dieing, you might be seeing a reaction from the iodine dosing. It takes a while for things to build up, and even then it'll take a while for critters to react in a way that becomes obvious. I think water changes like you're doing are your best bet.
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Old 11-21-2010, 06:16 PM   #14
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I'm using the Salifert ALK test but you are right, even though I did the reference test and it checked out, I'm still not sure that I am getting the right reading. According to this test today, despite the 50% water change yesterday, my ALK is back up to 15.

I tested the ALK of the new RO/DI water and it turned purple with the first drop of KH reagent (meaning extremely low ALK). I don't get it. I mixed more water using a couple gallons of the new RO/DI with salt water that I bought from Coral Corral and it was still too high 11.2 or 4. That's not as bad as my tank but it is still not where it should be. I am using a big bag of Tropic Marin salt that was given to me by my LRS. Could there be something wrong with this salt mix??

Still, I have changed 70% of the water over the last week and still NO ONE IS HAPPY. I don't know what else to do. Now my scroll coral is turning white, my Evergreens are disintigrating, my yellow coloy polyps won't come out either, and my Duncan looks concave and lifeless. WTF????????

Honestly, I had been doing only 5% water changes sporadically because I was told by my ex-LRS that would defeat the purpose of the refugium mud and the biological filtration. I have since learned that the guy is bi-polar both in his personality AND in his ADVICE. He's also the one that gave me the salt that I am using. I don't know what else I can change now that I have pretty much had to change EVERYTHING I was doing from the beginning. Should I get rid of the mud? Change Salt mixes? Drain the thing and start all over again??

Well, for starters, I am going to toss the salt mix and get new Instant Ocean. For some reason, I recall that most of my problems began when I started using the freeby stuff. Apart from that, I'm open to suggestion.
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Old 11-21-2010, 08:12 PM   #15
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OK, let's start with the expiration date of the Salifert Alk kit?
Are you using 4 ml of water for the test?
Is the sample a blue/green after adding the 2 drops of indicator?
As you add the reagent, a drop at a time. the sample should turn orange/red or pink.
Are you using the small syringe with the additional plastic tip for the reagent?

So where is the purple color you are seeing?

Is the salt in the bag clumped, indication it was wet as some point?

Chucking the free salt and trying a new unopened box or bucket.

Once you have new salt start doing 30% water changes every week with the salt mixed to 1.025 (using a refractometer). Test the batch after it is mixed overnight (24 hours is best) and post all the parameters of the PWC water, then do your water change.

Wait a day and test the tank. Post the pre and post water change tank parameters.

Together we will work through this problem. Just remember the previous advice you've received here. Don't dose anything, just do PWC's till you get the water chemistry correct.

I had a similar issue a few months ago due to lack of pwc's and continual alk dosing trying to chase a low pH problem...
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Old 11-21-2010, 10:35 PM   #16
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My Salifert test is only two months old and the purple color I was referring to is actually the pink color that you were referring to. (to me it looks almost purple-ish, but its not.)

Yesterday was interesting. I mixed new water to do a water change and tested it before I did the water change and the ALK of the brand new water was HIGHER than the ALK in my tank. I figured my water was bad so I bought 18 gallons of salt water from another local store and a new RO/DI system. I did another water change with the good water and mixed another ten gallons with new RO/DI water. I tested the RO/DI water after I made it and it was PERFECT. I tested the water in the tank after the water change and it was perfect. Then, I tested the tank again this morning and it was back up to 15!

I think you are EXACTLY right, the salt is/was bad. It was like a concrete block that I had to take a hammer to in order to get usable chunks. I understand now that it should NEVER have been used. That's probably why the guy at the local store GAVE it to me. What an @$$. I guess it is clear why they went out of business.

I think my timing was off, too. I tested the ALK of the new water before it had time to mix. It still does not explain why the ALK of the tank this morning was back to 15! Unless that was a timing thing, too. Maybe I tested too early after the water change before it had time to cycle all the way throught he sump. It is lower but just not as much as it was when I tested it after the water change.

I'm pretty sure the scroll coral is dead. You be the judge. I loaded pics. I'm going to buy new salt tomorrow and hopefully nothing else will die before I have a chance to use it. I'm told to wait a few more days before doing any more water changes. Hopefully, adding RO/DI replacement water will keep me going until I can do another decent water change.

Thank you for your advice. I'll let you know how it goes. Hopefully, this will be the beginning of the road to recovery.
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Old 11-22-2010, 01:03 AM   #17
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Sounds like you're on the right track. I agree that the salt sounds like the culprit.

Regarding your RO/DI water turning purple on the first drop... it should. It *does* have very low alkalinity because it's pure water - everything has been stripped out of it. It's alkalinity is more or less zero.

Also... you mention the store-bought water with the alkalinity of 11.2 being "too high". That's not bad at all - normal recommendations are between 8 and 12 dKh.
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Old 11-22-2010, 01:18 PM   #18
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OK, new salt and PWC's will do it. You can do a 30% pwc every day if you want to. There is very little bacteria in the water. The problem would be in changing water parameters for pH, Ca, SG, etc. too quickly. But a small change every day would be fine. If you can do it, then try a 10% - 20% daily pwc with the new salt.
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:49 PM   #19
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Hi everyone,
I have a really dumb question what is a Prawn and how big does it get?
And where can you get them?

mary
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:50 PM   #20
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it looks like a small shrimp. they are about 1" long at the LFS.
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