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Old 12-07-2016, 10:22 PM   #1
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Advice and Question - Alkalinity range and too low

I've been trying to research Alkalinity and it looks like there are some pretty big differences of opinion.

In mid September, I began using the Red Sea line of products - Reef Foundation, Reef Energy, and Coral Colors. Corals have become much more vibrant except I had a Candy Cane die and a Duncan that is not doing too well. I had added them into the tank about a month after starting the Red Sea products.

Other corals like monti's, hammer, frog spawn, leather, stunner chalice, mushrooms, war coral, and zoa's are doing great.

Since I started using Red Sea, my tank metrics have stabilized with the exception of Alk - started at about 8 and is now down to about 6.

What is considered a good range for Alk in a reef tank? If 6 is too low, how can I raise Alk without causing the other metrics to go out of whack.

Here's the current set-up and metrics:
  • 65 gallon DT
  • 10 gallon refugium
  • Make my own RO/DI water
    • 10% water changes weekly
  • Lighting (I know not the greatest but it is what it is)
    • Current Orbit Pro Marine (48")
    • ATI T5 Blue Plus
    • ATI T5 Purple Plus


    • Dose 15ML AcroPower weekly
  • I've been using a doser so additives are dosed daily. Only exception is the Red Sea Magnesium (Foundation C). For that, I am adding on a weekly basis.
  • Salinity - 1.026
  • Temp range - 79-82
  • PH - 8.3
  • Calcium - 450
  • Magnesium - 1400
  • Phosphate, Ammonia, Nitrite - 0
  • Nitrate - 2
  • Alkalinity is currently at 6 - Since I switched to Red Sea, I have been testing weekly so here is the downward progression. I had thought maybe the Alk test kit was bad (also Red Sea) so last week, I ordered a new one - also Red Sea.
    • 9
    • 9
    • 9
    • 10
    • 8
    • 8
    • 8
    • 8
    • 7
    • 7
    • 7
    • 8
    • 7
    • 8
    • 6
Any advice?
Could the downward trend have contributed to the Duncan/Candy Cane issues?

Thanks!
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Old 12-07-2016, 11:33 PM   #2
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Possibly, but them only being in the system for a month and things not being as stable as before mentioned could be more of a issue for the coral.
Though with that said, more sensitive corals are doing well in your system so it is hard to believe that parameters are the issue at hand.
How were these new arrivals acclimated into the system? Have they been moved to see if it is a flow issue?
That said, Red Sea and alk is a known thing. Every brand has their highs and lows when it comes to their mix. I think that switching up salt mix can be of benefit at times due to this unless you are a doser.
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Old 12-08-2016, 09:07 AM   #3
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I figured that since the corals were looking better and the metrics were good at that time, it would be safe to add a few frags.

When I purchased the frags, they looked very healthy - great coloring, reactive, and full. I drip acclimate all my livestock for 1-2 hours until the salinity levels match. I did try a few different places in the tank to see what flow these guys would like. I would give them about 5-7 days to see if there was any kind of positive change.

I had not heard of Alk being an issue with Red Sea so that's good/interesting advice. My plan is to change the brand of salt that I use. I just ordered it a few days ago and should be delivered in a day or two.

Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 12-08-2016, 09:28 PM   #4
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What are you trying out this time? I personally always end up gravitating towards whatever is on sale.
Has a different position in the tank been tried for the frags? These are pretty hardy coral we're talking about, but if they are being bombarded by flow they won't be pleased.
I have a large duncan colony that I ended up moving due to finally getting annoyed of snails knocking it out of place and face down in the sandbed. Once moved, it didn't extend itself fully if at all. It took about a month to adjust the flow in the system for it to be happy in the new spot as it was quite high in that area.
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Old 12-08-2016, 10:16 PM   #5
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I put the duncan on the sandbed where this is low flow. Been there about a week now so maybe I'll just wait a few more weeks to see if he likes that one better. Don't want to go off on a tangent for another thread but from what I've researched, Duncans are supposed to like low flow. Could that be why it took so long for it to come out?
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Old 12-08-2016, 10:20 PM   #6
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I have my Duncan In moderate flow on my sandbed. I don't know if any corals really like low flow. Remember most corals in the wild are getting hit with some pretty constant random flow that keeps them healthy.

That said this is a super hardy coral. Is it receding or just losing color?
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Old 12-08-2016, 10:29 PM   #7
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I prefer 9-11 for alk.
IMO 6 is pretty low..
I have used seachem reef builder , Continum ,and once upon a time kent coral builder.
The seachem is good stuff imo.
I have had to dose alk. every week in one of my tanks. It ate my kh 3-4 pt a week while my other tank with same water was always stable...
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Old 12-08-2016, 10:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bribo12 View Post
I have my Duncan In moderate flow on my sandbed. I don't know if any corals really like low flow. Remember most corals in the wild are getting hit with some pretty constant random flow that keeps them healthy.

That said this is a super hardy coral. Is it receding or just losing color?


It has color but the tentacles have completely receded.

My main resource when I am going to buy some livestock is liveaquaria. The info I have on the Duncan liking low flow is here. http://m.liveaquaria.com/product/pro...70&pcatid=2670
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Old 12-09-2016, 12:17 AM   #9
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I'm still betting on flow with this one and alk is either a coincidence or a bad testing.
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Old 12-09-2016, 08:01 AM   #10
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Can rule out bad test. I was thinking it may be a bad kit. The latest numbers was a brand new kit. I redid the test 4 times with the new kit before posting my questions.
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Old 12-09-2016, 08:44 AM   #11
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Your very own link says kH of 8-12 ,yet with your level falling fast to well below that level you wonder if it is flow?
I might consider that AFTER I corrected my water parameters!!!
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Old 12-09-2016, 08:47 AM   #12
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Not sure if I understand what you mean. Can you clarify?
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