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plowro8
01/25/2014, 10:15 AM
For some reason, I cannot seem to achieve and maintain proper calcium and alk numbers in my tank. This morning I did a 15% water change, waited about 20 mins and checked my calcium and alk... they came in at 360ppm and 7 respectively. I realize this isn't grossly low, but I have also been dosing Brightwell Reef Code A Calcium and Alkalinity Booster as directed by manufacturer. So I ask, what do I need to be doing to achieve proper levels.... which product is best? Thanks for the input!

Coral Dilema
01/25/2014, 12:46 PM
1. Get some accurate test kits and test your water to determine how much your tank is using daily

2. Check the recommendations on the boosters you are adding to see how much you are supposed to dose. There should be an area where is says something like "dosing X amount will raise your calcium by Y amount in Z gallons of water. . .

3. Dose to increase your calcium and alk levels to what you want them to be, then back off to dosing just enough to maintain those levels.

4. When you mix new salt water for a water change, test the levels and adjust accordingly so it doesn't have a huge impact on your levels. When I mix new saltwater I test it and add what is needed to get the levels where I want them before doing the water change. That way there is no swing in parameters when the water change is done.

Coral Dilema
01/25/2014, 12:50 PM
Oh yeah, if your magnesium is too low you will never be able to get your calcium and alk where you want them. Check magnesium levels also.

plowro8
01/25/2014, 01:00 PM
I have the ATI Reef test kit. It tests for calcium, alk, phosphate and nitrate. I have never tested for Mag. So I need to buy another test kit...

plowro8
01/25/2014, 01:22 PM
Anyone have any suggestions for a good Calcium and Magnesium combo product?

Coral Dilema
01/25/2014, 06:15 PM
I have always used Salifert and API as a backup. I have been out of the hobby for some time though and I'm just getting back in to it. I am hearing good things about the Red Sea Reef foundation kit. Top notch equipment built to last and you just buy reagent refills so ends up being cheap in the long run. You can get the red sea reef foundation kit for about $45-$55 depending on where you buy. It has Calcium, Alk, and Magnesium test kits in it. It is on my short list of things to buy.

Coral Dilema
01/26/2014, 07:53 AM
I use RHF 2 part solution. For magnesium I mix 4 pounds of epsom salt with enough RO/DI water to make a gallon per his recipe. Check the reef chemistry forums for some good information.

http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-02/rhf/index.php/

There is the link for the 2 part recipes. I haven't seen Dowflake in some time but Peladow is available on amazon.com for about $50 for a 50 pound bag, shipped.

s2nhle
01/30/2014, 08:05 AM
You can buy both epsom salt and magnesium chloride at Costco. also I saw a coupon for Calcium chloride bucket at BJ wholesale. Will check this out this weekend.