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OhsCC
12/04/2015, 08:33 AM
Any ideas on how to get my alkalinity, calcium and ph levels corrected?

I combined my 55 gallon and 23 gallon tank to a 75 gallon with 20 gallon sump.

Since the combining of tanks, I am notices white particles floating everywhere (almost like a fine sand). The water is still clear but sand particles are present. Also, my cheato in my refugium is dying, which is strange as this stuff normally grows like a weed.

All fish (yellow tang, angel, 2 clowns) and red mushrooms look great.

I just bought all new Salifert test kits and this is what the test shows.

Sg.: 1.025
ph 7.8
Alk: 17
Mg: 1410
Cal: 500
Nitrite: 0
Ammonia: 0
Nitrate: 50 (working on this after alk and ph and calcium)

I do not dose anything and the move was just done with instant ocean. I just bought the IO reef crystals but have not used it yet.

My tang is 13+ years old and angel is 16+ years old. Clowns are 10+.
I have not been a great tank keeper in the past years (but been lucky). I am ready to get back into it but want to get everything perfect before adding more corals and flame angel.

OhsCC
12/04/2015, 08:35 AM
Picture of tank after stand build.

downbeach
12/04/2015, 08:44 AM
Are you sure of your alk reading? Are you using any type of pH buffer?

OhsCC
12/04/2015, 09:14 AM
I do not dose currently (as I have not been a good reefkeeper for years). I still do have some older Kents Marine SuperBuffer DKh that I used to use a few years back.

Unfortunately, I do think the alkalinity test are correct. I had an old Salifert test that I used a week ago that calculated the alk at 13.5 dkh. I bought all new kits since the other ones were old and received another high reading of 17 dkh.

I had to do the test twice with the new kit since the I did the full volume test and the color never changed with titrating the solution. I then did the half volume test and multiplied the dkh by 2 to get 17 dhk.

The test came with a sample solution to test so I will try that as well. And try the home test (using home depot chemicals) as outlined on the first thread of this forum.

downbeach
12/04/2015, 10:43 AM
How sure are you of your SG? What are you using to measure it with? The only way I know that you could get your alk that high without dosing anything would be if your were adding too much salt mix, and by extension too much Ca, Mg and Alk. Plain IO should test out to ~ 10 - 11 dKH @ 1.026(35ppt). Are you using RO/DI water for your WC's and top off?

OhsCC
12/04/2015, 01:10 PM
Thank you for your time and help.

I will test the salt tonight with my new marine depot refractometer. I was using the old hydrometer swing arm before.

I have added a lot of salt during the transfer. I kept over 60% of the old water to the new tank.

I am using RO/DI Water, and I am replacing the filters this weekend. My City's water is really hard. So hard that it is near impossible to keep all the calcium deposits off the spigots from the kitchen and bathrooms.

I will get you the refractometer as soon as I can.

downbeach
12/04/2015, 01:27 PM
Any ideas on how to get my alkalinity, calcium and ph levels corrected?

I combined my 55 gallon and 23 gallon tank to a 75 gallon with 20 gallon sump.

Since the combining of tanks, I am notices white particles floating everywhere (almost like a fine sand). The water is still clear but sand particles are present. Also, my cheato in my refugium is dying, which is strange as this stuff normally grows like a weed.

All fish (yellow tang, angel, 2 clowns) and red mushrooms look great.

I just bought all new Salifert test kits and this is what the test shows.

Sg.: 1.025
ph 7.8
Alk: 17
Mg: 1410
Cal: 500
Nitrite: 0
Ammonia: 0
Nitrate: 50 (working on this after alk and ph and calcium)

I do not dose anything and the move was just done with instant ocean. I just bought the IO reef crystals but have not used it yet.

My tang is 13+ years old and angel is 16+ years old. Clowns are 10+.
I have not been a great tank keeper in the past years (but been lucky). I am ready to get back into it but want to get everything perfect before adding more corals and flame angel.

You're welcome.

Did you get/did it come with some 35ppt calibration solution?

OhsCC
12/04/2015, 01:34 PM
I opened it last night but did not look that closely. I saw the refractometer and the pipette. I did not use this to check the SG yet. The Marine Depot website does not mention it coming with any calibration solution other than using your own distilled water.

downbeach
12/04/2015, 01:40 PM
You should use a solution that is close to the refractive index of the sample you will be testing. Here's an article explaining it:

http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-12/rhf/index.php#13

bertoni
12/04/2015, 02:33 PM
The most common cause of alkalinity that high is pH buffers, but if you're not dosing, I'd have to guess the issue is either the salt, or the RO/DI filters were a bit old and letting a fair amount of alkalinity through. I'd use a TDS meter to check what's happening there.

dkeller_nc
12/04/2015, 10:21 PM
I opened it last night but did not look that closely. I saw the refractometer and the pipette. I did not use this to check the SG yet. The Marine Depot website does not mention it coming with any calibration solution other than using your own distilled water.

You will need to calibrate your refractometer to get an accurate reading. By "calibrate" I mean calibration to a known solution that equates to seawater with a specific gravity of 1.026. There are multiple ways to do this. One's to purchase a refractometer-specific calibration solution that has a refractive index that's equivalent to seawater at 1.026 gm/cm3. Another is to purchase a seawater solution standardized to 1.026 - Two Little Fishies sells such a stabilized seawater solution called "AccuraSea". A third way is to make your own standardization solution out of sodium chloride. Randy Holmes Farley published a method for this here (http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-06/rhf/).

Finally, perhaps the most expedient method if you have a good LFS near you is to simply take your refractometer to the shop and compare your reading with the shop's on some of their tank water. That'll at least get you in the ballpark while you wait on an order of calibration solution (or the shop may have a calibration solution available for purchase).

OhsCC
12/05/2015, 07:14 AM
I will need to get the refractometer calibrated, but when I measured it this morning it was 1.026.

Also, I checked the RO/DI water two weeks ago for TDS and it was high. I will put my new filters on today and bring the salt level down slowly to 1.024 (after calibrating with saltwater).

dkeller_nc
12/05/2015, 07:16 AM
There's no need to lower the specific gravity of your tank water - 1.026 at 78 deg F is pretty much optimal for a reef tank. 1.024 won't hurt anything, either, but it's not necessary.

OhsCC
12/05/2015, 07:34 AM
Ok.

Thank you for everyone's time and help.

I did not know the bad filters could raise the alkaline and calcium so badly. My other house did not have nearly has hard as water as this house.

Thanks again. If I need to do anything else let me know.

ozmedic80
12/05/2015, 07:57 AM
following with interest as I have the same problem, high alk/calcium and low PH.

i source my RO from my LFS (and i have seen their maintenance and test records, they are more than happy to test it in front of you) and salinity is 1.025 on the refractometer.

i haven't actually seen any issues either with the corals, but you are all going to cringe when my nitrates hit 100+ ppm 2 weeks ago.... now sitting at 2 ppm (water change, added some macro to the tank to keep it under control, there was a massive GHA die off that may have contributed to it)