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Jmunk
07/20/2017, 02:13 PM
Here's the story:

For one reason or another, the tank was not maintained quite as stringently as usually for a period of a few months. Now, everything (apart from the two little acro and slimer frags) was doing fine, but the tank wasn't looking it's best.

Fast forward to now, after some tissue loss on the base of the acro frag (I assume due to low alkalinity), I'm trying to get the numbers back to where they should be and on the right track.

Here's my issue. I tested for alk a few days ago, it was around 7.3 dkh (and this is without dosing ANYTHING for months, maybe a bit lower. Used the BRS calculator to see how much I needed to get to 8.5. Tank is 90G so it said 77ml. I then tested calcium, and it read above the salifert kit, so above 500. Odd, considering again I haven't added anything for MONTHS and did maybe one water change. But maybe since there's only two sps frags with other lps that the demand is low.

I tested two days later, alk was near the 10.7dkh mark. No idea how it could have gotten that high. Calcium still off the charts at above 500. I bought a mag test to see if that's what was causing all this. With salifert test, it JUST started to turn blue at the end of the syringe, so +1500 by a little on mag too.

What could be causing all these high numbers, when I've done nothing to the tank chemical wise? Maybe I was dosing too high before and the numbers stayed there? I can just never seem to figure out the numbers when it comes to dosing. What's my next step to get these three in order?

mcgyvr
07/20/2017, 02:37 PM
Forget about consumption.. 2 frags isn't really going to do squat.. Do you have a lot of coralline algae?

What salt mix are you using and whats the normal parameters on that?
Have you taken a sample to have a second opinion on the test results..
You may just be reading wrong..

But your alk was low.. did you add anything (baking soda?) you started to talk about that but didn't state if you actually added anything..
If not you are just having problems getting accurate test results..
If so then well.. ok you added too much..

Jmunk
07/20/2017, 02:42 PM
Forget about consumption.. 2 frags isn't really going to do squat.. Do you have a lot of coralline algae?

What salt mix are you using and whats the normal parameters on that?
Have you taken a sample to have a second opinion on the test results..
You may just be reading wrong..

But your alk was low.. did you add anything (baking soda?) you started to talk about that but didn't state if you actually added anything..
If not you are just having problems getting accurate test results..
If so then well.. ok you added too much..
It's a mixed reef, two sps frags, few LPS including a big frogspawn, and a acan and brain frag that are actually doing really well. Rest of the tank is zoas, softies. Tanks been running for over 3 years now. Yes, I have a decent amount of coralline algae all over the tank.

I use regular IO, haven't tested recently, but tested it before and they matched the params of what users on here have claimed.

No.

Yeah, I after getting the low reading of 7.3 I added the alkalinity part of the two part from BRS. I added 77 ml.

bertoni
07/20/2017, 04:38 PM
7.3 dKH should be fine. I might get a second opinion on the alkalinity test kit, since they do fail from time to time. You can get a number for calcium and magnesium by titrating a second syringe, and adding the results, but I doubt that the levels are dangerous. A lot of salt mixes come with very high levels, so it wouldn't take much to end up with the levels that high. Have you tested some freshly-mixed saltwater?

Jmunk
07/20/2017, 06:57 PM
7.3 dKH should be fine. I might get a second opinion on the alkalinity test kit, since they do fail from time to time. You can get a number for calcium and magnesium by titrating a second syringe, and adding the results, but I doubt that the levels are dangerous. A lot of salt mixes come with very high levels, so it wouldn't take much to end up with the levels that high. Have you tested some freshly-mixed saltwater?
I haven't in a while, but I've maybe done one or two water changes in the last 4 months or so (tank just doesn't seem to need them as much anymore, 3+ year old tank).

Jmunk
07/21/2017, 10:30 PM
7.3 dKH should be fine. I might get a second opinion on the alkalinity test kit, since they do fail from time to time. You can get a number for calcium and magnesium by titrating a second syringe, and adding the results, but I doubt that the levels are dangerous. A lot of salt mixes come with very high levels, so it wouldn't take much to end up with the levels that high. Have you tested some freshly-mixed saltwater?
I tested with the test solution that comes with salifert for the alk. It was dead spot on. Since then, the alk has come down a bit, hovering around the 9.6-9.8 mark. Calcium came down every a bit to 495ish (which I still can't figure out, why does it come down now, but stayed (presumably) above 500 the entire few months I wasn't testing or dosing anything). Magnesium was still above 1500.

I plan on doing a water change with regular IO as usual, that should bring down the calcium and magnesium a bit, unfortunately it'll probably raise the alk even more since regular IO usually is around 11 dkh.

Also, do you think a cause for the severe alk rise after dosing the 77ml was maybe evaporation of the additive I used, since I've just had the container sitting here for months? Maybe the concentration was off?

bertoni
07/21/2017, 11:05 PM
Evaporation might account for some of the problem if the top of the container were off for a long time, although the supplement should start to precipitate at some point. I'm not sure what happened, but bad batches of salt and problems with salt mixes settling badly during shipping seem to occur fairly frequently. Have you always used Instant Ocean?

Jmunk
07/21/2017, 11:50 PM
Evaporation might account for some of the problem if the top of the container were off for a long time, although the supplement should start to precipitate at some point. I'm not sure what happened, but bad batches of salt and problems with salt mixes settling badly during shipping seem to occur fairly frequently. Have you always used Instant Ocean?
Always. The thing is though like I said, I don't think I can blame the the salt. I did one water change in the past 4-5 months. MAYBE two water changes.

bertoni
07/22/2017, 06:21 PM
Well, we'll see how the tank does going forward. I don't think we can troubleshoot this much further.