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JTL
08/19/2017, 11:09 AM
So my tank has been up and running with fish and corals for about a month. The begining and current params are:

Beginning Current
SP 35pts 35
Ph 8 8
Alk 8 9
Nitrites 0 0
Nitrates 10 0
PO4 0 0
Ca 500 480
Mg 1470 1250

I am doing a water change on Monday so the Mg may come up a little. The Ca was as low as 440 but a when I started dosing with Kalk (1 teaspoon per 5 gal of topoff water) it raised it to the current level. The Alk was as high as 11 after using some buffer but has been stable at 9 using the Kalk for 5 days. Ph was 8.4 yesterday afternoon but only 8 this morning. I will check again this afternoon. My questions are: Are the Alk, Ca and Mg in a decent range (I have been adding several lps and sps frags so I assume the Ca will start to get consumed at a faster pace)? I they are too high I could not use any Kalk for a week and see if they come down. My weekly wc of 10% has historically raised the big 3.

The other thing I got to thinking about is my method of dosing Kalk. I am using an aqualifter pump which I read puts out 3g per hour. My evap rate is about 1g per day and the float switch lets the pump put in 1/2 at a time which only takes 10 minutes. This may well be too rapid, perhaps I should tie a loose not in the tubing and slow this down. Thoughts?

I am at the point where I am closely monitoring my params and trying to find the "sweet" spot. Personally, I think the ratio of Alk and Ca is not in sync. Seems like my Ca should be a lower, hence my question of not dosing Kalk for a while.

Last but not least is test kits. I am using API for everything except Mg which is a Salifert kit. I bought these based on a Big Three Shootout Test. I have been thinking about getting some other test kits for at least the Ca and Alk just to be safe and for comparative purposes. Thoughts?

Vinny Kreyling
08/19/2017, 12:27 PM
Years back I was told to use kalk water for the top off water, possibly eliminating dosing for you. You will find that a stable MG will go a long way to stabilize Calcium, anything over 400 is fine.

bertoni
08/19/2017, 02:04 PM
I'd probably slow the rate of the Kalkwasser dosing, but I am the cautious sort. It's probably okay, at least for the time being. The Salifert kits have worked well for me, as have the IO tests. Either would be a fine backup, in my opinion.

JTL
08/19/2017, 02:22 PM
Slow the flow or slow the dosing period.

bertoni
08/19/2017, 04:14 PM
Sorry, I should have added that those parameters are fine as is. If anything, the calcium is a bit high. 350-450 ppm is a reasonable target zone.

JTL
08/19/2017, 05:00 PM
Thanks, Jon

outssider
08/19/2017, 05:21 PM
350-450 ppm is a reasonable target zone.

for calcium,...... magnesium is good where it's at

bertoni
08/19/2017, 07:07 PM
Yes, that was a typo. The calcium is a bit high. I fixed it.

Ron Reefman
08/24/2017, 05:59 AM
John, I use API test kits as well. And I have Salifert kits for Mg, Ca and alk, but I only use the Alk and Ca kits if I get a wild flier of a number with the API kit and then find it is repeatable. 99% of the time my Salifert tests are very close to my API results.

With my old system (400+g) I tested every 4 weeks. With this new smaller system (200g) I test every week. But at 1 year now, the numbers and dosing have become fairly stable and I'll probably drop back to every other week.

JTL
08/24/2017, 07:21 AM
I am test at least once per week maybe even more at this point since everything is so new. I am getting some variation but not too bad.

bonnie.klassen1
08/27/2017, 11:45 PM
I love the digital Hanna test kits for calcium, alk, and phos :)