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View Full Version : Ok, so what am I doing wrong? Can't level the numbers out...


deputydog95
08/26/2017, 04:29 PM
Chasing numbers.

This is driving me nuts. I've been doing the reef thing for years. This particular setup is about 1.5 years old.

Was getting some ugly SPS RTN so I switched from ME two part to SeaChem Reef Fusion. Well, at least for the Ca and Alk. I'm still had plenty of ME Mg so I'm continuing to dose for the time being.

When I switched I saw a large spike in my numbers. LFS told me that the Sea Chem should be 1 to 1 with the ME. It wasn't... Apparently more concentrated that the MD based on the numbers going way up.

At one point I was at 11dkh and over 500 Ca dosing 55ml/day of the SeaChecm A&B. Started at around 8dkh and 430 Ca when I converted from the ME.

Target Numbers:
9 dkh
450 Ca
1350 MG

Anyway, slowly started adjusting the daily doser.

Here's where I'm at today:
Alk: 8dkh at 47 ml/day (upped today to 50 ml/day)
Ca: 491 at 42 ml/day (reduced today to 40 ml/day)
Mg: 1260 at 6 ml/day (upped to 7 ml/day)
Temp: 78.5
Salinity: 1.025
Phosphate: .02 ppm

My A&B aren't even close to 1 to 1 for consumption which concerns me a little. However, I'm really struggling to hit my target numbers.

Suggestions?

bertoni
08/26/2017, 06:11 PM
Are A and B the calcium and alkalinity supplements. Those numbers are very close. It'd take a long time for the calcium and alkalinity to diverge noticeably, especially if the tank is getting water changes. 10 ml of calcium supplement doesn't do much. Do you have a list of measurements, doses, and dates?

Ron Reefman
08/27/2017, 04:14 AM
Water changes and the Ca, alk and Mg in the new water can makes things look out of line.

Personally I wouldn't be to concerned about your numbers. 8dKH or 9dKH who cares? 450 CA or 490Ca, they are both a touch higher than they need to be, but again, nothing wrong with either. Mg at 1260 or 1350, I'd rather see the higher number, but again, not really out of line. My alk runs between 8dKH and 9dKH all the time. My Ca is always in the 400 to 450 range and Mg is 1400 to 1500. But I take a lot of water out of the system when I sell corals and add new to make up for it, so my numbers bounce around a lot. But I don't see any signs of stress in any of my sps corals or anemones. I think you are obsessing over minor details.

Have you ever considered just one time dosing extra Mg or alk to get the level you want and then maintain it with the dosing pumps rather than chasing it by adjusting the pumps all the time?

deputydog95
08/27/2017, 08:17 AM
Are A and B the calcium and alkalinity supplements. Those numbers are very close. It'd take a long time for the calcium and alkalinity to diverge noticeably, especially if the tank is getting water changes. 10 ml of calcium supplement doesn't do much. Do you have a list of measurements, doses, and dates?

I sure do. See below.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4427/36841691315_d98726d917_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Y8zihp)Reef Params (https://flic.kr/p/Y8zihp) by Andrew Burke (https://www.flickr.com/photos/deputydog95/), on Flickr

Water changes and the Ca, alk and Mg in the new water can makes things look out of line.

Personally I wouldn't be to concerned about your numbers. 8dKH or 9dKH who cares? 450 CA or 490Ca, they are both a touch higher than they need to be, but again, nothing wrong with either. Mg at 1260 or 1350, I'd rather see the higher number, but again, not really out of line. My alk runs between 8dKH and 9dKH all the time. My Ca is always in the 400 to 450 range and Mg is 1400 to 1500. But I take a lot of water out of the system when I sell corals and add new to make up for it, so my numbers bounce around a lot. But I don't see any signs of stress in any of my sps corals or anemones. I think you are obsessing over minor details.

Have you ever considered just one time dosing extra Mg or alk to get the level you want and then maintain it with the dosing pumps rather than chasing it by adjusting the pumps all the time?

Well, the Alk originally spiked way up when I switched A&B's, and then has fallen way down. I'm apprehensive about doing anything too quickly. I've never had a tank that didn't settle into a balance before...

I'm close on the Mg so I bumped it up a ml/day and I'm sure that'll do it.

I also used to dosing A&B in pretty close quantities.

deputydog95
08/27/2017, 08:19 AM
Yeah, I'm that nerd that logs everything lol.

bertoni
08/27/2017, 04:09 PM
Could you make a spreadsheet or post the data as text, or just sort the numbers by test date and parameter? I'd like to plot the trend lines for each parameter.

Ron Reefman
08/28/2017, 05:49 AM
Hey deputydog95, I do all my record keeping on an Excel spreadsheet going back 5 years now. Welcome to the nerd crowd.

I recently had a dosing pump crap out and lowered my alk from 9dKH to 6dKH over a few days. I dosed it back up to 9dKH manually and then added alk to my top off water to keep things stable until I got the new dosing heads. My ATO float stuck and dumpped all 10 gallons of top off water in while we were out of town (eclipse chasing) and alk went up to 12dKH. I did a small water change and got alk back to 10dKH and now will let the corals lower it the rest of the way. But the point of the story is, my mostly sps DT didn't suffer at all, even with the alk going down and then up too high. Maybe I'm just lucky, but I think corals tolerate some fluctuation in water parameters better than many reef keepers think.

deputydog95
08/28/2017, 10:51 AM
Honestly I wouldn't care, except for the fact that I have been losing a ton of coral. It's ugly. I did a Triton test and it came back with some ugliness. Did a couple large water changes, ran chemi pure blue for about 10 days, and have the skimmer going pretty aggressively.

Never did really figure out the source of my problem. But I did have a lettuce magnet go very bad in the tank and it was a while before I even noticed it.

Just trying to make the tank as stable as possible while it recovers from whatever problem I had previously... Hell, I may still have the problem as I'm still getting STN which I guess is better than the previous RTN....

kenneth wolfe
10/10/2017, 08:10 PM
Honestly I wouldn't care, except for the fact that I have been losing a ton of coral. It's ugly. I did a Triton test and it came back with some ugliness. Did a couple large water changes, ran chemi pure blue for about 10 days, and have the skimmer going pretty aggressively.

Never did really figure out the source of my problem. But I did have a lettuce magnet go very bad in the tank and it was a while before I even noticed it.

Just trying to make the tank as stable as possible while it recovers from whatever problem I had previously... Hell, I may still have the problem as I'm still getting STN which I guess is better than the previous RTN....Imo after the spike the damage was done, imo when many coral see a high alkalinity they go into defensive mode , until problems are corrected, but the damage is set into motion , imo stn and rtn is all alkalinity and nutrients, imo I would back the doser of completely and just water change until stable and balanced, heavy feeding helps, higher alkalinity when seeing stn, if you can cut the stn off to stop the spread, don't do crazy changing it makes it worse..work on the numbers before the crash, imo rts ,stn is contagious to similar species.imo again..

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