View Full Version : Parameters

09/05/2017, 10:32 PM
I recently got most of the test kits needed and began to test before water changes to see were my parameters stood. On the 30th I tested twice, before a water change and after, I wanted to see how much the parameters changed. I was shock to only see alkalinity change change. Today after testing everything, I noticed my alkalinity was super low, lower than last week, which doesn't surprise me since I added a couple corals on the 30th. It's also shocking to see that no calcium is being used.I did a water change today as well. Didn't test anything after. Has this happened to anyone ? Should I start dosing?

Tank info:
20 Gallons
Running GFO/Carbon.
Have polyfilter, sponges, and live rock in my sump
Running two skimmers.
Hydra 26
Reef Crystals

09/05/2017, 10:33 PM

09/06/2017, 04:59 AM
Have you tested freshly mixed saltwater?
Reef crystals is typically high in alk and your number looks too low to be using RC to me..

Why are you running GFO too? Did you have a phosphate problem?
You should stop IMO..

09/06/2017, 08:35 AM
I had this a while back although my Mg and Ca were also on the low side (unlike yours). I found my refractometer was well off and I was running much lower sg than I thought I was. Well worth getting some 35ppt refractoright solution just to make sure that is in check before you head off doing lots of other expensive tweaks. I tried water changes, dosing and different salts all to no avail. Eventually checked my refractometer properly and that sorted me out.

09/06/2017, 12:50 PM
It turns out I had some refractometer calibration solution, and the reading was fine at 35ppt , thanks for mentioning this, I didn't think of testing it. I have not tested freshly mixed saltwater, I will try that today and update what the level is. The reason I'm running GFO is because I had an algae outbreak a couple months ago. Currently I have a some turf algae I'm trying to battle, I believe that my phospbhates read low because the algae is consuming it. I also read that GFO can lower alkalinity and affect PH, is this true? I've been running GFO for about 4 months now, what about Carbon? Does that have any affects ?

09/06/2017, 04:50 PM
GFO might cause a bit of precipitation, which can lower the alkalinity a bit, and thus affect pH, but that seems to be rather rare. If your GFO is adhering into a solid with a lot of white buildup as cement, your tank might have an issue.

09/07/2017, 01:10 AM
Last Time I changed carbon and GFO was 3 weeks ago, I plan on changing it next week. The Carbon always slowly gets a bit white in color, as for the GFO, it's always brown, sometimes I increase the flow for a few seconds to make sure all the GFO moves and there is no build up, there is some white particles, but that would be something else other than GFO. I did a couple tests on my tank parameters( I did a water change on 9/5/17) . I also tested some Reef crystal water I made to test the elements as suggested above. I bought some alkalinity in case I had to dose, just afraid my calcium might drop.

Here are my results:

09/07/2017, 01:12 AM

09/07/2017, 12:26 PM
Zero PO4 isn't a vaid goal IMO. The animals need some; I prefer 0.02 to 0.04ppm.

Tds post di should always be zero anything over that means the resin is exhausted .

Alk can easily deplete form 7.0 to 6.1 without dosing.

09/07/2017, 01:44 PM
Update: I spoke with a representative from Instant Ocean and explained my concerns with the levels of trace elements. He mentioned that all elements looked fine , that those levels are what their salt mix offers for the most part, and that Calcium was the only one he thought was too low and recommended to bring it up to 470. I still think alkalinity is too low. I might change to Read Sea Coral Pro Salt so I don't have to worry about the trace elements being too low, does anyone use this salt mix? As for now, does anyone recommend dosing calcium as he mentioned and maybe alkalinity?

09/07/2017, 02:03 PM
Thank you TMZ for your reply, I do get some algae blooms here and there, mostly on the back wall of my tank and a bit of turf algae on rocks, is it possible that algae is consuming the phosphates because I think it's a lot higher, I did a phosphate tests just now and got reading of 0

09/07/2017, 04:24 PM
I am not sure what you mean by trace elements in this context. I agree that the alkalinity is a bit low in your system, but many tanks consume 2-3 dKH per day, so that's not unusual. The calcium is fine at 440 ppm. The usual recommended zone is 350-450 ppm:


09/08/2017, 03:07 PM
I dosed a bit of alkalinity and calcium last night, I only dosed half of what I was going to dose since I didn't want to shock the tank with a spike. Alkalinity was 6.7 while calcium was 420 last night, this morning before the second dosage alkalinity was 6.4 and calcium was 440. The total dosage was suppose to rise alkalinity by .7 dhk and calcium by 10 ppm (5ml of each) it seems my alkalinity is dropping too fast every day. I believe it's dropping by .3-.6 dhk a day. Should I just get a dosing pump or maybe try kalwasser?

09/08/2017, 03:07 PM
Thank you for the information Bertoni, I will read through.

09/08/2017, 03:30 PM
Kalkwasser might work well if the evaporation rate of the tank is reasonably constant. Do you have a dosing pump for ATO? That's an easy approach to try. A dosing pump for two-part definitely will work, too. It's usually a personal choice as to which to try first, although Kalkwasser is a very dilute supplement, and sometimes can't keep up with the demand.

09/08/2017, 06:01 PM
I don't have an auto top off system, I thought about it, but the only one that fits my tank is about 300 dollars, figured I'd put that money towards my new tank which would be a red sea 72 G. I think I'm going to stick with a two-part. I have NUVO Fusion 20G , so the sump is right behind the tank, should I just mount the dosing system high on the wall ? Are there any dosing systems you recommend?

09/08/2017, 06:51 PM
I have never used a dosing system for two-part, but the MasterFlex pumps are good for ATO, although they are expensive to buy new. I got a bunch of them from a local reef keeper a long time ago.

Peristaltic pumps works best if the inputs are a bit above or at most level with the pump. I placed mine alongside the jugs for the ATO water. That seemed to work well, since the pumps are relatively good at moving liquid upward.